Added by Hali Kippola
Amazing 360 views of the Cascades, Olympics, and Puget Sound. Distance: 4.1 miles (8.2 miles roundtrip). Elevation gain: 3900ft.
Arriving in the dark, we got layered up with our headlamps on to conquer the trail. After trekking about 10 minutes, the group stopped to layer down.
The trail continued on for a couple miles in the same fashion, switch back after switch back. Views were limited as it was still dark with the moon barely shinning through the trees. Once the monotonous switch backs ended, we hit a small waterfall, and the snow and ice started. Not too deep, but we decided crampons/ YakTraks were a good idea. The trail continued up with a few less switchbacks to a small frozen creek bed.
After this we finally hit the snow, still going through switchbacks, the sky started to light up and the outlines of the peaks in the distance started to show. It wasn't very much further to a small ledge just below the peak. We stopped here to ensure we didn't miss the sunrise. Snapped some great picks, packed up, and headed upward.
The "trail" to the peak was pretty steep, but the views were so phenomenal, most of us didn't notice. At one point, you could look down and see the Big Four Ice Caves, they looked so small!
Once we got to the top, our breaths were immediately taken away. The view was out of this world. Magical. Views of the Glacier and Sloan peaks, Mount Pilchuck, Mount Baker, a hikers dream. I will hands down say, to date, this is the most majestic hike I have ever done.
- Hiking boots
- YakTraks (or some sort of winter traction device)
- Poles (a must in the snow)
- Snow shoes
- Hand warmers
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