Mt. Dickerman

     I seem to make it up Dickerman almost every year but this was my first summer trip with no snow in a decade. I was at the trailhead by 8:30 and there were already 9 cars in the lot. I passed 3 people in the first mile and then saw nobody else until I reached the top. The trail is in excellent shape. No downed logs, no water, and no mud. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of flowers along the trail. I saw bunchberry, columbine, yellow violets, queens cup, and many others in the forest. The last open switchbacks were in a sea of glacier lilies. There were 3 or 4 snow patches in the last half mile but none were a problem. Gaiters are no longer necessary. There were low clouds when I started which kept it cool. They soon burned off but a cool breeze was blowing higher up. I reached the summit in 2:15. There were a few clouds to the northwest but otherwise the views were outstanding. Big 4, Vesper, Sperry, Morningstar, and Del Campo still have a nice coating of snow on their north sides. Glacier Peak was clear with plenty of snow. Three Fingers was mostly in the clear but Whitehorse was in the clouds.

     I was up early enough to spend a leisurely 2 hours on the summit. Hikers arrived continuously but most didn't spend much time on top. At 1:00 I started down when I heard a familiar voice calling me. It was Jack Wallace whom I have run into 3 times already this year. I almost expect to find him somewhere along the way. Jack and his friend were also heading down and we hiked together. My only complaint is the crushed rock all the way along the lower meadow. I will take a little mud over wooden steps and hard crushed rock any day. This gives the trail all the wilderness feel of Green Lake in Seattle. Oh well, much worse was to come.

     After hiking down and saying goodbye to Jack I headed over to the Big Four Ice Caves trail. It was too early to head home and the ice caves are a natural refrigerator to help cool down. It had been half a dozen years since I was last up there and boy has it changed. The trail used to be a real forest trail with a little mud in places. Not any more. Now it is gravel for the whole mile to the caves. Wooden side logs filled with 6+ inches of gravel. Boardwalks and bridges are the only break in the gravel. It is as smooth as concrete and just as hard on my feet. The ice caves were nice. I enjoyed the view of Big 4 and the cold breeze blowing out of the caves. I also found the first blueberries of the season. They were even a little sweet. I love the caves but the gravel has ruined the trail for me. I doubt I'll bother coming back again.

Sperry & Vesper
Big Four
Big Four
Del Campo
Marsh Marigolds
Mt. Forgotten
Stillaguamish Peak
Sperry & Vesper
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