This was my second successful attempt to reach Cascade Lookout in winter, two years ago I used snowshoes, this time I did it using cross country skis.
Well, this is my second time using cross country skis and for that reason I decided to try this long -- but gentle -- switchback road.
Sometimes I asked myself why I am doing this, I think this is one of many ways to find answers to all kind of questions that pop up on my head all the time.
Then I started to have some views of Lightning Lakes (the white patch on the background)
Last time I spent 3.5 hours reaching the lookout, this time I did it in 2.5 hours. There is still a long way (10 kms) to the parking area just below the 6,768-foot (2,063-metre) Blackwall Peak
But today my primary objective was the lookoout. What a beautiful day, this is one of the best places to see how the Cascade and Coast Mountains meet.
I am not going to lie to you, for a couple of minutes I was tempted to continue for a little bit more towards Blackwall Peak.
Manning Park, combined with the Skagit Valley and Cascade Recreation Areas, as well as Washington State's North Cascades National Park and Ross Lake Recreational Area, is part of a huge transboundary park complex.
This design follows the principles of conservation biology, aimed at promoting connectivity. By connecting wild spaces together wildlife are provided with corridors between intact areas and enough range in which to feed, migrate, and adapt to changing conditions.
The Manning Park area was created by the activity of giant glaciers thousands of years ago, which carved U-shaped valleys between the mountains
Black bears are abundant in the park, along with coyotes, mule deer, and smaller animals like beavers, marmots, and chipmunks. In June birdwatchers descend on Manning to count its over 200 bird species.
Manning Park's ecological features include some of the largest publicly accessible subalpine meadows in Canada; a substantial number of rhododendrons, a rare indigenous shrub; and several stands of old alpine larch. Manning Park is a wonderful area to experience the diversity and beauty of Pacific Northwest ecosystems.
After falling 6 times, finally I made it to my little Juanmobile IV. I left behind Blackwall Peak, but who knows? Winter is still here
Round trip: 15 km (9.4 miles)
Started at 1117 m (3665 ft)
Finished at 1675 m (5495 ft)
Time: 4 hours
Elevation gain: 558 m (1830 ft)
Round trip: 438.5 km (275 miles)