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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)

Rampart Lakes

[Rachel to Rampart]
[Rachel to Rampart (1)][Rachel to Rampart (2)][Rachel to Rampart (3)][Rachel to Rampart (4)][Rachel to Rampart (5)]
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.
[Rampart Sunrise]
[Rampart Sunrise (1)][Rampart Sunrise (2)][Rampart Sunrise (3)]
Rampart Sunrise: 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]
[More Morning Shots (1)][More Morning Shots (2)][More Morning Shots (3)][More Morning Shots (4)]
More Morning Shots: Sun rise behind the clouds. (1) Ditto. (2) Clouds and the ridge. (3) Icy snow patch. (4) Camp.
[A Brighter Day]
[A Brighter Day (1)][A Brighter Day (2)]
A Brighter Day: Late morning by our camp. (1) Breakfast with Alta in the background. (2) Upside-down reflection in upper Rampart.

Alta Mountain

[Flowers]
[Flowers (1)][Flowers (2)][Flowers (3)][Flowers (4)]
Flowers: 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.
[Hiking]
[Hiking (1)][Hiking (2)]
Hiking: 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.
[South Ridge]
South Ridge: This summit was pretty popular today. Several hikers can be seen on top of it.
[Summit]
[Summit (1)][Summit (2)][Summit (3)][Summit (4)][Summit (5)][Summit (6)][Summit (7)]
Summit: 360 panorama. Peak profiles: (1) Snoqualmie, Red, and Ludin. (2) Kendall. (3) Thompson. (4) Huckleberry. (5) Three Queens. (6) Hibox. (7) Rainier.
[Summit Misc.]
[Summit Misc. (1)][Summit Misc. (2)][Summit Misc. (3)]
Summit Misc.: 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

[Quick Dip]
[Quick Dip (1)][Quick Dip (2)][Quick Dip (3)]
Quick Dip: 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.
[Misc.]
[Misc. (1)][Misc. (2)]
Misc.: Small frog at Rampart Lakes. (1-2) Cascades along the Rachel Lake trail.

Last modified: Nov 26, 2011