Sasse Mountain Ski Tour

Sasse Mountain, our objective
The face of joy

You know those trips where expectations are sort of at rock bottom, and then everything ends up being amazing? This was one of those. We had our minds set on the Chiwaukums, but upon getting home Saturday night and realizing there was way more fresh snow than we anticipated followed by a sunny day, we figured we’d hedge our bets and pick something less ambitious. The stoke was tempered, motivation was fading, we were pitching ideas like the Tatoosh for the 183498th time or Hyak laps. Guys. It’s going to be sunny. There’s fresh snow. Let’s explore somewhere new. I pitched Sasse Mountain, which honestly I had really only heard about snowshoers doing, but looking at caltopo, there were definitely some sweet bowls back there. And assuming those bowls were full of snow, that meant skiing.

  • Distance: ~10mi round trip
  • Elevation gain: 3600ft (5,700ft highest point)
  • Weather: 50’s and sunny
  • Commute from Seattle: 2hrs
  • Did I Trip: Powder faceplant, yes
Making upward progress

We met on Salmon La Sac road at 7am. There are two options to this peak: skin like 6mi up a road (boooo) that avoids most avy terrain and then go cross country at the end, or boot up through a forest (boooo) cross country from the start and negotiate some forested avy slopes. We chose the latter, because skinning roads is boring and booting straight up is fast.

Quick hand shear test

Except we couldn’t find the trail. I’m still not sure where it starts, but we could see the old roadbed the trail follows for a bit from the road, so we just walked straight to that and followed it. It was dry. Really dry. We negotiated a stream crossing and started to gain elevation, only to find… more dry slopes. Where. Was. The. Snow. We started to worry that there wouldn’t be any good skiing. We started to lower expectations. “I mean, this is boney, but I’d ski it” “yeah it’s not bad” “dust on crust but mellow enough maybe it won’t suck” “it’s still a workout at least” “yeah better than staying in town” “all backcountry skis are rock skis right” and finally, FINALLY we got a glimpse of the views. Panoramic views of the “Snoqualmie Pickets” (heard that the other day and love it), aka the chain of Lemah/Summit Chief/Bear’s Breast, with Hinman and Daniel to the east. Okay, okay, so at least it’s freaking gorgeous here.

Rainier! And a soft snow spot thank god

And then we rounded the corner onto the first sharp ridge. And BAM. Beautiful open ski slope, right in front of us. Dane did a quick shear test on the snowpack since it was a similar aspect, and about 8″ slid cleanly off. Okay, so we agreed that while we were all drooling at the prospect of skiing that face, we weren’t going to do it. And that was fine, because after a few more rolling humps and bumps and transitions from windblown pockets of powder to scoured ice and cornices along a ridgeline, we found out the face was frozen solid. Avy danger? Nah. Skiing? …nah.

The face we were all drooling over

My skis popped off twice traversing steep icy slopes as we sidehilled to avoid cornices, so I booted it the rest of the way up the ridge, postholing the crap out of Dane and Robert’s skin trail. “Why’re you setting such a shitty skin trail?” “Why are you so shitty at skinning?” Dane and Robert carried us along with their trash talk. We were almost at the top when I realized that we hadn’t gone nearly far enough to be at the true summit. Dammit, this was that knob on the way, Not So Sasse. Which was way sassier than Sasse given its ridges and cornices, and actually had better views due to the lack of trees at the tippy top. You could even see Stuart poking out over Jolly Mountain. We skiied down to the saddle between the two setting off some baby storm slab sloughs in the process, and quickly skinned up true Sasse, which was covered in burned trees, was far more mellow than it looked, and you spent like 15 minutes traversing 500ft to gain 10ft of elevation to get to the “summit.” But along the way, we were oggling the shady tree runs coming off to the west. And from the summit, we decided to ski directly down to the bowl through the trees. We started off on ice, timing turns for pockets of powder. But three or four turns later, we had PERFECT POWDER.

