Elmo & Rachael do the Royal Basin

14 08 2015

 Andres was able to join Rachael and me for a quick overnighter to the Royal Basin. We did the 7 mile hike in, set up camp, then hiked a mile or so to the upper tarn to do some recon for future trips. The Olympics did not disappoint with more amazing views & stunning scenery.

This is what happens when you try and take a nice picture of your friends…..

A & R Royal Basin

 Rachael hiking towards the upper tarn.

Rachael Royal Basin

Rae Royal Basin

 

Upper Tarn.

upper tarn

Andres hiking above upper tarn

mtns

Andres testing his rock climbing skills on chunky choss.

rock climbing

Andres above upper tarn

Deer were pretty abundant in the area. Mom with twins.

deer & twins

 

 

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The High Divide with Rachael

13 08 2015

The High Divide is a gorgeous 18 mile loop in the Olympic National Park that starts (and ends) in a lush rainforest full of gigantic trees that seem large enough to build a tiny house in, then rises to high alpine tundra with spectacular views of the Seven Lakes Basin & Mt. Olympus. Although the loop can easily be hiked in a day, spending a few days backpacking there exploring the lakes & soaking in the amazing views is definitely the way to do it. I haven’t spent anytime backpacking in the Lower 48, so when Rachael invited me on this trip I jumped at the chance to see her & check out some new territory. With temperatures in the mid 80’s it was slightly warm for this Alaskan girl, but I managed 🙂

 Sol Duc Falls.

sol duc falls

 Our first camp was Deer Lake. Sunset, ginormous trees, & of course, the Mid.

sunset mid deer lake

Another beautiful, sunny morning in the Olympics.

trees deer lake

Rae high divide1

We decided to take a long lunch break, siesta, & swim at the Seven Lakes Basin. The Basin is the premiere camping spot on the High Divide Loop, but fills up quickly. We planned this trip months ago & weren’t able to secure a site there. The lakes are pretty cold (as you would suspect any high alpine lake to be), but a perfect way to cool off from the heat 🙂

Rachael descending into the Seven Lakes Basin.

Rae above 7 lakes basin

View of Round Lake.

7 lakes basin view

Rachael soaking in another amazing view of the Basin.

R lunch lake

Wildlife was abundant! I felt like I was in the Disneyland of animals & gorgeous views! We saw black bears, mountain goats, & tons of deer.

deer hd

R HD

Rachael high divide

We took the very short side trip & climbed Mt. Bogachiel. Well worth the 360 degree spectacular views!

Descending back down to the trail we found these guys…..

mountain goats

mountain goat

Rachael looking back to the Seven Lakes Basin.

Rachael 7 lakes basin

Rachael fulfilling her promise to pump water for me at Sol Duc Park 🙂

pumping water Sol Duc Park

Rachael & me.

R & me HD

We finished the loop & headed over to Olympic Hot Springs for one last perfect night out, ending our amazing trip with a soak in the hot springs.

Morning sun shining through the trees at Olympic Hot Springs!

trees olympic hot springs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Elmo (and Andres) Ski Mount Rainier

3 06 2013

I finally made it to Seattle to ski with Andres! Somehow, I lucked out on the weather and missed a cloudy/rainy weekend in AK for a hot, sunny weekend in Washington!

mt rainier

The first day we decided to ski the Interglacier on Mt. Rainier. With approximately a 4700ish ft. elevation gain to 9000 ft. climbing it kicked my sea level butt. We started the hike in the forest, clouds obscuring the mountain tops. We strapped the skis on our backs for the first 3+ miles, until there was enough snow to skin to the 9000 ft. level where we skied down from.

forest

Once we popped out of the trees the clouds started to lift and we got our first glimpse of Mt. Rainier. As we continued up the glacier, the weather improved the entire way to blue skies, sunshine, and really, really warm temps. I got burnt to a crisp despite the loads of sunscreen I kept reapplying.

Fresh snow and lots of wet slides on the Interglacier.

Interglacier

Andres with Mt. Rainier.

Andres summit mt rainier

andres ski2

Beautiful views of the Cascades as far as the eye can see. andres interglacier

Sense of scale. Andres in the right corner headed down the glacier.sense of scale

The finest sunglasses that Safeway has to offer 🙂 Andres rocking the Hannah Montana sunglasses and me with Mt. Rainier behind us.

me & Andres

The next day we headed to the Camp Muir side of the mountain. Holy crowds of people!!! We brought Elmo with us to the circus 🙂

elmo skins

The weather started out great, but by the time we got up on the mountain to 8,000 ft. the clouds rolled in, making flat light and obscuring all detail on the mountain. Instead of skiing the chutes, I decided to take it easy and just ski the way we came up-I was nervous about re-injuring my ankle and didn’t want to be out for most of the summer.

Elmo skis!

elmo skis

I had a blast in Washington! It was awesome to spend time in the mountains again with Andres and hang out with Leanne in the city. I’m lucky to have such great friends~I’m looking forward to my next trip to Seattle!








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