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A very-early-spring ride in the American Alps (pics)

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A very-early-spring ride in the American Alps (pics)

Old 03-26-12, 09:44 AM
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A very-early-spring ride in the American Alps (pics)

FYI, I posted this in Road, but I'm cross-posting here so that the folks who don't venture into the funny forum can still enjoy these.

On Saturday I took my bike up to the eastern edge of Newhalem, and rode to the end/closure of the North Cascades Highway. This wound up being about 2,700 feet of elevation gain over the course of a little more than 30 miles. I've been planning this for weeks, waiting for a sunny weekend day, and got moving earlier than usual for me to make it all happen. If I could have got up earlier, I would have been able to cover more ground ... but this was the most beautiful stretch of roadway available, and I was happy. No, I was ecstatic; this was the best ride I've done so far this year.















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Old 03-26-12, 09:46 AM
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Here are a few more.



I'm a mountains person, and seeing the icy spires towering over the road is what does it for me ... and why I like this road.



Here's Diablo Lake - the campground is toward the left.



But winter isn't quite ready to give up its grip.



Also Diablo Lake:



The summer overlook:



You can see a hint of the lake here - don't fall!



Empty road ahead:

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Old 03-26-12, 10:00 AM
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Awesome
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Old 03-26-12, 10:01 AM
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=sigh= gorgeous!
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Private docent led mountain bike rides through Limestone Canyon. Go to letsgooutside.org and register today! Also available: hikes, equestrian rides and family events as well as trail maintenance and science study.
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Old 03-26-12, 10:06 AM
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What's that white stuff on the ground???? I don't think we saw that here for more than 2 straight days... Nice pictures other than that.
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Old 03-26-12, 10:26 AM
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Here's the northern and eastern flank of the Pickett Range:



The Picketts were a blank spot on the map until the 1930s ... nobody had any idea what was in there. They have names like Mounts Fury, Terror, and Despair. While the road passes within a few miles of these mountains, it's hard to get a glimpse of them because the foot hills block the view, and because the forest is too thick. There were a few places where I could see the tops of a few of the spires.

And here's an "empty road ahead" panorama, bleached out by the sun:

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Old 03-26-12, 01:48 PM
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Dang. I so want to move someplace that's not flat, greenish brown and hot...
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Old 03-26-12, 06:30 PM
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Great series of pics. I wish there was some real scenery like that here. I ended up going to California last year just to hike the mountains with a friend.
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Old 03-26-12, 06:46 PM
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Nice!
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Old 03-26-12, 09:24 PM
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No place more beautiful than the Pacific Northwest - days like Saturday make the whole winter disappear from memory! We had a wonderful ride day, too, but no scenery quite like that. Thanks for sharing the photos!
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Old 03-27-12, 10:20 AM
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This is going to be a hard act to follow.
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Old 03-27-12, 10:39 AM
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Great pictures!
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Old 03-30-12, 08:57 PM
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Damn, just damn. Awesome photography and effort.
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Old 03-30-12, 09:30 PM
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That's beautiful, thanks for sharing....
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Old 03-31-12, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
This is going to be a hard act to follow.
Going to be in your neighborhood end of May, early June. Summit of Rainier,baby, summit of Rainier.
Going to be epic.
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Old 04-01-12, 05:43 AM
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Beautiful pics!
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Old 04-01-12, 08:54 PM
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Gorgeous! I live not too far from the area. Do you have a map (garmin etc) or a quickie bullet-list of the route? How was the traffic?

Really beautiful!
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Old 04-01-12, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by magohn
Gorgeous! I live not too far from the area. Do you have a map (garmin etc) or a quickie bullet-list of the route? How was the traffic?

Really beautiful!
Shoot - never mind. Too far for a start point
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Old 04-02-12, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by magohn
Gorgeous! I live not too far from the area. Do you have a map (garmin etc) or a quickie bullet-list of the route? How was the traffic?

Really beautiful!
Um ... I parked at the Goodell campground on SR 20, just west of Newhalem, and I stayed on SR 20 until the point where they close the road. You don't need a map, it's a very easy route to follow.

There isn't any traffic. Since they close the road, there might be as many as a dozen cars (this was over a few hours, in my last visit) with sight-seers and skiers.
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Old 04-02-12, 01:34 PM
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must be easy to get motivation to ride when thats your view. i am 100% jealous and will refuse to post anything in a thread you are in for the next 3 hours.
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Old 04-02-12, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Hillbasher
Going to be in your neighborhood end of May, early June. Summit of Rainier,baby, summit of Rainier.
Going to be epic.
How are you getting there? Are you and a group of friends coming out for the summit, or have you hired a guide? Are you staying at Camp Muir?

My landlord summited Rainier last summer, with the help of a guide. She makes it sound pretty epic. I'm still working on smaller mountains...

Rainier is the ice giant of the Cascades.
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Old 04-02-12, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
How are you getting there? Are you and a group of friends coming out for the summit, or have you hired a guide? Are you staying at Camp Muir?

My landlord summited Rainier last summer, with the help of a guide. She makes it sound pretty epic. I'm still working on smaller mountains...

Rainier is the ice giant of the Cascades.
I am flying up to Seattle and the friend I am doing the climb with is driving up from Santa Rosa with his wife a few days early. We are doing Rainier, Emmons-Winthrop route on the back side (as long as the road is open by then). Did the Ingraham Direct route (via Muir) a bunch of years back and never thought I would be back up there to try for the summit again, but started hiking and climbing with a new partner a few years ago , and even though he has no experience on this big of a hill, he jumped at the chance when I mentioned it. Have always climbed without guides, been doing it too long to pay someone to drag my old, tired butt up some mountain. And you are correct in Rainier being an ice giant. One huge mountain for this guy.

P.S. Depending on if I can make the top in style this time, if you are ever interested in trying, I am always interested. Climbing is my true passion in life. Not that I am any good at it, just that I enjoy it and am still all in one piece after over 40 years of doing it.
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Old 04-02-12, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
How are you getting there? Are you and a group of friends coming out for the summit, or have you hired a guide? Are you staying at Camp Muir?

My landlord summited Rainier last summer, with the help of a guide. She makes it sound pretty epic. I'm still working on smaller mountains...

Rainier is the ice giant of the Cascades.
I am flying up to Seattle and the friend I am doing the climb with is driving up from Santa Rosa with his wife a few days early. We are doing Rainier, Emmons-Winthrop route on the back side (as long as the road is open by then). Did the Ingraham Direct route (via Muir) a bunch of years back and never thought I would be back up there to try for the summit again, but started hiking and climbing with a new partner a few years ago , and even though he has no experience on this big of a hill, he jumped at the chance when I mentioned it. Have always climbed without guides, been doing it too long to pay someone to drag my old, tired butt up some mountain. And you are correct in Rainier being an ice giant. One huge mountain for this guy.

P.S. Depending on if I can make the top in style this time, if you are ever interested in trying, I am always interested. Climbing is my true passion in life. Not that I am any good at it, just that I enjoy it and am still all in one piece after over 40 years of doing it.
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