dawn from the sunrise mine trail

The murky morning light on the South Fork Stillaguamish River was mostly fog (it was sprinkling rain down in Seattle) though I don’t know what effects the lingering haze from all the forest fires across the Cascades may have had on this scene. I hiked the first 1/2 mile of the Sunrise Mine trail by headlamp and then started the steep ascent to hidden Wirtz Basin. The damp, open mountainside here always comes to mind when I think of the treacherous trails I’ve hiked.  It’s not treacherous in the dangerous sense, but the footing here over weirdly mucky rocks has always given me fits in the dew of dusk and dawn.

I took this picture a quarter of the way between the forest below and the final climb into Wirtz Basin above, it’s a northeasterly view.

I’m skipping way, way ahead for the moment and sharing this view from high up on Vesper: It’s basically the eastern summit shoulder where smooth granite slabs have faded to fractured boulders and dainty heather.  That’s 5500 foot Foggy Pass between Del Campo Peak (on the left) and Gothic Peak. Hidden on the other side is Foggy Lake in one of the most wondrously austere high lake basins I’ve visited this side of the Cascades, Gothic Basin. I’ve gotten as high as Foggy Lake but I’d love to return for a visit to Foggy Pass so I can see what the reverse perspective is like from there—- looking back toward Morning Star, Sperry and Vesper. Believe it or not, Del Campo has a non-technical climbing route to the top on the other side. I’ve heard it described as severe class 2, so that’s one place I won’t be visiting. Foggy Pass looks fine to me.

In other news, Adam and I got his new scooter today. Last weekend it became apparent someone stole his Hot Wheels scooter (the one Grandma Shukis got for his birthday) off our porch. There has been a rash of home invasions/burglaries in our neighborhood the past month, we live in a nice neighborhood but petty crime has been a recurring problem here the past few years. A long time ago we had our car stolen twice from right in front of the house (it was never found the second time). I reached my breaking point when someone took my sneakers off the porch a couple years after that.

At any rate, Adam is now the proud owner of a Razor A2 kick scooter! He took it for a spin last night up to the video store and back….

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