Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Yellow Aster Butte 9/28/2008

I left my house at about 6:45 a.m. and drove through a dense morning fog to the meeting location in Everett. The fog lifted somewhat before I got there, and disappeared completely during our drive to Mt. Baker area. When we arrived to the trailhead some 2.5 hours later, we were surrounded by beautiful mountains standing proudly against perfectly blue sky. It was my third time up here but the very first time when the trailhead area was clear of clouds and I could finally enjoy the nice view of Mt. Baker right from where we parked.

We were on the trail soon afterwards and steadily progressed up the meadow, switchback after switchback until the forest swallowed us and in its shadow we found a great refuge from the unexpectedly burning sun. We quickly gained several more hundred feet of elevation and then finally emerged to the open meadows where breeze carried sweet scent of berries and views were plentiful. From there the trail contoured the valley offering more and more views along its way. First we were stunned by unobstructed view of the rugged Mt. Shuksan, soon afterwards we could admire serene beauty of majestic Mt. Baker, and later enormous mass of Tomyhoi Peak arose right in from of us.

We started the climb to the false summit together with many others. It was a beautiful day and it was busy up there. As soon as we walked onto the top Mt. Larabee gave us a warm welcome together with American and Canadian Border Peaks, followed by many more mountains. The views went forever.

We enjoyed a brief lunch break atop of the false summit and then continued towards the true summit. Little bit of easy scrambling spiced up our already wonderful day. We decided not to go back to the false summit and instead dropped down the scree slope and headed for the tarns. The reflections in them were nearly perfect; however the water was not completely calm due to a minor breeze. We were happy to forgive Mother Nature this slight imperfection and enjoyed the tarns anyways.

Needless to say it was very hard to head back.

1 comment:

It's Time to Live... said...

Great images, story and blog. Keep it up.