Thursday, July 1, 2010

Up to Carbon Glacier

View all the pics here (link)

This past weekend Natalie was away in NYC for a friends wedding.  I figured if she was having a girls weekend then it was off to the woods for me.  My neighbor Ross was game so we left the house at 7am Saturday morning headed to Mount Rainier National Park.  The goal was to camp up above the carbon glacier.  

When we arrived at the ranger station we found out that we were next in line behind the guy who got the last pass for the campsite we wanted.  We ended up with a permit for the carbon creek campground which turned out to be a nicer place to camp than were we wanted, even if it was not quite as far out.

So we started the trip with a 5 mile bike ride from the car up to the trailhead.  It was interesting riding a bike with 30lbs on my back but it was really nice to be back on the bike after taking a few years off.  

Then we hoofed it in just under 4 miles I believe to our camp at Carbon Creek.  We got a little turned around but after some searching we figured out where the place was.  There was a sweet suspension bridge on the way over to camp so I took about 5000 pictures of that.  We nabbed a great spot and setup camp really fast before loading up our dayhiking gear and heading up the trail.

It was not long before we came into view of the glacier.  I am not sure what I had pictured but this looked a lot like a gravel pit.  I can see why it is named the carbon glacier as it was black and covered in dark rocks.  It was an interesting contrast with Rainier gleaming so white you could hardly look at it in the background.  An amazing sight.

We kept heading up the trail, and I mean up, and passed the dicks creek campground where we had wanted to stay.  There was probably a nice view but the campsites were not much to look at.  We agreed that things had worked out well for us and continued up.  There was supposed to be a pretty lake at the top with an amazing view Rainier over a wildflower meadow.  Well after several miles of going up and up and up we hit the snow line.  Looks like no wildflower meadows for us.  Just to be stubborn we kept pushing up past the snow line a bit but realized that all we were going to accomplish was to get out feet soaked since I once again did not bring my gators.  Ok, they are coming on every trip from now on even if I am going to Arizona.

We eventually decided it was time to throw in the towel so I sent a quick message to Natalie from my spot messenger and we headed down.

We got back to camp, fished our beer out of the creek and kicked back in the campsite for a while.  Not too long after dark the day caught up with us and we turned in for the day.  I froze again proving to myself that I just need to bite the bullet and get a feathered friends 10 degree sleeping bag.  I must be getting old because I am getting really cold camping at night.  Nah, that can't be it!

Sunday we had a pretty quick hike back to the bikes and then had a blast racing back to the car.  I slowed us down taking lots of wildflower pictures.  Hopefully my buddy Stu will chime in and identify the ones I am not sure of.

Another great trip.  Looking forward to our car camping 4th of July adventure coming up this weekend.

1 comment:

Pedicularis said...

The pretty blue flower is Merten's bluebell. The snout of all of Rainier's glaciers are covered with rocks and dirt. Rocks, gravel, and dirt fall off the cliffs onto the glacier up high. Then they absorb the heat from the sun and melt the ice around them as the glacier moves down the mountain. Eventually, the whole surface is covered with rocks and dirt.