Cascade via the Cascade (and Porter)
Submitted By Michael Virdone
The Mountains & Stats
People On The Trip
After reading Spence's report on VFTT I wanted to do this hike. The questionable forecast (50% rain, but no significant accumulation) meant we couldn't comofotably hike any of our remaining peaks so I wanted to do something a little more exotic. I manage to talk Nicole and Nate into doing the hike. We camped at south meadows (virtually empty this weekend) Friday night and were up early Saturday morning. We needed some snacks for breakfast Saturday morning so we headed into lake placid. We stopped at the gas station on the corner of 73 and 84. It had a good selection and a nice clean bathroom. After getting some snacks we headed to the trailhead.|
We parked between the lakes and headed across the bridge. from here we followed the stream bed (or possibly a trail) up to the base of the falls. It was pretty dry so the falls weren't too exciting. From the base of the falls we climbed up to the left and eventually came to a point between the main falls and another set. We climbed between the two (as this seemed to be where the best holds were). This was by far the most dangerous section of the hike. Eventually we reached the top of the falls and followed the stream uphill for a little while. We got tired of side sloping in the stream bed so we worked our way left a little and found some pretty open woods with a very faintly defined herd path.
Nate did a fairly good job of picking his way up through the woods and avoiding thick stuff. Every now and again we would venture right to find the stream but in the end we always stayed on the left bank. We never found the slide that Spencer mentioned nor did we spend any time in the brook above the waterfall. The woods were incredibly open so it was never necessary to use the brook to ease travel. We hit the birch glade at a fairly low elevation and then we followed that until we hit some thick stuff below the summit rocks.
We climbed/crawled/swam our way through the scrub until we were at the base of the rocks. After a little bit of climbing we found a trail about 50 yards past the summit disc. Unfortunately the summit was a mess with @$$holes using the woods as a toilet (or occasionally right in the middle of the herd path we were on). No one bothered to bury their waste or their TP which is rather absurd. We spent a good 15 to 20 minutes on the summit (getting blown around by the wind) before we descended to the trail junction and hiked over to Porter.
The hike to porter was uneventful (despite even more TP flowers along the way) and we spent another 20 minutes on the summit there, enjoying some other views. Eventually we descended, re-climbed up to the trail junction and began our final descent. I had never been on this trail in summer before so I was slightly surprised by how rocky it is (I guess I shouldn't be seeing the amount of traffic Cascade gets). After a fairly quick descent (and me almost rolling my ankle again) we were back at 73. We cautiously hiked along the road back to the parking area between the lakes to get back to the car. At the car we decided to go for a swim in the upper lake, the water was still surprisingly warm and the swim was quite refreshing.
The Good and The Bad
Climbing cascade and not seeing anyone until the summit.
Walking on 73 to get back to the car.
|same old drive up rt 3|