South Fork Tieton
and Conrad Basin, Sept 3-5, 2005
This was my third trip this year along this general route. On
22-23, I was stopped by snow at the top of switchbacks on the
main loop trail. July
7-8, the trail was all clear but I stopped
at Conrad Creek in its upper basin because of heavy flow and weather
threatening. This trip, my friend Jer was along. We made
this one a three-day hike, visiting Conrad Glacier and Warm Lake as
part of the package.
Quick summary of trail conditions and route... Day one we went up
the north side of the loop, took the hiker trail to Conrad Basin, and
camped a little past Conrad Creek. Day two we visited Conrad
Glacier, climbed the ridge to look over into the next valley, then
backtracked to the top of the ridge over the loop trail and went up to
Warm Lake. Camped near Warm Lake, came down via Surprise Lake on
the south side of the loop. All trails were clear and dry. At the
top of the loop, the South Fork Tieton was practically dried up.
Still good flows in the Conrad Basin creeks up top. Weather was
pleasant during the day, near freezing at night.
Pictures, we got pictures...
This is the South Fork Tieton where it crosses the hiker trail to the
Conrad Basin. Earlier in the year, there were waterfalls on the
An attractive mushroom (Amanita
muscaria?) See also http://www.photomacrography1.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5285.
Some little yellow flower, next to pretty much all there was of the
South Fork Tieton at this point.
A female Blue Butterfly. (I know, it's brown. The females
are like that.)
High on the hillside above camp, there was this red shiny thing...
...that turned out to be a mylar balloon. I guess these things
get most everywhere!
Conrad Glacier from the hillside above camp.
"Skeleton Trees" on the ridge above camp.
Milky Way over the tent around midnight. (5-minute time exposure.)
Goats above camp.
Approaching Conrad Glacier.
Conrad Glacier and the lake beneath it. Bit of a
disappointment. More than a bit, actually, given the description
in an old guidebook that said the glacier calved into the lake.
More of that global warming stuff, I suppose.
Bone on the moraine.
Approaching the top of the ridge over the lake. Getting cold and
windy at this point, threatening rain.
View from the top.
Flowers on the hill above the lake...
Campsite (see the little blue tent a bit below and right of image
center). The white scar right of center across the drainage
looked like a sand-slide. It would make an interesting place to
see up close, on another trip.
About two-thirds of a full circle panorama, on the hillside above camp.
Interesting hunk of dead wood. It struck me as "guardian of the
Trees at the Warm Lake campsite.
We met a couple of other hikers at Warm Lake -- a pair of young women
heading up the ridge to climb Gilbert.
Hiking out, Surprise Lake was pretty but the trail below it was not
very pleasant -- lots of switchbacks and horse mess. Retracing
our path around the north side of the loop would have been a bit longer
but better, I think.
Page last modified July 4, 2006