Icicle Ridge (May 4, 2019)

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icicle_ridge_coverConditions: Day hike
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS Chiwaukum Mountain
Area: Leavenworth
Reference: Day Hiking Central Cascades
Stats: 5.97mi, 2890' gain (round trip)

Friday was Steve's birthday. I wanted to do a good hike, something with great views, something I knew he would love. I initially thought of heading over to Peshatin to do some wandering along all the ridges out there but then at the last minute the 4th of July trail came to mind. I figured there would still be snow higher up but also knew that if we got high enough...he'd really like it. I wasn't wrong.

We tried to get an early start and arrived at the trailhead later than planned...around 10am...but it all worked out just fine. We parked, liberally applied the sunscreen (I knew we'd get hit hard by the sun today) and headed up the trail.

The flowers lower down were about as expected for this time of year. I was hoping for more color but knew it was somewhat early. In another week or two...it will be perfect (but probably too hot for me to hike it again this year). Not really any lupine were out, no mariposa lilies either. The balsamroot was going pretty well down low...barely started higher up. I found a good patch of calypso orchids and on the hike up spotted the leaves of one of my favorite flowers, Tweedyi, but nothing blooming. That changed on the hike down, many of the bunches of Tweedyi had opened and it was a pleasant surprise to see them!

The trail was surprisingly dry for this time of year. We didn't hit snow (a small patch in the brushy gully) until about 4400'. That patch and a few other patches of snow were easily passed. Higher up, about 5000' there was a bigger patch of snow. It too was easy enough to get around. The heat was getting to me which seems strange to say in early May. Steve continued a bit higher up until he got the grand views I promised. I retreated down to the shade of a switchback and plopped myself down for a lunch while I waited for Steve to return. Eventually he did return, he stopped for lunch and then we headed back down. We topped the trip off by shakes from the 59er Diner.
Icicle Ridge Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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