Archived copy from:

http://web.archive.org/web/20021009062950/www.themarxes.us/tominthemountains.html





Here are some pictures of the trip Mike and I made to Upper Lena Lake in the middle of November, 2003...   I spent most of the summer either riding sport bikes, or at the race track - much to the chagrin of Mike.  Now that the fast season was over, I needed to get back into the hills.  Mike was so eager, he even agreed to come over to my side of the Sound for a day-hike.

This also gave me a chance to try out my new digital camera - a Minolta DiMAGE Z1.  All pictures displayed here were taken with it.  Overall, we took around a hundred pictures, about half with the flash.  By the time we got to the lake - the batteries were toast.  These were the batteries that came with it though - 4 AA alkalines.  Mike took most of the pictures as he was determined to evaluate my new toy.  The verdict is very positive as the camera is rich in features, easy to use with gloves on, light, and takes excellent 3.2 mega-pixel stills, and 32 fps video with sound.  Battery life could be better, but we were in temperatures below freezing most of the time.  The 10x optical zoom works very well also...

Upper Lena Lake is a scenic lake off of the Hamma Hamma river situated between The Brothers, and Mt Pershing.  There are two minor peaks that can be reached directly from the lake - Mt Lena and Mt Bretherton - both are scrambles.  The area is popular for the adventurous - as it's 7.4 miles up from the car, and around 3800 feet of elevation gain.  The trail starts with series of wide switchbacks, and then traverses over Lena Creek and eventually to Lower Lena Lake.  Continue around the lake to head to the approach to The Brothers, or spur to the left just before the lake to head to Upper.

The trail then steepens, and generally follows the west fork of Lena Creek.  About a mile past the lower lake, the trail passes into Olympic National Park.  There are numerous scenic areas along the creek showcasing classic Olympic Park nurse trees, ferns and mossy rocks and logs...  We left the car around 7:00 am, arrived at the upper lake a little after noon - stayed for an hour or so, and then got back to the car just before 5:00.  Basically sunrise to sunset on this late autumn day.

We expected snow as during the week - the Cascades received almost 30 inches - so we brought snow shoes just in case.  Of course we didn't need them (because we had them), but we were still surprised to see the snow level sitting at around 3500 feet - making navigation very straight-forward.  As you can see, the day's theme will be icicles...
Icicles on a mossy log...

It didn't take Mike long to find an example of our theme!  This log was found just above the lower lake...
Icicle on an Elephant Ear...

A lone icicle finds its way down from an Elephant Ear on a log...
Meadow above the lower lake...

The first meadow above the lower lake...  After receiving the first real snow of the year, the scenery was a mixture of late autumn and early winter - making it very unique and beautiful.


Frozen moss...   Notice the forzen bug...

Moss captured in the first hard freeze of the year.  Notice the picture on the right - a beetle is trapped in the ice, probably until spring...


Tom on a log over Lena Creek...

Tom on a log crossing over the West Fork of Lena Creek.  Note the icicles underneath...
Tom on the trail...

Just above the snow line, Mike experimented with flash to see how well it projected in daylight...
Tom at the snowline...

On the trail at the snow line.  The snowshoes proved invaluable...providing good training weight.
Frozen trees...

Frozen shrubberies...
Mike with forzen trees...

The Lena Creek crossing about half a mile below the lake was breath-taking!  Here, Mike provides perspective...
Frozen trees...

Lena Creek crossing below the lake...
Hand-cicles...   Wineglass icicles...   Wineglasss icicles...

These strange formations in the under-hangs of rocks over the creek.  The first resembles frozen hands, while the other two look like wine glasses in a bar.
More icicles...

More icicles under a log...
How'd that lobster get there?

Looking like a frozen lobster, a tangled branch is encrusted with ice...
Different lighting...

The same icicles as to the left, but with different light...
Mt Bretherton and Upper Lena Lake...

Mt Bretherton over the Upper Lena Lake...
Patterns on the lake...   Close-up of patterns...

Mike spotted these formations in the lake ice.  The texture is eerie...
Mike at Upper Lena Lake...

Mike at Upper Lena Lake...
Mt Bretherton and Upper Lena Lake...

Panorama of Mt Bretherton on Upper Lena Lake...
Mike strikes a pose...

Mike strikes a pose on an island near the lake shore... Also, a chance to try out the zoom.
Mt Bretherton on Upper Lena Lake...

The lighting was strange and flat providing a forbidden picture of very pleasant scenery...
Mike starts across Lena Creek...   Mike crossing Lena Creek...

The entertainment for this trip was making this stream crossing without slipping on the ice-covered rocks.  Here Mike shows us the moves...
Tom hops in to Lena Creek...   Tom stems in order to place a foot...   Tom crosses Lena Creek...

It's my turn now.  Having a history of getting wet, I have to get myself on film in order to beat the rep.  Here I stem on my poles while making perfect steps on to the barely visible rocks.  Very fun...


Back to Tom in the mountains...




Home - Contact - What's Tom Up To

Notice to AOL users...   The AOL servers are not accepting mail from me, you need to complain about this if you're an AOL subscriber, and want mail from my site, either automatic, or personal.   Thanks!

All content on this page is Copyrightę 2004, and can not be reproduced without the expressed permission of themarxes.us.