Forum Index > Trip Reports > Church Mtn 09/04/10 (Mt Baker area)
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Elvis
Shuffl'n



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
Posts: 1801 | TRs | Pics
Location: del Boca Vista
Elvis
Shuffl'n
PostSat Sep 04, 2010 10:18 pm 
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Exactly 100 trails ago I made my first visit to Church Mountain with JenJen, PSnA, Quark and Sarah in conjunction with the 2006 Summer Solstice get together.

During that visit in 2006 we made it to the meadow when we encountered snow and turned around.

It's been on my 'to finish' list ever since but always pushed aside because there is one section where a creek crosses the road and my Camry isn't known for high clearance.

While hiking in the Mt. Baker area last weekend, a fellow hiker provided a first hand report that the water over road crossing is no longer the issue it once was and seemed confident that my Camry wouldn't have any trouble.  Plus, they told me the road now intersects with Hwy 542 a bit east of where it used to connect and is no longer flagged as 'Church Mtn'.  The new location is at the west end of the current construction zone and the first 30 yards or so has been paved.

Fast forward to today.

My original plan was to drive down and hike to Rachel Lake, Rampart Ridge and maybe Alta Mtn.  Unfortunately, after 45 minutes of driving it came to my attention that my backpack was still at home on the couch.   doh.gif 
I was completely annoyed, but also a little relieved.  Relieved because it was raining when I turned around but still blue skies at my house.

Due to the late re-start it seemed like a poor choice to risk driving back toward the rain when the weather seemed so much better closer to home.

Obviously, plans changed and my new destination would be Church Mtn if the weather was still nice or the Chain Lakes Loop from Artist Point if the weather turned for the worse.

The road to Church Mtn TH was located right where people promised it would be, and the water over road crossing is still just that... water flowing over the road, but it was indeed shallow enough that the crossing was uneventful.

Arrival at the trail head (about 11:00am) revealed 7 other cars.  5 of which were from BC.  Since this was Saturday of Labor Day weekend (and not raining) I expected a lot more than that.

The hike was rather uneventful and after 1 hour I had already pounded through 2,000 of the 4,000 ft for the day.  Then I started to slow down a bit.

About half way through the first meadow there was a group of hikers sitting down eating lunch and chatting happily.

15 minutes later there were about 10 hikers descending and they informed me that I was the last one on the mountain.

Being alone on a mountain isn't something I like to think about.  It puts me on the edge of my comfort zone.  Often times I'll just turn back and vow to do it again with a hiking buddy.

Today, however, I convinced myself that after battling the water crossing and 3,000 feet of elevation grinding that took 4 years to attempt, TODAY was the day to finish this up and get it off the To-Do list.

So, logic and reason won out over Comfort Zone and eventually I made it to the Lookout site.

Hallelujah!

Growth of something
Growth of something
View of the trail
View of the trail
Looking Down...WAY down
Looking Down...WAY down
Illuminated on Church
Illuminated on Church
First view of the Meadows
First view of the Meadows
Lower Meadow Flowers
Lower Meadow Flowers
Colors Preparing for Fall
Colors Preparing for Fall
Colors preparing for Fall
Colors preparing for Fall
Church Meadows
Church Meadows
Meadows on the way to Church Mtn
Meadows on the way to Church Mtn
Trail ascending Church Mtn
Trail ascending Church Mtn
All that remains on Church Mtn
All that remains on Church Mtn
Church Mtn Scenery
Church Mtn Scenery
Trail on Church Mtn
Trail on Church Mtn
Zoom to Nooksack from Church Mtn
Zoom to Nooksack from Church Mtn
Looking down to the Nooksack River
Looking down to the Nooksack River

The trudge up through the forest wasn't too interesting, but the second half of the hike in the meadows did in fact make it totally worthwhile.

Shot a couple videos from the meadows, might post them later if I get around to it.

For those that care, I counted 17 switchbacks from the parking lot to the lower meadow.

View larger size in new window

Happy Trails!
~E

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"Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas."  ~John Dryden
My Trip List






 Church 090410.gpx (35 KB)
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Elvis
Shuffl'n



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
Posts: 1801 | TRs | Pics
Location: del Boca Vista
Elvis
Shuffl'n
PostMon Sep 06, 2010 7:30 pm 
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Short meadow video added, just 'cuz.



--------------
"Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas."  ~John Dryden
My Trip List
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Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore



Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 14139 | TRs | Pics

Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore
PostTue Sep 07, 2010 8:18 am 
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Elv - I've tried Church Mtn twice and haven't yet got beyond the meadows; same reason both times - snow.

Nice to see your pics. The meadows are gorgeous!

I feel honored you remember the hike we attempted. up.gif

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"...Other than that, the post was more or less accurate."

Bernardo, NW Hikers' Bureau Chief of Reporting
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