Joined: 02 Oct 2010 Posts: 215 | TRs | Pics Location: Sammamish, WA
Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:30 pm
I decided that it was time to get up to Red Mountain. Forecast for rain in the morning, and that couldn't deter me. And it turned out to be true. I arrived at the empty trailhead at 8:45 and it started to drizzle when I put on my boots. My choice was to go by the old trail, having never gone up that way without snow. The first part is slowly being reclaimed by nature. And that means that you get rather wet pants with the little drizzle making all the overhanging foliage wet. Other than that, the trail is in really good shape for being 'abandoned'.
I was surprised by the bridge. While snowshoeing I always thought it was just a log. So I decided to use it and see if I could navigate back further in. There are a lot of tracks and you're easily wandering in the wrong direction. A crossing over rocks and logs got me back to the trail. And then on to the other two creek crossings.
And then it is on to the switchbacks on the ridge. Snow was pretty much gone on the trail here. Just a couple of patches. Two big blowovers though. One tree was so big that it blocks the trail in three different parts due to the zig-zagging of the trail. And after an hour and a half I was at the little lake.
Red mountain itself is almost completely bare. A couple of snowfields on the north side is all. The rest is just lots of loose rocks. I was out of my comfort zone and thought by myself that if Zoey didn't want to go any further, I'd turn around. But unlike other scrambles, she was a trooper and just kept going up. I found that using the snowfields was easier than trying to find a good route. It is really consolidated, though. So kicking steps took quite a while. Another hour and a half and we were there.
Looking down the path we had taken was a terrifying experience. It's steep.
Going down is a lot harder than going up. Zoey found that out when she wanted to go down the snowfield. She slid about thirty feet, right into me. Another hour and a half and I was back at the lake. An easy walk back out and we finally saw someone at the trailhead. We had been alone the whole day! A great hike, but I don't think I'll revisit those slopes again without snow.
That was probably the best part of the hike for Zoey! Looks mighty familiar to me! Glad you got out. Actually, Red is a fun little scramble when it's sunny and 75! Red Pond is always a favorite stopping place for Gus! (And, a reward after scrambling up to the summit of Red.) Next time, keep going past Red and go up to East Lundin. Also fun and great views - trust me!
Does anyone have a map of where the old trail starts and meets the new trail? A buddy and I have a planned climb up that way in a couple of weeks and would like to give the old trail a shot, sounds like it might take some time out vs. the new trail.
Made the trip up to the gap between Red and Lundin today. Still a bit snowy for much of the route along the creek (abandoned trail). The second creek crossing is still a bit tricky, but someone left a ski pole (thanks!). I left it for for the next hiker. The switch backs are clear of snow. However, pretty much solid snow from the pond to the gap, but makes for a great glissade back down to the pond! Lots of bobcat tracks all along the ridgeline. Very fresh, but never got a glimpse.
Only three cars at the trailhead. Made the trip up and back and didn't see a soul. Perfect day!
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