Sunday, April 26, 2015

Thunder Basin, North Cascades National Park

An unexpectedly-glorious day in the North Cascades with Sir-Hikes-a-Lot. The 80% chance of thunder storms seemed to be caught on the peaks further west and we spent the day under blue skies and a warm sun.

There are 15+ blowdowns between the trailhead and the top of the switchbacks above Skagit Queen Camp, with only three requiring any work: two very large ones which need to be climbed over and one group of four or five 12" that can be walked around.

The trail is snow free until ~4200' (at the top of the switchbacks above Skagit Queen). Expect consistent soft and melting snow from there all the way through the basin (18-24" and melting fast; lots of postholing over rocks and brush). On the way up we crossed Thunder Creek early, however we followed the trail on the west side on the way back, which probably was quicker and a little more straightforward.

Only saw one party of two near McAllister Camp on our way out. A very special place we got to enjoy...

Early on the Thunder Creek trail
Thunder Creek; pretty low flow
Thunder Creek before McAllister Camp
Always have to check out cougar scat
North ridge of Forbidden Peak from Junction Camp
Falls on the east face of Tricouni
Looking up the West Fork of Thunder Creek toward Mount Torment and the ridge running northwest to Eldorado Peak
Sir Hikes switchbacking above Skagit Queen
Light dusting on the Skagit Queen switchbacks
Upper Thunder Creek; doesn't get any more clear
Breaking trail to Thunder Basin
Sir Postholes a Lot
Point 8248' (?) on Mt. Logan
Lower Thunder Basin
Thunder Basin
East flank of Buckner Mountain (I believe the summit is not visible, behind the right high point) over Thunder Basin; Park Creek Pass in the obvious notch behind the trees in the lower left

Small slide coming down
Impressive cornices on Buckner's east ridge
One last look...I think Buckner's summit now visible in top right
Park Creek Pass and Point 7945' on the south ridge of Mount Logan; taken from the Thunder Creek ford
Postholing along Thunder Creek on the way out
The elusive "posthole-dive forward" move
Skagit Queen-area mining relics
The Boston Glacier and Ripsaw Ridge, from Junction Camp
Back at the same bridge crossing Thunder Creek just before sunset

1 comment:

  1. Looks like an amazing day. That picture of Upper Thunder Creek is incredible!