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.