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Sunrise on Rattlesnake Ledge
posted by John : May 12, 2007

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Sunrise from Rattlesnake Ledge

Driving to work on Friday morning there was a low fog hanging over the Upper Snoqualmie Valley. I fantasized about getting above the fog as the sun rose and enjoying the surreal otherworldly feeling that comes with not being able to see the ground.

Three years ago I had taken Clara up Rattlesnake Ridge and we popped above the clouds and it was magical. That trip had a sensible start time, but with other plans for the day I didn't have the luxury of sleeping and tried to drum up a partner for a 4:45am departure from home.

Not surprisingly, nobody signed up.

Very surprisingly, upstream neighbor Jeremy was awake and wandering around in the dark at that time of the morning. I tried to convince him he should come before riding his bike up to and back from the Pass, but he played the good husband card and decided to see his wife off on a week-long business trip. He's either a really good guy or a really good liar.

So Tokul and I were on the trail around Rattlesnake Lake at 5:10am. There was so much light I didn't need my headlamp even in the trees. I worried we wouldn't beat the sun so we pushed hard and topped out on the Ledge at 5:50, about 10 minutes before the sun cleared the mountains.

Tokul lay down while I set up the tripod and started shooting too many photos to count. (Nah... not true. There were about 260 photos.) The sun rose right behind the summit of Russian Butte in the Middle Fork valley.

Unfortunately, the fog was spotty at best and clouds obscured the peaks of the mountains that border the three forks of the Snoqualmie.

The trip down was only slightly shorter than the trip up, which made me feel good. It leads me to believe I wasn't so out of shape I was much slower on the trip up.

I saw only one other hiker who was just starting her trip up as we exited.

We got home at about 7am just as the girls were waking up.

Total mileage is about four with 1,200 feet of gain.

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