Posts Tagged With: North Cascades National Park

Hidden Lake Lookout, Day 2!

Good morning from Hidden Lake Lookout! What a sunrise!!

Three more friends were going to meet us today and the original plan had been for us to hike / ski / roll down to the trailhead to meet them for a group hike up. Fortunately, they got a pretty early start which saved us from going all the way down and back! Douchebag Dave lost his vagina and decided to play house while Zig Zag and I went down to meet the inbound bastards 🙂

I was a bit nervous traversing the east bowl, fearing it would be as icy as my ex-wife’s heart, but fortunately by the time we got there the sun had been on it long enough that it was softening up.

I stopped about half way across and chilled for a bit, just taking it all in. These mountains are truly good for the soul!


Here comes Zig Zag! I hear she cried off most her sunscreen right about here- 😉


I continued across and took a few more pics from the safety of the saddle-


Looking NE towards the true summit of Hidden Lake, elevation 7088″-


The west facing slopes haven’t had much sun on them yet so it’s an icy ski down, but still, a crappy ski beats a good day at the office any day! ^_^


Zig Zag was on snowshoes so I let her follow the track we’d made the day before while I stayed high in search of some decent turns. She snapped these rather cool pics 🙂


Then I got killed in an avalanche…

20160402_103455Ok, ok, I wasn’t really dead! 😉


Then, as Zig Zag was digging me out, she got buried by the murderous slide!


Scary stuff, eh? I still don’t know how we survived!


Anyway, let’s keep going!


A few more turns and who do I spot? The bastards!!! Midnight Rider, Quinnster and Grumpy Cat have arrived! ^_^ I tackled the Midnight Rider in a big bear hug cuz I know how much she LOVES to snuggle, then we headed back in the direction of the lookout. I cut high with Grumpy Cat in tow while the other bastards stuck to the established trail. We made good time to the saddle and chilled there for a bit until the rest of our merry band arrived.

I had regaled the Midnight Rider with tales of the wonderful traverse that awaited her beneath the Hidden Lake Lookout- there you have it!


I was impressed- there was no complaining or talk of turning back. Bastards in the mist 😉


Everyone vag’d up and pushed on! Grumpy Cat was behind me, hoping she could somehow squeeze her fat powder boards into my skinny tracks. Oh, and did I mention she’s just learning to ski? Well, if she lost it she’d just roll down the mountain and PROBABLY be ok… Grumpy Cat broke character and made it across with a smile 🙂


The rest of the miscreants followed; should we tell them to space out so that they don’t all get taken out in the event of a slide? Nah! Ignorance really can be bliss sometimes! ^_^


Douche Bag Dave was waiting for us and much merriment ensued ^_^  Midnight Rider passed out in her goggles and Zig Zag soon joined her, proving once and for all that the former actually doesn’t mind snuggles as much as she lets on.

Someone mentioned having to take a dump and we knew there’s a Spectacular Throne® buried some ~500″ down the mountain, we grabbed shovels and rakes and instruments of destruction and headed down to Alice’s Restaurant, ahem, I mean, the shitter 🙂

I actually completely missed the great shit dig of ’16 because I skied down and totally blew past the battle zone. By the time I skinned back up it was Mission accomplished! (Of course, no good deed goes unpunished to I proceeded to lob snowballs at Zig Zag from a strategic position, because that’s just the kind of friend I am ^_^ )


Douchebag Dave took the crapper for a test run 🙂

20160402_152644Sure as shit beats hauling out blue bags, eh?

Back at the lookout we attended to domestic chores, such as melting snow for drinking water in case the beer and whiskey ran out-


And I prepped the windows in anticipation of another spectacular sunset 🙂


The day was still young so I went off for a wee little ski tour down the south face of the lookout peak. Sweetness! ^_^



Finally the shadows began to lengthen and we prepared for the show that mother nature had prepared for us-


Oh, wait, wrong show! If you’ll pivot 180 degrees away from the moon you’ll be rewarded with an entirely more wholesome view-

It was such a beautiful night that a bunch of folks ended up sleeping outside leaving me to snuggle with the lookout mice.

