Lake Ann (Sep 12-13, 2008)

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lk_ann_coverConditions: Overnight
Gear: overnight gear
Map: USGS Shuksan Arm
Area: Mt Baker
Reference:  Day Hiking North Cascades
Stats: 8mi, 2200' gain (round trip)

Karen² and I headed to Lk Ann for the evening. We decided to hike in on Friday to avoid the hoards and hike back out Saturday. It worked, sort of.

I left town about 12:30pm arriving in Maple Falls to pick Karen up about 2:30pm. We arrived at the Lk Ann TH about 3pm and started the hike in.

The trail is about 800' down, then more or less level through the lower meadows and then about 900' up on the far end heading up to the lake. We arrived at the lake in time to set up our bivies and pull out the camera gear.

We didn't have a tremendous sunset. It was nice though. All night I could hear avalanches crashing down from Shuksan, at least two were pretty darned big from the sound of the ice crashing down.

Saturday morning I kept peeking out hoping to catch sunrise. The golden light never really arrived. I finally decided it was time to get out of the bivy and I realized Karen had fled! Everything of hers except her trekking poles was gone. It took me a minute to realized she packed up her stuff and spent part of the night at the primo tent site at the far side of the lake so she could do some star trail shots.

We lounged around in the morning and finally packed up to head out. We stopped once for about an hour to pick berries on a hillside above the meadows. I managed to fill a Nalgene water bottle about 2/3 full. Karen's hands were stained purple from picking all the berries. We eventually continued on out passing increasing numbers of hikers headed in. One group of tourists had us both flabbergasted. It was a group of at least 30 (maybe 40) tourists that had been dropped off at the TH by a bus! We passed one couple who tried to tell them about the regs but they were clearly dismissed by the larger group. Karen and I agreed that the best thing to do was for us to make a report on our way out.

On the way up to Artist Pt I spotted a good friend of mine and his family near the parking lot. He told me there was no FS person up at Artist Pt and told me to check the A-frame down at Heather Meadows. Success. A radio call got a wilderness ranger on the alert and she was hiking in to catch the offenders!

FYI, the first part of the trail (.75 mile) is FS land. But after that, one crosses the Wilderness boundary and it is here that party size restrictions are enforced! Yeehaw!
Lake Ann Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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