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Trip Report

Mount Pilchuck — Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012

North Cascades
Moon, smoke, aurora borealis
With the wonderful weather of late drawing to an end, I decided to make one last trip to the top of Pilchuck this season, to see if I couldn't get some good shots of a sunrise through wildfire smoke. I hiked up the night before, passing a couple who said I missed a spectacular sunset, which raised my hopes for a great sunrise. Made it to the top in time to catch a great moonrise, and – to my surprise – to see the northern lights, which were on display thanks to a recent solar storm. The next morning's sunrise was less than great – really just hazy, more than anything.. no great colors – but I wasn't upset, as I had caught a great sunrise from the lookout just two months before. For anybody who may be up for taking supplies to the top: the lookout could use a new notebook for visitors to sign in. There are/were currently two notebooks there, but both chock full from a busy summer. I think that since the books were full, a few people had taken a Sharpie to some of the clean, recently-painted surfaces of the lookout, leaving their names behind for all others to see, dated just the day before, 10/7. I even found one of the couples' tags on a boulder about 100 yards east of the lookout. Oh, also, the lookout could use a new broom. The one I recall seeing there two months ago has been reduced to just the broomstick – saw it up in the rafters. The floor was littered with some slob's sunflower seeds, and there was no easy way to clean up the mess.
Stars over Glacier Peak
Mostly green around Pilchuck, but there's a little color to be found
Sunrise over peaks of the Mountain Loop Highway, back in early August