Sweet rodent dreams! ♥


Categories: Alpine touring, backcountry, camping, Environment, Hiking, Inspiration, mountaineering, mountains, National Parks, Outdoors, randonee, ski, washington, winter | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Winter ascent to Hidden Lake Lookout and Hidden Lake Summit, North Cascades National Park

Couldn’t ask for more beautiful weather or nicer companions for a winter attempt on the historic Hidden Lake Lookout and summit!

We drove up the Sibley Creek Rd until the snow got too deep.


The “Winter route” is a steep mofo! 🙂

Here’s a map a friend sent- to avoid the avalanche danger along the summer route we just followed the shoulder of the mountain straight up to where it intersects with the summer trail around 5800″

The woods were quite lovely tho, we made slow but steady progress upwards and everyone was in good spirits.


Heavy climb with skis on my back but my Gregory Baltoro pack does a good job of distributing the weight. Not the lightest pack out there, but super comfortable and bomb-proof!


Summer must not be far away – first mosquito of the season.


Cheryl and Dave are troopers!

Onwards and upwards! I was happy when I could finally put on my skis!

What a gorgeous day!!

First glimpse of the Hidden Lake Lookout perched precariously on the top of that far off peak:

Took a nice break on a warm rock outcropping near the saddle to soak up the warm sun ☀


Here come Cheryl and Dave!

It was such a beautiful warm sunny day that I ended up losing some layers and working on my tan!


Here’s Dave making a concerted effort to ignore my sexiness 😉


Big smiles with some great friends 🙂


The final obstacle, a dicey traverse across a steep east-facing bowl below the lookout.


I went first on skis and Cheryl and Dave followed on snow shoes.


We made it! Welcome to the Hidden Lake Lookout!


Feels good to dump the pack, get the boots off and enjoy a hot chocolate and Jim Beam! Cheers!


Sunset did not disappoint 🙂

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A final pic of my homies- Cheryl and Dave, before calling it a night-


OK, I lied, one more pic of the three of us cuddled up in the lookout’s little bed-


Good night!

ps. some of the pictures in this post belong to Cheryl and Dave. We pooled all of our pictures in a Google Photos folder and I can’t really be arsed to figure out where each pic comes from 🙂

Categories: backcountry, camping, Environment, Inspiration, mountaineering, mountains, National Parks, Outdoors, randonee, ski, washington, winter | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Independence Day at Hidden Lake, North Cascades National Park, Washington, USA

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” William Shakespeare

Welcome to the Hidden Lake trail!

Hidden Lake Lookout


North Cascades


8.0 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 3300 ft.
Highest Point: 6900 ft.


Not a very long trail, but it’s got some nice vertical!


Gorgeous day- July 3rd, 2015!


Flowers in bloom as far as the eye can see!

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First glimpse of Hidden Lake Lookout, perched in what looks like an impossible spot far above!

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Off in the distance- magnificent Mount Baker!DSC_1285

First look at Hidden Lake!DSC_1287

First look inside the Hidden Lake Lookout!


Built in 1931!!


Surrounded by mountains on all sides!

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A nice library in the lookout- I chose the history of the Mountaineers- a great read!



It was a tough hike up with a very heavy pack- I think I’ve earned this!

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The sun is dropping towards the western horizon and Hidden Lake is quickly in shadow-




Sunset on the Hidden Lake Lookout- DSC_1315 DSC_1316 DSC_1317Edit

Say hello to my little friend 😉DSC_1328 DSC_1329 DSC_1330

Moon over the Cascades!


Moon over the Hidden Lake Lookout!


Good morning selfie 🙂


Time to hit the lake! It’s a lot farther than it looks!

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Amazing blue waters and rugged shoreline of Hidden Lake-

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Chilled in an ice cold mountain stream- no better spot for a picnic and Vitamin R 😉


Hidden Lake selfie 😉


Back to the lookout-


Who needs 4th of July fireworks when you’ve got a sunset like this? ^_^

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Couldn’t ask for nice accommodations!


Cleaned and swept and storm door back in place- adios Hidden Lake Lookout! DSC_1379

Plenty of nice camp spots along the Hidden Lake trail-


Amazing fields of wildflowers and swarms of honey bees and butterflies- paradise!!

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Ripe salmon berries at lower elevations really hit the spot!


