I was just sitting around in the sun by the coast when I decided I needed a little mountain action in my life. It was about noon, so I figured if I was gonna make this happen I needed to get going. I packed up and headed out SR542 to one of my newest favorite spots - Heliotrope Ridge. Torrey and Amanda, being the awesome people they are, took me up on the super last minute invite and met me at the trailhead.
During the drive out, the weather was looking pretty bad. It was overcast, and just seemed to be getting worse. But hey, we figured if nothing else, it would be a good hike and I definitely need to train. I got to the trailhead just as Torrey and Amanda arrived.
The trail meandered through the woods, slowly making its way up the mountain. We crossed bridges and rock-hopped across streams. As we went, the clouds started to clear a little bit, and we were able to see some mountains through the trees. We eventually made it up to the ridge and were greeted by the Coleman Glacier, which stretched out in front of us. We were ecstatic over the change in weather and the views and we stopped to take it in for a bit.
Up, up, up! We kept going along the trail, but much slower now. We stopped countless times to take photos and take in the view. all of us were in disbelief over what we were seeing, and amazed we had such good luck with the weather. Fully in the alpine now, we pushed up through the snowfields kicking in steps all the way up. as we went we pushed through the cloud layer that had been chasing us the whole hike and were rewarded by the brilliant sunlight streaming just above.
We reached camp just as the sun started to go down, and began slowly setting up camp. That too was difficult because we stopped so often to run around on the rock outcropping taking in the view. The sun made everything glow golden, and nobody could keep a smile off their face. After the tents were up, we made a light dinner and cozied up in our sleeping bags talking and laughing until past dark. It was late when we finally made it to bed.
I awoke at about 4:30am - I can never sleep long when I'm outside cause I just get too stoked about it. I unzipped my tent and Mt. Baker peeked in and said good morning. Even that early, there was a soft glow on the mountain. I got up and ran around in the snow and around camp just ecstatic. Even with the little sleep I got the crisp morning air and incredible views woke me right up. With Torrey and Amanda still sleeping, I felt alone with the mountain, which has a certain peace and feeling to it which is hard to replicate anywhere else. When Torrey and Amanda got up, I made coffee for everyone and we sat and talked and just took the morning slowly.
Eventually we took camp down, packed up, and headed down. It was definitely one of my favorite trips of the year so far.