Forum Index > Trip Reports > Welch Peaks 12/5/21
 Reply to topic
Previous :: Next Topic
Author Message
awilsondc
Member
Member


Joined: 03 Apr 2016
Posts: 1278 | TRs | Pics
awilsondc
Member
PostWed Dec 08, 2021 8:58 pm 
Finally a break in the weather after a couple months of PNW yuck! I decided to head up to Welch Peaks as a trip report from a couple days ago reported the area mostly snow free. However, the day before the trip had some significant precipitation and on the drive in I was really nervous about snow conditions and if I'd even be able to make it to the trailhead. Hoping to get to the summit by sunrise I did an early wake up and got to the trailhead around 5:00am. Fortunately the road in was snow free until the last couple miles which was covered by ~2 inches of snow, and driving was pretty easy. By 5:15 I was on the trail. The mountain was never under more than 6 inches of snow, except in drifts, making it easy to follow the trail up. About 30 minutes in I put on microspikes for the extra traction but I could have done without just fine. It was an easy hike up to the turn off to Silver Lake. There had been boot prints most of the way up to this point, but nobody had gone off towards Silver Lake leaving me to break trail which was a non issue with this little snow. There was one downed tree to cross, and soon I was at the saddle ready to start the cross country portion.
Snow covered trail
Snow covered trail
Start of the cross country portion
Start of the cross country portion
Glacier Peak
Glacier Peak
Welch Peaks
Welch Peaks
Townsend in alpenglow
Townsend in alpenglow
The final rocky ridge to the summit
The final rocky ridge to the summit
The sky was a beautiful dark blue with purple tones. Dawn colors were beginning to emerge to the east and the sound was covered in a sea of clouds. Stoke was high as I made my way over to the summit. There were several ups and down along the way, a couple of which I bypassed by traversing around them. The crux was a 10 foot section of class 3/4 to get up onto the ridge shortly before the summit. I made the summit around 20-30 minutes before sunrise and proceeded to set up my tripod to take some photos. It was colder than a (insert your favorite saying here) up there! I struggled to simultaneously take pictures and keep my hands warm, but I got a few good shots. Sunrise was beautiful and cleansing to the soul. I stayed up there for a little under an hour before heading back down.
Constance and Warrior (dawn)
Constance and Warrior (dawn)
The Brothers
The Brothers
The summit at dawn
The summit at dawn
Baker and Shuksan
Baker and Shuksan
Summit views north
Summit views north
Sunrise!
Sunrise!
First light on Townsend
First light on Townsend
Hawk Peak ridge
Hawk Peak ridge
Glorious views!
Glorious views!
Constance and Warrior in first light
Constance and Warrior in first light
The descent was just as good with early morning light hitting the peaks and my body warming up with the constant movement. There was what appeared to be a brocken spectre without the spectre on the way back which was cool. Almost my second spectre sighting. The trail down was uneventful aside from a jingling noise I kept hearing. I took my pack off five or six times tightening straps and rearranging buckles trying to get it to stop. Eventually I figured out it was loose microspikes. lol.gif I made it back in just under 5 hours. Great quick little trip. I loved it!
Half a spectre
Half a spectre
Back at the saddle
Back at the saddle
Hawk Peak's north ridge
Hawk Peak's north ridge
Last look at Welch Peaks
Last look at Welch Peaks
8 miles 3k gain I'm guessing, somewhere in that neighborhood

Brushbuffalo, Bootpathguy, Pyrites, neek, Hesman, RodF, ozzy, Gimpilator, puzzlr, Tom, Route Loser, NWtrax, bertman, IanB, BarbE, Prosit, Slim, Gabep, RAW-dad, rubywrangler, Olympic Hiker, Nancyann, half fast, fourteen410, abkoch3, reststep, meck  silence, GaliWalker
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
Nancyann
Member
Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2013
Posts: 2180 | TRs | Pics
Location: Sultan Basin
Nancyann
Member
PostWed Dec 08, 2021 11:31 pm 
That half a spectre is really cool, lucky you to get to experience it. Wonderful palette of sunrise colors above the cloud layer, nice rewards for getting up so early and braving the cold!

