Trip Report: The Enchantments

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Central Cascades, WA, USA

Republished from the WTA website here. Put car snacks in a critter-proof container! We had some nice victory snacks stashed in the trunk at the Snow Lakes trailhead, but returned to find mice had gotten into them! Imagine me, stumbling down the endless Snow Lakes trail, wanting nothing more than chocolate peanut butter cups & white cheddar popcorn, only to have my dreams shattered. Parked at Snow Lakes trailhead then took a shuttle up to Colchuck trailhead. [Read More]

Trip Report: Persis-Index Traverse

Central Cascades, WA, USA

Republished from the WTA website here. Hiked the Persis/Index traverse. Main takeaways: Road is closed for logging 6 miles from the Persis trailhead; consider using a sturdy mountain bike on the approach. Route is completely snow-free in late season, traction/ice axe/heavy boots unnecessary (early season has steep snowfield above 2000 ft cliff). Huge amounts of blueberries mean black bears in area, bring appropriate food storage systems if staying overnight. Consider bringing a lightweight 30m rope as a handline for going up/down one section of steep loose dirt. [Read More]

Trip Report: Heliotrope Ridge

North Cascades, WA, USA

Republished from the WTA website here. Camped up on Heliotrope Ridge for two nights as part of a three-day ice skills class. Hike in wasn’t bad. The big river crossing is doable; recommend trekking poles and a pair of lightweight sandals to change into. Just focus your eyes on a fixed point (not the moving water!) and methodically place your feet as you move across the river. There are a couple of other minor river crossings which are doable with rock-hopping, but very difficult to avoid getting your feet wet so bring appropriate footwear. [Read More]

Trip Report: Buck Mountain

Entiat Mountains, Central Cascades, WA, USA

Republished from the WTA website here. Climbed Buck Mountain via High Pass route, a long winding 16-ish mile approach with some incredible views. Main takeaways: Hiking boots probably fine Never needed ice axe or traction Many water sources along trail Parts of the trail were indistinguishable from the enchantments, with light-colored granite slabs towering over pristine alpine lakes. Great views of Glacier Peak, Clark Mountain (with the Walrus Glacier! [Read More]

Trip Report: Hidden Lake Lookout

North Cascades, WA, USA

Republished from the WTA website here. Summary A very rough road leads to the trailhead. No parking or camping permits required. There is a long middle section with switchbacks through thorny plants without any shade. Water sources are plentiful. Horseflies were annoying. Many flat sites are available for camping, but beware one in an active rockfall area. Snow is easily traversible without microspikes or even trekking poles. There is only one latrine on the entire mountain, which is only easily accessible from the lookout. [Read More]