Trailspace on Ptarmigan Ridge, Mt Baker Wilderness

11:39 a.m. on August 15, 2013 (EDT)
12 reviewer rep
6 forum posts

This hike was phenomenal and concluded my weeklong adventure in the North Cascades!  Fellow local hikers commented that this is the best hike in Washington and its hard to argue!  The background peak is Mount Shuksan.


sposka-D90-3904.jpg

12:29 p.m. on August 15, 2013 (EDT)
21 reviewer rep
1,181 forum posts

Sposka,

You hit the weather just right. I was in Sedro-Wolley and Mt Vernon last week and Baker was looming over the Skagit Valley. Mt Shuksan is probably my favorite volcano in the Cascades along with Mt Stuart further south above Wenatchee.

Sometimes backpacking in the Cascades is in the fog and rain when building a fire and tending a fire takes all day. With the weather you had, it is among the greatest places to hike in the world.

3:50 a.m. on August 16, 2013 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
708 reviewer rep
913 forum posts

You hit the weather just right as ppine says. Just this past weekend, a bunch of hikers were stranded by landslides near Cascade Pass. As well, the North Cascades Highway is currently closed. One of the most beautiful alpine climbs in the Cascades is the West Ridge of the North Twin Sister. ppine, I'm sure you don't mean that Mt. Stuart is a volcano! It has been called the greatest exposed mass of granite in the US. The Stuart Range is one of my favorites, great climbs and fantastic hiking in the Enchantments.

11:43 a.m. on August 17, 2013 (EDT)
21 reviewer rep
1,181 forum posts

Erich,

Thanks. I was trying to lure you into the conversation. I have actually never been on Mt. Stuart but have admired it from afar from places like Haney Meadows.

The Enchantment Basin is my favorite place to hike in the Cascades.

With the clear weather, I was able to see mountains like Three-Fingered Jack that I haven't seen in 20 years.

12:32 p.m. on August 18, 2013 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
708 reviewer rep
913 forum posts

The Stuart Range and the North Cascades are overlooked by many outside Washington. While other areas of the Lower 48 are much touted climbing areas, the Tetons for their beautiful rise off the valley floor and Yosemite for its big walls, the North Cascades and the Stuart Range offer some magnificent alpine climbing, with first ascents being done in recent memory. A an old climbing partner and I, 30 years ago now, had contemplated the first winter ascent of Mt. Challenger. We got skunked by poor snow conditions on what is a very long approach.

6:45 p.m. on August 18, 2013 (EDT)
21 reviewer rep
1,181 forum posts

Erich,

You probably knew some of the guys I went to grad school with at the U. They were always doing winter first ascents, but they wouldn't tell anyone unless we asked. Snow and ice was irresistible at first. I wanted to be a glaciologist. Then I started to hear all the bad stories when things went wrong. Dead friends and no fingers and toes.

4:51 p.m. on September 4, 2013 (EDT)
12 reviewer rep
6 forum posts

Sorry been away quite a bit lately.  Yes, everyone is correct in that we narrowly missed the heavy rains on our trip!  I heard about the Cascade Pass washout when I got home.  We were at Cascade earlier in the week so we missed it by about 4 days.  North Cascades is truly a hidden gem for hikers and I am looking forward to a return visit someday.  Ill have to investigate Enchantment Basin and the Stuart Range.  Where can I find literature on these areas?

9:46 a.m. on September 17, 2013 (EDT)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
588 reviewer rep
3,079 forum posts

Another great shot, sposka! I'm getting envious.

October 1, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: Trailspace at Sequoia National Park Newer: My baby girl took my Trailspace Hat!!!
All forums: Older: Five Nights in the GSMNP and Bears Newer: Havasupai Falls