Sunday, August 23, 2009

Gothic Basin 8/22/2009

Hiking to Gothic Basin is not a piece of cake. The trail is extremely steep and rocky, crosses several streams, leads through few narrower passages next to sizeable cliffs, makes you scramble over boulders and deal with scree.

In the Basin

It's one of the trails where after first mile of walking through the forest you think: "OK, I don't think I will ever feel a need to come back again."

And then you walk out of the forest and all the views open right in front of you... and suddenly you think: "OK, I'm definitely coming back again."

Foggy Lake

The views are trully incredible and they get even better once you enter the basin and scramble the last several hundred vertical feet to Foggy Lake nested underneath Del Campo Peak.

Gothic Basin

Fantastic day in the mountains. The sunshine and blue sky was much appreciated after 2 weeks of hiking in cold foggy weather.

More flowers

9.5 miles, 3000 ft elevation gain

Monday, August 17, 2009

Skyline Trail MRNP 8/1/2009

Our original plan for the weekend was to enjoy scenery of North Cascades; however thunderstorms threatening that area quickly changed our mind and reversed directions of travel.

The decision to head down South to Paradise area of Mt. Rainier NP turned out to be a very good one. The flowers were in their peak. Beautifully colorful meadows surrounded the trail we took, creeks were bubbling through them with a sunshine sparking on their surfaces, and of course there was the huge white (or actually grey/white with lots of the snow now melted) "thing" blocking our view to North to admire.

Beautiful day to be outside; however little on the hotter side. Even as high as Paradise, it was baking hot 90 degrees. Most welcomed breeze came when we started climbing to Panorama Point which not only cooled us down but also discouraged the bugs from following us further.

The views got even better once we found ourselves higher, crossing rocky parts of the route. Getting first class view of Nisquilly Glacier, we were able to fully appreciate the rough beauty of this above the tree line landscape.

Afterwards the trail took us down to the meadows again as it looped back to the parking lot which at that point was absolutely packed. The combination of blue sky and wildflowers lured hundreds of people from near and far. Lucky day for mosquitoes!