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Washington, Summer 2006

A quick summary of the weekend adventures while at Microsoft Research, Redmond, including trips to the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, North and Central Cascades, and Mount Rainier. Not a state I'd mind living in.

Big Four Ice Caves

[Of Slugs and Fog]
Of Slugs and Fog: An easy stroll during a rainy day, along which my camera ran out of batteries. The ice caves appeared to have collapsed this year also. But I still got a few decent pictures. (Photos and Panoramas)

Kendall Catwalk

[Too Early in the Season]
Too Early in the Season: A warmup hike with Bryan and Srikanth for what was to come: snow, stream crossings, route finding, glissading, and more than a bit of postholing. :) We got within a half mile of the Catwalk, but decided it was a wee bit too dangerous to attempt without crampons and ice axes. Still, some good photos. :) (Photos and Panoramas)

Summerland and the Meany Crest

[Rainier, Part I]
Rainier, Part I: With the Catwalk hike under our belts, we headed to Rainier to for some more snow travel. We bypassed the Summerland Camp and scrambled up some steep snow slopes and exposed scree to the Meany Crest with a great panoramic view of the north-east side of Rainier. (Let's say we did this on purpose, instead of getting lost on the way to the Camp :) The trip down from the Crest was one wicked glissade. (Photos and Panoramas)

West Fork Foss Lakes

[A Minor Trek]
A Minor Trek: An somewhat taxing 14-mile, 3000+ ft hike that I brought ("dragged") Srikanth along on. :) Very pretty though, and a refreshing set of lakes that were warm enough to take a dip in. (Photos and Panoramas)

Camp Muir

[Rainier, Part II]
Rainier, Part II: A hike to the climber's base camp on Rainier with my dad, who was in town for the weekend. For a 4600 ft hike, it was surprisingly moderate (with just a daypack anyway). But extremely crowded -- the "Half-Dome" of Mount Rainier National Park. Great views of Mount Adams and St. Helens. (Photos and Panoramas)

Cascade Pass and the Sahale Arm

[A Sea of Peaks]
A Sea of Peaks: Since most grad students are adverse to getting early on Sunday mornings, I soloed this trip in the North Cascades. The hike to the Cascade Pass is somewhat disappointing (though easy), but the additional 2000 ft up the Sahale Arm to the Glacier Camp are absolutely beautiful. Wild flowers were almost in full bloom now and the views of the "U.S. Alps" are supurb; you can see Glacier Peak, Mount Baker, Mount Rainier, all amid a sea of other peaks. (Photos and Panoramas)

Esmeralda Basin and Fortune Peak

[Red Rock Scramble]
Red Rock Scramble: Another solo trip (because someone bailed at the last minute ;) in the Teanaway area. I hiked the Esmeralda Basin trail to Fortune Creek Pass instead of Ingalls Pass, but was not too impressed with the wild flowers compared to those on the Sahale Arm. I happened to bring an SPI article that proposed an easy route up Fortune Peak, so I decided to try it. The views of Mount Stuart and Ingalls Lake and Peaks from Fortune are great of course, but seeing Rainier "floating" above the marine layer and literally "shooting off" the clouds passing over Stuart was incredible (see the 360 panorama). I improvised a decent route along the ridge to Ingalls Pass and and returned via that trail, passing Lake Fire Camp Girls on the way. (Photos and Panoramas)

Ingalls Lake

[Alpine Blue]
Alpine Blue: Back once more to the Teanaway area; I like it --- maybe since the large ganite slabs and deep blue lakes remind me of the Ansel Adams wilderness in the Sierras. Srikanth finally decided to tag along on this not-so-difficult hike. I only wish the lake wasn't so freezing. (Photos and Panoramas)

Last modified: Nov 27, 2011