Across Bald Mtn. (Kaisoots)
~ Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest - Aug. 3-5, 1970 ~

Big Four Mtn from Bald Mountain Ken James McLeod

The way was not defined, there was no trail, but we really weren't looking for one . . .

Arriving at Boardman Lake by way of trail, we (Greg Relf and I) decided we'd had enough of the easy route, so upward we climbed on the east side of it to the top of the ridge . . . the ridge of what was really Bald Mountain. As we climbed steeply upward, hand over fist, we gorge ourselves on delicious ripe blueberries, some the size of dimes! Ah,what wonderful taste they had.

On the peak above the lake, we found an old campsite, and wondered who in there right mind would want to make camp up here and in nothing but brush? As we sat in silence taking a break and eating our lunch, we came to realize the why . . . for all around was an extraodinary view and nothing but the sounds of the forest and that of the mountain disturbed it. Someone years before had come here for what we were now experiencing.

Sometime later, along the ridge and through the brush we trekked towards East Boardman Lake. Our descent to it was rather like following ones nose, for often the man-high blueberry brush nearly thwarted us in our attempt. We climbed up the ridge and then scaled the rock chimney (named Mam's Chimney painted on the rocks) crossing to the other side of the mountain. From there, we descended steeply (blueberry brush belay) and just crashed through the brush and headed toward the lakes general direction. Eventually, we stepped upon it.

An evening camp fire was made, dinner had with fresh fried trout, and then we rolled out our sleeping bags to sleep under the stars. "How glorious they be by the crackle of the fire . . . those night stars of a wilderness camp."

And in the morning we had blueberry pancakes with hot coffee, breakfast never tasted so good! The day was spent wandering as well as swimming and fishing, and the day passed to dusk again. Through the night the shooting stars flew across the heavens and we drifted into deeper slumber.

After breakfast again the following morning, shortly before our descent down the outlet and up over another peak (a different untried route), we encountered an older fellow all by his lonesome self at the lake shore. During our breakfast, he had made camp, then began to do some fishing. "What a sight," I thought. Here, was an old man way past his prime but still out enjoying the wilderness; camping and fishing perhaps the way he had done all his life and with the same enthusiasm as in his youth. I was awe-struck by the scene, for this old man had climbed and clawed his way in here, too. There was no trail!

And as the years have rolled on by, to this day I wonder who that old fellow was? Had to have been one of those wild and crazy Trail Blazer Club members, I thought later on.

KJM

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