Rich, Allen and I went from Easy Pass to Colonial Creek in the North Cascades on Saturday. This is a favorite route of mine. The weather was good to us, and fall colors were in abundance. The famed larches were in full turn to gold. The berry bushes provide hillsides of reds. We saw mushrooms and fungi of all sorts and colors--this route is particularly good for this.
As I'm not in ultra running shape, this was a tough effort for me, though it shouldn't be for anyone who is running long frequently. The distance is somewhere between 25 and 28 miles. This is a point to point, requiring two cars. I pretty much had to walk the last few miles, and we walked many early miles too, just because. I rolled my ankle near Fischer Camp, which meant 20 miles of careful steps later. Rich and Allen were phenomenal in showing patience with me.
This is a favorite route of mine. The trail cuts through the heart of the North Cascades, while going through several ecological zones. The trail starts in east side sub alpine and finishes in west side old growth. The best part in my opinion is the Fisher Creek basin, which is simply spectacular. There are magical green moss fields down low, clear creek water running over riverstone, and a stunning headwall at the top of the valley. Lower, but before the forsest begins again, you run through shoulder height bushes which surely hide bears and other critters. Nary a soul. In fact, we didn't see anyone the whole day, which is amazing, for such a long trail in the middle of the North Cascades. Such solitude is treasure.
There were a few creek crossings of modest safety interest. One log bridge was missing a rail, which gave me a slight surge of fear, as it required four steps on the wet log, about 10 feet above running, ice water. A couple other crossings had high log crossings, but I decided to get the feet wet rather than trust my untrustworthy balance.
A good day in the mountains. Thanks guys!