| Panoramic memories of the North Cascades
High their, my name is Vomit. Coming upon the fury of winter, I was flipping through some old summer albums and stumbled upon an ascent I did back in August 2011 (NOT 1937) in my beloved North Cascades. This report is more of a personal diary, hence why this is long-winded including some visited side destinations, but I figured I'd share it with all for a change of scenery. This hike was up Whistler Mountain, only 7,790 feet in elevation, but was high enough to host a gee whiz-bang view of the area. This ascent marked my first time back in these mountains in nearly four years, which was far too lengthy a time (now I'm already fast approaching a year and a half). This is not a recent climb, but I never really got into the idea of posting trip reports until this past season. Since this is only one peak and just a jaunt more than anything, this is really to show a tour, especially if you're unfamiliar with the area. I have several images that are annotated, though I still keep original unedited copies. My first image includes an overview map and description, so sit back and enjoy.
Image 1: Google overview of the North Cascades in the United States stretching from the border down to Mt. Stuart west of Wenatchee, Washington. Marker A is Whistler Mountain. Five blue outlined areas are small named ranges within the North Cascades, each marked w/ a red number. 1 = Pickett Range, 2 = Sawtooth Ridge, 3 = Entiat Mountains, 4 = Wenatchee Mountains, 5 = Stuart Range. The white outlined areas is the approximate outer extents of the North Cascades I saw from the summit of Whistler Mountain. I list the name of peaks indicated w/ red lines to give a sense of direction of where they are in the range as I reference them throughout the report. Most of the indicated peaks are prominent or higher peaks. Where the red star is, that's Artist Point/Heather Meadows Visitor Center, which was my brief excursion the following day to see Mt. Shuksan. Town of Leavenworth also indicated.
In my younger days, my exposure to mountain climbing came from two localities my family and I would always go to, the White Mountains of New Hampshire & the North Cascades of Washington state. The White Mountains include Mt. Washington in the Presidential Range, New Hampshire's highest point, and the record holder for the windiest place on earth (234mph was recorded once!). Strikingly, at least to me, the Mount Evans area holds a similar resemblance to that part of New Hampshire. Now the North Cascades are a completely different environment, a lot more rugged and dramatically steep, and still home to some of the largest glaciers in the contiguous United States, the largest however is just south on Mt. Rainier. Most of the area I am familiar with is around Leavenworth, that quaint Bavarian village along US-2 on the east side of the range, north of the Stuart Range & Enchantment Lakes area. My climb up Whistler Mountain takes place further north, 30 miles south of the Canadian Border, along the North Cascades Highway between Rainy Pass & Washington Pass (Highway 20) in the northern fringe of Chelan County. The peak is not in the national park itself, though relatively close.
Now if you ever summit a high peak in this area, you could tell which direction was what because you'd often see at least one or two of the volcanoes of the main Cascades poking up higher than the other. Mt. Baker & Glacier Peak are the two volcanic peaks that rise over 10,000 feet, planted in the midst of North Cascade granite batholith in a rude fashion. From the southern North Cascades, Mt. Rainier will top out prominently, as well as distant glimpses of the Olympics. But that's only on a day that isn't overcast or hazy from forest fires, which is sometimes hard to come by in this region. Whistler Mountain, being on the dryer eastern side, often lacks the overcast clouds, and the 2011 season overall had been wetter than normal that fires were not an issue the day of my climb, giving way to the dreamy views.
I really enjoy the mountains in Colorado, but there's really nothing that beats the feeling of being high up in the North Cascades. It has more of a northerly effect, frozen appearance, rugged narrow pointier peaks, and quite remote. You won't meet 100 people up a summit like you do on a popular 14er. In fact, going up Whistler Mountain was a guarantee I'd meet no one. The range shares a borderline with our friendly neighbor to the north, and we know how spectacular the ranges in Canada can get (especially those Canadian Rockies, my first exposure to the Rockies besides the Tetons), so the North Cascades is that little preview. Despite their lower elevation, the climate overall is cooler, and it shows by the number of glaciers that still exist in these mountains as well as the impressive geomorphology left from Ice Age times. This range is pretty extensive, going from central Washington at Snoqualmie Pass clear north and east of Vancouver, B.C. (though the U.S. managed to get the majority of the impressive high peaks - America, f**k yeah!). North of that, the range merges into the Coast Range by Whistler, BC, which becomes even more remote and icefield-ridden up towards the high point of Mt. Waddington.
