Summit Elevation: 8,242’
Date Climbed: 9/3/11
Round-trip Distance: 6 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 1,750’
After climbing Trappers Peak on 9/2/11 ( http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7994148 ), my wife and I decided to take things a little higher and drier. And mellower. So we set our sights on Tiffany Mountain, which is on the eastern edge of the North Cascades in the Tiffany Highlands, just northeast of Winthrop.
I like to climb mountains for many reasons. One of them is for the challenge. But sometimes it’s nice to just hike something that’s relatively easy and tame. And even though it might still be a good workout, I find it mentally relaxing.
Bovine blockage on the drive to the trailhead:
Portion of the road to the trailhead (that 2006 wildfire must’ve been massive):
It’s amazing to think that, not too far west of here, glaciers and year-round snowfields cover the ground lower than this trailhead:
The east side of the North Cascades is so different from the west side. I couldn’t believe how dry it was, and the fine dirt was so ashy and lunar-like that it plumed up after each step.
Having recently moved to Washington from Colorado, I was amazed by how similar this area resembled the foothills of Colorado’s Front Range, especially the area just west of Fort Collins.
Tiffany’s massive baby bump before us:
The weather was awesome. It was sunny and warm with a barely perceptible breeze. We could only hear singing birds and buzzing bees. It was impossibly peaceful and the views were incredibly serene.
The trail was easy to follow and it climbed gently. The only challenge was the altitude. Because we live at sea level now, we could definitely feel the lack of oxygen.
One hour and twenty minutes after starting, we crested the broad summit. We had it all to ourselves, along with a crystal-clear, 360-degree view.
Here was our view to the south:
Not only was the summit broad, but it was also long, with a steep and cliffy north face.
Jen on the eastern edge of the summit:
Another multi-photo pan of her on the eastern edge of the summit (looking east):
Found these two benchmarks on the summit:
Mount Baker even popped its head out. From this angle, you get a good view of Sherman Peak (point on the left), Sherman Crater (grey depression just to the right of Sherman Peak) and Grant Peak (dark rock on the summit, Mount Baker’s highest point):
Me on the summit:
Vertical pan, peering over Tiffany’s steep, northern edge (you can see a tarn 1,000 feet below):
And here’s an 11-photo pan that I took of the North Cascades from Tiffany’s summit (southwest to northwest):
Jen pondering the remoteness of the region from the western edge of the summit:
A rough look back on our route:
We spent a good 45 minutes on the summit and enjoyed every minute of it.
Right before heading back down, another couple passed us on the top, and they were the first people we had seen all day.
Heading back down through the charred forest:
Less than an hour after leaving the summit, we were back at the trailhead. Dirt-tanned legs and all:
After that hot and dry hike, we found an oasis on the drive back to Winthrop: The Methow Valley Ciderhouse.
The apple orchard:
Our hard cider samplers:
Even though I appreciate hard cider, beer is my passion. And back in Winthrop, while my wife and I enjoyed some Boundary Bay IPAs on a deck, I found a bee that shared my passion.
Joined: 18 Aug 2011 Posts: 443 | TRs | Pics Location: Winthrop, WA
Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:13 pm
Your beer liking friend is one of our local Bald Face Hornets (Some call it a White Face Hornet) or scientific name of Dolichovespula maculata... Sometimes, when they get too bothersome at our table while at the PUB, I will just buy them their own beer...
You passed right by our house on your way to/from the TH... We are on the East Chewack Rd 0.9 miles north of the Ciderhouse... lol... Richard and Lynn are great neighbors...
and a trivia item is that the town name Twisp is from an Okanogan Indian name for wasp or yellow jacket...
Glad you enjoyed our little neck of the woods... the dry side...
Tiffany has such a great view. You can do a loop, too, if you start up the Berhardt "trail", bag Clark Peak, then follow the ridge south of Tiffany to Tiffany, and return via Freezout. I did that loop back in july, it's a good one.
-------------- "Civilization is a nice place to visit, although I wouldn't want to live there."
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