Saturday, September 11, 2010

Marmot Pass

Marmot Pass, which separates the Big Quilcene and Dungeness Rivers, occupies a special place in my heart. It was here that I backpacked with Camp Parsons High Adventure for the first time. Growing up with the skyline of the Olympic Mountains visible from backyard, the Olympics were already in my sight. But it was this outing where my appreciation of this range sunk in even deeper into my skin.

It has been 24 years since I set foot here. There was still ample Indian Paintbrush to color the alpine meadows. As we hiked up Buckhorn Mountain the clouds moved in and out, giving us panoramic views of the mountains that watch over the Dungeness Valley.

The last time I was here most of our group misread the terrain and map, thus heading away from our base camp. We realized our error in good time, allowing us to return to camp and learn from the experience. This time there were not any navigation errors. Only fond memories of the beginning of the path started here.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Round the Mountain: Different Views of Mt Hood

I spent the Labor Day weekend hiking (not backpacking) most of the way around Mount Hood. During each day of the holiday weekend I hiked a 14 mile segment of the Timberline Trail. Day One was from Ramona Falls to Timberline, Day Two from Timberline to Cloud Cap Inn, and Day Three was from Elk Grove to Top Spur. Thanks to the Mazamas I was able to spend the night at their lodge with a hot shower, hot meal, and a roof over my head.

Here is our route.

I gained a better appreciation of the geography of the area surrounding Mt Hood. I also got to see how the landscape varied. Here are some different perspectives of Oregon's highest mountain.

From the Southwest: Paradise Park

From the South: Timberline

From the Southeast: The Newton Clark Glacier from Laberson Butte

South View: Cooper Spur

Northest View: From Cairn Basin