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...
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