Gosh, I ought to be sharing more pictures from the Nu’alolo Trail but my friend Lance put up an interesting image on his web site from a hike he did on Dege Peak, I thought he’d be curious to see Dege from the backside. Dege Peak is an unassuming landmark on the northeast side of Mount Rainier National Park, it’s part of the little Sourdough Mountains. From either Sunrise Point or Sunrise Visitor Center, it’s an easy and fun hike to the summit of Dege for overwhelming views of Mt. Rainier and a very cool perspective of Sunrise Visitor Center. I took these pictures from The Palisades, a hiking scramble (more of a route than scramble) somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-9 miles if I recall correctly. Dege cuts a much more impressive profile from this vantage than from anywhere else (this first picture is a direct southerly view of Dege). Apparently some hardy hikers like to run the ridge from Dege to the mountain partially visible in the foreground (Marcus Peak) and from there get to where I’m standing- but I don’t like the looks of the scramble down from Dege. I’ll stick to the Palisades Lakes route, thank you very much.
In the background are the Sarvant Glaciers of Banshee Peak and the Cowlitz Chimneys, which roughly-speaking extend east from Panhandle Gap, through which crosses the highest point of the Wonderland Trail.
In the next view you have to look a little harder but Dege Peak is clearly visible to the left on the middle ridgeline. Panhandle Gap is the lowest point on the far background ridge. I believe it’s Green Park below. As far as I can tell, the little cirque lakelet is unnamed. Wouldn’t it be a thrill to explore down there? It looks reachable for a fit party via The Palisades route, for a long day. Above Hidden Lake (which is far below to the left- you just climbed up out of that hanging lake basin), instead of heading higher to the Palisades you would drop down into the little cirque basin, cursing my name as you scrape your legs on silver snags. You’d use the same amount of energy climbing out of the cirque basin as you would have used hiking up to the Palisades. In fact, you could probably do both with an early start. But as often is the case, that little lakelet may be better appreciated from above.
If you were wondering how Adam is doing, I took him to the pediatrician this afternoon and it turns out he has croup. The doctor said it is spreading around town like crazy and he has had several children in the emergency room because of it. The good news is Adam is sleeping very soundly so far tonight. The doc prescribed a powerful oral steroid (two days) to help Adam get out of this. And I had him drinking fluids like crazy all day (Adam, not the doctor).