Friday, August 11, 2017

Three Sisters Fastpacking

As chance would have it, Mom and I ended up fast packing around the Three Sister earlier this week.  Tuesday night we headed up to Moraine Lake late in the afternoon and spend the evening on the ridge above the lake.  Wednesday we headed around the Three Sister clockwise.  Once we made our way past South Sister, we headed up to Chambers Lakes then proceeded to climb up Middle Sister.  After summiting Middle Sister, we descended down to Arrowhead Lake and continued a few more miles before spending the night at Minnie Scott Spring.

The next morning we continued around North Sister going through Lava fields and later the Pole Creek Fire burn.  This lead to a hot morning, so we were a little thankful when the clouds started to build and blocked out the sun.  After Pole Creek we climbed up to Green Lakes and took cover by the Green Lakes spring for half an hour when we got a little afternoon rain.  From Green Lakes (this is where my camera's battery died) we climbed up to South Sister, then descended down toward Moraine Lake, camping before we reached the lake.

South Sister brought nice views and an unusual emptiness since we were up late in the day.  Our camp below South Sister was fairly nice until we heard some thunder and lighting above and took cover under some trees.  The trees kept us dry, but it wasn't the levelest camp site, which lead to a long night in bivvy sacks.  Friday morning we ran out from Moraine Lake and headed home to Corvallis.  Here's some pictures from out trip.

A couple other notes.  This was a great couple days of training for Mom who is going to run Cascade Crest 100 Miler in a couple weeks!  Hopefully I'll be able to enjoy some more miler up there with her while pacing.  As for me, some of you may know I was planning to run the Bridger Ridge Run this weekend.  Unfortunately I had a bit of a calf/shin injury which has been preventing me from racing.  While a fastpack trip may have seemed foolish with an injury (I thought so myself at times) I think all the slow easy running and hiking actually helped!  I'm looking forward to getting out and enjoying some more long easy miles soon.

Climbing up to Moraine Lake

South Sister

Moraine Lake

The Wickiup Plain

Middle Sister

Lupine and paintbrush

Middle Sister

Heading to Chambers Lakes

The Husband

South Sister

The Climb up to Middle Sister

South Sister and Broken Top

Almost up Middle Sister

South Sister from the top of Middle

North Sister from the top of Middle

North Sister

The Saddle below Middle Sister

Middle Sister

Mt. Washington


North and Middle high above us


Park Meadows

Broken Top

A toad by Green Lakes

Monday, August 7, 2017

Backpacking the Olympics

Whenever we go backpacking I always end of taking a lot of pictures, and usually put less than 10% on my blog.  This time I decided to include a lot more pictures and let them tell the tale of our trip.

Quinault River-1 mile in

Red Huckleberries-lots of berries on this trip including blue huckleberries, thimbleberries, salmonberries, native blackberries, and blackcaps

Big Trees

Hiking through the forest along the Quinault River

Still following the Quinault River on day 2

There were lots of there small bridges on this trip

Mom nearing Low Divide

Looking back down the valley we climbed getting to Low Divide


Glacier Lillies

Lake Margaret

Lake Mary

Full size blowdown

Tiger Lilly

Starting up toward Dodwell-Rixon Pass on Day 3

Tons of Columbine this trip

Jacob on the "trail", the parents are the red specs to the left of him

Looking back down the snowfield leading up the valley

Climbing toward the pass

Almost up

Looking at Dodwell-Rixon Pass

On the Bailey Range

A little pool of water

Snowed in lakes

Looking toward Mount Olympus

Flowers on the Morning of Day 4

Looking down off the Bailey Range

Mt. Olympus

Glacier Lillies

The first Mountain Goat-we probably saw around 10 this trip

Heading along the ridge to Bear Pass

Dad at Bear Pass

"Barkchip" rocks

Onto the snow

Looking down another drainage from atop the Bailey Range

No end of craggy peaks

Looking back across the snowfield we just traversed

Nice cool water



Smoke rolling in from BC-apparently, this fires in BC are also contributing to the smoky air in Corvallis!

The top 2 feet of Mt. Ferry

A smoky evening!  Too bad about the fires

Looking down the ridge we descended on day 5

We got pretty close to this big guy!

Looking back up the ridge.  We dropped off the top a little ways left of the snow

Mount Scott

A bright red paintbrush on our descent to the saddle between Ludden Peak and Mount Scott

Dr. Suess's Truffula Trees (see The Lorax) - I don't know what they are actually called

Dad in the Columbine

Good trail for this section

Some steep off trail scrambling to get around Ludden Peak

Water flowing underground

Some sections of the abandoned Dodger Point trail were not so great

Farther down in the trees, the abandoned Dodger Point trail was in great shape

Old growth and moss

Remann's Cabin

Lots of moss along the Elwha River

Still smoky on the morning of day 6 - that's Dodger Point from below

A salamander

This tree was 650 years old - hope they didn't have to do it with a cross cut!

Starting the climb to Low Divide on Day 7

Lake Mary-the second time

Flowers just over Low Divide
Hopefully you enjoyed the pictures of our trip.  If you are planning trip in the area or are just curious, feel free to reach out with specific questions about the route.