RubiKon Adventures

Tales and travels of "GrizzLee", "Looksha Lori" & "Yukon Johann"

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Peggy's Pond, Mt Daniel and the Pacific Crest Trail

Newtons First Law: A body in motion tends to remain in motion unless acted on by an outside force - Man as Machine

A week after from returning from the Yukon, Johann and I went on an exploration trip of sorts. Having hiked around Mt Daniel and seeing its summit from afar, it was time to get up close and personal with the Mountain. After all, it is the highest peak in Washington States King and Kittitas county. It's north flank draped in glaciers. 

Unfortunately, we made a half-hearted attempt to summit and we took the wrong route up. We did however, have a great hike and vow to return to summit this peak before years end.
Cathedral Rock
The trip begins with a rough ride up past Salmon La Sac on a rough road featuring stream crossings and numerous mud puddles. For this we were rewarded with views of Cathedral Rock.
Yukon Johann & Kamiah at Squaw Lake
Over an hour later we found ourselves reflecting in the wonder that is Squaw lake.
Kamiah Enjoying a Dip in the Lake

Our First Wildlife Sighting

Looking Pretty Good in the Late Afternoon Sun

A Snow Covered Lake Near the PCT

As we neared the Pacific Crest trail (PCT), the late mountain spring snow had not yet melted out. In fact, parts of the PCT were still impassable to horses.
Late Night Moon Serenade
We finally made camp at Peggy's Pond, which was still frozen over. As the sun went behind the mountains, it got pretty cold really fast.
During the night, despite having cloudless blue skies all day long, it got foggy. It was near a full moon. During the night, I awoke and saw that it was very light out. In my curiosity, I stepped out of the tent and tried to take photos of the moon through the veil of fog. A bit fuzzy, as I had no tripod. But they look pretty nice nonetheless.
Foggy Conditions
10:00 am View from Camp
The net morning, this was the view outside our tent.
Yukon Johann & Kamiah Prepping for the Ascent
We took off heading for the valley. We should have taken the ridge shown here on the right.
Kamiah : "Hey, how come I don't have sunglasses"

View from the valley floor looking back form where we came

The Summit of Mt Daniel (one of them).

Look closely, you can make out 2 climbers on the snow field

A late forming lake in a cirque

Close up of the turqois colored lake

Yukon Johann & Kamiah Enjoying the views

Despite being in the snow, it was very hot.

Fresh stream water to Refill our water bottles

Johann posing in the hot sun

Cathedral Peak and Peggy;s Pond (still frozen)

Almost back to our camp

See our tent on the bank of the pond?

This is a view of the climbers path to Peggy's Pond

Deep Lake in the valley below us

Near the Pacific Crest Trail (Cathedral Rock in the Background)

A boy and his dog
This exploratory trip was fun. Upon returning home, we read about the proper route to the top (there are actually 3 routes... some easier than others) and also discovered that many folks make this climb in one long arduous day. Despite the heat, the hike wasn't that strenuous and the climb should be easily donw w/o crampons or ropes. An ice axe is really needed to climb any of the routes due to the exposure on the snowy slopes. We will be back,hoepfully before winter to summit.

Until Next Time.... 
Side note.... GrizzLee has since cracked one of his ribs. Making a return trip less likely :-(

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