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Robert Ballard | all galleries >> Galleries >> Washington 2014 Blog > Skyline Divide
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Skyline Divide

The promised hot weather arrived, which made the elevation gain loads of fun. At least I brought plenty of water. In case you happened to read the previous dayís text, I was certainly not excited Ė at least concerning the weather. I was, however, excited about seeing Skyline Divide. This was one of the places I was most looking forward to visiting.

The first section of the trail is a steep climb up the forested flank of the hill. Thereís a lot of elevation gain. There was no breeze at all, and I was feeling the heat. There are a few sections of wildflowers, but nothing particularly noteworthy. There is a nice sloped wildflower meadow shortly before attaining the ridge. Reaching the top of that climb brings a reward of green grass, wildflowers galore, and views of many mountain peaks including, of course, Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan. Although my map didnít show it, there is a path to the knoll on the left which has become an actual trail. Perhaps it is an official trail. Perhaps so many people have traveled along it that shows no difference between a boot path and a trail. In any case, this is where most of the people were. I think it was probably the best part of the ridge, but your opinion may vary. Although it was fantastic, I didnít get any good shots since the sky was hazy.

I backtracked and continued along the divide trail. Although this includes less elevation change than the beginning of the hike, it does include some rather steep sections. I was already taxed from the initial climb, so I was moving pretty slow. There are flowers and good views, but I think that for most people, stopping at the original knoll would be sufficient. On my way out I only saw two other hikers. I asked whether there were good flower meadows ahead. Some people would continue for the alpine views, but I was more interested in wildflowers. They told me that the variety of species was the same, except that they did report some glacier lilies. Today was to be the first time that Iíve seen those.

I didnít hike quite as far as I had planned, but I got pretty close. I decided that I had seen enough and continuing wouldnít yield any views significantly different from what I had already seen. Perhaps I should clarify that statement. I mean that the scenery wouldnít be much different if I hiked to my planned turn around point, which was only about a quarter mile away. Going farther than that would likely provide hikers with much more alpine goodness.

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1/250s f/8.0 at 10.0mm iso200 full exif

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Paolo Peggi (aka Bracciodiferro)12-Aug-2014 18:09
Well captured.V
Jim Coffman12-Aug-2014 17:59
A stunning capture,Robert!
Tom LeRoy12-Aug-2014 15:11
A fabulous highlight what a great view! thanks for the blog today. V