Until next year Ptarmigan Ridge! - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
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Default Until next year Ptarmigan Ridge!

A few weeks ago a friend and I made plans for a Thanksgiving hike and the decision was made for Ptarmigan Ridge. (his 6th trip this summer and close to the same for me).

A few days before our hike he read online that it was going to be 78 degrees at Mt. Rainier and he wanted to go there but he was still in for Baker. The plan became to meet at Artist Point on Mon. at 11:30 am.

Mon. morning we sent a few text msgs back and forth. He had left his hotel but traffic was heavy. I checked border times and read it would be a 25 minute wait and that it was, not much longer. While sitting in the border traffic I got a msg saying his eta was 1 hr and 20 minutes to Sunset exit. Behind schedule was my thought. No worries. I've been wanting to check out the Wake n Grab Bakery in Glacier. I'd go for an Americano and hang out there for
1/2 hr.

Then while driving past Maple Falls I thought I saw my friends car on the side of the road. Can't be?! I went into his favorite sandwich spot and couldn't see him. Looked around the store. Hmmm... I could think of one other place he might be (in the bathroom). I was just about to go outside when he surprised me. He told me he "flew" the last part of his trip and admitted to getting in the HOV lane. What a brave soul. At least now we could carpool from Maple Falls.

Arriving at Heather Meadows, fall colors were looking good:

At the parking lot things were fairly quiet. Got on the trail and wow. I've been hiking this trail for weeks and the changes have been nothing short of beautiful. Today was stunning with the fiery red fall colors:

Arrived at the junction for Chain Lakes where we were heading left. I always like this spot for a photo of Baker and checking out our trail:

Mt. Shuskan as seen behind us:

Reached the snow and decided to take a shortcut. In the third photo you can see the trail we could have followed:

Arrived up along the next section of ridge. From here I've looked south before and thought, "that's nice" but this particular section of the trail has never meant much to me until this trip. Colors were unbelievable! Andrew and I decided to share a rock and have the first half of our sandwiches. Of course mine was a turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce, cream cheese and the fixing's to celebrate Thanksgiving.

We continued on and couldn't believe how clear all the ridges were. I snapped this pic which I think I now recognize as Nooksack Ridge (ridge in the back). Hiked on the other side of this ridge for Hannegan Peak.

Stopped at our next "viewpoint" for more pictures but seriously, this whole trail has nothing but views the whole way!

Now on the section of trail below Coleman's Pinnacle I couldn't help but snap this one.

Another section of trail. I guess this hike was about "hearing things". We had heard the coolest sound coming from a raven. Then while soaking in the views (again!) Andrew asked me if I heard something. It was like a swishing sound. Yes I heard it. Got up and what to my wandering eyes did appear but skiers! So awesome!

Looking south for goats and seeing how much the little glacier blue tarns had melted:

Turning a bend we can see our final destination. Did I mention how much I love this place?

Scenes from along the way:

Pretty sure this is the Coleman Pinnacle from a different angle unless Coleman's Pinnacle is behind this one. Next year I plan to scramble up this.

More scenes:

The end of Ptarmigan Ridge on the left, above the ledge. That is where we were heading and a perfect date below! haha

The rock section:

Now on the top of the ridge:

The final (ledgy) stretch:

Soaking it up and being goofy:

My Mount Larrabee which I was standing on a week and 2 days previous. Larrabee is in the center:

Having our picture taken together. We had fun with our shadows.

Glacier Peak to the south. We could even see Rainier but Rainer would not have turned out in a photo:

All the pics heading back. About the last 40 minutes of our hike we thought it would be fun to trail run. Not just to beat the darkness (we were prepared with flashlights) but just because. I sometimes do trail running on my own but boy was it fun running with a partner. Lots of laughs. I do think the last group of people on the mtn. thought we were completely nuts lol That's ok. Unless you're a trail runner you wouldn't understand.

This was another great day in the mtns and a memorable Thanksgiving. Unfortunately the gate to Artist Point will be closing soon so this was my last Ptarmigan Ridge hike for this year.

No goats.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 08:33 AM
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I see why you have to keep going back Janice. Lovely!
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 08:41 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Chwk, , Canada.
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A beautiful area that the three of us should check out next year.

...if you're willing to be our "guide" again.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 08:49 AM
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Location: Abbotsford, B.C., Canada.
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quote:Originally posted by Flowing-Brook

I see why you have to keep going back Janice. Lovely!
Wow What a spectacular area, ... you are getting in a whole string fabulous Baker hikes.

Should try to hook up with you if you do more.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 09:04 AM
Headed for the Mountains
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Location: Vancouver, B.C., .
Interest: Hiking, backpacking, skiing, cycling
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I was up there on Sunday and it was very busy but well worth it. It's probably one of the best fall hikes I've done. Especially given that it was shorts and t-shirt weather.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 09:15 AM
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Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada.
Posts: 1,753

Thanks for the TR - best time of the year for that trail, and the weather this year's a nice gift.

Still feels like cheating, though, no slogging through bush or tree roots, just giddy alpine goodness stepping out of the car
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 06:21 PM
Headed for the Mountains
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Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
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Beautiful area, love it. You really got to enjoy some good fall colors!

Was hoping to do this one this year, but with my schedule coming up I doubbt I'll fit a day in before the snow starts a-fallin'. Oh well, maybe next year!
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 07:08 PM
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Location: Powell River, bc, Canada.
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WOW!!!! Well,I can certainly see why you caught the bug! Really beautiful shots lady
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
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Hey Marc: for sure I'll be your guide!

Karl: some of the hikes will be closed off soon but there are still plenty on my list! Not sure if I'll be able to keep up with you as I still remember how you FLEW down Mt. Thom!

Willis: cool to hear that you were there the day before. I didn't need my hoody even after dark.

tu: was thinking of you and your daughter much of the time and looked in the are you had seen the goats. Nothing. Definately nice not to have to bushwack.

Terria: Many on my list for next year as well!

noquitting: yep, I'll have to buy two shirts. I survived Larrabee and I caught the bug, the Baker bug. lol.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 10:24 AM
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That colour is amazing!!
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