Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ptarmigan Ridge 2015

Mt. Shuksan behind the trail to Ptarmigan Ridge
Thirteen Senior Trailblazers got together this morning to enjoy a beautiful sunny day on Ptarmigan Ridge. When we all finally got together at the Glacier Ranger Station, we sent our four Super Hikers off to start ahead of the rest of us, since they were all in a car together and raring to go. That left nine of us to make our way along the ridge. I have to tell you, the picture above surprised me with what looks like a mountain sprite right in the middle. I don't know what it is really, but that's my story: a mountain sprite. The clouds were absolutely beautiful all day long.
Haze looking towards Baker Lake
The weather couldn't have been better, and we headed from Artist Point off to the ridge, admiring all the wonderful sights and enjoying a light breeze and cool temperatures. While we were looking off in the distance, we spied some mountain goats! I took this picture with my camera, using the zoom all the way out.
Mountain goats basking in the sun
We stopped for a clothing adjustment just before we got to Ptarmigan Ridge, and we remarked that it was just the kind of weather where as long as you were moving, you only needed light clothing, but once you stopped for any time at all, it felt cool with the breeze. Perfect hiking weather!
Linda, Al, Peggy, Ward, Kirk, Chris (Mt. Baker behind)
As we made our way along Ptarmigan Ridge, we saw plenty of other people on the trail, even though it's Thursday and school is back in session around here. But this is the last sunny day we are expected to have for at least a week. It was just delightful as we made our way to our lunch spot.
Haze (from fires?), sky, and shrubs turning color
I thought this picture turned out to be my very favorite of all I captured today. Interestingly, on the way back, all that haze was gone and the skies had cleared completely. I'm not sure if the wind direction changed, or what caused the difference. Earlier, I was thinking we were seeing the change between sunshine and rain, but now I'm not so sure at all.
Heading toward the Mt. Baker portals
 As we made our way towards our lunch spot along the ridge, the clouds thickened and the temperature dropped. We kept going, knowing that we had gained the majority of the elevation and just needed to stop at an appropriate place and have lunch. We expected that the Super Hikers were probably already on the top!
Rich, Doug, Dave (Roger took the picture)
I just received a set of pictures of Doug, who told me that they had lunch at the West Portal on the way to Mt. Baker. Can you see how close the mountain is to this spot? The rest of us stopped well short of the portals, and enjoyed a very nice lunch but noticed how cold it seemed. We turned around a little after 1:00pm to start our descent. This is an out-and-back hike, and we could only speculate where the Super Hikers might be. (We ran into them at Grahams when we stopped for ice cream.)
Our trail and M. Baker behind
What amazed all of us is how what seemed to be weather moving in just seemed to depart in an instant! When I looked back at the trail we had just covered, every single cloud in the sky was departing, with only a clear blue sky accented by a stiff breeze.
Jacqueline and me
Carol took this picture of Jacqueline and me, and although it was taken before our lunch (as you might notice from the clouds), I wanted to end this post with a picture that included me! The hike was around eight-ish miles in total (the Super Hikers added at least another three), with around 1,500 feet up and down (nothing like last week), but now I'm sitting in my chair, writing this post, and hoisting my wine glass to a simply wonderful day and wonderful friends!


  1. oh, those beautiful views and blue skies! the smoke/haze and the snow/ice you can keep! :)

  2. What lovely scenery! Glad you had such a nice day to go hiking!

  3. How beautiful. And I am so glad that the mountain sprite blessed your day.

  4. Your guardian angel is never far away. What beautiful weather for hiking.

  5. My sister in Colorado, we just talked on the phone this week, and she told me that the smoke from forest fires in your area, Utah, Idaho, etc. was really making HER sky hazy. Hmmmmm. Hope this all ends soon.

    The weather sounds perfect. I'm not so sure I'd sit on a snow bank for lunch tho. lol And the scenery is spectacular as always.

    UFO...I say it's a ufo. lol

  6. Wow, these are beautiful images and views from your hike. I hope the fires go out soon, maybe rain on the way. Lovely post. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

  7. Some beautiful blue-sky pictures there. But I can't believe you get up to snow level. Sounds sensible to me to let the super-hikers go on ahead, good idea.

  8. I liked ridge walks although I notice on this one you're on the side with a good trail.

  9. I am glad you did not have hot, humid weather to deal with on this hike. The scenery and skies were very pretty to see.

  10. Looks like a great hike. But be careful ... it looks like you have to be awfully sure-footed out there!

  11. It looks like a beautiful day, DJan. But I have to wonder... have you'all ever been caught out on a trail when a real storm blew in?

  12. You certainly get to enjoy breathtaking scenery. Nice to see all the bare arms.
    Loved the sprite.It seemed to be watching over you.

  13. Mountain goats! How cool is that? It's also a fitting metaphor, I think, for you hardy hikers.

  14. Such a pretty hike! That is a great photo of you and Jacqueline! It doesn't look as dry there as it has in some of your other recent hikes:)

  15. You got some wonderful photos on this hike. I just saw some of these and another beautiful one on Facebook.

  16. I'm laughing out loud as I agree with Hootin Anni, cept I think it is an Alien Ship disguised as a cool cloud. I love the sky and shrubs photo and happy you got in the post too. Neat hike with beauty all around you.


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