|Notice that Al is leading once again|
|Climbing higher, we could see Railroad Grade|
We ran into many groups who are actually going to make camp tonight and attempt to climb Mt. Baker tomorrow. They were carrying full packs and heading up to the climbers' camp on the far side of the Grade. We were just wanting to climb upward until it was time for lunch.
|The final push to the knife edge|
You can tell the ones who were not with our group in this picture, because are carrying much more supplies than we did. Two of them are right at the top of the edge, while we made our way up behind them.
|The knife edge along Railroad Grade|
It's hard to describe what it feels like to reach this spot, because on one side you climb up a steep slope, and on the other you reach a sheer drop-off into a deep moraine scoured out by an ancient glacier. You hear the sound of the water rushing at the bottom before you can actually get a feel for the immense open space on both sides.
|Starting back down the Grade|
After we had gone a fair distance along the knife edge (which only has a few really scary spots), we decided that the view was not getting any better, and we made our way back to the safety of the trees to have lunch.
|Our lunch spot|
You can see the nice protected spot where we chose to have our lunch before heading back down. And from our clothing, you can probably surmise that we weren't exactly bathing in sunshine. Yes, it's true: the sun never made an appearance on the entire trip today. I went looking for a picture to show you what the day was like.
|Mountain ash berries covered with moisture|
Yes, you might be tempted to call that heavy mist rain, but we were certainly not going to. After we began our downward trip, it never got any worse, but it wasn't until we were almost in sight of the cars at Schreiber's Meadow before we saw our shadow. By the time we drove back the 65-mile-long return trip, the sun was completely out.
On the plus side, we had perfect hiking conditions, covered around 7-and-a-half miles and went up and down around 2,000 feet of elevation, making it pretty darn wonderful, even if we never saw Mt. Baker today. And the company could not have been better! Now that I'm home, my wine only half finished, and my post complete, I can say it was definitely a great day!