Right now, because of the continuing high snow levels, we are relegated to the same hikes over and over in our little Mt. Baker wilderness area. This is my second trip up to the Yellow Aster Butte area, because the first time (on July 5) we were only able to gain the meadow because of the snow. Today, we got just a little bit further, but still nowhere near the summit of Yellow Aster Butte. Here's why:
Yellow Aster Butte, July 5 and July 28, 2011
As you can see, the snow has melted a good deal off the summit of the Butte in less than a month, but the trail is still pretty impassable to that summit. We will make yet another attempt later on, but today, twelve Senior Trailblazers gave it a try. Linda and Ward, some of my favorite Trailblazers, were back with us after taking off for parts unknown, so they were happy to make an attempt and not reach the summit. Here is Linda surrounding by all the greenery at the lower elevations:
As we climbed higher and higher, we got great views of Mt. Shuksan, and then we stopped for a nice lunch break a little after noon. We had to find a place in the sunshine that gave us a view, but the deep snow meant that a nice breeze blowing across the snow gave us our very own air conditioning.
Fortunately, most of us have an inflatable little pillow that allows us to be nice and dry while sitting on top of the snow. We all had a very nice lunch and I was able to take this wonderful shot of Mt. Shuksan from our vantage point. After lunch, we headed back down the trail and made it back to our cars before 3:00pm, with a fairly long drive back to the Senior Center. On the way, I saw this very interesting fungus that demanded that I take its picture.
We are so fortunate to have built-in air conditioning (it still is a rare day this summer to see 80 degrees F on our thermometers in Bellingham), and in the High Country, we were still in the sunny sixties today. I hope that my friends in the hotter part of the United States will be able to cool off a little while joining us on the Keep Cool trail today. We walked less than six miles and gained and lost around 1,700 feet elevation. It was truly a great day, sunny and warm. Our first one this month!