Saturday, June 04, 2011

Hurricane Ridge Spy Trip, with Marmot Sighting

It's t-shirt weather on Hurricane Ridge. Steep southfacing slopes, like the one below the visitor parking area, or the face of Hurricane Hill, have grassy patches emerging already though not yet green. The peaks of the Bailey Range, Mt. Olympus, and all the rest look high and snowy and remote, as they will continue to do even when the near places have melted.

View From the Visitor Center, June 4, 2011 (Click for larger image.)

Visitor Center (Click for larger image.)

In the woods along the spur road to the Hurricane Hill trailhead, the snow is still deep. They're working it now, plowed about halfway, and will surely finish this week. I hiked down hoping for a good view of the Hill, but the snow walls were always too high, and then the worked part of the road simply ended. Hiked back up. The sunlight was dazzling. Three people came by carryiing snowshoes and poles, wearing wraparound dark glasses: not intending to be deterred by the end of the plowed road...

Hurricane Hill over the snow and through trees, June 4, 2011. Look closely at how much bare ground there is already. (Click for larger image.)
Panorama: Bailey Range from the Road to Hurricane Hill, June 4, 2011

Near End of Spur Road Plowed, Road Equipment, & As Far As They've Gotten, June 4, 2011 (Click for larger image.)

Intuitively I had parked directly above where I saw the marmots last year on June 7 (look how much more it was melted then— and it was green already!), and when I got back to the car I looked over the edge. Yup.

There's a marmot down there in the grassy patch. (Click for larger image.)
OK, So You Have To Take My Word For It: This Is a Marmot (Click for larger image.)

PS. They haven't plowed or dug out the patio at the back of the Visitor Center, but it's melting itself out just fine. The small purple arrow near the top center of the image marks the web camera. You can see that it's not still midwinter up there, even though the cam looks right at the snow bank and this morning still imagined the building was all but buried...

Back of the Visitor Center, showing the web camera. (Click for larger image.)

1 comment:

robin andrea said...

So beautiful there! Love that blue sky over the snowy mountains. Gorgeous.