Seattle

Hike to Lake Ingalls

A hike to a ridge on Mt Shuksan was scheduled on this day around 6 months earlier and I was eagerly waiting for it. Due to unavailability of the meetup organizer the hike got cancelled. The forecast for the day was not bad and I definitely didn’t want to sit at home without a hike on this day. So just the day before, I signed up for Lake Ingalls hike and only 3 of us made it to the hike and needless to say, it was fantastic.

It was an early start, we left the Park and Ride by 6AM and started our hike by 8 AM. It was still very cold, so I had my gloves on from the trailhead. The first part of the hike was usual winter microspikes hike with snow dusted mountains around. The actual party started after the ridge where we could see Mt Stuart up close, golden larches and many other peaks around.

IMG_20171014_130931

Mt Stuart came in between clouds path and was reshaping the clouds. A venticular like saucer formation was being created. Golden larches, wherever and however they were looked royal and its bright colors on white snow and dark surrounding background was a sight to behold. The larches adorned the trail too and it felt like mother nature had decorated for us to walk beneath them.

IMG_20171014_102242

The vista kept getting better and I was thoroughly enjoying the treat. After crossing another small ridge, we reached the lake which didn’t fail to surprise us as well. With the surrounding white snow and granite mountains all around, it looked serene.

IMG_20171014_112512

We had lunch from a high ground. It got windy and cold, so I started retreating soon. I met my ex-teammate on the trail which was a nice coincidence. The weather got better when we reached the small ridge which allowed us to enjoy the larches in the warm sunny weather from there on. The larches shone bright and it was fantastic to walk again alongside the larches. There was a tea cup on the saucer by now.

IMG_20171014_122555

My fellow hiker was wanting to catch some mountain goats and they too were there, I could see 7 of them in a single frame. Standing on the edge braving the wind with blue sky behind, they looked impressive. The white fir and pointed horns were all in display.

IMG_20171014_134308

We were so happy that everything came together so well today: weather, larches, mountains, snow, goats and views. I gladly accepted this as a birthday present from mother nature.

More photos and videos

Activity Overview

GPS video
smiley-write-nikhil-navali

Advertisements
Categories: Outdoors, Seattle | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Scramble to French Cabin West Peak

An action filled misty day where we experienced rains, snow, hailstorms, wind, Sun and rainbow combined with a scramble. I got up at 5:30 AM and had all the time to get ready but guess what did I forget to carry for the hike, my hiking shoes. I realized this in the park and ride while I met the group and since it was a short 6 mile hike and Michael┬ádidn’t mention any scrambling or craziness, I thought I could pull it off without my hiking shoes. I was wearing my daily wear shoes which doesn’t have much grip. It was cloudy and the rains started soon as we started driving to the trailhead. We started the hike in rains and first 1.5 miles was on a normal trail. Few sections was very beautiful with the fog and fall colors. The trail was bit wider than usual and I wondered if people mountain biked here. I was thinking that I would have needed my hiking shoes on any other Michael’s hike, but this was ok. I was soon proved wrong when Derek and Michael decided to start exploring alternative route to summit. For the next mile, it was on steep sections with loose mud/gravel with fog, rains and snow. Some sections were on a narrow ridge and it was like Angel’s landing without chains. The fog made it all the more dramatic. I was very careful with my steps and anticipated slips on tricky sections. Sometimes Sun broke out to give us green views all around which reminded me of Western Ghats. Soon cold wind started picking up and by the time we were at the summit it was snowing and it kept getting colder. My gloves were wet and my fingers were nearing to freeze. I had experienced worse, so I knew I could handle and just waited to start descending after lunch and regroup. It was fun group with lots of jokes and almost everyone made it to the summit. Fortunately, descending was not that bad and my shoes held on while descended using branches whenever I could. I was glad to reach the flat part of the trail safely. That was quite an adventure, thankfully there weren’t big rocks to traverse on. We saw mountain bikers on the way back. We finished the hike relatively faster this time and I was back at Seattle by 6:30 PM.

