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#1156947 - 10/19/17 10:16 PM [TR] Switchback, Martin, and Bigelow Larchiness - The Dog routes 10/8/2017
JasonG Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2794
TRs: 107 Photos: 1811
Loc: Mount Vernon
Trip: Switchback, Martin, and Bigelow Larchiness - The Dog routes

Date: 10/8/2017

Trip Report:
Nagging tendon issues have kept me away from real technical climbing this summer. Thankfully, the Cascades are infinitely scalable, and I've been able to shift my focus to scrambles and easy mountaineering objectives. The latest peak bagging mission earlier this month happened to overlap with the Alpine larch insanity that grips the North Cascades every October and, most importantly, a weekend when my parents could watch our boys. As a bonus, Scott and Megan were able to join as well. Oh, and Lucas, MOUNTAIN DOG!

My wife and I met climbing, but we rarely get out in the hills together any more. That's why it was a special treat on this trip to hang with good friends, tag some summits, eat chocolate, and share some drinks around the fire. Even after all these years, I'm struck by what a beautiful backyard we have. Especially during larch season.....



































































Gear Notes:
Standard hiking fare. We didn't feel helmets were necessary.

Approach Notes:
Crater Creek trailhead. We went clockwise, but the other way would be fine as well. We camped at Cooney and Boiling lakes. Switchback and Martin on Day 2, Bigelow on day 3 and out. We only ran into a few motorcycles and mtn. bikes on day 1. All were respectful.
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#1156950 - 10/20/17 09:28 AM Re: [TR] Switchback, Martin, and Bigelow Larchiness - The Dog routes 10/8/2017 [Re: JasonG]
Stefan Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/16/01
Posts: 2232
TRs: 7 Photos: 9
Loc: the circus
Seriously some great photos. Great framing. Great storytelling with those photos.
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#1156951 - 10/20/17 10:20 AM Re: [TR] Switchback, Martin, and Bigelow Larchiness - The Dog routes 10/8/2017 [Re: Stefan]
JasonG Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2794
TRs: 107 Photos: 1811
Loc: Mount Vernon
Thanks Stefan! I always start typing up TRs, look at the photos, and think I'm wasting my time. The words don't ever work for me like the images do. Glad you caught the story in the photos, that's always the goal.
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#1156952 - 10/20/17 11:00 AM Re: [TR] Switchback, Martin, and Bigelow Larchiness - The Dog routes 10/8/2017 [Re: JasonG]
JBo6 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 311
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Loc: Bellingham
I may have been one of the bikers that passed you. Did the loop on Sunday. What a cool area and your photos do it justice!

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#1156957 - 10/20/17 02:27 PM Re: [TR] Switchback, Martin, and Bigelow Larchiness - The Dog routes 10/8/2017 [Re: JasonG]
sepultura Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/23/03
Posts: 202
TRs: 6 Photos: 140
Loc: Unalaska, AK
Damn those pics are nice! And another great latch trip.

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#1156965 - 10/20/17 09:16 PM Re: [TR] Switchback, Martin, and Bigelow Larchiness - The Dog routes 10/8/2017 [Re: JasonG]
Buckaroo Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/15/02
Posts: 1598
TRs: 11 Photos: 349
Loc: forced bivy
Originally Posted By: JasonG
Trip: Switchback, Martin, and Bigelow Larchiness - The Dog routes





This is an amazing shot

Did the dog get to summit?
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#1156966 - 10/21/17 08:05 PM Re: [TR] Switchback, Martin, and Bigelow Larchiness - The Dog routes 10/8/2017 [Re: JasonG]
Trent Offline
member

Registered: 04/24/04
Posts: 171
TRs: 14 Photos: 170
Loc: Stanwood
Wow! Looks like an awesome outing! Beautiful shots as usual!
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Walking is SO underrated!

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#1156967 - 10/21/17 09:19 PM Re: [TR] Switchback, Martin, and Bigelow Larchiness - The Dog routes 10/8/2017 [Re: Buckaroo]
JasonG Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2794
TRs: 107 Photos: 1811
Loc: Mount Vernon
Thanks everyone!

Yeah Steve, we certainly missed you and Holli!

Buckaroo- Lucas made it up all three peaks. It was impressive to watch him work up through the boulderfields, especially since he is about 12 or so (he's like an old Tibetan Lama, nobody is quite sure how old he is). Glad you like the long exposure shot, since I was starting to regret lugging the tripod all over the place.
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#1156969 - 10/21/17 10:35 PM Re: [TR] Switchback, Martin, and Bigelow Larchiness - The Dog routes 10/8/2017 [Re: JasonG]
RodrigoB Offline
stranger

Registered: 06/23/16
Posts: 8
TRs: 2 Photos: 0
Lovely photos on a rainy fall day. Want to share the dog?

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#1156971 - 10/22/17 12:19 PM Re: [TR] Switchback, Martin, and Bigelow Larchiness - The Dog routes 10/8/2017 [Re: JasonG]
max Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/08/00
Posts: 896
TRs: 3 Photos: 70
Loc: R6
Originally Posted By: JasonG
We only ran into a few motorcycles and mtn. bikes on day 1. All were respectful.


