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Forum Index -> Trip Reports -> Lookout Mountain Lookout, June 11-13, 2010
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D. Inscho
Not bored yet...



Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 742 | TRs | Pics
Location: Bellingham,WA
Post Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:08 pm    Lookout Mountain Lookout, June 11-13, 2010
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“Beautifully lost” I thought to myself, hiking through trackless old growth in a drizzling murk, as Swainsen’s & Varied thrushes called out in the wild cathedral.  But not lost in a specific sense; somewhere beneath my boots, under several feet of snow was the trail, as long as I minded the map and that mystical needle pointing red toward the north.


Despite the spanking 4400’ of gain this trail dishes out, I love its narrow, intimate, and soft mossy margins.  And of course the forest…!  Snow began in earnest at about 4200’.  The avy slope is partly clear having released to bare ground.  The upper slopes are steep and deep with snow; passage without an ice axe is insanity.  I ascended my preferred timbered ridgeline route which sticks close to the north cliff face.  Snow consolidation was variable; glide cracks and spruce traps presented some difficulty.  Climbing was a full-body effort.  Bodhran, my faithful companion, was a good sport and hauled his load valiantly. 


After 4 hours of toil there was no more up, save for the stairway to our warm & dry bedroom-in-the-sky.  We planned to stay 3 nights, Friday through Monday.   I was particularly excited about catching the new moon, which means good stars!  Meanwhile, it drizzled merrily the rest of the day so I went to bed early for much needed sleep. 

I awoke at 1:30 to a magical transformation; the stratus deck hovered about 500’ below the summit and a galactic glow above.  It motivated me to dress and descend to the snow for some star shots.  The result was worth it; the only thing better than planetary beauty itself is capturing a bit of it in an image and taking it home (otherwise stars and mountains make lousy houseguests).  I think this poem fits nicely with the star image:

Coot and the Quiet- William Pitt Root                                                         

Most of my adventures
was of the quiet sort
Like noticing one night
how my old cedar dipper
was as full of stars
as water.  Then I drank.

A man inside four walls
all his natural life
cannot drink stars.
Even the full moon
can’t touch his sleep
with the dream the likes
of which only a creature
knows, a creature touched
with what is
that lights up a man’s skull
like a fire lights up a cave


I worked on the structure to earn my keep.  If puttying windows is a lost art; I think I can safely say that I found some of it!  Otherwise it was siesta, solitude, birdsong, and distant water sounds, all in the Bright Hush of the N. Cascades.  Saturday & Sunday were sunny, but the NWS withdrew some of its optimism for Monday, so I packed up to descend as clouds rolled in about mid-afternoon.  I’ll not grumble though; it was a fat banquet of stars, snow, silence, & sunshine.  The hike out was harder on the legs than the climb; the pounding descent has me walking around like the Tin Man today.

Plenty of time to ponder the circularity of “mountains make the drainages make the mountains make the…”  And so it is, like a serpent swallowing its tail.  Beautifully lost I say…

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http://david-inscho.smugmug.com/

There's nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept-- Ansel Adams
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NickJ
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Joined: 28 Aug 2009
Posts: 13 | TRs | Pics

Post Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:35 pm   
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Awesome trip...I know this mountain is in the National Park - but are dogs allowed to go?

I'd love to do this trip with my pup.
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D. Inscho
Not bored yet...



Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 742 | TRs | Pics
Location: Bellingham,WA
Post Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:43 pm   
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Monogram is in the park, Lookout mountain is not.

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http://david-inscho.smugmug.com/

There's nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept-- Ansel Adams
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NickJ
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Post Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:44 pm   
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Awesome. Goin on the list
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 12172 | TRs | Pics
Location: Inexorable descent
Post Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:46 pm   
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Mr Inscho, I am very glad to hear your thoughts and see your pictures here on this forum.   up.gif  up.gif  up.gif
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Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 21531 | TRs | Pics
Location: Cle Elum
Post Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:16 pm   
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Yes welcome.  Great post and I love the pics.  Ten thumbs up!
up.gif  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif

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"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I require the same from them."

—Wayne's John Bernard Books in The Shootist
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Gimpilator
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Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 609 | TRs | Pics
Location: Edmonds, WA
Post Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:31 pm    Re: Lookout Mountain Lookout
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D. Inscho wrote:



Beautiful words and beautiful imagery.  This night photo of yours is most impressive.  Mind if I use it on the Lookout Mountain page I made for summit post?  I'll give you credit in the description.

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http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=25744
http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ClimbListC.aspx?cid=2650&sort=elevft&u=ft&j=-1&y=9999

Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
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D. Inscho
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Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 742 | TRs | Pics
Location: Bellingham,WA
Post Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:58 am    LO image
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Sure Gimpilator, flattered!

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http://david-inscho.smugmug.com/

There's nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept-- Ansel Adams
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D. Inscho
Not bored yet...



Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 742 | TRs | Pics
Location: Bellingham,WA
Post Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:01 am   
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Thanks for the welcome Magellan.  I've been following your contributions for awhile; time to dive in.  I formerly posted at WTA for years; this site seems to offer a more dynamic forum for wider sharing.

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http://david-inscho.smugmug.com/

There's nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept-- Ansel Adams
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the Zachster
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Location: dog training
Post Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:01 am   
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Very nice! How did your dog do going down those steps? They're kind of steep! Zach made it down but I thought for sure he was going to end up flying down face first!

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"May I always be the kind of person my dog thinks I am"
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D. Inscho
Not bored yet...



Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 742 | TRs | Pics
Location: Bellingham,WA
Post Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:40 pm   
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Zachster,

You're certainly right about the steps, steep!  It took Bodhran a couple days to be proficient on them; but he was only about a year old then.

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http://david-inscho.smugmug.com/

There's nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept-- Ansel Adams
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 12172 | TRs | Pics
Location: Inexorable descent
Post Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:53 am   
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ditto.gif

We have a calendar contest every year.  I hope you will enter some of your images.
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seattlehikertoo
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Joined: 26 Jun 2008
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Location: Finding an alternative to Mailbox Pk
Post Sat Jun 19, 2010 11:47 am   
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That picture is just fcking amazing. I went there 3 times last summer only to have to turn back twice because of lightening, hail, steep, dangerous snow, etc, until I finally got to the lookout. My pics don't even compare to that one of the night sky.
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Gwizzzard
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Joined: 15 Nov 2009
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Post Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:45 pm   
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The star shot is absolutely fantastic!  May I ask what camera, lens, and settings you used for that shot?
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Layback
Proud Papa x2



Joined: 16 Mar 2007
Posts: 5488 | TRs | Pics
Location: On a Bike
Post Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:36 pm   
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I can only say what everyone else has said.  The night image is spectacular.   up.gif  up.gif
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