This is a hike I had desired to repeat since a September 2016 outing; 2018 was recovery year after a November 2017 injury,, Mamquam Hike, and then a move.
Hike was done yesterday, so I would have Sunday to recover.. and yes it was strenuous, lots of sidehilling... and today recovering from a stiff right leg. In my atttachments I show map and two google images. Red for the easy fine trails for the Skyline Divide portion. Green for the midsection leading up to Chowder Ridge, and tourquoise blue for the Chowder Ridge to Hadley Peak.
Trail for 'green" section is more natural in that is narrow and more like a natural path than well padded and widened skyline trail. Chowder Ridge is a route with game trails used by hikers, and includes some scrambling, unstable scree slopes of rock and gravel sized rocks. without a GPS based on past reports and memory this was a 28 km return trip.
Four of us started the trail (9 am at the trailhead), two friends stopped and turned around at the start of Choweder Ridge, while myself and Ingrid (CT. Norgie) carried on.
It took us 1 hour from trailhead to gain the open ridge, then a further 1 hour 10+ minutes to hike to end of the Skyline Divide trail (terminus) which is at a point. a 20 minute snack break and 40 minutes to the tarn. (12 noon) and 2:20 pm stopped at the furthest point out which was beyond Hadley. Heavy fog, no gps track, so we were unsure of exactly where we were as fog limited visibility to 50 to 100 meters up on the high point of the ridge. Ingrid hurried up a peak which just showed up out of the fog, came down and confirmed it was Hadley Peak. Due to time and fog worries, decided to head back without myself getting to the actual peak. ..Our way back was a little higher than incoming, however there was a sharp rocky ridge cutting down, so we hike down below it to regain the trail on the way back. Half of the ridge is a great ridge walk, most of the rest is scree, gravels, and unstable scree. and rock to scramble up and over.
Some painful leg cramps slowed us down on our return west section of Choweder Ridge was back in the sun, and a pleasant ridge walk was welcome.
Downclimb to the tarn and fog and cloud obscured the views pretty all the way back to the forest ... we reached the forest just below the start of the ridge, 7 pm and reached the car by 8 pm with headlamps. I will have to remember to change the batteries, headlamp light was weak and progress down was slow.
It was a great adventure and we did get the views I had hoped for, will be back next year August 2020 on a sunny cloud-free day.
Map (All Trails modified)
Google Earth images....note colour code.
ON THE WAY UP TRAIL IN THE FOREST..
OUT INTO THE OPEN RIDGE, 1 Hour into hike..
SKYLINE DIVIDE SECTION (5 Pics)
Past end of Skyline Divide section ,view south to Mt. Baker and Chowder Ridge.
One of the ridge subpeaks
Scramble up the first rocky hill - start of Chowder Ridge. This is where Jana and Ziff turned around to head back.
Early section of Chowder Ridge, view of tarn below.. from here it is just Ingrid and me.
Fine ridge walk at first...after the initial scramble.
Ridge of sidehill scree, rock, and gravel...
This is base of Hadley Peak summit block...
Horrible fog, cut visibility... where is hadley peak, yes Ingrid confirmed we were there....
HADLEY GLACIER, with Goat tracks in the snow...
Jagged rock formations, later on almost cut hands on sharp rock.. Need to wear gloves to make way over rock.
Back to western part of Chowder Ridge, welcome to see the sun again and some views.
To close...... plenty of goat hair or wool on the slopes; and large area coverage in goat manure ... watch where you sit
Temperature on Skyline Divide felt cool at 10'C with wind, got a little warmer, then down to +4'c by Hadley Peak with wind.
I plan to return next year Aug. 2020 to get best chance of full sunshine so as to get those photos we missed this time around.