Monday, July 13, 2009

In a hope of views... Pilchuck 7/5/2009

It was a sunny 3 day weekend and it would be a shame to waste it. I'm usually a fan of early starts; however after a crazy firework show out street puts on every year for 4th of July, I decided for a shorter trail close by which would allow us to start later.

With a promise of possible views I opted for Mt. Pilchuck. I can't remember last time I had a view from up there – every time I attempted the mountain in past couple years, it was misty, socked in and we only could see few feet around the trail.

As always on a day like this (and even the more crappy days), Mt. Pilchuck trail was packed with variety of people, many of them rather obviously not having a clue what they're doing. It never cease to amaze me how many people you meet up there in jeans, tennis shoes, carrying not much more than tiny water bottle.

We started hiking around 1:00 p.m. and kept a nice slower but steady pace with few water stops and few more photo stops.

There is still decent amount of snow at the upper part of the trail and the snow melt created variety of waterfalls and little streams along the way, many of which flown down the actual trail. I was very thankful for my Gore Tex boots as we hiked up the wet trail sometimes feeling we're hiking right in the middle of a creek.

We encountered snow coverage about half way up the trail. Few people seemed to turn here but many continued to the lookout. There was a nice well defined path there yesterday to follow; otherwise some areas could be tricky for route finding, especially for those who are not familiar with the area. There were few shorter melted sections at the upper part of the trail but snow continued nearly to the summit.

It got hazy later in the day and the best views were gone before we reached the lookout but still the scenery along the trail was very interesting and we saw enough from the top to leave us satisfied.

Descend through the snow was rather slippery and slower going but not trecherous. Back at the car at 5:30 p.m. It was a good day in the mountains.

Stats: 6 miles RT, 2400 ft elevation gain

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