Sunday, August 7, 2016

Elysian Fields, Mount Rainier National Park

In 1888, this name was given by Maj. E.S. Ingraham, because the delightful location and environment reminded him of a mythological region of paradise on earth. -R. Hitchman

Indeed, MRNP's Elysian Fields is a beautiful, seemingly calm area in a region torn apart by volcanism and glacial erosion. It is a fragile area, so please travel lightly... Thanks to WillisWall for his trip report for the area from 2015.

Starting from Mowich, Ben and I went to Spray Park, down to the Carbon River and up to Windy Gap, then did the Elysian Fields-Moraine Park traverse, meeting the Wonderland Trail around 5700', descended to the suspension bridge, went back up to Spray Park and returned to Mowich via the Knapsack Pass route.

~28 miles, 10,800'+ gain

Spray Park in the morning
Ben in the beginning section of Spary Park
Glacier Peak and Alpine Lakes Wilderness summits
Descending the east side of Spray Park
Ben checking out some flowers in Spray Park
Looking up at the start of the traverse: Crescent Gap
Windy Gap tarn
Starting the climb up to Crescent Gap
Nearing Crescent Gap, with the west side of Windy Gap behind; Ben's photo
Windy Gap, Independence Ridge, Tyee Peak
Willis Wall and Liberty Ridge
Ben near the frog-filled stream in Elysian Fields
Elysian Fields, Crescent Gap and Crescent Mountain
Ben climbing out of Elysian Fields
Elysian Fields, Crescent Mountain, Mother Mountain at left
Mini Lupine on the north end of Old Desolate
Sluiskin Mountain (summit on right tower)
North side of Rainier and Moraine Peak, from point 6,996' (Old Sesultory?) on Old Desolate
Huge falls draining the Russel Glacier into the Carbon Glacier/River
On point 6,996' of Old Desolate
Vernal Park, with Skyscraper, Berkeley and Burroughs beyond
Lower Moraine Park and Mother Mountain
Looking back up at the descent from the north side of Old Desolate into Moraine Park
Upper Moraine Park
Descent back to the Wonderland Trail
Carbon Glacier terminus
Pink Paintbrush in Spray Park in the afternoon
Goats on the way to Knapsack Pass, above Mist Park
Traversing toward Knapsack Pass
Another group of goats, east side of Fay Peak
Climbing up to Knapsack Pass; Ben's photo
Looking east from Knapsack Pass 
Looking back up at Knapsack Pass from the Mowich side

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