Almost at the summit
Robert getting the goods

We giggled all the way down. HOW is no one else here?! Powder stash!! Bluebird powder day! Darting through open burn zone trees leapfrogging our way down we popped out into the bowl only to find… someone’s skin track. Dammit! It’s been discovered! But uh, should we utilize this and do another lap? No one protested. Back up we went. And the second run was just as good.

One interesting thing about this area is that it was part of a massive wildfire called the Jolly Mountain complex back in 2017. Not So Sasse and its ridgeline as well as some of the lower glades look like they were spared, but it is always fascinating getting to a view point and seeing blackened toothpick trees for miles. This is the same fire that affected Hex mountain, a very popular snowshoe slightly further south. Towns to the south of here had to be evacuated for almost a month until the fire was contained and naturally put out by the first rains in fall.

Cornices in the distance, burn zone next to life

We decided to follow the mystery skin track on the way out so we could avoid regaining elevation and skiing mediocre ridges. We figured worst case scenario we could traverse waaay south to meet our skin (or boot) track. I was cruising and about to thread the needle through two trees and WHAM suddenly I was face down in the snow, mouth stuffed with powder, blinded by snow, skis still attached and still perpendicular to my body. Like the skis had stopped and my body kept going. Turned out I wasn’t as deep in the snow as I thought, I just had eaten a bunch of it and my sunglasses trapped quite a bit against my eyes. I oooohed and ahhhed and groaned while Robert shouted “Are you okay!” and I figured well he can hear me so he knows I’m breathing, and eventually got enough air to respond “yes I’m in one piece.” Feet of powder (or slush) tend to be quite forgiving. But then I had to wrangle fully buried skis out of extremely heavy snow, which required more core strength than I’ve developed or maintained during covid.

I popped around the corner rght beyond that sneaky patch of sticky snow only to find Dane patiently waiting above a second bowl! I don’t have an excuse regarding why we didn’t ski this bowl… we should have, just to tag it. But we were focused on adventuring our way out, and so we traversed to another mellow ridge, where we found….

The second bowl had phenomenal views of the Snoqualmie Pickets in the distance
Even the road has views!!

…a THIRD bowl, this one with mellow glade skiing with another party doing laps on the perfect soft snow. We could see the road across the bowl and below us, and skiied straight to it, which snuck out a few more turns. Rather than regaining lost elevation, we followed the road for a bit until we could cut switchbacks and ski straight to the next stretch of road below us, though more low angle glades. Careful of gullies if you cut the switchbacks, though, there are some nasty gullies and some sneaky cliffs. But we had heard if you followed the road the whole way, you had to put skins on for some uphill, and we weren’t having any of that. Sidestepping and switchback-cutting forever.

The theme of the day was variable conditions. Crust to powder on crust to powder to ice to the stickiest shit I’ve ever skiied, and the road was no exception. In the shade? Zoom zoom. In the sun? glop glop walk whine paddle with your poles. The trees soon got too tight so we committed to skiing the road until we were at the switchback closest to our bootpack, and then we’d switch to boots and hoof it back through the woods to the car. You can follow the forest road all the way back to the main road, but it would have been a mile or two away from where we had parked, so we went back to the “trail” we took up, and were still back at the car pretty quickly.

Classic backcountry skiing

All in all, it was about an 8 hour tour in a completely new area with a TON of terrain and routes you can safely follow even on big storm days. I’m amazed this isn’t talked about more. And it was even better by how low our expectations were around 9am that morning as we booted crusty, patchy snow in the trees telling ourselves it was better than nothing and I reassured myself that they’d still hang out with me and take my future recommendations despite this shitty one (though secretly I was just relieved to not be at Hyak or Castle).

