Rock Mountain

August 24, 2002: The dogs and I head to Rock Mountain (about 10 miles east of Stevens Pass).  We got a late start (~11AM), and it took forever to get through Duvall and Monroe.  Man, there are alot of slow drivers on the highways here.

If you aren't a Seattleite, don't consider moving here...it is too crowded.

If you are a Seattleite, consider moving away...  I will take my own advice someday, but I like my current job.  That outweighs other considerations at the moment.

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PICT0646: We started hiking around 1:45 PM.  Trailhead at ~2700 FASL. 

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PICT0647: 2 hours into the hike, the dogs are pooped.  It was a hot day and there was little shade on this hike.

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PICT0648: At a rest stop, looking East.

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PICT0649: At a rest stop, looking North.

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PICT0650: At the same rest stop, looking NorthEast.

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PICT0651: Objective in sight!  Rock mountain (~6800 FASL) in sight!

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PICT0652: We stopped and took a break here.  In the 10 minutes we were resting, I counted six lightning strikes all near the top of Rock mountain.  I looked to the west and saw dark clouds as far as I could see.  At this point, I decided to abort the mission.  Too bad...we were 3/4 of the way to the summit.

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PICT0653: A particularly steep slope below Rock mountain.

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PICT0654: The ridge on which I saw several lightning strikes.  I didn't notice any fires started by the lightning, but I did see some loose rock start falling after a strike.

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PICT0655: Looking west.

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PICT0656: Looking overhead at the cloud that was generating the lightning.

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PICT0657: Looking west again.

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PICT0658: Southwest.

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PICT0659: South

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PICT0660: South

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PICT0662: The dogs; hunkered down.

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PICT0665: Pink heather and Harley.

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PICT0666: Lupine.  Looks like a bug is demonstrating its symbiotic relationship with the wildflower.

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PICT0668: Lupines.

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PICT0671: Harley and wildflowers.

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PICT0673: Looking down and to the West.

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PICT0674: Same as above.  Those power lines run over the Stevens Pass ski area.  When we were close by to the power lines, we could hear them making a crackling noise.

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PICT0675: Apparently this isn't such a good snowshoe route.  In addition to steep avalanche prone slopes, one would also have to worry about getting hit by artillery.

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PICT0676: Looking down and East.

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PICT0677: Same.

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PICT0679: This gives you an idea of the steepness of switchback hell.  Also, this is the avalanche prone slope I mentioned earlier.

It was a nice hike.  Not crowded at all (we saw just one other group the entire day).   However, the first half could be described as "switchback hell", there was little shade, and no water.  I will return on a cool clear day for another summit attempt.

After the hike, I decided to drive past Lake Wenatchee and check out the Mount David trail.  I've been wanting to try Mount David, but am not sure if it would be too steep for the dogs.  We got lost on the way (due to bad directions).  I followed signs to "Viewpoint" 4 miles off the main road.  At the viewpoint, there was this nice view of Lake Wenatchee.

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PICT0684: The dogs and Lake Wenatchee.

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PICT0690: At the time, I thought this might be Mount David.  However, after discovering my true position, I believe this is 6200 FT Labyrith Mountain

By the time we found the Mt. David trailhead, it was too dark for good pictures.  However, we didn't see the top of the mountain anyway and the trail was closed due to a wildfire.  We stopped at Lake Wenatchee State Park on the way home where the dogs finally got to go for a swim.