Mt. Dickerman

A crazy weather forecast made it tough to choose a trip. Partly sunny with a chance of thundershowers in the afternoon. I chose an early start to hopefully be down before the lightening starting flashing.. I was last up Dickerman in November 2012. That day it was 24 degrees on the summit. This day I arrived at the trailhead at 7:55 am and it was plenty warm. Starting up the trail I quickly noticed the humidity. We seldom have much and it makes hiking a lot more difficult for me. Even with shorts and short sleeves I had sweat pouring off my brow.There were only half a dozen cars in the lot when I began. I quickly passed one person.

The trail gains elevation at a consistent grade. Not much flat trail. After two miles the grade does have one flat section. A long traverse to the left leaves forest and has a few views to the south. Big Four came into view then Vesper and Sperry Peaks. The gray sky did not make for the best photos. It suddenly began to rain along here. Since the chance of rain in the morning was zero I did not bring an umbrella. It was way to hot and humid for a jacket. The best plan was just to get wet. After only a few minutes the heavy rain stopped. I found wildflowers at this elevation were mostly beyond peak. A few dried out columbine mixed in with some tiger lilies. I found three Indian paintbrush. There was some fireweed and some thistles in bloom. At the waterfall/creek crossing there was water falling but it went underground at the crossing.

A few minutes later I reached the meadows. There was a lot of heather and Valerian in bloom. Some yellow flowers too. Not much else. One hiker had zoomed by me earlier and I passed two others.. I had seen several groups already coming down and now I met a third group descending. I had accounted for most all the cars in the lot. A view opened up across Perry Creek to Mts Forgotten and Stillaguamish. Not much snow left at all.  On the traverse over to the meadows below the summit I did notice lots of small green berries. It will be at least a month but there are a lot of them if they ripen. I had almost forgotten all the big steps from the meadows up. I have long legs. It must be a lot harder for folks with short legs.

The last switchbacks up to the top were better. The humidity had lessened. I had heard a boom of thunder at 9:30 am and now it was past 10:00 am. The sky looked okay so I continued up. I reached the top in 2:23 minutes at 10:25 am. That was 10 minutes longer than it took me with icy snow near the top on my 2009 October visit. I guess humidity slows me down more than an icy trail. The one fast guy was the only other person on top. All the peaks were out of clouds but the gray and white sky was a little disappointing. Not the best photo conditions. It was much darker to the south.  I could see rain to the west too.

Bangs of thunder occurred off and on. I never did see any lightening. The sky remained lighter overhead. After awhile other groups began to arrive. I spent nearly an hour on top. The dark clouds to the south were moving to the northwest and missing us. Just before I left the edge began to near Dickerman. Not wanting to test my ability to outrun lightening, I started down at 11:19 am. Starting down the slope I met more and more folks coming up. My early start did provide a lot of solitude on the way up and on the summit. On the traverse back to the lower meadow the rain started coming down pretty hard. Hard enough that I stopped to pull out my jacket. Ten minutes late the rain stopped for good.

The trail down is fairly steep and rocky. Not the easiest on the knees. Still it went by fast enough. By 1:15 pm I was back at the trailhead. Nine miles with 3900' of gain is a full day and it was still early afternoon. The drive home was more interesting. Torrential rain in Everett brought me down to 45 mph on the freeway. It was in the low 80s back in Seattle. A wild weather day for sure. I heard a lot of thunder and saw some very interesting clouds on the hike but thankfully I did not have to deal with lightening. It was a fun day in the mountains.

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Trips - 2014