Tim on Yak Peak:
“Wanderungers Tim and Meghan hiked Yak Peak on Sunday Oct 17th. Crystal clear day. Started hiking at 9:30am. Reached the summit at 11:30am (without rushing). I would rate this a very easy scramble. No snow on the trail (which is south facing) but a light dusting was found at the summit. All north facing slopes had a light dusting. We forgot our cameras, so no pictures. A lady’s watch (in good working order) was found near the summit. Contact Tim Gage (see my callout for contact info) or firstname.lastname@example.org if you know the owner.”
Ben at Semaphore Lakes:
“The time of year was near perfect for a trip to this area. While the lower portion of the trail was very muddy, the ground in the bowl containing the lakes was nicely frozen. There was a light blanket of snow varying from sparse patches in the sunny spots to several inches in the shade of the ridges. It was just enough to add beauty to the alpine scenes without making travel difficult. After establishing camp we made our way up Locomotive Mountain. We followed the gentle southern ridge which cannot be seen from the lakes. The route was mostly snow-covered talus and easy to follow. On the summit, the air was cold and clear, and the views were exceptional. Although the sun set well before we made it back to camp, the half moon was bright on the snow and we had no problems. After a very chilly night we were happy to see the sun crest over the ridge at around 10:00. On this day we went for a nice walk along the ridge to the east, and then meandered our way around the lakes and back to the trail. Thanks to Bill and Mazy for joining me and contributing to this great trip.”
Melanie on Yellow Aster Butte:
“Surprisingly, not many signed up for this trip… maybe it was the turkey hangover or the early start or the border crossing or the last minute callout. Noman and I headed towards Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in hopes of hiking the Chain Lakes Loop. Unfortunately, the Visitor Centre is only open on weekends and we could not ask about the trail conditions. As we drove towards the parking lot, lots of snow began to fall, and visibility declined. It was an easy decision to change to another hike, so we chose the Yellow Aster Butte trail and it turned out to be a good choice! There were gorgeous fall colours, tons of blueberries, meadows, lakes and stunning views of the surrounding mountains including Baker. This hike is now easily one of my top five Baker hikes. An added bonus was minimal border wait times in both directions.”
Irina on Tszil and Taylor Peaks:
“Dan, Pavel, Stephan, Carlos and Evgeny joined me, and Saturday morning we started the hike from the Joffre Lakes parking lot. Once near the upper lake, we came across a sign post and followed the route to Tszil glacier. It’s a fairly well trodden trail when on the grass or in the trees, but some route-finding is required on the boulder field.
Spotting the moraine, we first went to the right of it but ran into abundant deadfall. Oh well, let’s see what the moraine is like from the top. It turned out to be quite wide except for a couple of more narrow, half-a-foot wide sections. Then it’s all boulders up to the Tszil-Taylor col. We crossed a couple of small icy snowfields where I would have liked to have and ice axe or traction aides, especially if we were to descend the same way.
While Tszil looked somewhat intimidating from the col, the scrambling turned out to be a lot of fun with no exposure and excellent sturdy rock. The views were spectacular! The whole Cayoosh range was up on display, and Slalok so close! We didn’t even notice how 40 minutes on the top passed, and if we wanted to get to Taylor, we should hurry! So Pavel, Evgeny and I packed quickly and hastened down. From the col, it was 30 min to the top of Taylor, zig-zagging between short cliffs at a good speed. A few quick pictures, and down we go. Back in the col at 5:10 pm, with two hours of daylight left. Dusk descended on us at the second lake, and we caught up with the rest of our group between the first and the second lakes. Huge thanks to Dan who courteously accepted the role of a guide for the other two in the group and descended straight from Tszil, allowing us to bag a second peak.
See full report with geo-tagged pictures on Livetrails: https://livetrails.com/report/1205/0/Tszil_Mountain-Mount_Taylor_loop“