Twelve Senior Trailblazers headed out for another "extra" hike yesterday, this time to Cascade Pass and Sahale Arm, a pretty long drive. We decided not to go on Monday because of the weather, and it turned out to be a very good call. We learned from several hikers we met on the trail that the day before was white-out conditions and nasty weather up here in the High Country. You can see new snow on the mountains in the picture above, along with the beginnings of fall colors in the foreground.
Early in the morning as we began our hike, we saw the remnants of yesterday's snow on the peaks and some low clouds; otherwise the skies were perfectly clear. It was also cold; the temperature was in the forties and cold enough for us to stay bundled up most of the day. We climbed up 33 switchbacks to Cascade Pass, where we met a forest ranger and several other hikers. And a bit of wildlife, although this marmot was obviously foraging where he knew he might get a snack from the hikers; he was almost within arm's reach.
The views were absolutely stunning. Although we weren't exactly warm, by the time we reached the Sahale Arm to continue upwards, the wind began to blow hard enough to cause us to pull out gloves and warm hats, along with parkas, if we were smart enough to bring one. The picture below is of Johannesburg Mountain, the only one I know by name. Its grandeur continued to cause me to stop and admire it often as we gained altitude.
You can see that as the day wore on, more clouds formed in that brilliant blue sky. Every time the sun disappeared, the temperature dropped as I shivered and wished I had brought more warm clothes. Some of the hikers went on up the Arm and gained a full 360-degree view, but I along with half the others stopped short of that spot. We could see Doubtful Lake below us as we enjoyed our lunch.
It's rare for me not to include more pictures of my fellow hikers, but the view on this incredibly beautiful trek caused me to forget to incorporate people into my shots. I did get this pretty nice one of Al, however.
We were all happy and tired as we headed back to the trailhead, ready to make our way to Annie's Pizza Parlor outside of Concrete. By the time we reached the cars, we had covered nine miles (or eleven if you made it all the way to the top) and more than 2,500 feet of elevation gain and loss. Our high point was at 6,200 feet of elevation, so it's not only a pretty good hike, it was much higher than our usual hikes. Here's another people shot as we headed back down, showing the trail we followed.
All in all, each of the Trailblazers agreed that it was one of the best hikes of the season, and Al received many compliments for his decision to change both the date (from Monday to Tuesday) and the destination to this one, a real delight for us all. Now on to Skyline Divide tomorrow!
Wow, how grand it was! I love it! I would have been happy hiking there, myself. I hope Mike didn't wear shorts, being the nutty guy he is! Did you enjoy the pizza?ReplyDelete
beautiful! your first shot is crystal clear, full of color, absolutely GORGEOUS!!! postcard perfect. the marmot is too cute!ReplyDelete
(and now you've got me craving pizza!)
wow would love to visit that lake...you got snow yesterday....too crazy...that is like a big groundhog? sounds like a fun dayReplyDelete
Gorgeous terrain, and I love the name "Doubtful Lake."ReplyDelete
Look at the color of the water in Doubtful Lake..beautiful..but such a long way down.ReplyDelete
snow..I suppose..it was almost cold enough here last night to snow.
Beautiful views! Have a good hike on Thursday! :)
Your hikes are like a lovely dream come true. I had to look twice at the marmot to know what it was!ReplyDelete
Wow! You are intrepid. Your group should come to NH and climb Mt. Washington. Seriously. It's about an 8 hr hike (so I'm told) and the vertical is just under 4,000'. Weather conditions can become very extreme so Summer is the safest time though you have to prepare for all conditions. Fall is the prettiest however!ReplyDelete
As always beautiful pictures of the magnificent scenery. I've never seen a marmot. It looked to be so close to you. I am amazed a wild animal would be so curious.ReplyDelete
What an incredible view of Doubtful Lake you had. Amazing countryside DJan.ReplyDelete
Maybe next year.ReplyDelete
Always cool to look down on a mountain lake as you think you could take a great leap and land in the water. Whether you survive is another problem.ReplyDelete
Doubtful Lake: you gotta love that name! Is it doubtful because you're whacked out from the altitude or the hike or the magnificent views?ReplyDelete
That critter is...odd looking!
So jagged are those peaks!!! Beautiful...snow and all. And I'm not a snow person. That lake, such a deep, rich turquoise. Absolutely beautiful.ReplyDelete
It's hard to fathom that the day before was nearly a 'white out' situation. It's hard to fathom that that kind of mountainous weather is quickly coming up.
Fantastic post again DJan. I so enjoy hiking with you from my chair.
WoW DJan - I am so impressed with the beauty in your photos, especially the jagged peaks and solid wall you viewed on your climb. I guess its that time of the year to think about warmer clothes on or in your back pack. This was indeed the climb of the season and chilling to think of the snow that will come shortly. It amazes me how quickly the weather can change when you are hiking in the mountains. Would all of you be prepared to spend the night or do you think about those things?ReplyDelete
Also, like the new photos of you on Blog. You have such a great smile and warm, friendly face. Have a great day.
I don't think I have ever seen a marmot!!ReplyDelete
I was thinking someone brought their shaggy dog on the hike
I need to get out more ;)
Oooh and aaah. I so love your hikes. And Doubtful Lake is a wonderful name. Johannesburg Mountain is spectacular. Wow. And wow again. Thank you.ReplyDelete
I also thought the marmot was a dog--lol!ReplyDelete
What a beautiful, clear, crisp day. I love the pics in your header, too. BTW. You have a smart leader. :)
Enjoy your meeting with the sky. ;)
A delightful adventure by all accounts.ReplyDelete
And the Marmot might BE a snack for any nearby Bear.
One word: spectacular!ReplyDelete
Oh my goodness, you have been one very busy lady this week DJan. The marmot is cute and looks like he's expecting a snack in return for the photo. Beautiful photos.ReplyDelete
Dear DJan, thanks so much for sharing your hike with me. Those sheer mountains are magnificent. And I'd never before seen a marmot. When I looked at the picture, I thought I was looking at some kind of sheep dog with really long fur. The photographs were so sharp and clear as they always are here on your blog. Sky, clouds, mountains, snow, lakes--all so beautiful. Peace.ReplyDelete
Wow! I just love all these photos, but that marmot really made me perk up. The coloring is so different and beautiful. What a terrific capture.ReplyDelete