Well on August 6, I was passing through from Wyoming to visit relatives on the west side of these mountains, and I had to make a stop. I was looking at climbing something nearby Liberty Bell Mountain at Washington Pass, and Whistler Mountain caught my eye as a very prominent peak that rose sharply above the highway. I was on short schedule to tackle a peak and take as many panoramas as I could, just to refresh myself on the area before I moved on. There's plenty of technical climbs nearby, and from the eastern approach, Whistler can be a vertigo feeling ascent. My trek was going to be from the highway straight up, coming from the south, at the parking lot for Rainy Lake. Like many of my ascents, it was very impromptu, so I had no idea what to expect.
Before I did the ascent, I made a stop coming from the east on Highway 20 was the Washington Pass overlook, which displays a gnarly view of the u-shaped valley the highway goes up, as well as the splintery toothpick-spire peaks in the background. Silver Star Peak is the highest point farther in the background in center at 8,876 feet. Since this is the east side of the rain shadow, the area is dryer and not as moist, hence the lack of snow compared to scenes further east as you'll see. This overlook sits atop several protruding smoothed granite outcroppings, and vehicles on the highway below are the size of a pixel. The noted peak in the area is the twin-spire summit of Liberty Bell Mountain/Early Winter Spires at 7,807' feet, a popular technical climbing area. Liberty Bell is the closest spire (looks like a bell, or Hersheys kisses), Early Winter is the other high spire behind, combined into a towering fortress.
North Cascades Highway (Highway 20) descends into Methow Valley from the Washington Pass overlook.
Another view from the overlook of Highway 20 ascending to Washington Pass. The Early Winter Spires & Liberty Bell towers rise above the pass.
Washington Pass and Rainy Pass are around 5,000 feet in elevation, and between them is the parking lot to Whistler Mountain, even though the trailhead is for nearby Rainy Lake and Lake Ann. Whistler Mountain has no trail, as it a headachy intense bushwhack before you get to Class 3 and above climbing. Total ascent gain is 3,000 feet and it probably lies only a mile from the highway as the crow flies, but holy smokes it feels like a four mile hike up. The peak has a steep 60 degree slope from the highway any perspective you look at it. The mountain is connected by a ridge to the higher Cutthroat Peak, though that peak surely looks like a technical one. If it wasn't, I might've pushed to ascend that one as well, though these mountains do have a lot of rotten slopes, and my sense of distance probably wouldn't have been accurate anyway.
From Highway 20, a view of Whistler Mountain & my approach up.
The parking lot for Rainy Lake I reached, finding one last spot before examining my ascent up. The true summit isn't entirely visible, and bushwhacking started the moment I left asphalt. Actually, there was a decayed log that I crossed which helped speed up the first 200 feet of the hike. From there, you were fighting lush Pacific Northwest canopy, a huge tangle that you have to shove aside before you could squeeze through. Plants above you, below you, around you, and yes, through you. I had to endure that for about an hour or two, contemplating whether this climb was worth it or not. But being the North Cascades, of course everything was worth it. Just the descent was going to feel as crappy as the Titanic hitting an iceberg.
Rainy Lake trailhead parking area. As you can see, I've got quite a variety of obstacles facing my ascent. True summit is almost visible.
Typical scene I had to bushwhack through. Actually many parts were worse than this. Here, at least you can still feel the sunshine.
I finally reached a clearing where I encountered steep rocky cliffs, which I had no problem climbing those as opposed to fighting anymore plants. I left my hiking stick, Parkview as I called it, on a ledge about halfway up the cliffs, ensuring myself that I'd return that way. From there, it was straight up through tangled trees and glowing vantage points. Behind me, the parking lot looked farther and farther away, and the higher peaks of the range started opening up more. I'd keep track of my GPS, waiting to hit the 6,000 foot mark, then cheer every 100 feet I successfully ascended, for this was no quick speed hike.
Nearly 1,000 feet up, looking back at the parking area. Rainy Lake comes into view, as does Lyall Glacier.