Activity Overview

Photos and Video here

smiley-write-nikhil-navali

Categories: Outdoors, Seattle | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Hike to Yellow Aster Butte

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Yellow Aster Butte was a long pending one and I was waiting for fall colors to do this hike. I met the meetup group at the Park and Ride and started the 2:30 hr drive. Highway 542 was windy and the road near trail head was a bit sketchy. I enjoyed driving my Crosstrek at both the places. It was around 10:15 AM by the time we started our hike. It was cloudy but a pleasant day. The interesting part about the trail was that after half the hike, you can see almost the entire route up-to false summit. Around 2/3 of the hike was above tree line and the surrounding views were beautiful and it only got better. We reached the base of the false summit where I could see numerous campsites facing Mt Shuksan and Baker. I wondered how awesome camping there would be. We had lunch at the false summit and then I hiked to true summit where I could see more awesome mountains and Tomyhoi lake. En route, I could see campsites surrounded with patches of lakes and grey rocks. It felt so nice, that I just sat there until my meetup buddies came back from the summit.┬áThere were numerous people with their pets and kids. They were having their sweet little time with nature. I somehow felt this was like mini Enchantments. The place had a near 360 deg view and I felt so good that I didn’t want to be anywhere else in the world at that time. I feel so privileged that I could experience such beauty with only hours drive from home. I was chatting with a young forest ranger girl while descending and it was interesting to know about her. I didn’t have much trouble with the neck this time and thoroughly enjoyed the hike.

Activity Overview

Photos and Videos here

smiley-write-nikhil-navali

Categories: Outdoors, Seattle | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Scramble to Little Si

I joined meetup people on a scramble to Little Si to watch fireworks from the summit. We started the hike at 6:30 PM and reached the scramble spot. Most of us forked and started with the scramble route. It was nice beginner scramble with not so much exposure. We secured a spot below the summit and waited for fireworks while all of us set up a potluck-buffet. I carried just the dates but few had got a lot of stuff. Fireworks was organized by city of North Bend as part of festival at Mt Si. It started at 9:50 PM and I was surprised that it went on for 30 mins. The most unique experience was listening to the echoes shooting off the surrounding mountains. Then we chose to scramble down and it was more exciting because it was dark. It felt very rugged to see the sights of scramblers on the small cliffs with their headlights on. It was a nice short evening outing.

Activity Overview

GPS video

Photos and Video

smiley-write-nikhil-navali

Categories: Outdoors, Seattle | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Hike to Hidden Lake Lookout

It had been a while since I last hiked and I wanted to do one even though there was widespread smoke from Canadian fires. The destination being Hidden Lake Lookout was one other reason. We started at 6:05 AM from Park and Ride and reached trailhead around 8:30 AM. Last few miles trailhead was not paved had many potholes. The organizer didn’t make it to trailhead even after 30 mins, so we left a note and started with the hike. After a mile of shade, the trail is exposed the entire way. Snow made a lot of difference wrt views and we couldn’t see the surrounding mountains much. Bugs troubled us a lot for the first couple of miles. I kept a good pace and hiked conversing with a fellow hiker. We made it the base of the lookout and then something unexpected happened.

A fellow hiker had made it to the lookout and we saw him from the base. We thought he said come straight up scrambling and we started with the scramble. I had heard that there was another route around but I chose scrambling. After few distance everyone except a girl and I chose to take the trail around. I still chose to scramble as I was already half way up. The last 100 feet of the scramble looked doable and I started with it. I got to know the difficulty only when I got close to it. I was climbing on near vertical sections. I was not wearing my usual hiking pants, so that too troubled me a bit. Also, the rocks didn’t look that stable, so I was constantly worried. The girl chose to follow me and I ensured I didn’t launch any rocks over her. I dislodged one huge rock but fortunately, it didn’t start rolling down. I was so glad I made it to the top in one piece. It was extremely scary and stupid of me.

The views from the top was much better than expected with Hidden lake, rocky and snow covered mountains around. The lookout was interesting too. It had a nice bed, books, cards, games and many other stuff. It’s first come first serve and a couple had already claimed it. We spent ample time at the summit and started the descent. I took off and ran most of the switchbacks since I was getting uncomfortable from the heat. Due to a variety of exercises over last few weeks I didn’t get knee pain this time. We then drove to Cascadian farm for ice cream. I chose to Espresso flavor hoping that it would keep me awake for the rest of the drive. But fellow passengers and I had healthy conversations throughout which made it a lot easier to stay awake.

Activity Overview

Photos Here

smiley-write-nikhil-navali

Categories: Outdoors, Seattle | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.