The North Cascades Part I
May 21, 2012
Jul 11, 2012
! We picked the campsite that we wanted, set up camp, put all of the food in the bear box, and started hiking up Desolation Peak. The mountain gains about 5000 feet in elevation over the course of five miles. It wasn't an easy hike by anyone's standards. First, we hiked about two miles from our campsite to get to the mountain and then we started ascending. It was steep! Switchback after switchback it felt like we were climbing a 10-degree incline. After about three hellish miles we were met with snow. So much snow that we couldn't see the trail. So, we trudged through the snow a couple of times and found the trail again, though soon the snow got the better of us and we had to stop. If you can't find the trail in 15 minutes, turn back. Going down the mountain was about four times faster than going up. Once we were back at camp we cooked Frito pie and cleaned the dishes. We kept seeing two mule deer that would come within 20 feet of us and wouldn't be startled by noise or sudden movements. They must have known the campsite. Well, that night they came to visit us again and it scared the living daylights out of us. Once we realized that it was our friends and not a bear we passed out. We were all sore from desolation peak.
This morning we woke up to a soaked campsite. It rained about 2 inches overnight. We packed up the campsite, ate breakfast, and started to pack our backcountry packs for the first time. Getting everything together that we needed was a chore. After about an hour of packing, preparing food, and double checking everything, we headed off to catch a boat taxi up to lightning creek. The original plan was to take the taxi up to Hozimeen and hike down Ross Lake. We couldn't go that far because the lake was too shallow. Apparently the water level relies on snowmelt each year, and since it was so early in the season the lake level was still pretty low. We parked our car at the Ross lake trail head and started hiking to the Ross Lake Resort. They were our ride to the Lightning Creek. (Ross Lake Resort is a floating resort that lies on a man-made lake). Once we hiked a mile or so, we hopped in the taxi and headed up to Lightning Creek. The ride was only 15 minutes and way overpriced. Once at Lightning Creek, we realized that we had the entire place to ourselves