The End 🙂
Categories: backcountry, camping, Hiking, Inspiration, mountaineering, mountains, National Parks, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Father and Son in Winthrop, Washington, Summer 2013

We arrived in Wintrop in the late afternoon and enjoyed walking around this quirky little western themed town-

In front of Sheri’s Sweet Shop-

Sheri’s Sweet Shop had a big bucket of sidewalk chalk out front and Kristhawee went to work!

Kristhawee loves to paint and draw- he’d have been happy to spend several hours here!

We had dinner at Three Fingered Jacks, Washington’s oldest Saloon!

(^ not my pic)

Kristhawee was HUNGRY!

Kristhawee made some more sidewalk art after dinner-

Looked like we’d get some more rain so I had Kristhawee put his rain pants back on. Why sit on a bring old chair when you can sit on a saddle!

Little guy talked me into buying him some cotton candy for dessert-

I made him promise he would not spin!!!

Rain was on and off, looked like it might stay dry for a bit and I wanted to get to the nearby Pearrygin State Park and set up camp before dark.

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Father and Son at Rainy Lake, North Cascades National Park, Washington, USA

Today we would ride east over the Cascades to the funky little western-themed town of Winthrop. Here’s the Gorge Dam, the lowest of the three hydroelectric dams that make up the Skagit River Hydroelectric Project-

A bit further on we pulled off at the Diablo Lake overlook to take in the amazing views-

Starting to look like rain…

I’d heard that Rainy Lake was a nice easy hike and very beautiful so we stopped just past the highest point of Highway 20 to stretch our legs with a short hike.

It’s quite chilly up here at ~4900 feet

Beautiful trail to Rainy Lake-

Rainy Lake!


Father and Son at Rainy Lake, North Cascades National Park, Washington, USA

I ask Kristhawee if he wants to go for a swim

It started to rain so we hustled back to the bike. Fortunately our riding jackets are waterproof, so the rain didn’t really bother us.

Rain pants on, let’s go get some lunch in Winthrop!

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My boy is a North Cascades National Park Junior Ranger! ^_^

The following morning we rolled over to the General Store in New Halem and grabbed breakfast at their deli-

Then we went back to the Visitor Center so that Kristhawee could complete his Junior Ranger workbook-

Another ride on the Banana slug

And here’s Kristhawee being sworn in as a North Cascades National Park Junior Ranger!

A shiny new badge! Good job Kristhawee! I’m very proud of you!

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Seattle City Light, Newhalem, WA

On the way back to our campground we stopped at the historic Seattle City Light company town of Newhalem to grab an ice cream and take in the sights-

Kristhawee really dug this old steam engine, which, prior to the construction of Highway 20, was the only way to reach Newhalem!

Kristhawee had a huge ice cream cone, then had me spin him on the merry go round in the town park. Probably not such a good idea!

Yeah, you guessed it, that was a waste of ice cream!

Haha! Poor kid! We chilled at Newhalem for a while until he was feeling better. Early evening and everyone else had already left-

Back at camp Kristhawee was still feeling a bit green and went down for a nap-

I built a fire and enjoyed the quiet relaxing silence of the forest and a six pack of Scuttlebutt Porter

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Hiking the Diablo Lake Trail with my son, North Cascades National Park, Washington, USA

We’ve almost reached the end of the Diablo Lake Trail-

Ross Dam is an impressive structure!

Interesting footnote- Seattle gets close to 20% of it’s electricity from these hydro dams and that’s the primary reason why Boeing first set up shop in Seattle- cheap electricity!

Father and Son near on the Diablo Lake Trail, North Cascades National Park-

We hiked down to the base of the dam where there’s a pretty cool suspension bridge-

With a bit of effort we managed to swing the bridge (probably a bit naughty, but there was no one about)

Boat dock at the base of the Ross Dam-

This looked like the perfect spot for a picnic

There had been a big landslide that blocked the Ross Dam access road and trail and they were in the process of cleaning it up-

Kristhawee filled his hat with pinecones, then started chucking them at me!