Much was uneventful until I reached the southwest ridgeline towards the summit at 7,000 feet, a good three hours into the hike. The moment I poked onto the other side, the view just mesmerized me. A forested valley where the North Cascades Highway progressed towards Ross Lake, and the snowy glacial peaks that dotted the distant horizon. Jack Peak was the familiar one to recognize, standing out as a massive pile of earth at 9,066 feet. My adrenaline was coursing faster to get to the summit at this point, and it was here that the climbing became more fun, escalating to Class 3. A gentle white-streaked gully was where I followed up until I reached a very angled incline that required me to get on all fours to squeeze up. Once I reached the top of that, the true summit was visible, but across this narrow knife-edge I had to get across in order to get to the slope. On the north side of the knife was a 100 foot drop off in case I slipped and fell, on the south side was an 800 foot unpleasant drop to a skull-crushing impact, so naturally, I clung to the north side, sometimes taking downward photos looking down south.
This was a fun Class 3-4 crawl up near the summit ridgeline & knife edge.
From the last part of the knife, the final stretch to the summit.
Once up the ridge, I reached the narrow summit of Whistler Mountain, a summit register concealed amidst all the black lichen-covered rocks. I signed my name, noting there weren't too many entries, the last one dating three weeks earlier. The notepad had been placed in October 2000.
The view, well nothing could beat it. It was definitely a North Cascades view, nothing but ice-frosty pointed tips from north to south. The higher peaks were primarily to the south, and I was able to spot about 15 glaciers, all filled in the northern shadowed basins. Many peaks I recognized, though the majority of the ones facing north I didn't know that I had to look them up. Glacier Peak was the highest one visible, rising prominently to the south, and one of the most glacier-infested peaks in the state. Nearby to the west was Bonanza Peak, which at 9,511 feet, marked the highest point in the North Cascades proper. Glacier Peak is a good 1,000 feet higher, but is volcanic in origin.
Just about at the top, the views become marvelous.
Image 11: Whistler Mountain summit looking east. Not all peaks are mentioned. Summits and features (A-L) are:
A: Vasiliki - 8190', B: Silver Star - 8876', C: Snagtooth - 8330', D: Kangaroo - 8300', E: N. Gardner - 8956', F: Gardner - 8898', G: "Cornice" - 7820', H: Abernathy - 8321', I: Washington Pass overlook (where I took Images 2 & 3), J: Washington Pass , K: Liberty Bell - 7720', L: Early Winter Spires - 7807', M: North Cascades Highway (Highway 20)
Image 12: Whistler Mountain summit looking southeast. Not all peaks are mentioned. Summits and features (A-H) are:
A: "Switchblade" - 7805', B: Crescent - 7816', C: "Mother Lode" - 7905', D: Oval - 8795', E: Reynolds - 8512', F: "Gibbs" - 8142', G: McAlester - 7928', H: Stiletto - 7660'
Image 13: Whistler Mountain summit looking south. Not all peaks are mentioned. Summits and features (A-U) are:
A: Pyramid - 8243', B: Cardinal - 8590', C: Emerald - 8422', D: Saska - 8404', E: Pinnacle - 8420', F: Flora - 8320', G: "Enigma" - 8015', H: Riddle - 8220', I: Tupshin - 8340', J: Maude - 9060', K: Fernow - 9249', L: Martin - 8511',M: Bonanza - 9511', N: McGregor - 8122', O: Glacier - 10541', P: Goatrax Glacier, Q: Bowan - 7895', R: Mary Green Glacier, S: Company Glacier, T: Sandalee Glacier, U: Dusty Glacier
Image 14: Whistler Mountain summit looking southwest. Not all peaks are mentioned. Summits and features (A-S) are:
A: Glacier - 10541', B: Dome - 8940', C: Frisco - 7780', D: Sentinel - 8261', E: Le Conte - 7762', F: Spider - 8300', G: Formidable - 8325', H: Goode - 9220', I: Corteo - 8100', J: Storm King - 8515', K: Buckner - 9112', L: Forbidden - 8815', M: Black - 8970', N: Lyall Glacier, O: Chickamin Glacier, P: Le Conte Glacier, Q: Wyeth Glacier, R: Lake Ann - 5475', S: Rainy Lake Falls
Image 15: Whistler Mountain summit looking west. Not all peaks are mentioned. Summits and features (A-U) are:
A: Black - 8970', B: Primus - 8508', C: Arriva - 8215', D: Fisher - 8060', E: Snowfield - 8347', F: "Little J-Berg" - 7945', G: Katsuk - 8700', H: Mesahchie - 8795', I: "Graybeard" - 7965', J: Kitling - 8003', K: Gabriel - 7940', L: Luna - 8311', M: Bear - 7931', N: "Tradition" - 7747', O: Redoubt - 8969', P: Mox - 8504', Q: Spickard - 8979', R: Jack - 9066', S: "Porcupine" - 7762', T: Beebe - 7416', U: North Cascades Highway (Highway 20)
Image 16: Whistler Mountain summit looking north. Not all peaks are mentioned. Summits and features (A-I) are:
A: "Porcupine" - 7762', B: Hardy - 8100', C: Hozomeen - 8066', D: Azurite - 8420', E: Golden Horn - 8366', F: Tower - 8444', G: Cutthroat - 8050', H: Pasayten - 7850', I: Buckskin - 7815'
Yours truly w/ "Prayer Peak", faking a vomit. Cutthroat Peak from this vantage looks like hands clasped in prayer.