We had a great dinner(? it was like 4pm) at “the brick place on the right when you’re driving back to i90 through Roslyn” where we all crushed burgers, fries, beer, and water. Turns out it’s literally called the Brick Saloon and despite stopping there most of the times I’m in the area, I never remembered the name. Definitely worth giving them a visit when you’re starving and parched after a trip, and I’m so happy that things are starting to open up again. This time last year, we were sneaking around, even minimizing trips to gas stations. Feels pretty good to bring some business to the nearby towns, and to wreck a burger when I’m starving instead of driving straight home, opening the fridge, being disappointed, closing it, lowering my standards, opening it again, reconsidering… you know how it is. Here’s to many more ski tours and burgers!

One more picture – the “trail.” Have fun!

Yellow Hill & Elbow Peak

Another mediocre day on the west side of the Cascades led me to the Teanaways for my first “legitimate” trail run in months. I’m all about those ridgelines, and chose a short, hopefully dry, snow-free one to run. I also decided to give my pair of La Sportiva Synthesis a try since I have them for product testing. They’re technically hiking shoes, but might as well push their limits. Spoiler alert: don’t run in them. Anyway, here’s Elbow Peak, a nicely exposed ridgeline out on the east side of the mountains! Ran 5/6/2015.

  • Distance: 10 miles round trip (about)
  • Elevation: 2800ft gain, 5600ft highest point
  • Weather: everything
  • Commute from Seattle: 2 hours without traffic
  • Did I Trip: No, my issues were deeper than tripping this time around

Wildflowers along the trail

Wildflowers along the trail

I had read some warnings about the 4wd trail beyond the trailhead, but it honestly looked easily driveable. It probably got pretty muddy in the rain, but anyone with any high clearance 4wd car should have a pretty straightforward drive. Most of it was pretty flat, but some areas were deeply rutted. Part of me wanted to drive the road, but I was there for a run, and I didn’t drive two hours to only run a few miles. It had to be at least 10.

There are little spur trails leading away from the road, though they all join it eventually. Once it officially leaves the road, the trail becomes one big rocky rut in sections, which made some stretches to run. Sunny blue skies at first made the wildflowers light up, and there were plenty. The trail was admittedly steeper than I had expected, so I walked pretty routinely on the steeper sections. Motivation to get in shape. Shady sections after about 2 miles in had patches of snow, but nothing that I felt required traction or poles. Which is great, because I brought neither.

Ingalls and the Stuart Range from Yellow Hill

Ingalls and the Stuart Range

Yellow Hill is a hike in itself. It’s about 6 miles round trip, and gives you a small glimpse of Stuart. From Yellow Hill you it’s a ridge walk over to Elbow Peak (about another two miles), and since that’s the part I was looking forward to, it felt like the adventure didn’t start until I was past Yellow Hill. I descended the slope and hit the ridge only to realize the sky was divided in two: crappy weather to the right, sunny weather to the left. Hmm. We’ll see what develops.

Looking towards Elbow along the ridge

Looking towards Elbow along the ridge

I saw my first dust devil too. I heard a whooshing wind sound, and turned around to see dirt, leaves, and debris spinning in a small circle about 15 feet away from me, moving to the left. Freaked me out at first until it dissipated after maybe two minutes of wandering the ridgeline. Some areas along the ridge were rocky, and I dipped below to avoid scrambling since I was on a roll. I kept jogging up towards Elbow, and was there before I knew it. It’s an odd summit, I didn’t totally know where the top was so I tagged few high points and hoped I happened to stumble across the true summit.

Lemahs, Chimney Rock/Overcoat peaks, Summit Chief, Bear's Breast, Hinman, Daniel

Left to right: Lemahs, Chimney Rock/Overcoat peaks, Summit Chief, Bear’s Breast, Hinman, Daniel

And at the true summit, I discovered the Lemahs, Overcoat and Chimney Rock peaks, Summit Chief, and Bears Breast. That’s a skyline that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before, and I was intrigued. I’ve never seen Daniel out of the clouds either. Seems like the Lemahs are pretty remote, but I’ll find time to at least get close to them this summer, and I’ve already got plans for Daniel. I had no idea what the peaks were, so I snapped a few pictures and posted on hoping I’d get a response. As usual, I did – thanks LDistel!

