The plan had been to do something easy going - Winchester Mountain from Twin Lakes then Bearpaw later on. Checking in at the Ranger Station in Glacier the lady informed me Canyon Creek Road (Bearpaw access) was still closed for repair from a landslide but should be reopened within the month. The Mount Baker Ski Area became plan B as there are a cluster of peaks nearby with good trail access.
Parking at a lot above Bagley Lakes I drop down a bit and then follow the pleasant and well graded trail up towards Herman Pass. From there I leave the trail and ascend semi-open slopes with pauses to turn around and gaze southwards at something large.
Mount Baker. Iceberg Lake below.
Reaching the ridgeline I pull out my broad map to see what is what. Mazama Dome is close by but Mount Herman is the highest thing in the immediate area and that's where I want to go first.
Herman from it's connecting ridge with Mazama.
Descending to the col on heather is fine then the fun begins as I start up Herman's southwest ridge and my easy going trip becomes a trying at times scramble. There's plenty of trees/bush, blocky boulders and a bit of route finding. Nothing above class 3 but progress was slowed as I deviated from one side of the ridge to the other many times.
The upper left part opened up with some boulder hopping then I gained better ground where I decided to climb the tower where this ridge and the upper ridge connect. Once done with that I continued over the next knoll but was forced to back track down the eastern side due to a large notch separating it from the main summit.
Table Mountain at left with Mazama Dome at right. Taken from the tower at the top of the southwest ridge. Approach trail to Herman's Saddle visible below.
The route to the main summit didn't look a picnic either but did look like a lot of fun with minor bush, heather and dirt ramps along with more blocky rock.
Herman south side approach. My route went basically up the middle.
I felt like I had to earn this peak and thus felt well satisfied when I reached the summit of 1920m with it's US Survey marker. I was a little surprised that a mountain this close to a well visited area did not have any kind of established trail going to it.
Northern view with McGuire far rear left, Tomyhoi centre left, The Border Peaks and Larrabee, Pleiades and Slesse centre with Goat Peak's twin summits at right. A sub summit of Herman near left.
Herman summit shot.
Packing up I descended from the summit following a few small cairns I'd placed then dropped a little lower below the notch to traverse around the knoll to reach the upper southwest ridge. After descending the boulder field open slopes looked good so I went that way (south slopes) downwards (this would make an easier way up from the trail by leaving it a little before reaching Herman's Saddle). Things were steep but no problems and I contoured over to more boulders and a patch of snow where I topped up my water bottle, side-hilled for a while then ascended to reach the pass between Mazama and Herman at the base of the latter's southwest ridge.
Looking up the start of the southwest ridge from the pass.
Going up from here I go by where I'd originally gained this area and continue upwards to the summit of Mazama Dome which is 1780m.
Mount Herman from Mazama Dome.
Iceberg Lake below is near where I'm heading next.
Leaving the summit I backtrack then descend slopes back to Herman's Saddle, the trail and people. I follow the trail down to where it goes between Iceberg and Hayes Lakes. A young lad was hanging about who had camped and I asked him how the water was in Hayes. A good recommendation from him had me dump my pack, strip down to underwear and dive off some rocks into a chilly but very refreshing body of water.
I was in the process of drying off and thinking of getting changed when a bunch of people showed up and came down to join me (I'm wearing boxers at least and not tighty whities). Retreating from there more people show up but I finally find a place to change up then relax for a few minutes talking to the boy and his parent/guardian.
Hayes Lake and one of the other people floating in it.
Continuing on I pass by the shore of Iceberg Lake where some girls are fishing then reach some meadow areas where a creek is utilized for water.
Iceberg Lake with Mazama at left, Herman's Saddle in the middle and part of Table at right.
The trail starts to rise gently now and I pass a few families coming downwards as I keep an eye out for the branch trail that will get me to Table Mountain. I might have missed it but I did see one trail that was decommissioned so I kept going and ended up at the Ptarmigan Ridge junction where I chatted with some more people and enjoyed the views of Shuksan.
Deciding to gain Table from the trail near Artist Point I follow the ridge trail that way. Passing a couple of people and a dog my name is said and it's GM (Grant) and we chat for a few minutes. I ask him about Table access and he gives me a pointer or two then we continue our respective ways.
Soon I see a branch route which I follow up to a well travelled trail that switchbacks up to the very broad Table plateau where a couple of ladies are sketching the vistas. Blueberries are consumed as I continue across. One view point looks down towards some small tarns where I could here a couple of kids and get a look towards the peaks I'd done earlier in the day.
Mazama and Herman beyond the plateau.
A quick scramble and I'm trying to figure out which point is the highest. Near a couple of small tarns seems about right (1750m) then I wander southwards a little to take a break with a nice view of Shuksan.
Late afternoon by now as I recross the plateau to just above where the trail starts down and get a view back to where it all started.
Bagley Lakes below with Goat at left and Sefrit along with Nooksack Ridge leading to the right.
Artist Point with a nice backdrop.
Plenty of people wandering around looking at the views and picking blueberries as I hike down to Artist Point. From there I walk the road briefly then leave it to follow a rough trail that joins with a nice trail which goes back to the Bagley Lakes parking area.
People here too so I don't crack open a beer here but enjoy a "Throwback" Pepsi instead (made with sugar and not glucose-fructose). Further down the road at a pullout I have the beer then it's back to the border where like on the way down there's no wait and I'm soon back at my parents place planning the next days trip as the great summer weather is about to come to an end.
Map of routes.
1. Northern view from Herman.
2. Shuksan from Mazama.
3. Herman from Mazama.
4. Shuksan in black and white.