Antarctic landscape. Zoom in view of Glacier Peak (elev. 10541').
Bonanza Peak - 9511' on left, Glacier Peak - 10541' on right. McGregor Mountain - 8122' w/ Sandalee Glacier left of Glacier Pk.
Peaks L to R: Goode - 9220', Storm King - 8515', Buckner - 9112', Forbidden - 8815', Black - 8970'
Zoom in view of Mt. Redoubt (elev. 8969') & glacier. Five summits of Mox Peaks at right.
There are several 9ers in the North Cascades, many of them I've always wanted to summit including Bonanza, which is a glacier/technical climb. South of Bonanza are 9ers Fernow, Maude, and 7FJ (Seven Fingered Jack), named by its seven spires on the summit. I couldn't see 7FJ since it was behind Fernow, but I remembered seeing these three from mountains outside of Leavenworth. Access to those peaks are closest to Holden Village, a Lutheran resort at the western end of Lake Chelan, a 55 mile long "fjord" lake. My dad would share stories of his adventures with my grandpa & a friend named Ernie in that area during the 70s, ascending Martin Peak across the valley facing Bonanza Peak and the other three 9ers and crossing glaciers that today are nearly diminished. Some of the approaches up those peaks in there are so rotten (descriptions make it sound something like four times worse than the Maroon Bells) that in the past they have been closed to access - one such mountain called Copper Peak (elev. 8964') comes to mind as reports of it declare the peak narrow, technical, unstable, and ridiculously rotten, hence it is rarely climbed (often ignored anyway being in the shadowed ridge of the much higher Fernow). I was originally invited by relatives to that area where I had some of those 9ers in mind this past summer, but rainy weather conditions there made me stay in Colorado & instead spend a day in the Indian Peaks, where by chance I met Tyler (tdawg012) & his friend Katie atop the 13er Paiute Peak.
The views no doubt were endless, and from what was visible (and indicated on the map on first image), I only saw the middle and northern part of the range in the U.S. Canada had a fair share of other peaks to include, and I certainly didn't see the Stuart Range to the south or high terrain of the Wenatchee Mountains near Snoqualmie Pass. The peak that really had my attention was near Ross Lake, Jack Mountain, which on its north side has the Nohokameen Glacier carved into it. Just north of that only a mile from the Canadian border is Hozomeen Mountain, a very impressive twin alp and one that is mentioned frequently in Jack Kerouac's novel Desolation Angels, as he was manning the lookout tower atop nearby Desolation Peak during one summer in the 50s. Desolation Peak is accessible by ferry across Ross Lake, or by a long hike. It is much closer to Canada than it is the North Cascades Highway. Desolation was not visible from my vantage however, it was blocked by Mt. Hardy (Jack Mountain is not named after Jack Kerouac, but I think after an early prospector of the area).
Zoom in NW. The peaks Jack, Hozomeen, & Golden Horn are referenced in Jack Kerouac's novel Desolation Angels. Underlined peaks are in Canada.
Black Peak across the valley held my appeal, being close to 9K, and certainly appearing to hold an excellent view. From the near 7,800 foot vantage point I was at, I still wasn't able to see Mt. Baker or Mt. Shuksan, two very prominent summits that would lie in the direction behind the two peaks Mesahchie and Katsuk. From Black, they would be prominent beacons to the northwest. The most I could see in that direction was the distant Picketts, including Fury & Challenger, which didn't look significant until you got right up to them. Those were certainly popular peaks in North Cascades National Park itself, which includes only a small part of this range. And despite the name, you certainly couldn't see Whistler, BC from Whistler Mountain.