Weather moving in

Stuart range with weather moving in on the right

I turned back, and saw the weather moving towards my ridge. Great. I’m going to be running back through the rain. Might as well get it over with. It was still sunny where I was, so I figured it couldn’t be that bad. No one minds a warm drizzle.

I was wrong. Within five minutes it dropped 10 degrees and started hailing. I was still on the open ridge, which was fairly short. Which I appreciated, because as soon as I entered the trees, I heard the crack BUHBOOOOM of thunder. “GOOD!” I shouted and glared at no one, and kept jogging. Oh, did I mention that I don’t bring much when I run? I had some food, a liter of water, and a soft shell.  No rain jacket, no puffy layers, nothing for my legs. Well, maybe it’d be motivation to not stop.

Where'd Stuart go!?

Where’d Stuart go!?

Also wrong. Not even a thunderstorm can motivate my lazy ass. Getting back up Yellow Hill had one steep sections (also rutted) which I walked. Again. I’ll whip my ass into shape eventually. First run back in the mountains I’ll give myself a few free passes. Even Denny can’t prepare me for that type of thing. The hail got harder and the thunder got louder and I finally got back to the road, which was straight, easy running. Except this is where the shoes get shitty. Mud tires on cars are designed to fling the mud off of the treads, right? Well no one thought about that with the La Sportivas. They clung to EVERY PIECE OF MUD I CROSSED until I was running with tractionless bricks on my feet. Misery. But I was surrounded by marble sized hail and thunder and all I wanted was my car and a lemon honey stinger waffle.

Mud caked shoes

Mud caked shoes, waiting for pilot car

Made it to the car. The honey stinger waffle was pure bliss. I drove out of there quickly, had a few chances to appreciate my mud tires, and got back to the Teanaway road just in time to sit for 20 minutes waiting for a pilot car. Worth it? Yes. Did it ruin my dream of the Teanaways being the land of fun and sun? Also yes. Turns out even the east side gets some rain.

Strava map here. This was my first hike along a trail that was also open to bikes. Honestly, I’m not sure how I felt about it. The deep ruts were annoying as someone trying to run, but I didn’t encounter any bikers which was a relief. And probably had something to do with it being a Wednesday morning. Not a spectacular hike, but a solid run, with a few more ridges to follow had I had time to bag another peak.

Bonus question for any geology gurus out there. What causes the white streaks in the rocks? Is it quartz mixed in with whatever sort of rock the ridge formed from? Seems like they’re harder than the surrounding rock since they always jut out a bit, which I assume means the other rock is wearing down more quickly.

White streaks

White streaks in the rock along the ridge

Edit: Looks like the white streaks are quartz veins. The minerals are deposited by very hot water (called “brine,” “hydrothermal fluids,” “and a variety of other sciency terms that I’m dumbing down to “hot water”) rising up through cracks in the rock. As the water cools, it precipitates the minerals out along the cooler rock on either side of the cracks. Sometimes it fills up, like what I saw, sometimes it leaves pockets, where you can see the jagged crystals forming. Thanks to Emanuela for putting me on track to do some research!

Navaho Peak (yes, with an H)

View of Stuart from along the ridge

View of Stuart from along the ridge

After a ridiculous day at Lake Ingalls two days prior, I was on my way back to the Teanaway region again on 4/1/2015 – Wednesday morning. It’s like I’ve discovered a secret beautiful area that’s always sunny with amazing views. Don’t tell anyone. There’s something special about going for a hike and knowing you’re the only people for miles. Anyway, Navaho Peak ended up being far more doable than I expected after seeing the Ingalls basin, and damn, did those views take my breath away.

