Photos from this trip can be found here.
The entire weekend was spent in the wilderness first aid course in town so I couldn’t get very far to hike. Putrid Pete’s Peak (P3) was within one hour drive from Seattle and a perfect destination for seeking solitude. The hike starts off at the Ira Spring trailhead and then takes an inconspicuous path in just under half a mile at the first switchback. Most hikers from the trailhead go to one of the three destinations–Bandera Mountain, Mason Lake and/or Mount Defiance.
I had hoped to get up to the summit before dark but that did not happen. Saw a group of fellow Seattle Mountaineers at the trailhead and chatted for a bit. Then saw another guy on the trail whom I had run into on another trail four years ago, talk about a small world.
Two trail junctions at the lower elevation, need to keep right at both places. If you find yourself gradually go downhill and losing elevation, then you probably have gone off track. Elevation started to pick up just past the second junction at around 2,700 feet and one mile from the trailhead, and it continued to go straight up the slope for the remaining 2,500 feet over 1.5 miles.
It got completely dark when the pups and I got to about 200 feet below the summit, and that’s when the city lights out of North Bend started to capture my attention. This was also our first after-dark summit so I felt even more isolated from civilization. We spent about 45 minutes on the summit stargazing, watching the cars down on Interstate 90 going by, and playing with camera settings in an attempt to take some night photos. The eerie silhouette of Web Mountain just to the west
on the same ridge line became even more apparent now that it was backed up by of the city lights.