Summer on Ptarmigan Ridge - Aug 21/2013 - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Abbotsford, BC, Canada.
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Default Summer on Ptarmigan Ridge - Aug 21/2013

Thank you to bc2skier for inspiring me to take advantage of a sunny summer day (hopefully we'll get a few more before fall sets in!) to make a trip to Ptarmigan Ridge. I had hiked the ridge five times before, always in the fall; this was my first time in summer and it easily surpassed my previous visits.

Everyone that has been up there is impressed by the amazing views that start on the drive up the winding mountain road, continue in the parking lot and never end along the entire length of this brilliant alpine trail. Outbound, Mt. Baker and Coleman Pinnacle keep getting closer and closer; inbound, Mt. Shuksan with its hanging glaciers dominates.

After a stop at Picture Lake, my friend and I got on the trail from Artist Point at 10 a.m. As bc2skier said in her TR, there are still lots of wildflowers, some in large carpets, on the tundra between Coleman Pinnacle and Camp Kizer.

Near the deep blue tarn down in the basin, there was a large herd of mountain goats taking their lunch-time nap. Most of them were still soaking up the heat of the rocks, while some had already moved onto the snow. When we returned in late afternoon, they were napping again, but this time all of the goats were lying on the snow field to cool down.

We had to negotiate numerous snow fields, but most were not problematic (my microspikes stayed in my pack); crossing some steeper, and potentially hazardous, snowy slopes was avoided by scrambling up rocks.

We had lunch above still snow-bound Camp Kizer, then went up another mile of rocky trail to its end at 6450 ft (1996 m), eye level with the summit of Coleman Pinnacle.

On our way down the mountain, I was thinking of Janice, Kelly and Co. who were driving up to hike the ridge after work. I think you had enough time/day light to get to where the goats were. It must have been special to hike out in the light of the full moon, even though Janice could probably do it blind-folded. I would love to see your pictures.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 09:05 PM
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Great pictures, looks like you had an awesome day out.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 10:21 PM
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Gorgeous! we tried for Ptarmigan last weekend, but when we got to the trailhead the clouds/fog was so low, so we opted for Lake Ann instead --- good choice that day.

Glad to see you had beautiful weather an what looks like a wonderful day.

Susanne
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 10:22 PM
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Great hike! I did it one day earlier. Same stunning scenery and goats (although I saw only 18 ... almost 30 in greyowl's picture!) plus some funky clouds. Excellent effort/reward ratio (amazing views all the way on a smooth trail without much elevation change).

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-23-2013, 06:05 AM
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Great photos, this is a great hike, brings back many memories.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-23-2013, 07:26 AM
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Great trip Hedda and nice to hear you were thinking of us! What kind of zoom do you have on your camera? Your shots of the goats are way better than mine. Either they were closer or you have a better zoom? Fun to see them isn't it? Seems like they are always there!
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-23-2013, 07:35 AM
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oh btw. I asked Kelly if he is going to post a trip report and he said he is. I'm pretty sure we all got some amazing photos and timed things perfectly. Started our hike at 7:20 and got back to the parking lot around 10:30.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-24-2013, 01:54 PM
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Very nice- lovely pics And goats too!
Tried to get up there yesterday, but the clouds were having none of it, so ducked down into the sunshine at Chain Lakes instead.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-24-2013, 02:51 PM
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magnificent shots. we've never done this one before, must give it a try for sure. Thanks for the great pics
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-26-2013, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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quote:Originally posted by Kanike

Great trip Hedda and nice to hear you were thinking of us! What kind of zoom do you have on your camera? Your shots of the goats are way better than mine. Either they were closer or you have a better zoom? Fun to see them isn't it? Seems like they are always there!
My camera (and I'm not particularly fond of it as it is bulky for a point-and-shoot) is a Canon PowerShot A650 with 6x optical zoom and 12.1 Mega Pixels. The reason my goats look closer than yours is that I cropped the photo.

Btw, where's Kelly's TR? I sure would like to see your pix.
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