  • Distance: 12 miles round trip (12.3 for us)
  • Elevation: 4200ft gain, 7220 highest point
  • Weather: 50’s and sunny at the bottom, freaking cold and windy at the top (maybe low 30’s?)
  • Commute from Seattle: 2:15, longer if you get stuck in Snoqualmie Blizzard

Dusted trail in the beginning

Dusted trail in the beginning

Snoqualmie Pass was the hardest part of the drive. Heavy snow, limited visibility, and trucks using their chains. It felt like playing frogger, except in a car, and more stressful. I wasn’t driving. I just resigned myself to my fate that maybe it was my time and Ingalls was just a good way to end my hiking career on a good note. The weird part? It made me a little homesick for the east coast. Yeah, that’s what I miss. Spinning my wheels on hill starts because there was 6 inches of snow on the ground and tire chains were unheard of. Or that one time a BMW in Chicago spun into a snow bank as I smirked behind him. Don’t worry, I helped dig him out, I’m nice. But we made it, thanks to Kyle, and about 5 miles from our exit, the skies started to clear. The light at the end of the tunnel! Yes!

Looking up at Navaho and a small avalanche/slide area (before pic, see after pic below)

Looking up ay a small avalanche/slide area (before pic, see after pic below)

The road to the trailhead was a piece of cake. A few potholes, but nothing too rutted, no washouts, no snow or ice patches besides a light dusting of fresh snow twinkling in the sun. Gorgeous. We got started right away and followed the summer trail for the first 2 miles, stopping to take pictures along the river. Little Navaho and Navaho were both covered in snow, but it didn’t look deep. I started to think this might not be as tricky as I expected. Hell, it was already easier than Lake Ingalls. And the first few miles of the trail are pretty much flat.

Almost at the ridge, Earl in the background

Almost at the ridge, Earl in the background

We did lose the trail at one point. I blame the fresh snow. We went off trail for a bit aiming for Navaho Pass (more on this later) and eventually ran into the trail as it started to switchback up the slope. It went in and out of snowy patches, and we finally lost it for good about two miles from the top. At that point, we just started trekking straight up the snow to the ridge. Steep, but snow conditions were fantastic. Far less concerning than the conditions getting to Lake Ingalls. Fully consolidated, no slushy layer, just nice firm snow with a bit of powder on top. A few of my buddies put on microspikes, I found that kicking steps was more than enough.

Stuart with wispy clouds

Stuart with wispy clouds

Earl grew smaller and smaller as we got higher and higher, and finally we gained the ridge. Boom. Stuart! From the other side! Damn, the Stuart range is photogenic. We were still in a sparsely forested area, so trees occasionally got in the way, but the views were unbelievable. Just don’t look back towards i90. It’s still nice, but it’s a highway. Looking at the snow covered peaks makes you feel like a bad ass in the middle of the wilderness. And I bet Earl doesn’t look half as good once all of the snow has melted.

Heading along the ridge to the summit

Heading along the ridge to the summit, Earl again

We turned right to head up towards the true summit. Behind us was Earl, to the left was Ingalls (in the clouds), Stuart, Sherpa, Argonaut, Colchuck, Dragontail, Little Annapurna, and McClellan Peak. Straight ahead was Navaho, and beyond that, Little Navaho. Snow conditions were still great, and staying to the right of the trees blocked some of the wind that was whipping around us. It was steep going, but that doesn’t matter. When you’re somewhere that beautiful, you want to stop every 20 feet to get pictures of everything. The peaks, the ridge behind you, the valley, every step is amazing. Or maybe that was just our excuse to take breaks, you’ll never know.

Panorama looking northwest from the peak

Panorama looking northwest from the peak

Finally we came out of the trees, and the summit was just above us. Hey guys! I found the trail! I laughed running up the last clear 15 feet to the rocky summit. What I didn’t realize is that Three Brothers was right beyond where we were. I didn’t even get a picture! How did I miss?! We snapped pictures of everyone at the top, until I couldn’t feel my fingers or feet anymore. Dammit. Three socks isn’t enough, apparently. We trekked back down the ridge a ways until we found a spot secluded from the wind by a cluster of trees (but in the sun!) and settled down there for snacks. I had a valiant attempt at getting a time-lapse, but my camera fell over just as clouds brushed the peak of Stuart. Because I don’t have a tripod. I prop it up on a rock or two and hope for the best. The plebeian photographer. But here’s what I got, a slightly less exciting version of what I saw.

