All photos from this trip can be found here.
Granite Mountain, seventh time in three years for me. Plans to hike Coldwater Peak down by Mount Saint Helens fell through due to bad weather. As friend Michelle and I tried to figure out a hiking spot for the weekend, she proposed the idea of joining The Seattle Backpackers Meetup Group for the day as an alternate plan. Since I didn’t have any brilliant ideas of my own, I went with her suggestion. I could use the camaraderie from time to time.
Forecast for the weather was not so optimistic, but I packed for the rain just in case. Ten of us met up at the trailhead and started hiking around 9:30. Fall colors were everywhere for great photo opps and the weather turned out for the better. The sun drifted in and out of the clouds as we headed up the slopes, so that was promising. Lots of berries throughout the meadow just before the granite slope leading up to the lookout tower.
Just as usual, the temperature dropped drastically after passing the meadow and before making the final climb up to the tower. This was also the muddy area with patches of snow on the grass and slush on the slippery steps leading to the tower. Surprisingly, there were more people at the lookout tower than anticipated, being that the weather forecast was gloomy. Although more blue sky broke out as we hung out by the tower and happily endured the chilling wind for 45 minutes before heading back down.
Lots of late-start hikers heading up as we descended since the weather turned for the better in mid-day. Michelle and I took our time to chat and take photos as the rest of the group made their way back to the trailhead before us and went home.