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| | |-+  July 8, 2008: Mt. Pilchuck
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Author Topic: July 8, 2008: Mt. Pilchuck  (Read 5408 times)

Posts: 236

July 8, 2008: Mt. Pilchuck
« on: 07/09/08, 11:39 AM »

After a leisurely morning and a rather tough time finding a parking space at the 65th park and ride, unlike a winter Saturday morning start, I met up with fall_line for an adventure on Mt. Pilchuck. Oh, the joys of having the summer off!

In the trail head parking lot we met up with group of hikers and discussed appropriate footwear while strapping on the boots and skis, and saw them again, when they exclaimed that the "footprints just ran out. I thought this was a well-established trail!" Indeed, this well traveled trail is still holding snow well. So much so, it looked like we would skin early on and donned the skins. Our footwear friend passed us, smiling, "I guess you found your snow early." We rounded the bend and... skis back on the pack.

We booted up following intermittent orange flagging until we couldn't find them anymore, traversed over to gain a great view of the lower lake which remains 4/5 frozen, and there the bush-whacking began. We love those veggie belays and newfound teamwork and serious humor! We swam our way out of the brush back up to the snow, for a lunchtime shady snack. We continued on firm grade snow, slushy above the final saddle as a bevy of summer clad teens in Vans and gym shorts passed us coming off the summit nearly jumping down in Johnny Mosley style leaps.

To say the least, duck-billed boots and skis scraping over large granite boulders (a chance to practice basic rock skills and fancy footwork) made for a clean finish to the look out. This was Emily's first experience with the stunning 360 degree views from this vantage that included Seattle's Columbia tower, Rainer, Shucksan, Baker, and Puget Sound.

We grabbed a couple of photos and a quick snack before heading down the boulders to the saddle where we stripped skins, strapped on skis and leashes (from the gong show of a start--gotta love the repair kit!). Shaded sun cup city made for graceful turns and much easier route finding on our way down, nearly 1/3 of the time to make the climb. Black flies and gnats were so bad that I nearly tossed my cookies upon inhaling one! The marsh marigolds and skunk cabbage are blooming in the wet marshes with frogs calling telling us the way out of the squelchy exit to the car.

Another great day in our backyard! WOO HOO!
more photos here:

edited to add photo in text! yeah. thanks ronj
« Last Edit: 07/09/08, 01:05 PM by sheispiste » Logged

any day in the mountains is a good day in the mountains

Posts: 3403

Re: July 8, 2008: Mt. Pilchuck
« Reply #1 on: 07/09/08, 01:53 PM »

Very nice TR. Picture of Puget Sound is striking .Never been to Pilchuck, need to go one day. Thanks
« Last Edit: 07/09/08, 02:47 PM by Scotsman » Logged

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Posts: 382

Re: July 8, 2008: Mt. Pilchuck
« Reply #2 on: 07/09/08, 03:24 PM »

Way to take advantage of the stellar low elevation snowpack.  Skiing Pilchuck in July is unique I'm sure.   Cool

Posts: 361

Re: July 8, 2008: Mt. Pilchuck
« Reply #3 on: 07/09/08, 04:10 PM »

Nice photos and report, looks like you enjoyed the sunny weather.  Must be tough having the summer off Grin
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