More Climbing for the Fat Old Lady
|Although May bestowed sunshine and record warm temperatures, June's weather has not been as cooperative. Wind, rain and chilly temperatures have made it difficult to do much hiking and climbing. We have been out on a few trails, and attempted to climb the Dome Ridge, but got lost right from the start and wandered about on an army tank trail for about 10 miles. I failed to find the trail even on a second try. Hmmmm.|
Since I know the way, I went up Flattop again. Every year
at summer solstice, there is an informal gathering of many Anchorage residents
at the summit. We can see the sun for just a little bit longer at the higher
altitude. Some people even set up tents and camp overnight. At this time
of year, the sun sets at about 11:45 pm and rises at 4:20 am, providing
a little less than nineteen and a half hours of daylight.
Click on the butterfly,
or here, for a larger image and info on the butterfly.
|The pathway to Table Rock is one of several trails accessible from the McHugh Creek Trailhead, about six miles south of Anchorage. Table Rock is just a bump on the side of McHugh Peak at a little over 1000 feet, but has beautiful views. The trail itself goes through a thick forest of large trees, and abundant wildflowers. It's only about a mile each way, with an elevation gain of 900 feet, and much of it is quite steep. As I discovered in the case of the Dome Ridge Trail, good directions can be hard to find. We lost our way immediately on this trail as well. When Jascha abruptly went into his bear alert stance, I turned us around and headed back to the trail head. Fortunately, we encountered a fellow hiker who was headed up to Table Rock. Since it didn't go by the area where Jascha smelled a bear, we followed along, and enjoyed the experience.|
|On Saturday Jascha and I drove down to Valdez (about 300 miles) to visit my daughter, Shana. (She also has a big dog; it must run in the family.) After a nice visit and a meal, Jascha and I drove back about 30 miles and camped overnight near Worthington Glacier. The next day we hiked up a trail-- just a footpath really-- that runs along the tippy-top of a ridge formed by the glacier, which is now receding. The ridge is actually the lateral moraine of the glacier. The Ridge Trail signpost at the trailhead warns, "Steep, Primitive, Difficult." It is a bit scary moving along the narrow path with nothing on either side. Although only a mile long, the trail gains 1200' in elevation. During one of the steepest sections, I was able to move along surprisingly quickly because of the help of a marmot. The plump critter appeared out of a hole beside the path up ahead of us and waddled on up the trail, enticing Jascha to pull me along at a good clip. There are great views looking down on the glacier and of the mountains all around. Part way up, there is a broad flat meadow covered with tundra flowers (below left, and inset.)|
On to July 2002 Adventures