Thursday, July 26, 2018

Skyline Divide 2018

Our eight and Mt. Baker
Today we had two separate groups tackling Skyline Divide: a group of nine that left the Senior Center at 7:30am, and the other, a group of eight, that left at 8:00am. We figured this would qualify for us to stay under the wilderness limit of 12, and it worked quite well. When our group got to the trailhead after navigating an awful 12-mile access road, we saw that the other group's cars were there, but they were nowhere to be seen. Our group was led by Jim, that's him on the left in red. A passerby took the picture of all of us.
Pretty lupines and bistort
It was hot and the biting flies were out, not terrible like last year, but still annoying and requiring bug juice liberally applied. On the way to the ridge (where the first picture was taken), we made our way slowly up the switchbacks, unable to stop for too long before the bugs moved us along. A light breeze made it feel better, but on the way up to the ridge, climbing around 2,000 feet, I found it hard and I again lagged behind.
Our leader Jim and Heather in front of Mt. Shuksan
Once we reached the ridge, we decided to meander along it until we felt like stopping. We figured the earlier group would make it the entire 4.5 miles (and another 1,000 feet of elevation) to our usual stopping place. There was a bit of haze as we looked at the mountains, but as we walked along the ridge, with lots of ups and downs along the way, mostly the skies were wonderfully clear, especially when looking toward Mt. Baker.
Mt. Baker with glacier lilies
The glacier lilies only appear shortly after the snow melts, and this picture has plenty of them dotting the landscape in front of Mt. Baker. We had some very high clouds on and off, but none of them were right over us.
Me in front of Mt. Shuksan 
As we wandered along the ridge with no specific destination, I decided to slow down and take it easy. Melanie stayed with me and took this picture of me in front of Mt. Shuksan. It was quite comfortable along here, even with full sun, because of the delightful breeze coming up from the valley below.
An exposed place on the ridge
Sometimes we had to cross over some dicey spots, but they were brief and perfectly do-able, as long as you didn't look down. We had two neophytes who had never hiked Skyline Divide before, and they did fine, but afterwards Marsha said it was only because the rest of us managed it easily that she went across.

We ran into the other group on their way back down, and we stopped to admire the views and share some brownies and chocolate with them. Our group hiked somewhere between seven and eight miles, while the others went the entire distance. Everyone had a great time, and believe me, we'll sleep well tonight!


  1. A well deserved rest Jan. I don’t know how you do it.

  2. It was so hot again today. I would have wilted on that hike, but I do love your views and those glacier lilies!

  3. I like ridge walks. You get a great view and have a good trail.

  4. Despite the bitey beasts it looks glorious. You have earned that good sleep (and wine o'clock).

  5. Such clear skies and beautiful views. Sounds like a perfect day all round. Your reward for those not so nice days.

  6. A marvelous place for a hike, even with the annoying little bugs.

  7. You really had beautiful views of the mountains. And you managed quite well with those bugs.

  8. You are a lovely lady. I enjoy the photos you post when you hike along these beautiful trails. The mountains are breathtaking...

  9. What nice views of your favorite mountains! I am glad you had a good hike and made it off the mountain safely. :)

  10. We hiked that yesterday. Quite awe inspiring when you round the corner and see Mt. Baker, and the lupine was lovely.


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