October 6, 2009

Heliotrope Ridge

Filed under: Hiking, North Cascades — Tags: — geezerwriter @ 11:35 pm
Mount Baker over Coleman Galcier

Mount Baker over Coleman Glacier

Nine intrepid hikers set out for Heliotrope Ridge this morning. The air was clear and cold on our way up the trail and we came upon some snow as we neared the 5000 foot level. Usually it is the creek crossings that give us trouble, but today it was the packed snow and ice on some steep parts that slowed us down. But they didn’t stop us and we made it to the edge of the moraine overlooking the Coleman and Roosevelt glaciers, where we found this view. There was fresh snow on Baker and the sun was behind the mountain, so everything looked fresh and icy blue.

We tried to make it all the way up the moraine to the big knob, but it got pretty steep and dicey so we pulled back to a nice sunny spot for lunch. I wanted to get to the bizarre-looking formation of ice spires that is visible near the upper right of the picture on the right, but had to settle for a telephoto close-up, below.


The most rare and wonderful thing about this hike is to look down on a glacier. The light was hitting the Coleman Glacier at a sharp angle that emphasized the deep fissures and crevasses.

Coleman Glacier

Coleman Glacier

We made it down with some slipping and sliding and one pretty pretty good pratfall, but no injuries. The sun stayed out until we were well down into the woods, but it was pretty gloomy when we got back to the trailhead. Let’s hope the sunny weather returns for the hike to Rainbow Ridge on Thursday!


1 Comment »

  1. thanks for the great picture, Al. I would have gone with you yesterday except that I’m still not strong enough to do long hikes with only a day in between. I wondered where the sun went yesterday afternoon! Glad you had a great hike, and I’m enjoying your blog.

    Comment by DJan — October 7, 2009 @ 12:42 pm

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