I read sunrise mine road was finally re-opened after repairs and wanted to check it out. Apparently everyone else also had the same idea.
They did repair one section of the road quite well, but also very strategically. Other parts of the road still have huge prius eating potholes, washout damage and a small rock slide. It is all manageable, but I don't get it why repair just one small section instead of all problematic spots at the same time.
Saturday early morning I already couldn't find parking at the trailhead and had to drive ways back down to find a spot along the road. When I came back almost all the road was filled with cars parking on both sides and leaving very narrow space for driving. It was surprising to see lake 22 level of parking insanity.
It seems however almost all people either go to Vesper peak or to camp at lake Elan and me and Cookie had Wolf peak and Sperry peak all to ourselves!
On the way we passed by some lycoperdon mushrooms (very appropriate since their scientific name literally means farts-of-the-wolf) and some chanterelles.
Going to Sperry peak scramble was rather long and a bit intense due to some exposure and a lot of steepness and trees obscuring the view of what is up. Me and Cookie didn't find the right way going up and mostly tried to follow the ridge. On the way down thankfully we found cairns that guided us to an easier way.
Wolf peak is very easy granite slab walking similar to Vesper. Except the very last short pointy top where there is an exposed narrow rock arÍte. I didn't see any register on Wolf.
The views in the distance were somewhat smokey, but not too bad.
On the way back down I tied Cookie to a rock near lake Elan and went for a swim. The water was quite cold, but the weather is still very surprising, never before I remember such hot sunny days suitable for high alpine lakes swimming in October! Also surprisingly still bity bugs around.
We heard many pikas and some marmots, but actually spotted only a few.
Some autumn colors and fireweeds
Just as we came back to the trailhead, we saw a search helicopter flying above and trucks from Everett Mountain Rescue and Snohomish Search and Rescue driving in. Hopefully nothing bad happened.
Glad to hear the road is open again and that you were able to find some solitude in the Lake 22-esque insanity. I really love this area and never get tired of seeing photos of Vesper - there is just something about all of that white granite that's irresistible!
-------------- For a good time call: 1-800-SLD-ALDR.
So many new views of a familiar place (I've only ever been up Vesper), great composition, and of course, great pics of Cookie the wonder dog, who I'm now convinced must be part mountain goat. It's clear from that one photo that she has no fear at all of precipices. This is the first time I've ever seen photos of Lake Elan with an island - must be record low water levels this year.
-------------- "There are yahoos out there. Itís why we canít have nice things." - Tom Mahood
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