Stuart range from the peak of Navaho

Stuart range from the peak of Navaho

Stuart is one dramatic peak. The dark stone (all granite, I was told) contrasts amazingly with the snow, and it just looks so sharp from this angle. I’ll climb that someday.

Glissading down

Glissading down

After making sure everyone knew how to self arrest, we glissaded most of the way down. That made the trip back down the ridge much easier than the way up. And glissading is a blast. It’s like sledding for adults. I’d recommend bringing microspikes and an axe, though I never felt like I would be relying on the axe at any point like I did occasionally at Ingalls. It was just a fun tool to steer and brake when glissading.

"after" pic - no snow left on the lower peaks!

“after” pic – no snow left on the lower peaks! Taken from next to the huge log in the “before” pic

We followed our own steps down from the ridge, and eventually met up with the summer trail again, which we followed all the way to the parking lot. The snow had mostly melted, leaving the trail dry and sunny. An entirely different day. Oh, and it turned out our “off-trail navigation” around miles 2-3 was a hilarious 15-30ft from the trail at any given point. Oops.

Strava Map of Navaho Peak trail

Strava Map of Navaho Peak trail

I’m too lucky. Two spectacular hikes in a row. I came back down to earth on Thursday – it had to happen eventually. Here’s to hoping the snow will stick around just a little bit longer, or I’ll be forced to chase it up high.

Here’s a strava map if you’d like to see where we went. I imagine we left a pretty good boot path between the five of us. Highly recommend checking it out now if you have the chance. I’m a newbie out here and don’t know how long those peaks will be snow capped. All I know is that the title picture on the WTA trip page doesn’t do it justice. It’s an incredible horizon to look across. And knowing that the enchantments (allegedly the best hikes in the entire state) are on the other side is intriguing. It’s like a secret within a secret, blocked by peaks on all sides. I’d love to do those in shoulder season with some snow someday.

Lake Ingalls

I was all the way out in Leavenworth this past weekend for Oktoberfest, and figured since I was already out there I might as well find a hike to do in the area. Something too far from Seattle to justify in a day trip, but “on the way back” (loosely defined) from Leavenworth. Lake Ingalls was the answer, and I’m pretty damn glad it was. 10/10 would hike again. No, 100000/10. Just spectacular.

  • Distance: 9 miles round trip
  • Elevation: 2400ft gain in elevation
  • Weather: 70’s and sunny
  • Commute from Seattle: 2:30 ish without traffic
  • Did I trip: A few stumbles, but nothing legitimate

I’m just going to center this picture now because it might be my favorite of all the pictures I’ve ever taken in my life ever. The rocks on the right were way too cool to pass up, and the larches were bright yellow and the sky was a clear blue and I didn’t even realize this was a good picture until I got home. I swear I’ll figure out how to make that damn sky blue. Edit: Fixed the sky! Not perfect, but for a first touch-up, come on it’s okay.


Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, I can focus on the actual hike. Which was incredible! I’m too excited remembering it to type about it. I’d go back in an instant. Skip work, toss the tent in the car, and go. Which is what I should have done. I had run a half marathon the day before, and I wasn’t sore, but I was lazy and ended up strolling this. I forgot my trail running shoes too. Usually I have a spare pair in my trunk, but not this time, so I wore regular sneakers. Anyway, parking lot was absolutely packed, but I was lucky enough to get a spot right next to the trailhead since someone was leaving (the car right behind me ended up parking a mile down the road – ha!). So many people means it would have been tough to run anyway, so no big whoop.


