Eastking and I have often seen Philadelphia Mountain on the way to much of our climbs along the highway 2 area. On April 3, 2011 we decided it was time to attempt it. We got to the trail head around 6 in the morning and were making good progress on the trail. I was pleased to see water falls along the way as well as dry trail until we got about halfway to Lake Serene.
Bridel Veil Falls
After a ways of walking we got to the turn off for Philadelphia Mountain which follows a nice ridge to the summit. This is where we put on our snowshoes. The snow than began to fall, but we did not mind, although would have loved to get some views. After breaking trail a ways I get to a icy snow patch which looking behind me it was too late to turn around. I carefully took a few more steps almost topping out of the steep section and then this is where I slipped. I fell 40 or so feet down hill with little harm although it had snapped my snowshoes (still effects me to this day). I had to rig my snowshoes to just barely work.
Eastking Heading Up
Although we were making decent time, not only had my snowshoe once again fallen apart (due to the strap snapping earlier) but Eastking's work schedule made time a pressing matter. Looking at the given circumstances we decided to head back down. We still had a fun trip.
Forest View to the North
Part 2: Keepin it Cool
Sunrise on the Monte Cristo Peaks
Almost a whole month later on May 1, 2011 we got another opportunity for this mountain. A week earlier we had attempted this trip, drove to the trailhead but was turned back due to heavy down pour and viewless conditions. But this time, we got what we wanted. Sometimes not making the summit is a good excuse to come back to the mountain with success in good weather.
When arriving at the trailhead it was a clear sky which some of the stars could still be seen in the morning cool air. When hiking through the forest we could see Mount Index and Mount Persis through the trees looking almost as if it were a peak from the Andes. Once the sun rose, there was enough lighting which I could start up my photography, which of course then means I also then end up having to run and catch up.
Looking Below (North)
Once we reached the snow the trail was nice and beaten in making traveling much nicer. I couldn't help but look in amazement at the flutings on Mount Index's impressive East Face. Once we got near the lake we put on our snowshoes and from here on out I broke trail until the summit. I wanted to make up for the last trip and be the breaker which now I had double jobs, the other one being the photographer. When ever I stopped I had to make sure I pushed on far enough so that I could pull my camera out of it's case, turn on the camera, take the photos, turn it off, and put it away. Video cameras in my opinion are a little harder to manage, which by the time I was done with this Michael would catch up and I would have to go back to trail breaking.
One of Mount Index's Steep Gullies
One of Mount Index's Many Edges
Michael and Mount Index
The Skykomish River
Mount Index Panorama
As we got near the summit I found some good view points through the trees which I was impressed, although a little off the main path. Before long we made it to the summit which I celebrated with cream soda and snacks.
Eastking Almost There
Clouds Rising off Mount Index
Columbia Peak Looking Great
Shadows in the Woods
Keepin it Gangsta!
One of Mount Frozen's Summits
Michael with a Good View
Southern Edge of Mount Index
Monte Cristo Peaks Panorama
Gunn Peak Panorama
Pretty soon we had to rush down due to limited time. As we went down we heard cool looking avalanches come off of Mount Index which I could have stayed and watched all day long.
Avalanches Pouring Down Mount Index
Waterfalls on the Way Out
On the way down I met a few nwhikers which is always cool. From here we dashed down to the car. The last minute of the trip I was dashing to the car, told Michael "Quick! Quick, Eastking's coming and we got to go now!" which we scrambled our stuff in and we drove out. Another fun adventure as well as good views in the mountains.