Monday, September 20, 2010

Mountain Wanderlust, Part !!

After our 2-day trip to the North Cascades in July (see previous post), I was intent on returning to the area to see and hike the "Best Of" hikes that were above treeline and stunningly beautiful. During the week, when summer had just about faded, we made a beeline for Hart's Pass in the North Cascades, Pasayten Wilderness.

Day One, Tuesday, September 14
Location: Hart's Pass, elev 6,400'
Hike: North on the PCT from the Pass, about 5 miles RT
Star Rating: 5
Camp Location: The Meadows, a mile south from the Pass, in a burned forest with some new growth and wildflowers
Dinner: Palak Paneer with Pilaf
Other activities: stargazing from the "Astronomy Pad" on a high point in the campground

Day Two: Wednesday, September 15
Location: Hart's Pass
Hike: South on the PCT with an off-trail summit of Tatie Peak, 7,400', about 6 miles RT
Star Rating: book says 5; we gave it a 6!
Camp Location: Klipchuck Campground
Dinner: cheese, pesto and crackers, wine (Cline Syrah)
Other activities: watching smoke from a forest fire, celebrating Brian's birthday
Tatie Peak

en route to summit Tatie
burned trees and turning leaves
view from Tatie's summit

Day Three: Thursday, September 16
Location: Rainy Pass
Hike: Maple Pass loop, 7 miles, high point: 6,850'
Star Rating: 5
Camp Location: home, sweet home
Dinner: sandwich and salads at Skagit Valley Co-op, Mt Vernon
Other activities: driving home, sometimes in the rain
view of lakes from Heather Pass

friendly marmot
Azurite Peak and blue skies
view from Maple Pass

berry bushes turning colors but no bears
Rainy Lake with colored hillside

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