Coldwater Peak 09-16-16

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bobcat
Posts: 1996
Joined: August 1st, 2011, 7:51 am
Location: SW Portland

Coldwater Peak 09-16-16

Post by bobcat » September 20th, 2016, 4:04 pm

I took the Friday before the rainy weekend off and motored up to Johnston Ridge. It’s been about ten years since I’ve been up here I think: somehow I got it into my head that it was too long a drive from southwest Portland. Even with the commuter traffic, however, it took just two hours, which is my current limit for day hikes.

There were high clouds, but the mountain and its exposed entrails revealed themselves fully. The huckleberry bushes have all turned red, but there were still a few blooms about, especially paintbrush, cat’s ear, and both broad-leaf and dwarf lupine (It was the latter’s affinity for sandy/gravelly soils and ability to fix nitrogen that hastened the comeback of vegetation in the blast area).
View to the breach,  Boundary Trail.jpg
Cardwell's penstemon (Penstemon cardwellii), Boundary Trail.jpg
Coldwater Peak and The Dome from Boundary Trail.jpg
Lupine and paintbrush, Boundary Trail.jpg
Toutle River valley from the Devils Elbow, Boundary Trail.jpg
Dwarf lupine (Lupinus lepidus), Devils Elbow, Boundary Trail.jpg
Mertens' sedge (Carex mertensii), Boundary Trail.jpg
I took the Boundary Trail, turned the corner at the Devils Elbow, crossed the Spillover, and hiked up through willow draws to Harrys Ridge. The view of the mountain from that point is similar to that at the observatory, but in addition, of course, you get to see most of the spread of Spirit Lake with Mt. Adams always on the eastern horizon.
The hummocks at Bear Cove, Spirit Lake from Harrys Ridge.jpg
View to Mt. Adams over Spirit Lake, Harrys Ridge.jpg
Mt. St. Helens from Harrys Viewpoint, Harrys Ridge.jpg
Spirit Lake and Mt. Adams from Harrys Ridge.jpg
Pussypaws (Calyptridium umbellatum), Harrys Ridge.jpg
From Harrys Ridge, it was up the Coldwater Ridge to pass through the natural arch and reach Arch Saddle. An elk herd was bedding down for their afternoon siesta in the valley below. From the saddle, it was a lovely walk above the sedge meadows that spill down into St. Helens Lake to the Coldwater Peak Trail.
View east, Coldwater Ridge, Boundary Trail.jpg
Red sandspurry (Spergularia rubra), Coldwater Ridge, Boundary Trail.jpg
Elk browsing, Coldwater Ridge, Boundary Trail.jpg
St. Helens Lake and The Dome, Coldwater Ridge, Boundary Trail.jpg
Biggest one standing, Coldwater Ridge, Boundary Trail.jpg
Orange agoseris (Agoseris aurantiaca), Coldwater Ridge, Boundary Trail.jpg
Looking down at the St. Helens Arch, Coldwater Ridge, Boundary Trail.jpg
Looking through the St. Helens Arch, Coldwater Ridge, Boundary Trail.jpg
Matchsticks on a slope, Coldwater Ridge, Boundary Trail.jpg
Boundary Trail above St. Helens Lake, Coldwater Ridge.jpg
Looking up to Coldwater Peak, Coldwater Ridge, Boundary Trail.jpg
Sedge meadows above St. Helens Lake, Coldwater Ridge, Boundary Trail.jpg
A few switchbacks up, on a trail that had been frequented very recently by both elk and bear, and I was at the top, along with a summit swarm of several thousand flying ants, which infiltrated themselves everywhere and (inadvertently) added a little protein to my lunch.
Two lakes from the Coldwater Peak Trail, Coldwater Peak.jpg
Western pasque flower seedhead (Anemone occidentalis), Coldwater Peak.jpg
Minnie Peak, Mt. Rainier from Coldwater Peak.jpg
Undigested huckleberries, Coldwater Peak.jpg
From the summit, Coldwater Peak.jpg
Mt. Rainier from Coldwater Peak.jpg
On the way back, I encountered a ranger at the arch. She was carrying a new sign to set up at the Arch Saddle junction, where the Coldwater and Boundary Trails meet (There are two signposts there already). This one was to remind hikers that the Coldwater Trail did NOT go to Coldwater Peak (Apparently, there have been many complaints, I assume from hikers who don’t carry maps or research their trip properly beforehand).

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naturallog
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Joined: February 2nd, 2016, 9:07 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Coldwater Peak 09-16-16

Post by naturallog » September 20th, 2016, 8:20 pm

Very cool spread of the trees on St. Helens Lake and great report.

Yeah...I was glad I had my guidebook at that junction a couple of week ago :)

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romann
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: Coldwater Peak 09-16-16

Post by romann » September 21st, 2016, 11:07 pm

One of my favorite views up there. Great pictures, your post reminded me of yet another place to see before winter.
Image

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Peder
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Location: Lake Oswego

Re: Coldwater Peak 09-16-16

Post by Peder » September 25th, 2016, 6:04 pm

Image
Left to right: Mt Venus, Mt Rainier, the pinnacles on Mt Venus' SSE ridge and Pleasant Pass (hidden in the gash on the right)
On the way back, I encountered a ranger at the arch. She was carrying a new sign to set up at the Arch Saddle junction, where the Coldwater and Boundary Trails meet (There are two signposts there already). This one was to remind hikers that the Coldwater Trail did NOT go to Coldwater Peak (Apparently, there have been many complaints, I assume from hikers who don’t carry maps or research their trip properly beforehand).
Hilarious, to be ignorant is one thing, but to be upset when you do a stupidity and then blame it on the lack of signage is just glorious! At the MSHNVM HQ:

"What the @#$& do you mean that the sign "South Coldwater Trail" does not point to Coldwater Peak?"
Some people are really fit at eighty; thankfully I still have many years to get into shape…

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bobcat
Posts: 1996
Joined: August 1st, 2011, 7:51 am
Location: SW Portland

Re: Coldwater Peak 09-16-16

Post by bobcat » September 26th, 2016, 7:10 am

Peder wrote:Left to right: Mt Venus, Mt Rainier, the pinnacles on Mt Venus' SSE ridge and Pleasant Pass (hidden in the gash on the right)
Thanks for the correction, Peder - and sloppy orienteering on my part: that whole area to the north is like Mars (or Venus) to me!

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Arturo
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Joined: April 20th, 2015, 6:44 am
Location: Portland

Re: Coldwater Peak 09-16-16

Post by Arturo » September 26th, 2016, 3:48 pm

Instead of posting another trip report I'll just add some pictures to this one.
This was my 2nd time ... first time we came up the ridge from the south trailhead. This time we took the boundary trail.
And I would do them both again ... maybe a shuttle ... it's such a majestic place.
IMG_20160924_104346.jpg
IMG_20160924_140732.jpg
IMG_20160924_110230.jpg
IMG_20160924_091214.jpg
IMG_20160924_130307.jpg

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