It was getting late and it was about 4 miles back to the bike, so we headed back-

This year I brought my MSR water filter and we ended up using it a lot. Much easier than carrying a lot of water, we’d simply refill our hydration packs as needed and there was never any difficulty finding water-

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Hiking in North Cascades National Park with my son, Summer 2013

North Cascades National Park has tons of great hiking trails. I’d asked at the Visitor Center the day before for some recommendations for a good hike for a 6 year old and one of the suggestions was the 3.8 mile (7.6 miles round trip) hike from Diablo Dam to Ross Dam-

A short ride with lots of vertical brought us to the Diablo Dam-

Bright sunny day! Not a cloud in the sky!

Diablo Lake Trailhead! Let’s go!

Kristhawee’s got his bear bell and no, that’s not a bottle of Crown Royale around his neck, it’s a Crown Royale “sleeping bag” for his pet Chipmunk “Timo”

Fantastic trail with lots of shade through dense forest-

We cross ice cold crystal clear streams-

Find a nice spot for a break and a snack-

There are some challenging bits, like picking our way through this massive rock slide-

The higher we go the better the views!

Little guy is motoring along, but getting tired; there’s a fair bit of vertical on this hike and it’s quite warm in the bright sun-

Take a break little guy, we’ve got all day


Watch your step, it’s a LONG way down to the bottom of the gorge!

A bit further and we catch our first glimpse of Ross Dam with Ross Lake behind it-

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Bellingham to North Cascades National Park, Washington, USA

4th of July in Bellingham was nuts! There are signs all over town saying No Fireworks Allowed, but it became evident even before the sun went down that no one follows the rules and everyone was in the mood to blow stuff up!

Add to that the fact that pot is legal in Washington now and it was hard to tell is all the smoke was from gunpowder or ganga. And what a trip to be able to walk down the street past the coppers with a joint in your hand!

Pon stayed home to avoid the mayhem while Dave, Kristhawee and I wandered down to Heritage Park to enjoy the fireworks over Bellingham Bay. It was a fun 4th of July! Happy Independence Day!

I had dropped the oil out of the final drive earlier and it came out nice and clear, so it seems Ride West had finally sorted the Final Drive. Yippee!

It was finally time for us to hit the road! Thanks again Dave and Pon! You guys are awesome!!!

We’re headed to North Cascades National Park! Gorgeous day for a ride!

Through the oddly named town of Concrete and then the little village of Marblemount, Highway 20 follows the Skagit River up into the Cascades-

Welcome to North Cascades National Park!

We pulled off at the Newhalem Campground and found ourselves a really fantastic walk-in campsite deep in the woods and within earshot of the Skagit River-

Set up camp and then we set off for a short hike on the River Loop Trail which would take us to the Visitor Center where Kristhawee could pick up a Junior Ranger workbook-

Always feels good to stretch our legs after sitting on the bike

A very nice trail through thick forest and moss-covered hills-

There would be a ranger talk later in the evening. Tonight’s topic was about Wolves!

Fantastic Visitor Center at Newhalem!

Books, toys, puppets, arts and crafts supplies- a kids paradise!

If you’ve followed our previous adventures you’ll know that my kid loves Banana Slugs. So imagine his joy when he found one he could “ride”

We both learned a lot about North Cascades National Park during our time exploring the Visitor Center-

It was getting late and we needed to head back to camp and cook up some dinner before the Ranger talk-

Discovered a “drinking fountain” that could easily have doubled as a shower

Dinner is served! Yeah, Spagettios with meatballs, I know, pretty terrible, but he simply adores this stuff!

S’mores for dessert!

Kristhawee is still a pyromaniac Like father, like son!

We hiked up to the Amphitheater to catch the Ranger program and I must say I was very impressed! The Ranger was a hottie, and while I would have expected her to be 110% pro-wolf, she actually did a really good job of presenting both sides of the debate. At the end, when I asked Kristhawee if he thought wolves are good or bad he surprised me by answering “Both!” Wow, my kid gets it!!

It was pretty late and time for bed. Last year we read Rudyard Kiplings “Jungle Book” and Kristhawee loved it. This year I brought some other classics- Call of the Wild and White Fang by Jack London. Wow, I forgot how brutal Call of the Wild is… But Kristhawee is pretty mature for his age and quite enjoyed it, though as usual, he passes out after a few pages

Sweet dreams my little prince! We have a full day planned for tomorrow!!

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