Tag: hiking

You don’t have to die to get to heaven

Pickets Range


My friend John has a mild obsession with the Pickets Range; he’s made multiple trips there and will likely go back again someday. So when he emailed to say he and Gary were headed up Trappers Peak in the North Cascades today, I wasn’t surprised. It has, after all, one of the most spectacular views of the Pickets from any mountain top.

I thought my ankle was up for a 10-mile, 3300’ day, so I agreed to join them. It had the double bonus of keeping me busy while Nick was at an all-day endurance mountain bike race in Olympia and helping me achieve my goal of climbing five peaks I’ve never been up this summer.

We left town around 6:15 a.m. and arrived at the TH about 2 hours later. The initial 2.5 mile hike on the old road bed was flat, a nice change from most of the peaks we climb around here that go straight up from the parking lot. I was a little slow crossing Thornton Creek on the logs (balancing on one foot on a round log is amazingly hard after spraining your ankle), but I made it without plunging into the cold water. Then it was up, up, UP! The trail was in the forest, which was particularly nice as the temperature would have been unbearable otherwise.

At about 4.5 miles, we arrived at the pass and the junction for the proper trail down to Thornton Lakes and the climbers’ boot path to the summit. We turned right and headed in the direction of the summit.

One thing is for sure: once you gain the ridge and leave the forest, you are easily rewarded with spectacular:

Another 0.8 miles and 900’ of gain and we attained the summit, where three others were enjoying themselves, including this guy with a medium format camera:

John pulled out his map of the North Cascades and a solid round of “name that peak” ensued:

Then it was picture time. Anyone who thinks they have to die to reach heaven certainly hasn’t been to the summit of Trappers Peak:

After a suitable amount of picture taking, we started our descent and arrived back at the cars two hours later. This is definitely a peak worth repeating!

A different kind of therapy

I’ve been a cranky girl lately. Too much inside ankle rehab time, not enough mountain time. So when Linsey emailed looking for a partner for a quick trip into the mountains this week, I decided that what my PT didn’t know couldn’t hurt me.

We headed out to Twisp on Monday with three peaks on our modest hit list – Star, Courtney, and Oval. We tagged Star and Courtney together. My ankle and willingness to endure mosquitoes stopped there, but Linsey went on to make it a three peak day.

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Snow Lake

I took a day off from photo editing today to hike to Snow and Gem Lakes. This was the first big test to see how strong my ankle was getting after spraining it 2 1/2 weeks ago.  I snapped this picture of Snow Lake and Mount Roosevelt on the way to Gem Lake.

As you can imagine, icing my ankle mid-hike was no problem. Just dunk it in cold, COLD water and try not to scream!

View from not quite Saddle Rock

I interviewed for a job with a law firm in Wenatchee today. It’s a long way to go for one 2-hour meeting, so I made the most of it by hiking to what I thought was the top of Saddle Rock. Turns out, I didn’t quite make it. The view from the top of what I did get to was nice, though. Because it was Tuesday at mid-day, the only company I had were lizards and quail. And I was happy for the 45 minute jog up the hill.

In this picture you’re looking at downtown Wenatchee with the Columbia River flowing through it, Badger Mountain (skyline right), and Burch Mountain (skyline left).

Warmer and wetter

When the snow level rises to 8000′ feet and rain is in the forecast, we hang up the skis and start putting in the base miles for the climbing season. John and I decided to attempt Teneriffe today. We didn’t bring crampons or ice axes, so when we encountered bullet proof ice about 500′ shy of the summit, we called it a day. I made John take the picture above, so I could compare it to the picture I have from the last time I passed Kamikaze Falls back in November: