Wyeth Trail to North Lake 18-March-2010

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VanMarmot
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Wyeth Trail to North Lake 18-March-2010

Post by VanMarmot » March 18th, 2010, 9:06 pm

Although I’ve been up the Wyeth Trail to Green Point Saddle (where the 411 & 418 trails junction) and to Green Point Mountain more than a few times, I’d so far managed to not visit North Lake. With low snow and good weather, today seemed like the perfect day to fix that oversight. The Wyeth Trail starts off easy, then surges upward in a series of long, steep switchbacks before slacking off a bit on the climbing – after the first 0.75 mi or so it's quite a gentle trail for 3800’ of gain. While it isn’t known for its viewpoints, there are a few and Mt. St Helens was on prominent display.

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The trail was in good condition (only a few minor blowdowns) and snow-free all the way to the saddle at 3880’. It was a completely clear and sunny day but not necessarily a warm one, particularly on the saddle where there was a stiff (cold) cross-wind. Even with the chill, the snow on the saddle was nothing more than a dusting.

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Snow began to cover the trail to the lake soon after leaving the saddle, but the trail was generally visible in the snow and not too hard to follow – there were occasional bits of old flagging and metal markers to help with this. About 0.25 mi from the lake, at around 4000’, the snow got much deeper and the trail became obscure. This was also about the point where the flagging and metals tags seemed to disappear too.

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The snow was very firm and easy to walk on with almost no postholeing, so I just headed off cross-country to the lake. First the sign appeared,

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then the lake itself.

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Down near the lake the wind was calm and it was very peaceful. The snow must have made it hard to judge size, because the lake looked bigger when I saw it from Green Point Mtn. in the summer.

On the way down, there was a good view of the west side of Mt. Defiance.

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There weren’t too many flowers out yet ( I did see 1) but there was this cupcake-like tree fungus.

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