Forum Index > Trip Reports > Kendall Peak - Sunrise and My First Brocken Specter 10/22/16
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awilsondc
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awilsondc
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PostSun Oct 23, 2016 5:32 pm 
It had been 35 days since I had reached a mountain summit.  Unheard of during prime season, but for a variety of reasons I had been unable to get out the past few weeks.  When the weather finally presented a window I was chomping at the bit to get back out there.  I picked Kendall Peak, which is a repeat for me, since I had to go early to be back by noon and didn't want any route finding difficulty hiking in snow in the dark.  I drove to the PCT trailhead at Snoqualmie Pass and was hiking by 5:17am.

I took the Commonwealth Basin shortcut which is a no brainer over the longer PCT.  The recent snow fall combined with the warmer weather resulted in flowing water on many parts of the trail.  I was grateful to be wearing waterproof boots and warm socks.  The water crossing just before the turn off to the Red Pass trail was the highest and most challenging I've ever seen it, but still easily navigable.  I reached the PCT and after a switchback I lost the trail while heading south.  I knew it was best to backtrack, but looking at my GPS I figured I'll just head in the direction of the trail until I find it.  This lead to 15 minutes of brush hiking until I met up with the north heading section of the trail.  A short distance later I reached the talus fields on the SW slopes of Kendall Peak and it was light enough to turn off my head lamp.

First light at the talus field
First light at the talus field

Snow started at about 5000 ft but was only 1-2 inches deep.  I hiked right past the turnoff up to Kendall Peak until I saw Mount Thomson and the tarn and knew I had gone too far.  I backtracked, admiring the pink hue of the dawn sky.

Snoqualmie and Lundin at Dawn
Snoqualmie and Lundin at Dawn
Snoqualmie, Lundin, and Red at Dawn
Snoqualmie, Lundin, and Red at Dawn
I-90 Peaks at Dawn
I-90 Peaks at Dawn

I was hoping to reach the summit before sunrise, but I was a bit behind schedule so I pushed hard up from the PCT until I crested the north ridge of Kendall Peak.  As I gained the ridge I had a "wow" moment.  The sun had just risen and the views to the east were phenomenal.  Pure bliss.

Cresting the Ridge
Cresting the Ridge
Sunrise over Alta and Hibox
Sunrise over Alta and Hibox
Stuart and Three Queens
Stuart and Three Queens

A month indoors is a tough pill to swallow for me and I was SO happy to be in the mountains again!  The views couldn't have been any better.

Kendall Peak Ridge Sunrise
Kendall Peak Ridge Sunrise

The alpenglow on Mount Thomson, covered with a fine layer of snow, was a sight to behold.  This particular vantage point of Mount Thomson is one of my favorite views of any mountain I have seen in Washington state.  I just love it.

Mount Thomson Alpenglow
Mount Thomson Alpenglow

I took a few photos at the ridge before heading up the final few feet to the summit.

Snoqualmie and Lundin with Alpenglow
Snoqualmie and Lundin with Alpenglow
Kendall Peak Summit
Kendall Peak Summit
Red Mountain
Red Mountain
Stuart, Three Queens, Alta, and Hibox
Stuart, Three Queens, Alta, and Hibox

I spent some time having some tea, taking photos, and admiring the morning colors on the mountains.

Kendall Peak Sunrise Panorama
Kendall Peak Sunrise Panorama

There was a nearby could or mist that began to pass by.  As it passed I looked south towards Snoqualmie Mountain and Chair Peak.  I could see my shadow in the mist and thought, that looks kinda like a Brocken specter... wait... that IS a Brocken specter!!!  I couldn't believe it!

The specter begins to form...
The specter begins to form...
Brocken Specter 1
Brocken Specter 1
Brocken Specter 2
Brocken Specter 2
Brocken Specter 3
Brocken Specter 3

I had always wanted to see one in person and here it was!  I took a few photos, but mostly stared and admired the rare phenomenon along with several shouts, pelvis thrusts, and fist pumps to convey my excitement at finally seeing the specter.  Bucket list item, check!