Bonus mountain goat

 I passed tons of people on the way up. Gradual uphills and switchbacks for the first few miles. Good views of Rainier and Adams. Embarrassingly, I had to ask people “What’s the big mountain that’s not Rainier?” but it took a few tries to find someone who knew the answer. Lots of red rock, which I didn’t expect, but it made everything look very cool. Once you cross over the ridge overlooking the valley, you get great views of Stuart and all of the larches down below. There were a few mountain goats along the trail, completely unphased by people. I had never seen one before, so everyone was snapping pictures and I was standing there like can I just walk past? Will it get angry? Should I be worried? The answer is no, they’re basically waiting for you to pee because they like the salt in your urine. So go pee on a rock and consider it a fair trade for the 50 pictures you probably took of them.


This girl knows where it’s at. Her tent was perfectly situated near the edge of a rocky drop-off which you can’t quite see down to the valley, with great views. She gave us permission to take a pic. I think she knew I was wallowing in self pity and jealousy because I can imagine nothing better than seeing sunset and sunrise over Mt. Stuart and that valley in fall. What’s funny is the larches were all green towards the bottom of the trail, which started around 4000ft above sea level. I was worried when I started hiking, but the higher I got, the more yellow they became.

The trail completely flattens out once you reach the valley. At least, until the rock fields that require some scrambling. Definitely follow the cairns in those areas – I have terrible trail skills and ended up climbing some pretty large boulders. On the way down, I ended up jumping off one that was three feet taller than I am – too impatient to backtrack and find a new path. But if you pay attention, it’s doable for everyone. Lots of families hiking that day.

lakeitselfThe last stretch up to the saddle (terminology?) that cuts through to the lake is pretty steep. No particular path to get up, just follow what seems reasonable. The lake was almost anti climactic compared to the views in the valley, but looking back on it, it was still pretty beautiful. Lots of people at the top having picnics, enjoying the views, even a few guys fishing! I didn’t see them catch anything, but they said there were fish up there. The water was so clear I was hoping I’d see some, but I never did. I only spent 10 minutes there since I had to be back in Seattle in time for dinner reservations (and looking presentable, not like I had just hiked for hours).


On the way back down, this stretch looked nice, and there was a fat, bold marmot off to the left that you can’t see in the pic (he was there, I swear). People must have fed him, because he was a foot off the trail and just sat on his hind legs staring at everyone that passed. I got called out by several of the groups I had passed on the way up, they remembered me and knew I had only spent a few minutes at the lake. “What, five minutes at the lake and you’re already leaving?!” I laughed, but it killed me to leave. I wish I had camped there, spent the night, enjoyed the views, had a picnic on the rocks by the lake, had time to climb around to the other, less populated end of the lake, maybe even gone for a quick swim. I considered bailing on dinner 100 times over, but I couldn’t pass up a Lecosho pork chop. Next fall, for sure. I’m not missing that opportunity again.

kinggoatTwo silver linings on the way down, if you’re really trying to look on the bright side of things. First, this goat was basically begging to have his picture taken. Okay, King Goat, I’ll take it. But I’m not going to pee for you. How’d you get up there anyway? How will you get down? You don’t look like those goats that climb dams. Too white and fluffy.

And one last picture another one that’s an Eve trail classic. Trail turning around a corner, great views on one side. The type of picture I look at when I’m unmotivated and don’t want to drive an hour to the trails. Side note for those who know me: yes, I do get sick of driving. It has been known to happen.


I saw two trail runners, one doing hill repeats on the way up (long and slow to get heart rate up he said) and one who hiked to the top and then ran down. You can’t tell how step the drop is in that picture, but it’d hurt a bit to slip off of that. But that’s never stopped trail runners in the past.

I’ll go back there to run it someday. Maybe when I’m more in shape and my uphills aren’t so slow. Once I’ve adjusted from my flatlander years in Chicago. Hike up, camp, wake up the next morning, run, and then hike down maybe? I have another 11 months to figure it out before the larches are yellow again. Plenty of time to plan, and wait. I hate waiting.

Should have gone for a swimLook at that clear water. Should have gone for a swim.