This hike is steep at first, then eases off in old-growth forest for 1.5 miles before reaching a small opening around 5,200 feet. The path soon crosses the wilderness boundary and meets the meadowy crest of the ridge, at one of those places where your whole body involuntarily just says, "wow" (2.1 mi., elevation 5,800 feet). From here on, the views never let up: Mt. Baker, Mt. Shuksan, the conspicuous "table" of Table Mtn, and Church Mtn and the High Divide to the north.Here are five of the sixteen of us who made the hike today. I think it was close to perfect, both in its length, the views, and the camaraderie we shared with each other. Here you see, from left to right: Peggy, Bob, Cindy, Fred, and Jay. I kept asking for people to turn around, put the view to their backs so I could take pictures!!
Jay and Fred, with the Canadian mountains behind them, looking like they are standing on top of the world. The day could not have been more satisfying: no bugs because there was a breeze and cool weather, no clouds because all the day before it had rained up here, melting the snow that fell after our hike up Ptarmigan Ridge, when it weathered for days. A high pressure ridge is in the process of building for the weekend. We did meet a few sloppy places in the trail but any spots of snow were few and far between.
Here is Shuksan Mountain, early in the day with a layer of clouds still hanging around to make the view even more spectacular. Shuksan is one of the most photographed mountains in the world, and I am steadily making my way around it, so I can say I have seen it from all sides.
And here, finally, is that wonderful mountain, Baker, that I have now seen from many different angles. If you enlarge the picture and look closely you can see some glaciers that are even now moving down the mountain. There is new snow from last week's storm. On this hike, we felt like we were walking right up to the side of the mountain and could just step over and take a quick trek to the top. Apparently this hike is actually one of the ascents for a "jaunt" to the top. At 10,780 feet, this beautiful mountain is not any higher than the beginning of several of my Colorado hikes, but... oh, so beautiful! When you start at sea level, this mountain stands regally against any of the fourteeners in Colorado!