Post by bumknees on Sept 13, 2017 12:14:26 GMT -8
Copper Ridge Loop, North Cascades Nat Park, 8-28-17 to 9-1-17
8-26-17, Drove from central CA to SeaTac to pick up Dan. Stopped briefly at Fort Vancouver, just north of Portland. Stayed in Marysville.
8-27-17, Went to Marblemount to pick up permit & Nat Forest parking pass. We also stopped at the Newhalem Visitor Center, Diablo, Ross Dam & Washington Pass. Stayed the night in Bellingham.
8-28-17, Drove to Hannegan Pass Trailhead. Hit the trail about 10am, temp already 78* and rising, at about 3100 ft of elevation. The trail is on the sun side of Ruth Creek, with good views of the Nooksack Ridge. We have ~1900 feet in elevation gain, to reach the pass. It took us about 3 hours to cover the 4 miles to Hannegan Pass, 5066 ft. At this point, Dan hiked the extra 1 mile & 1000 ft of gain to go up to Hannegan Peak, 6186 ft. Steve headed to our 1st camp at Boundary, a drop of ~600 ft to 4445 ft. Camp was crowded. Many hikers do the Copper Ridge for the outstanding views of the North Cascades, stopping at Boundary, Silesia, or Egg Lake, and dayhike to the Watch Tower at 6260 ft.
8-29-17, Got an early start, headed uphill towards Egg Lake. Great views, but a little hazy smoke. The ups & downs became quite tiring prior to Egg Lake, 2-400 ft a pop, and there were 4 or 5 of them. After a nice break, we started the hump up to the Watch Tower, ~1000 ft. I struggled the last bit, as I neared the top. A nice lady named Molly gave me a bit of a pep talk to help me reach the top. After a long break, pic taking, and watching the resident ptarmigans, we began the 1 mile, 1000 ft drop to Copper Lake. The rest of the trip was almost solitary. Copper Lake, 5265 ft, has a beautiful setting.
8-30-17, Left Copper Lake, descending at first, but then a stiff climb, getting to about ~5500 ft. We now started the real descent, looping around a large slope, and then endless long switchbacks. Fortunately, the Cascade Blueberries were thick the 1st half of the descent, and were a nice distraction. Finally arrived at the Chilliwack River, thick tree cover and multiple braids of the river. We walked on trees to get over the 1st 2 sections, but had to wade the last one to reach the south side of the river, only knee deep, sandy with small cobblestones. One more long mile brought us to Indian Creek Camp, 2352 ft. Had this camp to ourselves. Covered about 8.3 miles today.
8-31-17, Heading to Copper Creek today, slow uphill for 7.3 miles, numerous small creeks and downed trees to negotiate. Some had bridges, and we did one cable car ride to reach the north side of the Chilliwack River. Copper Creek was very nice, shared camp with 1 couple.
9-1-17, Left camp at 7am for the ~1900 ft up that was ahead of us. Steady progress was made, and we got to the Boundary Camp in good time. The climb up to Hannegan Pass went a little slower as I was petering out. After a break, we started the 4 mile, 1900 ft descent to the trailhead. Glad it was downhill, as the last half mile or so was tough. Between being tired and salivating for pizza, we were zombie walking into the parking lot. Total miles today, 7.5, for the trip, ~34.3, up & down, around 8000 ft. Beautiful views from Copper Ridge make this a worthwhile trip. Scenery from the ridge is second to none. Elevation gain/loss was a bit much at our ages. After pizza in Glacier, we drove to the hotel by SeaTac.
9-2-17, Drove home to central CA.