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[TR] Granite Mountain- ridge traverse from Paddy-Go-Easy 7/25/2006

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Climb: Granite Mountain-ridge traverse from Paddy-Go-Easy


Date of Climb: 7/25/2006


Trip Report:

Dylan answered my request for a "mellow" lakes trip and brought along Tyler and Kim. Knowing that it was going to be hot, we left Seattle at 6 AM. We were pleasantly surprised that it was overcast, and we made quick time to Paddy-Go-Easy Pass (this trail doesn't screw around the way that Cascade Pass, Longs Pass, and Blue Lake do).


Wildflowers were great, and the cloudy sky made for great photography.












We rested and took a swim in Sprite Lake.


Then we started up the ridge, which for the first half, is the rough red rock found on Ingalls.






Abruptly the rock changed to granite.


The ridge was adventure-scrambling, with the occasional turn-around from a highpoint because it was too darn steep on the other side. Given the others' skill levels we didn't bag all the highpoints (traversed past them) -- apparently there's a mineshaft on one of them.


We made camp at some half-melted tarns on the flanks of Granite Mountain. I was happy to have my GoLite Lair2 Nest bug shelter.


The clouds started to clear as the temperature cooled, and the setting sun set them afire.




I got up before dawn and tagged the summit of South Granite. The register dated from Sept 2005, and the only signers since were a party led by the Goodmans (they're everywhere!). The sunrise was muted, so while pretty and enjoyable, I didn't get any photos that really wowed me. Guess I've seen a lot of dramatic sunrises.


I got back to camp and woke everyone up. After breakfast and packing up, we tromped up to the summit of (North) Granite and soaked in the views. Mt. Baring, The Cradle, Stuey, Daniel, Snoqualmie Pickets, and four volcanoes.


We hiked down to Robin Lakes, where we took a swim and watched the goats.












Then we hiked down to Tuck Lake, following cairns at first to the north (GreenTrails has it labeled but not USGS).






At Tuck Pot, we met a group of three and played a cool frisbee game (175 grams -- I didn't skimp!). We stood on rock islands about 100 feet apart and tried to throw the frisbee to each other. The hilarious result was a lot of diving into the water and missed catches.




We then hiked out past Hyas Lake, feeling sorry for all the people hiking up in the heat. At the trailhead, we still had a mile of hot dusty road to get back to our car. A kind couple let us hop in the back of their pickup truck.




I was amazed by the solitude we encountered on a prime summer weekend. There was a family camped on the other side of Sprite Lake, but otherwise, until we got down to Tuck Lake, we didn't see another soul.


Gear Notes:

sneakers and no ice axe!


Approach Notes:

the road to Daniel is much better now, though there's still the Scatter Creek issue

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Nice pics Gary. Great colors. Any post-processing we should know about? Camera selection? Enquiring photogeeks wanna know!

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My Gawd! Those are the kind of pix that would have sent Ansel Adams screaming into the hills! Dood! you are one freaky good snapster! cantfocus.gif

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Sounds like an amazing trip! I am also very interested... what kind of camera are you shooting with? Any time you are looking for a partner for another trip of this type... look me up.

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you should really put on a clinic Gary! no camera specs in the gear notes section? what gives???

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A week ago I was trying to explain to a talented climber, who prefers to stick to crags, why I love the alpine.

Your photos are one answer.

Thanks for posting.


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I'm using my 3rd Canon S400 (one fried itself and one was lost after a ski crash).


I think next year I may buy a DSLR (I'd love to have more aperture control, 24mm-300mm ranges, and a polarizer), but I'll still have a point-and-shoot for the more technical/risky routes.


Some things I did to get nice colors:

-Plan the trip/photos according to the orientation / time of day / light

-Exposure-bracket some shots (my camera tends to overexpose sky, water, snow, and granite, and darker vegetation has a more pure color that will shine with some saturation). For some of these, just +0 or -1 stops sufficed; for others I applied a "digital split filter."

-Correct any colorcasts in the image prior to boosting saturation. (often you can identify something in the image you want to be gray/white and get it there either by tweaking levels of each channel or my neutralize with match color)


Here's one more image that got misplaced:



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Very nice photos.


Maybe you could just write some code so that the rest of us can just hit a button and let the computer do the work for us...

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Looks like a great trip Gary, and those luscious photos are a subtle rebuttal to the grief you've gotten elsewhere for offering digital photo advice. Sorry Jay, a good shot starts with the decisions made when the camera is in your hand, and post processing can only make up for so much.

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What a difference a couple days makes. I did a day trip up to the Robin Lakes on Sunday the 30th. Rained off and on, occasional glimpses of the sun but only briefly. Up by the lakes it was really blustery w/ a bit of rain/hail. I could see the shoulder of Daniel off and on but never glimpsed the summit. Also I must've passed several dozen people who were camped either at Tuck or Robin Lakes Saturday night. I seemed to be the only person heading in that day. Apparently the weather got really nasty overnight and everybody just wanted to get out of there. I did encounter several goats by the Robins, that seems to be a constant. Anyway great pics, sounds like a nice trip.

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