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 More Climbing for the Fat Old Lady
Alaskan Adventures Continue
 Back to August - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -September & October 2002- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - On to November

I had heard that there was a new trail up the Butte, near Palmer, and I was eager to try it out on this sunny day. I hunted around where I was told to look for it, but was unsuccessful. So I just went back to the old dusty, eroded trail. It may not be elegant, but it'll get ya to the top. The view up there is wonderful. Top right shows Pioneer Peak. Lower right looks down the steep face of the Butte to the flat farmland below it. The Knik Glacier is seen in the distance in the lower left view.
butte collage

Click the butterfly (inset) for more info on the Painted Lady.

Driving from school to school on this beautiful sunny day, I watched the mountains to the east of the city, and they beckoned. After work, I got my backpack and my dog and headed on up the Flattop trail. There were quite a few other climbers there, especially for a midweek evening. Everyone in the city could see how beautiful the mountains looked. At the summit, it was chilly but lovely and colorful with the low-lying tundra plants turning red, yellow, and orange. We stayed up there walking around for quite a while, watching the colors and shadows shift as the sun began to set.

september Flattop

Large scenic photos:
Scenic view of the ridge and valley east of Flattop
The glorious blaze of color on the alpine tundra
Close view of some tundra berries
The city of Anchorage as seen from Flattop Mountain

A weekend trip to Valdez to visit my daughter led to a discovery of a trail system, near the Eureka Summit on the Glenn Highway. One of the trails goes up Gunsight Mountain, so that's where we headed. The weather was cold but beautiful and the trail was good. Part way up, we spotted a hunter in the distance and heard rifle fire from another. Concerned about hiking in hunting season, we went back down. But this is definitely a place I'd like to visit again in the spring or summer. Click the three scenic views on the right to see them full size.

gunsight mountain

And, oh yeah, Flattop once again! There have been light "termination dustings" on Flattop and the surrounding mountains of the Chugach range in September, but October 2nd offered us a view of the coming winter. I have never climbed Flattop with that much snow, and it was a challenge. The trail was lost, but hikers had beat a new trail and we followed it right up to the top. Even in these snowy, cold conditions there were quite a few hikers up there, although most did not go to the summit. It was a beautifully clear evening, with Mount McKinley visible from about 100 miles away. I do not have proper photographic equipment to capture that, but click here to see it anyway. The top two photos in the collage (below) can be seen full size by clicking them. A yellow flag marks a windbreak that has nearly disappeared under 3' of snow at the summit. There's a big picture of that here. It looked like winter was closing in, but then, a big change in the weather. See what happens in November.

flattop in october

A Surprise in November!
A Rare hike up Flattop in November, Dall Sheep, & Moose Around Town

Back to May 2002 Adventures
Flattop, Bird Ridge, ptarmigan, and large scenic pix for you... '02

Back to June 2002 Adventures
Flattop, Table Rock, Worthington Glacier, butterfly, and tundra flowers
Back to July 2002 Adventures
Eklutna Lakeside Trail, Falls Creek Trail, Flattop, Portage Pass, and wildflowers
Back to August 2002 Adventures
Mount Majestic Ridge, Skyscraper Mountain, Flattop, Wildflowers & Butterflies
Back to September & October 2002 Adventures
The Butte, Flattop in the fall, Gunsight Mt., & Flattop under snow

Back to Last Year's Adventures, 2001

Back to where it all began in 2000
Contact the Fat Old Lady