In the past I haven't done much hiking after October, but this latest November weather is quite conducive to getting out. The forecast for today was partly cloudy skies with a slight chance of showers, just right for hitting these peaks that are wooded with little to no views anyway. I knew the Mowich road would be snow free and wanted to take advantage of that before earnest snows set in. I parked where the boundary trail starts and was delighted to see what nice shape it's in. Soon enough I came to the spot where I broke off to hit Martin Peak (4880'). Martin is supposed to have some decent views but despite occasional sun breaks in the morning all of these summits were surrounded by cloud. When I arrived at this summit (cairn) I was quite damp from the constant drips bombarding me from the trees along with brushing against wet branches whilst 'schwacking. However, the mild temperatures posed no problems and everything I was wearing could dry in between bombings.
Rainier fog AM2
Mowich Lake road
Mountain from road
August Peak (4680') I regained the boundary trail and proceeded to the "end" at the August-Poch saddle which borders a FS road. A mild scramble had me on the August summit, also marked by a cairn. Instead of continuing cross country to Virginia, I came back on the boundary trail and bagged it from there.
Sun on the old road
Virginia Peak (4880') The Virginia summit is quite close to the trail but steepish with lots of blow down to contend with.
Berry Peak (5120') From Virginia it's a longish trek to a subsummit, then a half right turn to Berry, skirting some rock outcroppings on the right. It took me 2.5 hours to hit Virginia and Berry and return to the trail. The wet underbrush, blowdowns and constant raining from above made for slow progress to ensure good footing...lots of wet branches and roots, and lots of vertical dead branch stubs that would not be pleasant to fall on. When I was descending Berry I caught a glimpse of the mountain through the trees, but otherwise it was the same foggy and misty no views as I hugged the ridge lines. I caught myself following the gentler ridge that would take me back to August, so climbed back up and found the route down the much steeper ridge to Virginia....glad I had my GPS to confirm, as there were no visual references beyond the trees to help due to the mist. I was quite happy to regain the trail and trotted the short distance back to my waiting vehicle. Stats: 11 miles/4000'.....(7 hours) zero people seen.
Trees in the mist
Peekaboo view on Berry
This was a very pleasant outing, staying in the misty woods the entire time. In the end I was down to one layer, so mild was the temperature. Hard to believe it's mid November.
-------------- "You run with me, not the other way around.” (Cassie re races)
Those are funny summits, still in the forest. Good thing there's a cairn so you know you're on top
Good call doing those in November. That's tough work, bushwhacking when it's slippery. Cool photos too
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