awilsondc
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
GaliWalker
Have camera will use



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 4699 | TRs | Pics
Location: Pittsburgh
GaliWalker
Have camera will use
PostThu Dec 09, 2021 5:46 am 
Very cool! I related to two things you talked about: 1- Struggling to take photos in cold weather. I keep a set of thinner gloves in which I can work the camera controls and a pair of heavier gloves, but sometimes the thinner gloves are too light for the eastcoast's frigid conditions and then one just has to tough it out. 2- The jingling of microspikes. As soon as you wrote it I knew what it was, even before your following sentence. lol.gif

'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker bobbi: "...don't you ever forget your camera!" Photography: flickr.com/photos/shahiddurrani
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
rubywrangler
Member
Member


Joined: 04 Aug 2015
Posts: 436 | TRs | Pics
rubywrangler
Member
PostThu Dec 09, 2021 7:55 am 
Wow, I would never have guessed that was the brothers!

awilsondc
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
awilsondc
Member
Member


Joined: 03 Apr 2016
Posts: 1278 | TRs | Pics
awilsondc
Member
PostFri Dec 10, 2021 7:31 am 
GaliWalker wrote:
I related to two things you talked about: 1- Struggling to take photos in cold weather...
Yep. I haven't found a good solution. I wore mid weight gloves which I could still operate the camera with, and had over mitts with chemical hand warmers in them but it didn't really help much having to take them off all the time to take photos. I mostly just blew warm air into my fists continuously for almost the entire time I was up there. Brrrrr! As far as the microspikes... lol.gif biggrin.gif Now I know.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman



Joined: 24 Jun 2018
Posts: 779 | TRs | Pics
Location: Newcastle
zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman
PostFri Dec 10, 2021 9:31 am 
I hit 196 BPM doing the summit push to Welch Peak earlier this summer. Highest I've ever seen my heart rate go. Some awesome 360 degree views up there and I had the summit to myself. Funny given the proximity to the immensely popular Townsend.

Flickr | Strava

awilsondc
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
#19
Member
Member


Joined: 17 Dec 2001
Posts: 2197 | TRs | Pics
#19
Member
PostFri Dec 17, 2021 9:40 pm 
awilsondc
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
Geezer
Member
Member


Joined: 10 Apr 2015
Posts: 22 | TRs | Pics
Geezer
Member
PostWed Jan 19, 2022 12:19 pm 
Great photos. Congrats on a doing that hike with the ridge covered with snow. That hike from the saddle is a not all that easy even with no snow.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
awilsondc
Member
Member


Joined: 03 Apr 2016
Posts: 1278 | TRs | Pics
awilsondc
Member
PostWed Jan 19, 2022 4:01 pm 
Geezer wrote:
Great photos. Congrats on a doing that hike with the ridge covered with snow. That hike from the saddle is a not all that easy even with no snow.
Thanks! Yeah, it was a little more challenging with snow,that's for sure. This photo shows the ridge terrain best.
awilsondc wrote:
The final rocky ridge to the summit
The final rocky ridge to the summit
I think this was just after the crux, which was a 10 foot section of class 3/4. There were definitely some spots on the ridge that made sense to traverse around rather than try to go up and over. Fun stuff though, but definitely a little more involved than the Townsend trail. smile.gif

Brushbuffalo, zimmertr
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
Sky Hiker
Member
Member


Joined: 03 Feb 2007
Posts: 1389 | TRs | Pics
Location: outside
Sky Hiker
Member
PostThu Jan 20, 2022 5:38 am 
nice

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
   All times are GMT - 8 Hours
 Reply to topic
Forum Index > Trip Reports > Welch Peaks 12/5/21
  Happy Birthday Sallie4jo!
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