|Trillium "blushing" after pollination.|
We ascend the south-facing slope on well-graded trail. Into the sub-alpine landscape of glacier-lilies. The valley opens up.
|Glacier-lily lined path.|
I put on my microspikes at snowline, after 4.5 miles where the trail pops over the saddle and shoots around to the shaded edge of a hillside. A different world here, up in the clouds. Snow is falling lightly. The snow pack is thick. The slopes are steep.
|Snow line (on the way back down).|
Alarm bells going off in my heard, stomach lurching at the steepness of the slope. I automatically think, don’t look down, don’t look down, my mantra that has gotten me through so many miles of terrifying trail. But I do look down, to see how far we’d slide if we slipped. Those mental calculations, weighing the price of broken bones (or worse?) against the lure of the trail ahead, to the beckoning tower, the potential exhilaration of traveling those snow-covered slopes and reaching the lookout tower.
|Steep slope where we turned around.|
An hour is spend going up the snow along the ridges above the saddle in either direction. Looking for another way around. Views open up of mountains beyond. The snow lets up, clouds part, sun glistens on peaks. We try the trail again, going out to the steep part for another attempt. Decide again to turn around.
|Shifting clouds revealing distant peaks.|
|Up and down the ridge above the saddle.|
|Views opening up.|
|At the edge.|
More info on this hike:
Huckleberry Lookout Trail
Backpacker Magazine's writeup