I spent about 45 minutes on the summit before checking the time and realizing that I had better book it down the mountain if I was gonna get back in time.

Morning light on Snoqualmie - Red
Morning light on Snoqualmie - Red
Lundin and Red
Lundin and Red
Big Snow
Big Snow
Lundin, Red, Big Snow, and Thomson from Kendall Peak Summit
Lundin, Red, Big Snow, and Thomson from Kendall Peak Summit
Kendall Peak Summit View North
Kendall Peak Summit View North

I caught my foot on a root and fell while running down the mountain, second time this year... sprained a finger but I was fine.  I passed a few hikers on my descent and made it back to the car about 10:10.

Red Mountain on Descent
Red Mountain on Descent

In one of my best years for peak bagging, this was one of my favorite summits of the year.  Best. Repeat. Ever!

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RichP
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RichP
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PostSun Oct 23, 2016 5:39 pm 
Stunning pics and a great gift after a long month of no summits.

I should head back up there too since I'm still not convinced I was on the true summit as I was in a cloud when I visited Kendall.

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olderthanIusedtobe
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostSun Oct 23, 2016 5:50 pm 
Great pictures!  up.gif   I enjoyed views of some of the same peaks from a different vantage point at Snow/Gem Lakes the same day.  Saturday was gorgeous, great day to be out.

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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostSun Oct 23, 2016 5:51 pm 
awilsondc wrote:
Stuart and Three Queens
Stuart and Three Queens

looks like Stuart is levitating

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Brucester
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PostSun Oct 23, 2016 7:21 pm 
Great pictures.

Calendar or postcard pix?!

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GaliWalker
Have camera will use



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GaliWalker
Have camera will use
PostSun Oct 23, 2016 7:42 pm 
awilsondc wrote:

Awesome! up.gif

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'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
bobbi: "...don't you ever forget your camera!"
Photography: flickr.com/photos/shahiddurrani
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Gimpilator
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PostSun Oct 23, 2016 7:53 pm 
My goodness!  So much eye candy.  You're a lucky man to have seen this in person.

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mbravenboer
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PostSun Oct 23, 2016 10:36 pm 
Lucky you! Great photos. I love the "Thomson Peak Alpenglow" shot

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Matt
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Matt
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PostSun Oct 23, 2016 11:56 pm 
Wonderful sunrise photos, especially with the fresh dusting of snow.  And a nice brocken bonus also.
Plus a floating Stuart!

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“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Distel32
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Distel32
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PostMon Oct 24, 2016 6:19 am 
up.gif

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awilsondc
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awilsondc
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PostMon Oct 24, 2016 7:39 am 
Thanks everyone!  I'll probably get at least one of these printed.  You never know what conditions you are going to get when you head out.  I feel very fortunate to have had such great views on this trip, especially after a long layoff!

BTW - I corrected the caption of "Thomson Peak Alpenglow" to "Mount Thomson Alpenglow" to, you know, actually get the name of the mountain right.   biggrin.gif

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Jake Robinson
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PostMon Oct 24, 2016 11:26 am 
That's easily the best photo of Thomson I've ever seen. Unreal!

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Blowdown
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PostMon Oct 24, 2016 11:33 am 
That photo of Mount Thompson is my new desktop wallpaper! Sorry for the copyright violation but it's just way too cool.   up.gif  up.gif

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the Zachster
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the Zachster
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PostMon Oct 24, 2016 2:29 pm 
Brocken spectres are always cool, but your image of Thompson is beyond cool. Absolutely stunning. Good for you for having such a wonderful trip and bringing home such wonderful images.  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif

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"May I always be the kind of person my dog thinks I am"
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Tom
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PostMon Oct 24, 2016 5:17 pm 
I guess it might be time to set up the calendar submissions.

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