A Bluebird Day at North Lake 10-Feb-2013

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VanMarmot
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A Bluebird Day at North Lake 10-Feb-2013

Post by VanMarmot » February 10th, 2013, 7:07 pm

Today was promised as “mostly sunny,” so I took a chance on a hike to North Lake – which is best when it’s sunny and not overcast. There was some question of this as I left Portland but by the time I headed up from the Wyeth TR, the few clouds around were starting to dissipate.

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The Wyeth is another trail without lots of views, but by the viewpoint at around 2000’, the clouds were gone and St Helens was prominent on the horizon.

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The trail was effectively completely clear of snow up to about 3200’, with well compacted snow after that. On the ridge, the sun created a “cathedral of trees” effect that I really like.

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There was a single boot track – with only a few post holes – from the saddle to North Lake. By following that track, I didn’t need to use the snow shoes I ended up hauling to the lake and back. In short, you can easily go to North Lake without needing snow shoes. Along the way there was a good view of Defiance – sure hope it was being climbed by someone on this bluebird day.

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North Lake itself is completely covered in a blanket of snow, as are all the campsites around it. However, conditions are ideal for snow camping.

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I had a vague – a very, very vague – idea about trying for Green Point Mtn from the lake – but this view put a complete end to any such thoughts.

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Lunch was spent gazing at snow sculpture and then it was back down the trail.

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The day was calm, clear, and sunny, and it was pleasant sitting in the sun for lunch, but it was still pretty cold up there.

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North Lake is a pretty destination at any time of the year, but on a snowy, sunny day in winter it's extra special. Worth a trip while the snow is still there (and largely untrodden). 11.5 mi RT, 3800’ EG.

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Last edited by VanMarmot on December 29th, 2015, 8:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Chase
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Re: A Bluebird Day at North Lake 10-Feb-2013

Post by Chase » February 10th, 2013, 7:13 pm

VanMarmot wrote:
I had a vague – a very, very vague – idea about trying for Green Point Mtn from the lake – but this view put a complete end to any such thoughts.

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Love your pictures because they're either for aesthetics or, in this case, just pure information. I will make a point to not try that route up to Green Pt. Mtn. until July.

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Peder
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Location: Lake Oswego

Re: A Bluebird Day at North Lake 10-Feb-2013

Post by Peder » February 10th, 2013, 11:33 pm

Fantastic pictures and a great TR Bruce! I really enjoyed your fourth B/W picture of a broken MSH floating on the clouds. I agree about not ascending the avalanche slope...
Some people are really fit at eighty; thankfully I still have many years to get into shape…

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Crusak
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Re: A Bluebird Day at North Lake 10-Feb-2013

Post by Crusak » February 11th, 2013, 6:33 am

Nice! Thanks for the update. I was wondering what that exact trek is looking like. Good to get an update on trail conditions, with your great photos as a bonus.
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