Thursday, September 19, 2019

Ptarmigan Ridge 2019

First view of Mt Baker today
Fourteen Senior Trailblazers made the long trek to Artist Point to start our Ptarmigan Ridge hike. We broke into two groups at the Senior Center: one, the fast group, would hike to the portals (I'll show you a picture of their location in a minute). The rest of us decided to hike at a slower pace to our usual lunch spot. We hoped that the others might join us at some point, or that we would see them as they began their descent, but it was not to be.
Our view all day came and went
That first picture was taken from the parking lot, and before we had gone very far, we realized that the clouds might be a real problem for our views today. See how much, in just a few minutes, Mt Baker has changed from the original picture? We looked down into the valley where we should have been able to see Baker Lake and much more, but the low-lying fog obscured our view.
Mt. Shuksan and clouds
By the time we got a couple of miles in, we saw this gorgeous view of Mt. Shuksan, above the clouds, with dramatic skies as well. I did wonder whether those clouds would be gone when we returned, but we continued on around the corner and to our next views, hoping for more vistas on the return.
Our group today on the rocky trail
You can see from this picture that the trail is rocky and quite a challenge for someone who is recovering from a knee injury. But my knee and the rest of me did just fine! I was so pleased.
Me with Mt Shuksan behind
I asked Kirk to take a picture of me in front of Shuksan, and he obliged with this one. Those are gloves in my pockets making me look fat, but I still like the picture anyway. It was such a beautiful spot, with some sun lighting my face, even.
Our lunch spot
We made it to our lunch spot around 12:30pm, and gazed out at what we could see of Mt Baker and the portals. See the two dark rocks sticking up from between the first two people? Those are the portals. We looked and looked but didn't see our friends, meaning they had already hiked far beyond where we might see them.
Lunch spot and the trail to the portals
I climbed up above our lunch spot in order to find a private spot to water a tree, and I looked down and saw this view, lighted up by the sun (which didn't stay much longer, unfortunately). If you look closely, you can see a trail on the side of the slope that our companions took. After a leisurely lunch, we packed up and started back the way we had come. And guess what happened about that time? No more sunshine. Instead of clearing, the fog descended on our return route, and we had little to no view.
On our return in the fog
We did have a few flowers, but they were mostly these pearly everlasting that are dried and no longer fresh. The fog didn't lift and a cold wind blew on us while we made our way back to the cars. But we had a wonderful day nevertheless, and we covered around eight-and-a-half miles and almost 2,000 feet of elevation. Not bad at all. We had a great day, and I look forward to hearing from Melanie how their trip to the portals went.
:-)

17 comments:

  1. I am so pleased that your knee held up to it - and fog/cloud or not I LOVED those views. Many, many thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well done. That's a vigorous hike for someone recovering. And at least it didn't rain!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yeah for a good hike! You are back to normal!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's great having you 'back in action' ... beautiful. (I love fog)

    ReplyDelete
  5. When I read your post I suddenly realized that I had been missing your weekly hiking post. Good that the body held up.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think you are wonderful and special. What a great hike, despite the fog and the cold wind.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am delighted your knee has let you back in the game. I know how you must have missed such days. At least half of the day was great.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Clouds or not, that was an amazing hike! Glad your knee cooperated.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's rainy here :(finally and yay!), so I am doing a little blog hopping and found myself here. Wow! I am smitten! If I lived closer I would beg a spot on that hike!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Glad you knee held up! Walking through clouds is something most of us haven't experienced. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I especially like that 3rd picture of Mt. Shuksan. I enlarged it and it's just beautiful. So glad you had a good day.

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a beautiful view. You are well and truly healed Jan and blessed!

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a beautiful hike! It looks very rigorous, both the distance and elevation change, so kudos to you (and your knees). Quite an accomplishment!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Those mountain views are magnificent.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Such a wonderful hike! Glad your knee held out.

    ReplyDelete
  16. A great day ... thanks for sharing your photos!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow! These are spectacular photos, DJan! Those views of the mountains are so amazing.

    ReplyDelete

I really appreciate your comments! If you see a word verification box here, just ignore it. I don't use the darn thing and Blogger is trying to get us to use it, I guess. Ignore it and your comment will still appear.