I ditched my bike at the base of the west ridge and we continued up a trail that frequently morphed into a series of trails. Once out of the forest, this route offers about 1,500 feet of 3rd class scrambling on surprisingly good rock. We wandered off route a bit on the way up but ended up finding a great new route as pretty much any where you go on this rock makes for great climbing. We ended up descending the ridge we meant to come up and decided that our up-route was at least as good as the standard west ridge.
|Molly scramblin' up the ridge|
|On the way down with the funky balanced rock in the background|
|Mt. Baker in the background (Molly's in there somewhere, too)|
|With only about 2.5 miles left to go and the mountain we just climbed in the background|
Once back at the bike, I took both of our packs and Molly started running down. We leapfrogged most of the way as I coasted down and acted as a support crew every mile or so. With about 1/2 mile left, I flatted my rear tire. I replaced the tube in good time and promptly flatted my only spare tube about 200 yards later (note that I was using road tires and it's kind of amazing I didn't flat much sooner). I proceeded to run back to the car with one hand on my bike saddle as I chased it down the road.
I arrived at the car to find Molly running around in circles acting crazy about fish (we had parked next to the Nooksack River). She soon saw a trout rise and rigged up her fly rod, which she pretty much always carries in her car. One or two casts later she was reeling in a trout! A great finish to a great day out in the mountains.