Rampart Lakes and Alta Mountain
August 2-3, 2008. Facing deteriorating weather for a planned trip
to Mt. Baker, Damon and I decided to do a short backpack near the
east side to try to escape the clouds. Of course, they just
followed us to Rampart Lakes. Although lingering clouds masked
what would have been a nice sunrise the next day, the sky did clear
for some nice views atop Alta Mountain (6250 ft.).
With the snow melted, the route to the summit is nothing more than
a hike. We returned to Rampart Lakes in the afternoon to take a dip
before hiking back, but were met with what another backpacker
aptly called "Mosquito-fest '08." If I ever return, it will be at
a time later in the fall to avoid the legion of blood-suckers.
(11 miles round trip, 2300 ft. to Rampart Lakes, 12+ miles and
4000 ft. to Alta Mountain)
Rachel to Rampart:
Rachel Lake, just below the marine layer. There's not much
to see along the trail to Rachel in any case. Once we got
to the Rampart Ridge, we didn't have more than 50 feet of
visibility so we
followed a couple errant trails before arriving at Rampart
Lakes. It didn't help that we left the map in the car. :P
(1) Socked in at camp by one of the Rampart Lakes.
(2) Mist, lake, camp.
(3) Upper Rampart, still not quite thawed.
(4) Skeeters on Damon's beenie.
(5) Nothing like a warm dinner and a beer to beat back the cold.
My first foray into high dynamic range photos
. Unfortunately, some fast moving clouds
returned to the Rampart Ridge just as the sun rose, so the merging
of my manually exposure bracketed shots turned out a bit strange due
to cloud motion.
(1) The other camp at lower Rampart.
(2) Hibox and lower Rampart.
(3) More lower Rampart.
More Morning Shots:
Sun rise behind the clouds.
(2) Clouds and the ridge.
(3) Icy snow patch.
A Brighter Day:
Late morning by our camp.
(1) Breakfast with Alta in the background.
(2) Upside-down reflection in upper Rampart.
The upper part of the meadows was in full bloom.
(1) Meadows looking north.
(2) Meadows looking south.
(3) Meadows close-up.
(4) More meadows.
Damon heading up to Alta's south ridge.
The summit seen in this picture is only the
first of several dummy high-points in the way
to the real summit of Alta.
(1) Hiking through the meadows.
(2) This photo was on the way back.
This summit was pretty popular today. Several hikers
can be seen on top of it.
360 panorama. Peak profiles:
(1) Snoqualmie, Red, and Ludin.
(5) Three Queens.
Damon on the summit.
(1) Cairns: summit art or summit graffiti?
(2) Lila Lake.
(3) Box Ridge on the way down.
Return to Rampart Lakes
What should have been an afternoon relaxing in the lakes
back at camp
turned into a hasty escape from some vicious mosquito swarms.
Nice views though.
(1) A very quick dip, leery of the swarms all around.
(2) Small, warm tarn.
(3) Three of the Rampart Lakes in the afternoon.
Small frog at Rampart Lakes.
(1-2) Cascades along the Rachel Lake trail.
Last modified: Nov 26, 2011