Navaho Peak, 06/28/09

Somehow, Nicole and I had yet to truly reach a summit. It’s probably because we’d never picked a hike with the summit of a mountain as our destination. On Mt. Aix, we came close, only to be turned back by fear and thunderclouds. At Marmot Pass earlier this year, summiting Buckhorn Mtn. had been a thought until full backpacks and bum knees made us think otherwise. So reaching a summit was overdue, and Nicole in particular really wanted to accomplish that goal.

Mt. Stuart and The Enchantments Range from Navaho Peak.

Mt. Stuart and The Enchantments Range from Navaho Peak.

Cousin Bobby, who accompanied us on our hike to Goat Lake two weekends ago and didn’t break a sweat the entire time, wanted to go out again. We wanted to take him somewhere impressive, as we only have a few more free weekends until his internship ends. We also wanted to make him sweat.

Our friend David, who just returned from teaching English in Mexico for ~1.75 years and is staying with us at the moment, insisted that he had boundless energy and didn’t want to be left behind. He may have been exaggerating, and he might be regretting his decision at this very moment.

Our destination was chosen earlier in the week: Navaho Peak, in the Teanaway area. Like last week, we were unpleasantly surprised to find that Navaho Pass was declared WTA’s Hike of the Week. Undeterred by this obvious and repetitive display of telepathic plagiarism, we kept the plans in place as they were.

hikers_50

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West Fork Foss River Lakes, 08/23/08-08/24/08

So far this summer Nicole and I have gone on six hikes together; the first three were all either one- or two-night backpacks; hikes four, five, and six were all day hikes.  So as the weekend approached and trip-planning began, like, for real, we knew we wanted to spend a night [tossing and turning within our sleeping bags].  Backpacking it would be, but since we only had Saturday night available, and I had to work Saturday morning, it couldn’t be a long drive or that long of a hike.  We also had to keep in mind that we’d probably be pitching our tent somewhere early Saturday evening, crux of the weekend populous.   I had my hands wrapped around a pair of Green Trails Maps (#175 & #176) and prior reports and pictures in my head.  Elimination claimed trails we hypothesized as too long, too difficult, too buggy, and too busy; those trips requiring off-trail travel were sadly stricken from the slate.

In the end, we decided to try our luck up the West Fork of the Foss River, along Trail #1064.  With four lakes sitting around the 4000’ mark, and all seemingly within reach from the 1600’ trailhead–the farthest being ~6.8 miles in–we were confident we’d find a place so settle down before the sun set.  This trail sits entirely within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness of Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, and is easily reached off of US-2 via the Foss River Road (Road 68/6835).  Don’t ask me how–actually, I think it’s because I already had map in hand and read a recent report and therefore felt like I knew what to expect–but I neglected to check the USFS site until just now.  It calls the trail “severely flood damaged,” characterizes the difficulty as “Easiest/Most Difficult,” and states that visitor use is “Extra Heavy.”  I’ll try to elaborate on all that throughout the rest of this trip report, but let me preemptively say it isn’t quite so bad as that.

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Lake Ingalls, 08/03/08

After a one-weekend hiking hiatus (which actually amounts to about fourteen days, and felt like every minute of it) we were determined to make the most of our common day off, and get out and hike.  Since we’re still left with just Sundays–a temporary situation, we hope–we weren’t looking for an overnighter, and it had to be something marginally nearby.  I’d seen a trip report or two for Lake Ingalls lately, so I kept that in my mind as Nicole and I set about our routine of searching websites and guidebooks for other possibilities.  I wouldn’t call it wasted time, but in the end, we decided on Lake Ingalls anyway.  I think I can speak for the both of us when I say that we’re glad we did.

Panorama at Lake Ingalls.

Panorama at Lake Ingalls. Click if you care to embiggen.

Lake Ingalls sits just inside the Alpine Lake Wilderness boundary, in the Teanaway area of Washington State.  In years past, almost all of our hikes ended at an alpine–or, more likely, at that time, sub-alpine lake.  Mason Lake, Lake Valhalla, Rachel Lake, Watson Lakes…  We loved rewarding ourselves with a cool dip or cold plunge and some time spent resting before the return down.  This year, somehow, we’d yet to take a hike with a lake for a reward; the Pacific Ocean doesn’t count.  Lake Ingalls, which sits at an elevation of about 6500’, sounded perfect.

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