Burroughs Mtn (Jun 27, 2015)

h o m e     |     a b o u t     |     l i n k s     |     c o n t a c t     |     t r i p  r e p o r t s

burroughs_mtn_coverConditions: Day hike
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS Sunrise
Area: Sunrise, Mount Rainier NP
Reference: Day Hiking Mount Rainier
Stats: 9.73mi, 2385' gain (round trip)

The weather forecast...wow...it was going to be hot. But, I really wanted to get out on a hike with Steve. He had mentioned wanting to see some flowers. I wanted to get up high to hopefully escape some of the heat. I also wanted something with big views. We settled on a hike out of Sunrise down at MRNP. I had heard reports it was near completely melted out but I also knew that meant likely no water, and I knew there was very little shade on this trip. I hoped that by taking lots of water and taking it easy I wouldn't wilt from the heat... Well we succeeded in some ways...I failed in others...

We left town about 6:30am and headed down to the park. Sunrise is really within easy distance of Seattle for day hikes. We were up at the Sunrise lot and hiking before 9am. I always find the Sunrise parking area really confusing to find the start of the trails but after a bit of a false start, and a taste of the flower show we came to see...we were on our way. The trail heads uphill towards the Sourdough Mtn ridge and then skirts off toward Frozen Lake which was not frozen and had only a small bit of snow around one side. I could already tell the heat was going to get to me today so we took it easy, took lots of breaks, and drank lots of water.

After reaching Frozen lake the trail does a gradual uphill towards 1st Burroughs. There were two small patches of snow that were easy to cross. With this heat, those snow patches will likely be gone in a week. The trail follows the ridge of 1st Burroughs and then drops to a low point before then heading back uphill to 2nd Burroughs. There was one small patch of snow below 2ndB but again, not hard to cross and it too won't last long in this heat. We stopped for a nice long break, including lunch, at the Meany Memorial, a the high point of 2ndB and then debated about weather to head over to 3rdB or maybe hike out to Fremont Lookout. Then someone spotted white dots just below the top of 3rdB...goats. That's it Steve said...we're headed over to 3rdB. It's a great walk over there so I was happy to do it...besides...the views off the west side of 3rdB down to the Winthrop Glacier and then up the Inter Glacier and further up to the summit of Mt. Rainier...I couldn't pass that up.

The reached the point where the goats were gathered in the flattish area about 300' below 3rdB and Steve wanted to take some photos. I plopped myself down on a rock. I was not feeling well. A bit of a headache at first. I continued drinking lots of water and even took a long break with wet snow on my head and neck. I thought I'd be OK so Steve took off to 3rdB. I really wanted him to see the views from the top. He checked on my before he headed up and I was starting to feel better but that didn't last long. Just before I came back to where I was resting, I had lost my lunch. The sun and heat had won. After resting more and drinking more I finally started feeling better and then we started a slow hike out. Steve...thanks. Thank You! We took another long break on 2ndB and watched as the light conditions changed high up on Rainier. The flowers all along the trail are incredible so there was plenty to see and do. Finally, with the weather looking like it was finally going to change, and thankfully with a much cooler breeze picking up, we headed back down the way we came.

This is a really fun hike. It is absolutely gorgeous. And...I was thankful to have such great company and someone watching out for me. I did learn a big lesson today...I was drinking lots of water (slightly over 3 quarts) but it was not enough. I should have had lots more. I also learned that on really hot days like this...my scaled back trips need to be scaled back even more. I just don't handle the heat very well.

The abysmal low snow pack, the very early melt off, and the distressing lack of snow was really apparent on this trip. I had done this trip in early Aug-2008 and conditions today were ahead of the flowers and snow melt from that previous trip. The flowers are out and going strong but it's going to be a long, hot, dry summer out there.
Burroughs Mtn Slideshow


h o m e     |     a b o u t     |     l i n k s     |     c o n t a c t     |     t r i p  r e p o r t s

Copyright 2013 Janet M. Putz
All content is copyright and cannot be used without written permission.