Thursday, July 19, 2018

Church Mountain summit

Cathy on top of the summit
Today, fifteen Senior Trailblazers met to complete the second half of our two-week destination. Last week ten of us went to Heliotrope Ridge, while the other six went off to the summit of Church Mountain. Today, those who went to one, went off to the other this week. This way, we can stay within the wilderness limits of 12. We had eight going off to challenge the summit of Church Mountain. Cathy had never been to the top before, so she is celebrating here.
Jim in front, Dave, Bob and Cathy behind
I took this picture just before we emerged into the meadow on our way to the top. After weeks of hot and dry weather, we had low clouds and cool temperatures, which thrilled me, but with the hope that before we got to the summit, the clouds might clear off for a great view. Results were mixed.
Al and Peggy entering the meadow
But oh! the meadow, which had been covered with snow when we were here a month ago, is now filled with greenery and flowers everywhere. Although we couldn't really see the view, we were able to hike in perfect temperatures, with a clear path to the summit.
Heather in bloom
We saw magnificent patches of heather in full bloom, both pink and white, and the clouds, as you can see here, continued to obstruct our view for most of the day. We met people coming back from the summit who said they hoped we'd have better luck with the view than they did.
Stream crossing
By the time we crossed the stream in the meadow, some decided to stay here and enjoy a leisurely lunch, while most of the rest of us decided to try for the summit. Now, I realize when I speak of the "summit," it's not the true summit of Church Mountain, but the place where the lookout was once, long ago, placed. I've never truly been the rest of the way, because it's way beyond my comfort level. That said, the rest of us began our slow ascent to the lookout.
Trail to the top
We had a few, very few, snow patches to cross, and they were negligible, so with mostly cool weather, we climbed at a steady pace. Those who were faster when on ahead, but Cathy, Jim, and I all got there pretty much at the same time.
Bob coming down from the summit
Bob and Dave were just coming down from their trip to today's final destination, while the rest of us were just beginning to climb it. Behind Bob you can see that there is some tricky climbing to get there, but we were determined. Dave decided to come back up with us, which made us feel a little bit safer. We ate our lunch up there.
Largest snow field we crossed today
And then it was time to head back to the meadow to rejoin the rest of the group. You can see Bob and Dave crossing the snow field ahead of us. Once we got across this, it was pretty much an easy trip to the meadow.
Sparse view of our mountains
And we never really got the view we hoped for. While on the top, it was completely socked in, but as we descended we got a few glimpses of our beautiful mountains. In 2013, several of us made it to the top, and our views were spectacular. You can see them here. It has been five years since I last was there, and it was lovely to realize that I can still climb that far.
Tiger lily
So after a long climb and descent of nine miles and 3,800 feet of elevation, I can truly say I earned my wine, and that I am still, even though I'm getting up in years, able to climb to the top! It was a great day with great friends, and we stopped for ice cream afterwards, making it a perfect day in every respect.


  1. What a pretty Lily! Glad you had a great hike, good to know that you still have "it" after five go gal! :)

  2. Socked in must be an aeronautical term. I used it in the north when reporting weather. Now we just say over cast. Anyway, keep on climbing.

  3. It sounds, and looks, like an amazing day. And you definitely deserve that wine.

  4. Perfect! Despite the cloud cover! You should be proud of yourself!

  5. Beautiful! I love joining you on these hikes - virtually!

  6. The mist actually adds a lovely touch around the slopes. Beautiful shots!

  7. From snow before to mostly green and flowers. Looks like it was a great trek! :)

  8. Like Cathy's "king of the world" pose. I am still a little shocked when you come across a patch of snow. Nice to know it is still cool enough for that somewhere.

  9. Looks like you saw many different stages of growth and bloom in those 3000 feet! That's an impressive accomplishment.

  10. Glorious trek. As always. I would have had my lunch after a few hundred feet!

  11. Good to have calcium (ice cream) for those bones of yours. LOL.

  12. Although you may not have had the views, I'll take cool, foggy weather with lots of greenery and flowers any day.


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