Sometime last week, Shadee invited me to a hike to Lake Ann.
I've been wanting to visit that lake for some years now – ever since my hiking friend Paul and I snowshoed to Artist Point two or three years ago, and he pointed to a ridge in the distance and declared ‘Lake Ann is over there, and it's one of the most beautiful hikes in the area'
Last week, Shadee, Terra and I exchanged nearly 100 emails while planning our trip to Lake Ann. How much food to bring, what gear each would bring… the planning is part of the adventure.
I was looking forward to a weekend of pure relaxation – just nice views, clean air and great people. On Friday night, I went through my gear list one last time, and drew up a list of foods we would pick up South of the border.
Saturday Shadee picked me up at my home, and a few hours later we were in Abbotsford, picking up Terra. The drive across the border was uneventful, followed by a stop at the general store in Sumas.
Refreshed, and with packs brimming with food and gear, we were at the trailhead by 4pm. The day's heat was waning, and we diligently began our descent into the headwaters of Swift Creek. It's a beautiful trail – brimming with forest, lush meadows, even a marmot or two sunning themselves on the big rocks below.
look at the haze from the nearby fires...
We were ooh'ing and aaah'ing at the views around us. Many pictures were taken. Before we knew it, we had reached the lowest point of the hike (3,900 ft) and then began the slow ascent to the saddle behind which we would find Lake Ann.
Looking back at where we've been...
The ascent was equally delightful – meadows, creeks, small ferns gracing the talus slopes of our ascent. The trail is ridiculously well-maintained – landscaped even. With each turn on the trail, more mountains revealed themselves. Over here, Mt Baker. Over there, Table mountain. Way over there – Glacier? Look at the beautiful surroundings
A good attitude is important, no matter the ambient heat and sun
look at that clear water...
mr. marmot stands guard
And soon we reached the saddle and, half a mile below us, lay our destination.
a first view of the lake, WOW !
To the left the Curtis Glacier, with its calving seracs. And half a dozen swift waterfalls gracing the rocky slopes of Shuksan.
What a weekend. While the campsite, on Saturday night, was semi-full, there was hardly any sound that could be heard above the rushing waters from the waterfalls, or the cracking of the seracs. Sitting on a rock high above the lake, we shared a fabulous dinner of parmesan side kicks with fresh American lox. Mmmmm !
We retired to our tents – Shadee to her Akto, Terra to her new Tyvek tent (Terra – your tent needs a trail name!) and me to a Marmot tent generously lent to me by Shadee (thank you!!!) The full moon rose behind Shuksan, and illuminated our campground. We took many pictures…
here are our tents: Shadee's Akto and Marmot
and Terra's Terrific Tyvek Tent
what a skookum place to stay - we were tenting on that big rock jutting out into the lake
On Sunday morning, the campers cleared out. Perhaps none of them had a long weekend. Pity. I stayed by the lake and took many more pictures, whereas Terra and Shadee decided to explore, each on her own ridge-walk adventure.
The haze from the fire near Swift Creek came and went. During the weekend, we either had perfectly clear views or, when the wind turned, we would find speckles of ash on our tents or gear.
Later on Sunday, we had a surprise visitor: Hiker Boy dropped by for a short stay. We shared some beer, a wonderful dinner together, and each returned to their tent for a pleasant and restful sleep.
And on Monday morning, it was time to go.
Whereas Hiker Boy left camp at 9am at a fast clip, the rest of us lingered and slowly got ready to leave this little corner of paradise. We broke camp at 10am, and slowly retraced our steps, taking more pictures along the way.
Yet, the return felt much faster than the hike in – and no, it was not the few pounds lighter packs. I was sad to leave – all the lushness and beauty of the Baker area was tugging at my heartstrings.
And, in no time we reached the parking lot – and were surprised and delighted to see Hiker Boy waiting for us… with COLD BEER !!!!
Hiker Boy is a prince of a man !!
We hung out at the parking lot, had beer, and Terra and I crossed the highway to scout out future hiking destinations. We then drove up to Artist Point, to see our trail from a bird's eye view.
Here's a simple diagram of our route:
a trunk full of adventure gear!
What beautiful country! And what great company!
I had the most relaxing weekend, and would not hesitate to hike with Shadee, Terra and Hiker Boy again. Thank you guys for a wonderful, wonderful weekend.
Cheers – C Wall
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