I think the Spring guide books ruined many hikers for many places, scaring them off with rants of rude and out-of-control bikers.

I always find these places empty. Bonus.

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#1156972 - 10/22/17 12:30 PM Re: [TR] Switchback, Martin, and Bigelow Larchiness - The Dog routes 10/8/2017 [Re: max]
JasonG Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2794
TRs: 107 Photos: 1811
Loc: Mount Vernon
After arriving to a packed TH, filled with bike racks and trucks, I was expecting the worst. But there are a lot of trail miles served by that parking area and people spread out. We would communicate with the moto/mtn bikers as to our party size, they would do the same, and everyone would get past each other without incident. The noise from the motos was a bit surprising, but since we didn't have that many motorized parties (~4?) over the course of the three days, it was totally fine.

If it became (resumed being?) really popular with the moto crowd I could see there being issues. It's hard to say (for me) what it was like in these areas 30+ years ago when Harvey and Ira were still active... I know use patterns can and do change dramatically over the decades. I've certainly seen it firsthand in my stomping grounds on the west side.
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#1156973 - 10/22/17 07:19 PM Re: [TR] Switchback, Martin, and Bigelow Larchiness - The Dog routes 10/8/2017 [Re: JasonG]
Summit_Rolos Offline
journeyman

Registered: 06/19/01
Posts: 73
TRs: 7 Photos: 130
Loc: Seattle, WA, USA
So beautiful. thanks for sharing (as always!)

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#1156976 - 10/23/17 02:11 PM Re: [TR] Switchback, Martin, and Bigelow Larchiness - The Dog routes 10/8/2017 [Re: Summit_Rolos]
olyclimber Offline
☼☼☼☼☼☼☼

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 25324
TRs: 47 Photos: 895
Loc: In Love with You
wow. and did you find that wolf on the trail and befriend it?

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#1156978 - 10/23/17 05:27 PM Re: [TR] Switchback, Martin, and Bigelow Larchiness - The Dog routes 10/8/2017 [Re: olyclimber]
JasonG Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2794
TRs: 107 Photos: 1811
Loc: Mount Vernon
Originally Posted By: olyclimber
did you find that wolf on the trail and befriend it?


That's actually not far off the story behind Lucas. His original owners were neighbors of Scott and Meg who divorced and split town some years back. Lucas didn't fit into either of their plans and the neighborhood committed to keeping him fed and sheltered. Scott and Meg became the de facto owners of Lucas and have acclimated him to the choss life. He's taken to it admirably and probably has 10 of the 100 highest under his belt.
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#1156979 - 10/23/17 05:30 PM Re: [TR] Switchback, Martin, and Bigelow Larchiness - The Dog routes 10/8/2017 [Re: RodrigoB]
JasonG Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2794
TRs: 107 Photos: 1811
Loc: Mount Vernon
Originally Posted By: RodrigoB
Want to share the dog?


If you got snacks, I'm sure Lucas would be game. You'll have to clear it with Meg though, which is the crux.
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#1156986 - 10/24/17 04:14 PM Re: [TR] Switchback, Martin, and Bigelow Larchiness - The Dog routes 10/8/2017 [Re: JasonG]
Phil K Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 07/11/03
Posts: 512
TRs: 2 Photos: 13
Loc: Mr. Rogers' neighborhood
How was the fishing, Jason?

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#1156988 - 10/24/17 07:07 PM Re: [TR] Switchback, Martin, and Bigelow Larchiness - The Dog routes 10/8/2017 [Re: Phil K]
JasonG Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2794
TRs: 107 Photos: 1811
Loc: Mount Vernon
Well....I'm afraid to say I don't know. Given the drive and itinerary I was thinking I wouldn't have much time for fishing and this proved true. I was second guessing my decision on the drive, but am glad I left the fishing gear behind. Cooney lake was far too windy to fish comfortably and Boiling Lake was down so low that there was a big ring of mud to access the water. Lots of fish in Boiling though, even if it was 2/3rds frozen over in the morning!
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#1157006 - 10/25/17 09:30 PM Re: [TR] Switchback, Martin, and Bigelow Larchiness - The Dog routes 10/8/2017 [Re: JasonG]
Phil K Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 07/11/03
Posts: 512
TRs: 2 Photos: 13
Loc: Mr. Rogers' neighborhood
Yeah, it usually seems pretty late in the year for high elevation lake fishes by the time the larches turn. This is another area that has been on the radar for some time. Now I'm inspired.

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#1157015 - 10/26/17 11:41 PM Re: [TR] Switchback, Martin, and Bigelow Larchiness - The Dog routes 10/8/2017 [Re: JasonG]
pup_on_the_mountain Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 532
TRs: 6 Photos: 45
Loc: Land of Cows
Stunning pics! Keep 'em coming!! tup tup
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#1157092 - 11/04/17 06:46 AM Re: [TR] Switchback, Martin, and Bigelow Larchiness - The Dog routes 10/8/2017 [Re: JasonG]
pope Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 02/24/01
Posts: 2882
TRs: 1 Photos: 54
Loc: iso
Stunning photography! Enjoyed your post.
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