The weather is a fickle thing at this time of year. In spite of the promises of rain, we went. And it’s a good thing we did, because I’d forgotten. Forgotten how all it takes to come alive is to be let loose in the mountains. The intense perfume of evergreen and marshy streams and alpine flowers. The sky that is once blue, then gray. The wind that sculpts ridges, and draws lines in our faces.
Only 10 days after climbing Navaho Peak, I returned with two friends, Rena and Randy, to tackle its sister peak to the southeast. Freedom Peak (or Little Navaho as it’s sometimes called) isn’t particularly technical. Some off-trail navigation and ice ax skills are helpful. Otherwise this is a mellow adventure in the Teanaway area of Washington.
In May, the first part of the off-trail travel is mostly snow free. It just takes time and endurance to work your way up the steep slopes.
At the saddle between Navaho and Freedom Peak, we finally found consistent snow. It was solid, and just soft enough for step-kicking. Goldilocks would approve. From here we could look back and get our first view of Navaho, too.
The summit shot when you have Stewart in the background is always a good one!
It’s been a lovely couple of weeks in the Northwest. I made good progress on my vegetable garden. The kale, chard, tomato, and tomatillo starts are in the ground. The peas, arugula, and pumpkin seeds have also sprouted. In between gardening and work I’ve also managed to get a few hikes and scrambles in. I snapped the above picture of the Stuart range from the summit of Navaho Peak on Saturday. About 10 seconds later, it started hailing/sleeting on us and the view disappeared. Message: summer is not quite here yet.
Here are a few things that caught my eye on the Internet lately. Enjoy.
Would you believe a German city is putting traffic lights in the ground because people won’t look up from their cell phones?
Social self care…it sounds so weird to an introvert, but she might just be on to something
Yum: Smoked carrot “lox”
Lastly, check out this view of Bellingham Bay from the trail to Oyster Dome. If you haven’t been here, it’s time to take a hike!
Last weekend promised to be the last weekend without rain this fall, so I organized a scramble up Goat Mountain, off the Mt. Baker Highway. It’s mostly a trail hike with a bit of snow and rock thrown in at the end for fun. (Earlier in the season, the upper slopes would be covered with snow and quite fun, I imagine.) The scramble is so short that Meredith exclaimed, “Is that it?!” when she reached the top.
More pictures after the jump.
“It’s absolutely my favorite trail.”
“It’s like two rides in one!”
“Go early to avoid the hikers, mostly so you can bomb down the trail with wild abandon and not worry about running into anyone.”
“It’s got a bit of everything – rivers, big alpine bowls, gorgeous views. I think it’s the kind of trail that people from Colorado would love.”
“If you could only ride one trail in the Methow, you should ride this one.”
So we rode it. And it was awesome!