Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Hike-a-thon, Hiking

HaT #6: Alta Mountain

In Part Two of Ingunn Learns That She Should Never Ever Hike Up Mountains During Periods of Excessive Heat, our heroine climbs Alta Mountain with JK, Dani, Jasper and Wellie.

10 points for style

Basil stayed home because it was hot as Hades and we’re slowly building up his mileage so his paw pads won’t get hurt. Wellie, on the other hand, stayed cool as a cucumber by repeatedly rescuing us from the freezing depths of Rachel Lake. I would never have made it up the mountain or back to the car if there wasn’t a lake to swim in on the way.

Purple Mountains Majesty

Did I mention it was hot? ‘Cause it was damn hot, but also damn pretty. I had lots of flowers and peaks to admire when I stopped every two minutes to eat Honey Stinger chews or suck down gallons of water.

Hot nutria

I just love this trail, 534 false summits and all. In every direction, there are peaks we’ve either climbed or that are on our to-do list.

My favorite part of the trail

Best of all, it’s a ridge walk that even an acrophobic weenie like me can do…

Ridge walk

…and when you finally reach the true summit, one of the most beautiful sections of the entire Pacific Crest Trail lays before you.

Happy summiteers

But, as I think I’ve mentioned, it was damn hot. Sauna hot. Brain-boiling hot. So we packed up, drank some more water (the heat made me too nauseous to eat), and scurried back down the ridge to jump into the lake again. Heaven.


– Alta Mountain | 11 miles | 3500 feet elevation gain –

I done caught me a Cascadian Snow Pig!

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  • Reply Andrea August 30, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Was this excessive heat about two weeks ago? We had a few 95 degree days in the Pasayten…two of which included walking through post-wildfire burn areas…it was ‘fun.’ Did you guys jump in Lila Lakes? I love the area around Alta / Lila Lakes. I need to head back there some time.

  • Reply Ingunn August 30, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    August 12! It got even hotter the following weekend, but I was sick and therefore had an excuse not to hike. :o) I’ve never dropped down to Lila, but I would go back there + Rampart Lakes anytime. I just love that area.

  • Reply Mark Griffith August 30, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    I LOVE that ridge line!

  • Reply Lisa September 4, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Is that in Eastern Washington? I remember as a kid going camping at Alta Lake.

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