Monday, October 10, 2011

Big Four Ice Caves post Dickerman Mtn hike.

  You could go to the Big Four Ice Caves several times a year and it would be different every time that you go view the majestic surroundings.  I have been here probably five times and each time I am amazed at what is in front of my eyes.  A mere 1.1 mile hike on a superb trail to the start of the Ice Caves, ever changing and growing caves throughout the summer makes this a perfect post-hike, hike! Indeed this is a very popular destination for any age because of the short, very easy hiking distance, and the stunning beauty that is waiting.
  Big Four Mountain elevation 6160 ft and the north face of the mountain raises past 4000 ft. No wonder this is a majestic place!
  Check out my Dickerman Mountain blog post for arial views of the Big Four Mountain and the Ice Caves!
  Here are a few quick links to Big Four Mountain and Big Four Ice Caves...
"The ice caves have been a tourist trap for years. An inn was even built at where the present Big Four viewpoint is located. The caves have melted back quite a bit over the years but they are still worthy of a visit (especially since the approach trail is short). What are the ice caves, then? Essentially, there is an avalanche debris cone that forms (or has formed over the centuries) at the base of the North Face. This cone is known as "Rucker's Glacier." Waterfalls plummeting down the face enter at the back of the cone and subsequently flow under it. The water eventually exits at the base of the cone in a series of streams. The combination of ground surface heating characteristics and air flow has excavated large tunnels under the base of the cone. To enter these tunnels is quite dangerous (people have been killed when caves collapse), but they are pretty interesting...The mountain does not take its name from the knuckles on its summit crest (there are actually five knuckles). Instead, it apparently got its name from the giant "4-shaped" snowpatch on the East Face.
 Washington Trails Association website

Big Four Mountain and several streams of glacier melt.
Miss Lucy waiting patiently on a perfectly groomed trail.
"Rucker's Glacier"

Rucker's Glacier and the 4000ft+ north face of Big Four.

One of many waterfalls!

Recently collapsed snow arch.
Miss Lucy!!!
Close-up of rock hard snow/ice.

Furthest Ice Cave to the right of trail. Beautiful! Cave itself around 20' high, 25' wide.
Since, this is the "furthest" from the trail, not as many people want to put in the extra effort to view this gem.
Best of all of the caves.

Cold air blast standing in front of the cave openings! Feels great on a hot day.
Beautiful color. 

A downpour started on our way back to the car. We both needed to clean up after a long day on the trails!
Felt great!  Although the pic is from my car.
Miss Lucy is one done tired girl after a great day!
Until next time my friends...
Adventure On!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Dickerman Mountain Nov. 2, 2011 Lucy and I.

  A great time to go on a hike that I have been wanting to do for awhile, Dickerman Mountain. I was going to go Thursday for my birthday but time would not allow, so I went on Sunday when there was a small window with a break in the weather.
  When reading descriptions of hiking trails, I never can imagine how great the hike will be until I actually experience it for myself. This hike had a little of everything, with the exception of an alpine lake or two but did offer a great trail conditions, (a very special Thank-you to all the volunteers that help make this trail great to hike!) Old Growth trees, Alpine Meadows, wildflowers, and uninterrupted views of the Cascade Mountain range if you are willing to work a little to get to the top.
  In total, the trail measured 8.6 miles round trip with options to go further as I learned when Lucy and I got the top and saw the trail continue along the ridge line below the peak. If we had more time we would have without a doubt continued on exploring.  If time and the elevation gain doesn't get you (low point 1980' to high point 5,720', elevation gain 3,820') then go further!  It is getting late in the season so hurry on up to the top, the wildflowers are still in bloom! If not this year, you will probably have to wait until mid-July as the snow tends to pile up quickly here.
 You will not be disappointed!!!

Twin Peaks.

Great place for lunch.

Lucy loving the views.

Big Four Mountain and Ice Caves.
My next stop! 
Dickerson Mountain. Going up! 
Views are great everywhere.

The lone rock cairn on the trail.
Lovely Old Growth.

Until next time my friends...
Adventure On!!!