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| | |-+  July 23, 2011, Hadley Peak
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Author Topic: July 23, 2011, Hadley Peak  (Read 2161 times)

Posts: 324

July 23, 2011, Hadley Peak
« on: 07/25/11, 07:02 PM »

Combination of gorgeous weather, an aesthetic peak, a successful summit, an equally aesthetic ride on a north facing glacier, and an off-trail loop hike made for one of the finest days in the mtns evar Saturday.  The long, rough road to Cougar Divide on the north side of Mt Baker, as well as its seasonal wildlife closure for 8 months of the year makes this a not oft visited mountain.  I had my first look at it Nov, 2009 just before the gate closure and of course had to come back when it had enough snow coverage for a good ride  Grin.  The gate opened July one, but with this year’s deep snow pack the road was still blocked for miles until last week when it was said to be 1 ½ miles from the end.  Left Friday night solo and made it to snow line at 4400’ in the dark and got some shut eye in the comfy 4-R under amazing stars.  Up at 5:30 and off by 6:15.  As I walked the road the deep snow pack made me think of attempting an idea I had a long while back of avoiding the long up and down ridge route by staying low and going through the woods on flat benches south with a slow rise from 4400’ to 5000’.  The entry point was less than 200 yards from the truck and looked good.  This would be less climbing, keep me in the shade longer and put me at Dobbs Creek and the bottom of Hadley Basin.  This worked perfectly and I had a nice break at the creek as it came flowing out of the basin’s deep snow pack.  From there it was a steady 2500’ climb to the NE ridge where I left my board and traversed south to the loose rocky 300’ climb to the summit.  Usual lady-bug orgy on the summit, no wind, and very clear air for great distant views.  Looking down at the loooooong way I had come I hatched another loop idea.  The standard Cougar Divide route was still covered in a lot of snow and even though I would have to climb another 600’ up to it, it looked like it offered a chance to ride a fair distance and be mostly downhill to the car.  The ride  down to Dobbs was great fun with only mild, soft sun cups and runnels.  Another nice break and loaded up on two liters of cold, fresh Dobbs water.  Managed to stay in the shade of trees for most of the short climb up the divide and indeed rode a long way along the divide.  A little up and down and one more ride down to near the road taking advantage of the edge of an old clear cut ended an 11 hour adventure with 5100’ of up and down and 11.5 miles.  Maybe we will get early season snow and make a return to catch some powder before they close the gate November first  Smiley.

I meant to add that there were NO BUG problems.  Historically, this has been one of the worst areas ever for them skeeters; Amar had a really funny report of their visciousness a few years back.  Thought I would get hammered by them when I got back to the car and there were a few around, but no bites!!

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« Last Edit: 07/25/11, 08:43 PM by Boot » Logged

Posts: 275

Re: July 23, 2011, Hadley Peak
« Reply #1 on: 07/26/11, 11:56 AM »

Nice!  Fall hikes on the Skyline have been making me think that Hadley would make a nice late summer ski, if you can convince yourself to make the approach.  Do you need high clearance to make it up the road?

Posts: 324

Re: July 23, 2011, Hadley Peak
« Reply #2 on: 07/26/11, 07:17 PM »

Pot holes are worse on the first half of the road, up to the bridge, and the road is rougher and rockier after that, but no big obstacles.  Just need to go slow and it's a long 12ish miles.
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