For someone who as a hobby likes to study geology and geomorphic processes, it is a wonder what this area looked like during Ice Age times, nothing but sheets of glaciers covering the valleys where the highway runs today. The evidence of glacial carvings on this mountains is very prominent, and still shows itself today on some of the smaller alpine glaciers. A lot of the creeks you cross in this area will still have that grayish murky appearance from silt - if you've seen that tarn in the Montezuma Basin while ascending Castle/Conundrum during late summer, it's that appearance.
Image 23: The arrows show the direction the glaciers went towards present day Ross Lake, like visualizing Glacier Bay in Alaska today. Lake Ann (red star) is in the glacial cirque, a hanging valley. Be thankful glaciers carved your majestic peaks in Colorado you climb today. Compare the rain shadow effect on the peaks to the left versus the right.
I started my descent, regretfully, going down the way I came from, though I spotted easier approaches down that soon led into chaos. Either way, the bushwhack the last 1,000 feet was the hardest, which made me want to buy a chainsaw. Any fallen log I could cross was heaven on earth, as well as the thick woods where you had to squeeze through trees and fallen debris. At least I could move through there rather than kick my way through. I got back to the spot where I thought I placed Parkview, but I couldn't find that stick anywhere. I searched a bit before I gave up, kind of a depressing moment since that stick had been atop nearly fifteen 14ers with me. I found it on a January ascent up the 12er Parkview Mountain near Willow Creek Pass north of Granby, on the summit ridgeline, and it sure saved me on that peak, since I was fighting through five feet of snow up an avalanche chute practically the entire way. Well, at least it got abandoned in a pretty place. Maybe one day I'll return to find it, if I can endure route-finding through the flora.
Slow and steep. I could see the parking lot the entire approach down, if only I had a parachute. The evening effect was casting its beauty on the mountains, and pretty soon, I was in the darkened shade behind the mountains, fumbling through the woods as it was dim enough to feel like dusk. And then the final sight of relief. The parking lot was there, and kicking through some plants, I hopped on the fallen log and jumping onto the asphalt right when several other hikers from Rainy Lake showed up. Kind of a random appearance I made to them, camouflaged w/ tree gunk. No questions, no comments. Well, a good 7-8 hour climb, maybe an hour less if I didn't spend such a lengthy time on the summit indulging the view.
Standing on the edge, looking at my miserable 3,000 ft. descent to the parking lot (red arrow). Maybe I'll have search & rescue come get me.
Summer evening effect. Peaks L to R: Black, Unnamed (right of center), Arriva, Fisher, Black Beard (foreground), Little J-Berg, Katsuk, Mesahchie.
The drive down Rainy Pass towards Ross Lake goes in that u-shaped valley I saw from above. Below, the mountains poke up here and there through the trees, and there was one vantage where I pulled off after seeing "Graybeard Peak" (elev. 7965') stick up sharply above a forested ridgeline behind me. At least that's what I think the peak was. I'd like to give it a more recognizing name since it was a prominent sight.
I believe this is Graybeard Peak (elev. 7965'), rising dramatically above Highway 20. If not, maybe Black Peak?
I made one stop at an overlooking facing the southern tail of Ross Lake, w/ Jack Mountain's massive 7,000 foot prominence to the east. Someday I would make it up there, though I could see it would be a lot of route finding and luck to get to the right section. But even that would make the summit more worth the climb. These mountains are so steep and high that you really have to press your face on the windshield to look up in order to see the tops. And besides the beauty, this is no doubt a waterfall mecca, countless unnamed falls ribboning down the mountainside along the drive, their source from the visible icefields above.
The last bit of evening light set behind these peaks as I slowly exited the high terrain, making my way up to Bellingham, where I decided to stay there for the night before making my visit to the relatives south on I-5 the following day. I had next morning to kill, so on August 7 I took the drive on Highway 542, which follows the last bit of mountains leading to the border and ends at Artist Point, where you get a view of Mt. Shuksan & Mt. Baker. Maybe some of you have been here before. It's one of those "is this really America?" kind of drives, at least to me, since it feels like it could pass for somewhere in the Alps or Pyrenees as you get higher up. Well, you're so close to British Columbia anyway, it feels like that instead.
