Maple Pass

August 22, 2009

North Cascades Extended Trip
Saturday — Maple Pass Loop

We voted the night before to take the steeper hard part of this loop first but the more obvious trail led us up the “easier” grade so that is what we did. In retrospect, that was probably for the best as this is a challenging constant up-hill for two hours either way. But the views are definitely worth it and the wildflowers abundant. We called it an oooh and ahhh hike for the spectacular views from Heather and Maple pass and all down the knife edge ridge between Rainy Lake and Lake Ann. We had perfect weather and great 360 degree views of the North Cascades and Glacier Peak from the top. Two of our party took the side trip down to Lake Ann but reported the access to the lake was difficult and the view was much better from the main trail looking down on this little blue cirque lake with an island in the middle. There was still a little snow field behind the lake and even a bit of snow on the island. We started the hike at 4900 feet and climbed up to a high point of 6850 feet where we had lunch before descending the knee jarring switchbacks and ridge between lakes Rainy and Ann. Our group of eleven hikers made it safely but slowly down with our quota of great pictures and lasting memories.

Hikers were: Mari Baldwin, Don Bienvenue, Pat Esch, Ken Frazer, Mary Frazer, Gisele Garrity, Sachiko Iwasaki, Daphne James, Valerie Metcalfe, Carol Scherer, Marian West and Jim Pierce, leader.

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