Here you see two of my favorite sights: Mt. Baker and new friend and hiker Diane on the summit of Excelsior Pass! We tried this hike in mid-June
only to get part of the way up to this view, because of the SNOW. We have been turned back time and time again because of the snow becoming impassable, or because of weather. Today ten Senior Trailblazers forged our way to the pass, although we had to climb through around a mile or so on snow.
The first four miles of this hike from the Mt. Baker Highway is uphill but in the trees, shaded and very lush and green. We were climbing about a thousand feet of elevation for every mile, so we didn't go very fast. At somewhere around 4,800 feet we ran into snow most of the rest of the way to the pass. There were a few bare spots, but not too many. It's always a bit harder to walk in the snow, because it often seems you take one step forward and a half step backwards. And it was very sunny!
Once we reached the ridge, we had a spectacular view of Mt. Baker. It was simply stunning in its beauty, and although the temperature had reached the high 70s, the light breeze blowing across the snow helped to keep us cool. We even sat on the snow (with our cool little inflatable pillows) and chose the shade, since it was pretty intense in the sun. The summit is at 5,350 feet and we started at 1,800 feet, so this tells you that we climbed around 3,500 feet from the parking lot to this place.
The glacier lilies that you see in the foreground are only around for a few short weeks after the snow recedes. Although it is early August, we usually have a clear shot by this time of the year to our lunch spot. But not this year. As we chatted about the day, the view, and how glad we were to finally get above 5,000 feet elevation, we realized how fortunate we are to have each other, the place we live, and the chance to do it again and again for the rest of the season, before the snow flies once again. Now that the snow is beginning to recede, we are getting to have our own summer, just now beginning while the rest of the country has been suffering with the heat.
Once we finished our lunch (and yes, that is snow), we headed back down to the cars. It was a very long day, covering almost nine miles up and down during those 3,500 feet of climbing up and down. My back had no problem with the uphill hiking, although I did lean rather heavily on my trekking poles, but on the way back down, I realized that my sacroiliac joint was taking a pounding. Now that I am home, happy and content with a day well spent, I am realizing that a couple of ibuprofen will probably be necessary when I go to bed. Tomorrow I get a massage from my regular therapist, and I'll be incredibly happy to turn over this battered body to her ministrations tomorrow. Life is good.
Hurrah for making it up there! I'm amazed at all the snow, but it's the same in the hills here at home, too. It sounds like a spectacular day of hiking, good companions and fantastic scenery. I'm glad your pain held off, and that you have an appointment tomorrow to ease it even further!ReplyDelete
First...I'd like to thank you for the pictures of the snow...you've cooled me right down, and I now have a new appreciation for the weather we're having.ReplyDelete
Glad your back held out. Hoping you get a good nights sleep. xo
I never saw a pass or a peak I didn't like. Snow at this time of year is a bonus. Hope the back doesn't hurt too much and that you will be totally repaired by next Thur.ReplyDelete
Congratulations on your summit achievement, how proud you must be !ReplyDelete
Those pictures are just wonderful, it's just a different world altogether when you are on top of the world !!
this is you taking care of that back...lol...take those ibuprofen...maybe the view was worth it...but i know you will enjoy that massage tomorrow...ReplyDelete
Congratulations. On two fronts - for making the summit and for being able to do it with you back problems. Wow. Hope the massage tomorrow helps.ReplyDelete
You amaze me! I always avoid going uphill and you head for it. I prefer living vicariously through you.ReplyDelete
This is my first time here but I have seen you around for awhile. Just decided I had enough time tonight to come over and visit and I'm glad that I did. I can't believe that you skydive! That seems like the scariest thing in the world. I seem to have the same problem with my back right now so if you happen upon a cure, let me know. Sometimes I just do the wrong movement and wham! it gets me. We were just in Oregon and the snow there is still so wonderful looking. And here in the Sierras the snow is still around also. What an incredible winter it was.ReplyDelete
What a gorgeous view, that alone would have been well worth the climb. I'm glad your back didn't give you too much of a problem on the hike. Enjoy your massage.ReplyDelete
Just Totally GREAT! You reached the summit by foot and we reached the summit through your blog and stunning photos. Thank u so much. What a wonderful BLOG. SNOW, we are most familiar with, however the site of it makes me fall in love prior to our cold weather coming. I love the fact that we have 4 seasons to enjoy and couldn't imagine being in the heat 12 months - Mix it up and make me happy. Glad ur back is holding up and enjoy your appointment. Thanks n cheers - LillyReplyDelete
I agree, your life is Good, DJan! Knowing how I appreciate walking up my little hills here in the woods, makes me realize what those mountain hikes mst mean to you. Wish I were a new hiker there with you! Glad your sacroiliac joint pain has lessened.ReplyDelete
Despite the back pain, you do sound very happy, indeed. Lovely pictures of your friends and the surrounding area.ReplyDelete
What a beautiful view!! I hope the ibuprofen and the massage will put you right. Looks like your hike was worth it this time--perfect views! :)ReplyDelete
Wow, you people climb. And having lunch in that snow looks like fun. We could use some cool weather here in Florida! Great pics, as always.ReplyDelete
WOW!!! you really are an adventure seeker. Awesome photos too!ReplyDelete
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. You reaped the rewards of trying this hike again. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
Your spirit sounds wonderful but your back seems to have some reservations about how wonderful the day was.ReplyDelete
Perhaps you should give some attention to your back before it decides to check out to find someone who offers better treatment.
I really love the shot where there is both snow and green, so wonderfulReplyDelete
glad you're feeling well enough to hike and happy that you're getting a massage
take it easy out there
Hope sends hugs
Beautiful photos. It amazes me how active you are.ReplyDelete
So beautiful but I still can't wrap my mind around all that snow in summer.ReplyDelete
You really inspire me! Your writing and photography are first rate and your hiking achievements are amazing. I will never forget meeting you and lagging way behind as you and the other Trail Blazers seemed to RUN up Goat Mountain. I also appreciated your giving me a big hug as we gathered in the parking lot afterwards. I think you sensed how disappointed I was to realize that I just could not keep up. Onward and upward!ReplyDelete