Me and my friend Kentaro drove out to the Upper Big Quilcene trailhead on Monday night so we could get a nice early start the following day. After a nice camp fire, some hot dogs, and some Moose Drools we were ready for bed. Up at 7 and on the trail by 8 or so. Obviously this place has been blowing up in the TR sections the last few weeks so I wont go into the hike up to Marmot Pass.
Heres some river pics from early on.
You start gaining elevation right after Shelter Rock camp. Once you break out of the trees for the first time the flower show begins.
And you start getting some views of the surrounding peaks.
Buckhorn and Iron look pretty impressive from the trail below.
There were a few tents at Camp Mystery, found this interesting rock just above the camp.
The meadowy basin just before the pass is really cool.
At the pass we stopped for a snack and took in the views.
You also get a nice view of Buckhorn although you cant see the summit.
We followed the Tubal Cain trail for like 50 yards and took a right at the unmarked but impossible to miss climbers trail up Buckhorn. The flower show commenced.
After gaining the ridge views really started to open up the the north and west. The clouds obscured views to the south (more on that soon).
We kept making our way up toward the false summit.
This is where the hike got really interesting (and why decided to post a report even though there have been so many from this general area as of late). The clouds were hanging on just to the south. Like we were skirting them the whole way up to the summit, but they never fully engulfed us and we always had views to the north and most of the time to the west. Although I was really looking forward to seeing Constance semi-close-up it added a very cool effect to the bleak landscape. Here is looking north.
From the false summit you get a nice view of the last bit of the climb.
As we approached the summit I noticed 2 goats hanging out right next to the climbers path.
We made our way around to the left to avoid them. This is after Kentaro had to go get a closer look against my advice to give them some space.
We met back up with the trail above the goats and made our way up to the summit where one nice guy from Quilcene was hanging out. He came all the way up here from his camp at the pass without shoes on!
Heres another look south
And an another..
We hung out on the summit for awhile and soaked in the awesome mood of the day. Iron Mountain popped in and out of the view the whole time.
As views to the north remained good.
Then we headed back down. I got a few more pictures before the camera died on me.
Hike out was uneventful. Passed tons of people coming up. Mostly overnighters. Also came across a WTA work crew of 8 or so. They were clearing the big blowdowns before Shelter Rock. We chatted for a minute, I thanked them for their work, and we were on our way.
Awesome day, thanks Kentaro for coming along.
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