The drive was a bit cloudy, so it was by luck that I'd get to see anything. At one section, I was able to catch a glimpse of the huge Mt. Baker, the high point of the area at 10,778', still a very-much active volcano but only dormant at the moment. Like Glacier Peak, it was riddled w/ glaciers on every side, and gas fumaroles. One major eruption and it'll be one massive lahar jökulhlaup, headed straight for Bellingham.
Mt. Baker pokes briefly from Highway 542.
Through the clouds and dark dense evergreen forests, the road started winding up until I reached a clearing above the clouds. And then at one bend, the huge Mt. Shuksan (elev. 9,131') appears in view, a peak that really plays a part in American landscape. Like the Maroon Bells, it is one of the most photographed, particularly as a reflection against Picture Lake. I was grateful to see this peak cloud-free, since my last visit in 2007, it was overcast except for the last ten minutes when I was able to see it briefly before it got hidden by the clouds.
Tree line here is around 4-5,000 feet, closer to 7,000 feet on the dryer side. The wet winter we had in early 2011 hadn't melted as of August, meaning the road was open only up to Heather Meadows Visitor Center, which is still a mile below Artist Point. And they managed to open this section of road only a few weeks ago. There was so much snow up here that it was piled along the sides, topping maybe ten feet in some areas. So I couldn't really squeeze a hike since I was hoping to get to Artist Point itself, but that was alright. I was still sore from all the extra effort on Whistler Mountain anyway.
North Cascades from Heather Meadows Visitor Center. Peaks L to R: American Border, Larrabee, Goat (left of center), Skagit Ridge (background), Sefrit
From Heather Meadows, there's a really close mountain called Table Mountain, but it looked difficult w/ all the wet icy snow. It marks a rim of a glacial basin where the Bagley Lakes lie, only they were buried in snow and ice. Behind were views of the last high peaks before Canada. I drove down a little bit and pulled off to the empty parking lot of the Mt. Baker Ski Area to get some phenomenal views of Shuksan. Mt. Baker itself was covered in low marine clouds, the edge of them streaming below Shuksan's summit pyramid. Like other high peaks in the area, this one was covered in alpine glaciers, the one named Hanging Glacier between the false and true summit looked so unstable that it was soon ready to avalanche down.
Mt. Shuksan looms over 5,000 feet above where I'm standing at the Mt. Baker ski area. The Hanging Glacier hangs off its edge.
Closer view of Hanging Glacier & Winnies Slide (crevasses/bergshrunds) between the false & Summit Pyramid. All we need is a spark of kinetic energy.
So these mountains are very stunning, you can easily feel lost in them, and appreciative of them. But with all the beauty, there are some drawbacks of this range. For one, access is very limited. Fee areas are imposed on popular trailhead access points, including the one I was at for Rainy Lake. Sometimes, you need permits or a ferry pass, especially if in the national park itself. Bushwhacking makes many summit approaches hard, and some peaks such as Glacier Peak are so remote that it's a long haul to get to. Old logging roads that are washed out by floods most likely don't get repaired, so it makes the journey even longer, and trails can often be closed and off-access. I guess that's what makes the mountains in Colorado a bonus for having easy access and nothing too technical. And last but not least, beware of the biting fly, I hate those insects so much. Deer flies, horse flies, those tiny little black flies that love to nip. Particularly if you climb on the east side of the range, they can be a nuisance. I was lucky I didn't have any encounter w/ them on Whistler Mountain, maybe it was past season or perhaps I was on a climate transition zone, too cold for their liking.
I happen to have one spherical panorama taken from the top of Whistler Mountain, though it shows more of a zoomed out view. A narrow summit, though not as narrow as some other peaks in the northwest. View this to get a whole view of the summit (minus the annotations), though the regular panoramas posted on here already give the sense of feeling.
Whistler Mountain 360 degree summit
Ah, such a good trip, even though brief. Something different, kind of outdated by over a year, more of a recollection rather than one of those "is Vomit going to survive?" kind of reports, but I hope you enjoyed the read. Just being there on the summit alone, absolute calm, the occasional murmur of traffic far below, the dim sound of Rainy Lake Falls across the way, looking south and rekindling memories of being a kid hiking w/ family on peaks, ridges, & creekside trails I could never forget. This ascent has and will continue to go on the list of climactic ones, & I really hope I can get back out there again and relive some good memories. Just looking at the pictures of the mountain beauty overload and I'm already feeling forced to go, so please excuse me while I go vomit! Adios for now, until my next spherical report.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):