Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mother Mountain/Northern Loop figure-eight 7/17/17
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
jdk610
Member
Member


Joined: 21 Aug 2012
Posts: 310 | TRs

jdk610
  Top

Member
PostThu Jul 20, 2017 4:48 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Earlier this week I did a figure-eight of the Mother Mountain and the Northern Loops in Mount Rainier National Park, as part of the UP Wilderness Challenge. Route and trail conditions below, with some notes about the experience in the photo captions. Strava link here. [caption id="attachment_15893" align="alignnone" width="2040"]
Figure-eight combo of Mother Mountain and Northern Loop - 48 miles and 14,400 ft gain[/caption]Trail conditions:Mowich Lake to Spray Park - The trail is in excellent condition with zero blowdowns. There is no snow on trail until you are well into Spray Park. Wildflowers were still in bloom as of July 17. Take the spur trails to see the Eagle Cliff view point and Spray Falls - the spurs are short and the views are worth it.Spray Park to Seattle Park - This is the only place I encountered any noteworthy snow, in the form of several large patches as you enter Seattle Park.  When I went through early in the morning (630-7 am) the snow was icy and firm, and there was evidence of an overnight freeze (ground frozen solid, a thin layer of ice over small tarns). I did not have traction, and felt comfortable without it. I carried one trekking pole for stability (no axe) and that worked for me. As illustrated in the pic below, most of the snow that remains is low-angle. When I was there (on a Monday after a sunny weekend) there was a clearly established, frozen solid, bootpath through the snow, and routefinding was not an issue.Southern half of the Mother Mountain Loop (Wonderland Trail): Excellent condition. No blowdowns, no snow, just smooth sailing all the way until you connect with the Northern Loop trail.[caption id="attachment_15872" align="alignnone" width="3621"]
First light on Rainier, as seen from the Eagle Roost viewpoint off of the Spray Park trail.[/caption][caption id="attachment_15873" align="alignnone" width="4567"]
Early morning in Spray Park[/caption][caption id="attachment_15877" align="alignnone" width="3648"]
Thin layer of ice on some of the tarns[/caption][caption id="attachment_15874" align="alignnone" width="5472"]
This is a good example of the remaining snow fields in Spray/Seattle Park. They were hard and icy when I went through early in the morning, but low-angle and with a well-defined bootpath.[/caption][caption id="attachment_15875" align="alignnone" width="3648"]
Cairns, paint, and MORE paint (?) in Seattle Park[/caption] [caption id="attachment_15876" align="alignnone" width="5472"]
Dropping down from Seattle Park[/caption][caption id="attachment_15878" align="alignnone" width="5472"]
Suspension bridge over the Carbon River - good for a giggle![/caption][caption id="attachment_15879" align="alignnone" width="3648"]
Sweet soft singletrack along the Carbon River[/caption]Northern Loop trail: Once you leave the Wonderland Trail and start climbing towards Yellowstone Cliffs along the Northern Loop, you start to encounter a few blowdowns, but overall the trail is still in excellent condition with no significant obstacles. In fact, for the entirety of the Northern Loop trail, there is no snow, minimal blowdowns, and no major obstacles. The only section that gave me pause was crossing the White River after Lake James. The bridge is out, so getting across requires wading through two braids of the river and then doing a bit of bushwhacking to cross the final stretch on a sturdy log. I crossed late afternoon on a sunny day, and the river was approx 1.5 - 2 ft deep at its deepest. It was kind of fun to engage my brain again after mindlessly cruising along well-maintained trail for so many hours.[caption id="attachment_15880" align="alignnone" width="5472"]
Yellowstone Cliffs - what a treat! Endless wildflowers.[/caption][caption id="attachment_15881" align="alignnone" width="5472"]
Yellowstone Cliffs[/caption][caption id="attachment_15882" align="alignnone" width="5472"]
One more pic of the bear grass and lupine below Yellowstone Cliffs[/caption][caption id="attachment_15883" align="alignnone" width="5472"]
Unnamed tarn before Lake James. Perfect for swimming.[/caption][caption id="attachment_15884" align="alignnone" width="4218"]
The water was clear and not too cold.[/caption][caption id="attachment_15885" align="alignnone" width="5472"]
More smooth sailing[/caption][caption id="attachment_15886" align="alignnone" width="3017"]
I took a 1-mile detour to refill my water bottles, and was rewarded with western coralroot orchids in the sun-dappled forest.[/caption][caption id="attachment_15887" align="alignnone" width="5472"]
Heading into Berkeley Park[/caption][caption id="attachment_15888" align="alignnone" width="5472"]
Paintbrush in Berkeley Park[/caption][caption id="attachment_15889" align="alignnone" width="2064"]
Flutterby[/caption][caption id="attachment_15890" align="alignnone" width="5472"]
Lupine fields in the Sunrise area[/caption][caption id="attachment_15891" align="alignnone" width="2606"]
It's not a trip to Rainier without a marmot.[/caption][caption id="attachment_15892" align="alignnone" width="5472"]
Headed towards Skyscraper Pass[/caption][caption id="attachment_15894" align="alignnone" width="5472"]
Sneak peek at Rainier[/caption][caption id="attachment_15895" align="alignnone" width="5081"]
Little Tahoma playing coy[/caption][caption id="attachment_15896" align="alignnone" width="2201"]
Cinnamon-colored black bear! I saw him and said "Hey Bear!" He looked at me, and then put his head down and kept eating - ZFG.[/caption][caption id="attachment_15898" align="alignnone" width="5472"]
Final river crossing of the loop - the bridge over the Carbon River. A definite no-go.[/caption][caption id="attachment_15899" align="alignnone" width="5472"]
Luckily this option was just a little bit upstream. Feet still got a little wet! smile.gif[/caption]All in all, it was a lovely route with fantastic conditions, and a great way to see some spectacular scenery in the park. Thanks to  Kathy and Ras for coming up with the figure-eight route!p.s. I realize this report is heavy on the pics with not a lot of text. I blame it on a busy summer schedule without much time for writing.  If you have any questions about specific sections of the route, I'm more than happy to answer them! Just shoot me an email. smile.gif
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Bootpathguy
Member
Member


Joined: 18 Jun 2015
Posts: 933 | TRs
Location: United States
Bootpathguy
  Top

Member
PostThu Jul 20, 2017 5:47 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Cool bear image  up.gif

--------------
Experience is what'cha get, when you get what'cha don't want
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
olderthanIusedtobe
Member
Member


Joined: 05 Sep 2011
Posts: 6256 | TRs
Location: Shoreline
olderthanIusedtobe
  Top

Member
PostThu Jul 20, 2017 7:47 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
up.gif

Nice bear!  I've only seen a cinnamon bear once.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Distel32
Member
Member


Joined: 03 Jun 2014
Posts: 957 | TRs
Location: Edmonds, WA
Distel32
  Top

Member
PostFri Jul 21, 2017 7:28 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
up.gif
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
  Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mother Mountain/Northern Loop figure-eight 7/17/17
  Happy Birthday obladi!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy