Hidden Lake Peaks

October 29, 2002

Dave Svilar

Another sunny day of unemployment.  I took the week off from building the house on Lopez Island because I was heading down to see Chuck in Santa Barbara for Halloween.  I could have taken the opportunity to help my mom around the house, but I was just too lazy to do anything constructive.  Therefore I headed north to Cascade River Road - my new favorite playground.

I hiked fast in the crisp morning air in order to stay warm.  The trail ascended a drainage and traversed meadows with a fresh layer of new snow.  Views were mostly unimpressive on this part of the trail, so I found pleasure in the crunch of fresh snow under my feet.  Upon reaching the saddle I was able to take the prefix off of unimpressive views.  Laid out before me were Johannesburg, Sahale, Forbidden, and most impressive of all - the Queen of the Cascade River - Eldorado.  Using skills of reasoning learned in college, I inferred that the lake in the foreground was Hidden Lake.  I was also greeted by a bitter cold wind that forced my freezing hands to safety down the front of my pants.

Mountains from left to right - Forbidden, Boston, Sahale, Johannesburg, and Mixup (I think) with Hidden Lake in the foreground.

The next order of business was to hike/scramble the last short slope to the lookout cabin.  Arriving the lookout I was greeted by a couple who had stayed the night inside.  Or were they a couple?  She looked old enough to be his mother, yet they were much too flirtatious and touchy to be considered a healthy mother and son.  I tried not to think about it.

Hidden Lake Peak lookout.  It was your typical 1930's era fire lookout and probably a great place to stay and view sunsets.


Scrambling over snowy rocks near the lookout.

I had more daylight to kill and there was another nearby ridge that appeared higher than the one I was standing on.  Staying close to the ridge I scrambled over snow-covered boulders which made progress slow.  I stopped for lunch at the higher point on the ridge and ate lunch, all the while staring in awe at Eldorado.

Early Morning Spire, Dorado Needle, and the "Queen", Eldorado Peak from my lunch stop.

After devouring the last of my mom's cookies I made the slow descent back to the trail.  In the quiet solitude I paused for a few minutes staring out towards Baker and Shuksan.  A melancholic feeling came over me as I thought back to how long my summer had been - starting in Africa and ending with a handful of memorable outings in the Cascades.  The new snow on the rocks suggested that the mountains were hunkering down for a long winter and that this might be my last trip before the snow accumulated.  My feelings were for not, as the snow would hold off and give way to more beautiful weather through the end of November!

-written December 2002

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