5 Days' Freedom, Glacier Peak Wilderness.


This is our 5-day Labor Day trip.  Buck Mt. is 8570', not difficult technically, but one of the Washington Cascades' larger peaks, and fairly remote.  It had been a goal for a long time (30 years).

4 nights, early autumn, but wildflowers in full bloom, a month late this year.  The weather tried to make up for last year.

Just walking the dog.



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Comment by John Wolff on September 25, 2011 at 12:29am

@Sam:  I did a post re. bears.

@Rebecca:  I thought I could feel the thin air plus my fatigue above 8500' in July with Al on Mt. Maude (we slept at 9000'), but most people have to go much higher to experience actual altitude sickness.  Almost all people who climb Tahoma (Mt. Rainier) experience some symptoms of acute mountain sickness; this is going sea level to 14,400' in a weekend, too fast for any acclimatization.  A few will be immobilized (it's like a bad hangover or seasickness) at Camp Muir, less than 10,000'.  I'd start feeling lousy about 13,500 on Rainier, close to the summit.  Last time, I took the Diamox drug and felt no nausea or weakness at all.

My sis got sick working at a ski resort in Utah, 11,000, until she acclimatized in a few days..  

Acute altitude sickness can be life-threatening (cerebral edema, swelling of the brain).  Rarely, this can happen in a quick ascent sea level to as low as 9000.  In  the Washington Cascades, only a few peaks are that high, mainly the 4 big volcanoes.  It has occurred to me that this could be a problem with a dog sleeping at 9000' from sea level, which we did on Mt. Maude.  The dog can't tell you how it's feeling.

Comment by Rebecca on September 24, 2011 at 10:32pm
Most amazing pictures and so beautiful. Love the one with the flowers, talk about a piece of heaven. Very inspiring John, you and your dog. Looks like he enjoys it.  Has the high altitude every bother your dog at all.
Comment by Kathy Losacco on September 24, 2011 at 6:44pm
This is so cool.  So in 30 years I should be able to do this?  I will be on corgi number 2 or 3 by then. I should really learn how to camp first, then progress to backpacking.  So, maybe in ten years.   Actually, I think we are doing a bit of public service by staying in the lowlands.  Did Mt Si today, met a corgi owner without her corgi because she didn't think her corgi could.  I think we may have changed her mind.
Comment by Gromit, Sparkle, and Doug on September 24, 2011 at 4:38pm
Grand stuff as always, John.
Comment by Beth on September 24, 2011 at 10:37am

Beautiful.  If more people (and dogs) undertook such leisure pursuits, rather than spending so much time on consumerism, the world might be a nicer place.


You are an inspiration.  

Comment by Sam Tsang on September 24, 2011 at 9:44am
Hey John, any tips on backpacking with your dogs in bear country? I am hesitant in bringing mine, we've done many car camping trips, but never backpacking.
Comment by Jane Christensen on September 24, 2011 at 8:17am
Awesome...I love this pic with the vest,flowers and his smile! Wow, that looks like an awful lot of hiking!

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