Heliotrope Ridge May 27/18
A FINE SUPER BLUE BIRD DAY.......
Original destination was Artist Point, but highway closed due to some kind of special race which used the highway. Everything past turnoff to Canyon Creek road was blocked, so we attempted Canyon Creek Road to access Excelsior and Damfino Lakes, but slide at 9 to 10 km not repaired and still blocking this road.
So We settled on Heliotrope Ridge hike, which turned out to be a great blessing.
It was awesome to get out with my hiking friends;... A very picturesque day..as the clouds cleared away and was almost totally clear and warm. only at lunch there was a stiff wind when it got a little chilly...
10 to 11 km return, near net 600 meters elevation gain...5 to 5-1/2 hours including lunch and snack breaks.
Heliotrope Trailhead, info board and group:
Flowing Creek, shorly after start....drainage down from Heliotrope Ridge
Waterfall @ first major snow patch
Forest and snow below trail, view north
Creek crossing ..
Creek flow further up trail...
Ravine bed of creek
Here we start hiking straight up the snow covered slopes to the Hogsback, where are great views and photo ops...
Great expanse of snow up
First great view of Mt. Baker
Zoomer closeup of Glacier ice... and more...
Looks like an awesome day out. Like that campsite!
Great pics and a great report. Looks like there's still a ton of snow up there still! I've only been up there a little bit later in the year when the trail was clear all the way to the glacier, so it's cool to see the conditions at a different time. Thanks for the update!
Any idea what the conditions are like up there going into this weekend? Mostly wondering about the camping spot in one of your pictures and if it's snow free as yet? Also, wondering about trail conditions and road access if anybody knows?
Hi Andrew, look forward to what you found out. Looking to get back to Baker in a week
Was awesome up there. First mile of the trail was pretty much clear of snow turning to intermittent patch's until after maybe two miles was permanent snow. Most of the blowdown was within the first mile of the trailhead. Nothing to nasty. The trailhead isn't quite melted out yet for vehicular traffic so an additional 200m of walking the snow remnants to the trailhead is necessary. There was no parking pass required because of this. The outhouse and trail haven't been serviced yet but will be soon as the road reach's the trailhead.
Set up camp at 6250 feet on a knoll to the right then snowshoe'd up to Heliotrope Ridge itself and did the entire length from north to south at a high point of around 7250 feet until reaching the southern terminus of the ridge. An excellent butt slide ensued back towards camp where a well earned meal and drinks were had.
Snow conditions were terrific for travelling on snowshoe's in the afternoon. The morning they weren't needed. Just micro spikes. Many people were summiting on ski's and boot packing. Some snow boarding as well back from the summit. Could see the route from camp and watched the steady traffic to and fro.
Forgot to mention the road has some decent potholes higher up at the moment but nothing that can't be avoided by any vehicle.
Was wishing I'd brought my crampons and helmet drooling at the prospect of summiting. Some fellas just returning to Hogsback Camp returned in 7 hours conditions were so fine.
Also Helen on Facebook has our pictures if you wish to see them.
Hope this helps ;)
Awesome Andrew, thank you for conditions. very helpful.
I am planning for Table Mountain, and take the back end western trail access (not well known) to get up to the eastern mid-level plateau above Iceberg Lake. If not I will do a route via the Chain Lakes.
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