Posts Tagged With: larches

Hike to Carne Mountain – Gold Rush

Almost all the hikes I have been having since last 2 months have been fantastic and the fall season has only bettered it. The hike to Carne mountain was the latest and I was just dumbfounded with the beauty. It’s been three years of hiking in PNW – I am surprised and feel blessed that I still have lot more to see and experience. Even though I was way below in the waiting list, I was confirmed by the organizer for the meetup hike and I got to hike with an amazing group in a beautiful place. The weather forecast couldn’t have been better too.

Since there were huge warnings for the bad road in the last stretch, I preferred not to drive my car. I ended up in a fellow hiker’s Toyota FJ cruiser with super duty tires. The last stretch was the worst road I have travelled yet in Washington and the FJ did just fine cruising through it. We could see surrounding jagged peaks from the trailhead itself and the place already looked quite different from the usual hikes I did. It was quite cold (around 3 C)  and we started hiking at 9:30 AM. The first 2.5 miles was in the shade, then we saw dusts of snow on the trail after which it was almost an exposed hike. We reached a basin where we saw many larches and few had camped there. Party started from that place and the next few hours just awed me continuously. The first section was through a series of yellow-golden colored larches with snow on the trail. I was wondering if I struck gold.

 

We reached a ridge and I could see muddy mountains with more larches on the other side. As I walked along the ridge, I was exposed to more of the beauty with a combination of snow covered, muddy, tree laden mountains all around. The Carne summit itself looked like it was amidst many valleys with an awesome vantage point to view the surrounding mountains including Glacier peak. The most interesting part was that the trail provided very contrasting views from different angles.

Looking towards West (reminded me of high altitude peaks in Himalayas):

Towards East, more larches:

Towards South East, typical PNW summer views:

We had lunch on the summit and a bday woman shared chocolate brownies, another person shared watermelon and Ferrero Rocher with everyone. It was nice to be part of the group with similar interests. The weather was just perfect too – with occasional clouds blocking the Sun and almost non-existent wind. It was actually warmer on the summit than on the trailhead. It was around 1:30 PM when we started descending and afternoon warmth felt like a summer hike. I was actually impressed with the group’s strength. It was fast paced – we ascended and descended quite quickly which left us ample of time to drive back and have dinner on the way.

PNW still surprises me and the best part is that she surprises me even on the same place in different seasons. I absolutely love this place and I don’t think I would want to live anywhere else in the world during this part of my life.

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Activity Overview

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

Hike to Lake Ingalls

14th Oct 2017

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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13th Oct 2019

I hiked to see the larches again with Divya after 2 years. We stopped at the Headlight basin this time and spent ample of time having lunch and enjoying the surroundings. It was cloudy but Sun made appearance occasionally which was a treat. Larches were almost at their prime and it felt good watching them with Mt Stuart in the background. Divya hiked comfortably this time and I was glad she had a nice time. 

Activity Overview

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Categories: Outdoors, Seattle | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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