Granite Mountain June 25, 2017

Posted by on Jun 25, 2017

I go to the mountains to remind myself of the beauty that is already within me. Saturday evening – I set my alarm for 4:00 a.m. I wake at 3:30 p.m. to answer the call of nature. Close enough. The light in the eastern sky calls me, and the promise of ascending in silence through tall firs. (Click on the photos for full screen view).

Bear grass as the first rays of sun angle across the crest of the Cascade Mountains.

I reach the trailhead at 4:45 a.m. and begin hiking, drawing energy from the forest through the soles of my feet with every step. When I reach the snow, I opt to stay on the angular granite boulders. Although each step holds a measure of treachery, it menaces less than the steep snowy slopes and the risk of an uncontrolled slide.

Boulder hopping up the summit ridge begins. Beautiful granite, but move slowly and deliberately to avoid injury.

I reach the top at 7:30 a.m. and scan the horizon in all directions – four snow covered volcanoes visible and countless jagged peaks across the curvature of spaceship earth.  On the way down, I jump onto the snow after descending the first five minutes, careful at the edge of the snowfield to avoid punching through with my feet and falling into a moat with bone fracturing potential. In retrospect, the snowfield saved fifteen minutes of harrowing rock hopping. Both have their dangers. Tread lightly and with awareness of gravity!

Mount Rainier looming to the south, to the right of the look out tower.

Back at the car at 9:50 a.m. Five hours. Exhausted, sleep deprived, bones aching, in bliss. I will do this again soon.

 

Two volcanoes (Mount Baker and Glacier Peak) visible in this photo. Mount Kaleetan (tooth) center, not to be confused with “The Tooth”.

Mount Daniel on horizon at left. Chimney Rocks, Summit Chief area central. Mount Stuart right.

 

 

The snow route goes straight up the middle, above the boulders poking out of the snow, through some trees and then angling up to the left.

 

2 Comments

  1. Father: I enjoyed reading your blog. I could see Mt Rainier but how can Glacier Peak be in the same photo? Glacier Peak is to the North and Rainier to the S of Granite Mt. The tooth is Mt Stuart.

    • Thanks for your question father. I edited the captions on my images to make that clearer.

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