Monday, October 14, 2013

Mildred Lakes Overnighter

Upper Mildred Lake is the largest alpine lake in the Olympics

  We had to go back to Mildred lakes to look for my friends GPS(r), but there just is  not enough daylight for us to make the trip together as a day hike.  I talked my friend into backpacking up to the lake with me. (evil grin)

I was super stoked to get to spend the night up there because I knew that meant I would be there for the sweet light.. YES!!!  As an added bonus I also got to do some night photography.  I wished I had my tripod, but not badly enough to haul it all the way up there.

We went ultra light sleeping under just a tarp and cooking with a pop can stove.  My pack when empty weighs 1 pound 4 ounces.  My friend's pack when empty weighs 8 pounds.  Okay, so only one of us is an ultralight hiker.  But I think my friend is ready to convert now.  He wants the Circuit backpack by ULA.

My SPOT messenger failed me on this trip.  That's the third SPOT device that has failed on me.  I'd like to switch to Delorme but they are very expensive and don't offer sponsorships.  I've asked both companies to sponsor me, but neither will.  At least Delorme offered me a "pro discount" when I asked.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do, I really don't want to buy another SPOT but my contract does not end until February.  Delorme is just too expensive.  I'm on a really tight budget these days.  Maybe I will write to the yellow brick people and see if they will sponsor me.

We took our time hiking up and down.  We arrived at the big lake two hours before sunset and we arrived back at the trail head 1/2 hour after sunset.  This was  tough hike for my friend who is not a backpacker.  I never thought I would backpack to Mildred Lakes, it's one tough hike.  But, by going light / ultra-light we were able to pull it off.

There were hunters everywhere on the road and three hunters headed up the trail at the same time as us.  I was glad that I had chosen to wear my reflective hunter orange shirt for this hike.  I went in front most of the time since my friend was dressed in black and was at risk of being mistaken for a bear.

We did not find my friends GPS(r) but we did find evidence that someone had been in the area where we think he lost it.  My friend is offering a reward for the return of his GPS(r).  If the GPS(r) does not come back in a week or so, it will be reported as stolen.

I'm really glad we made this trip.  I think that going after that GPS(r) is the only way I ever could have talked me friend into such an adventure.  Note the video on my last post where he says he was NEVER going back.  Not only did he go back, but he did it with an overnight pack and only three days later.

10 miles round trip with 3,000 feet total elevation gain on this up and down route.

Mount Lincoln overlooks upper Mildred Lake

Mount Pershing

Mount Skokomish

My pack

No comment

The squeeze trees at the lowest lake
Good Morning Mildred Lakes

Is it worth the effort to get up here?

Leaving camp in the morning

Hunters heading up the trail at the same time as us

My frozen tarp in the morning

Fungi Vs. fungi

Frozen tarn in the morning light

Moon light and star light

The fog cleared and we got our first view of the sawtooths at night

More Matsutake for my pack

Mossy rock

Mount Cruiser

1 comment:

gad said...

Glad I was able to get his GPS to him!!! I found it while night hiking, late December 2013, on the rocks above the lakes. It was covered in ice and snow but reflection caught my eye with a headlamp. Luckily there was enough battery left to retrieve his return info. Sidenote: Difficult hike and beautiful scenery.