Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dry Mountain Scramble

Lichen porn

 After car troubles in the driveway and a couple of wrong turns in the mountains, we hit the trail at about 10:15 and started the road walk.  I’m pretty sure I saw a dung moss on the road walk but I need to work to ID it.  We took off our boots to cross Lebar Creek; I left my sandals on the shore for the return crossing.  The view from the saddle was ok; we could see Lake Cushman and noticed how much bigger it looks now that it has been raised 57 feet.

Ridgeline bushwhack
Then we began the bushwhack along the ridge.  There are still some orange flags up there, but they end well before the route leaves the woods.  As we headed up the slippery, rough meadow in waist high blueberry bushes my partner began to have some doubts.  In the meadow section we had to gain about 1,000 feet in just one half mile and with no trail.  I urged him on and managed to drag him up to the top.

We were both worried about getting a sun burn so he wore his rain jacket and I put my pants legs back on.  It was hot!  We were happy to finally make the ridge and then I was ecstatic to find a snow bank on the other side.    I flopped down in the snow to cool off and I put a snow ball in my hat.  I also filled my nearly empty water bottle with snow and made two snow balls to carry to the summit.

On the summit there were a lot of flowers and mosses and brightly colored crustose lichens.

The summit was nice and airy.  We went to the middle summit that is about 20 feet lower than the highest summit.  On the summit I really, really, enjoyed drinking ice water.  I also had fun bringing the moss and reindeer lichens back to life by dripping melted snow onto it.  We did not linger for too long on the summit as we were both in danger of getting sunburned.

The trip down was a bit faster.  I carried a snow ball in my hat and one in each pocket to keep me cool.  The snowballs worked quite well but my pants got soaked and never did really dry out.

We made it back down to the hummer at about 8:00pm.

About 6 miles with about 2,000 feet elevation gain.

Late for a trillium

New sign at rotting register

Going back down the meadow towards the ridge and trail

Nice refreshing snow

Looking back at the meadow we climbed

Lake Cushman from the saddle

Resting on the summit

Sun sets on dry Mountain and the meadow we traversed
Pano of the inner Olympic
On this hike I found the rare moss Tetraplodon mnioides I don't think it has been spotted in Mason County before and wonder if I should report this to the DNR or something.

Tetraplodon mniodes rare moss in an area that might become
part of the Wonder Mountain wilderness.

Tetraplodon mniodes

Tetraplodon mniodes leaf

Tetraplodon mniodes capsule

Tetraplodon mniodes spores at 1000X magnification

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