There may be nothing fairly just like the crisp, uncovered ambiance of alpine mountains. Sadly, reaching these elevations is usually a fairly huge job. So final fall, I fortunately headed to Crystal Mountain Ski Space, within the Cascade Mountains about an hour and a half southeast of Seattle the place I stay, to journey the gondola to the highest of the mountain.
In the summertime, the Mount Rainier Gondola welcomes canines. I figured Renzo, my Husky-Border Collie combine, and I might journey in fashion, taking within the improbable views in the course of the 2,500-foot climb to the summit and there take pleasure in, with out a lot as a bead of sweat on my forehead, the lens-popping view of the snow-covered dome of Mount Rainier. Climate-permitting. Then we’d hike down leisurely with gravity on our aspect, weaving via fir, hemlock and cedar forests, skirting deep blue alpine lakes and crossing lush meadows loaded with sunflowers, columbine, lupine, Indian paintbrush and extra.
Ah, the perfect intentions. The gondola operators have been prepared and keen. As was I. Renzo had different concepts. The unusual, swinging gondola automobiles careening noisily into the loading station alarmed him. After I may get him to strategy, coaxed by treats, the truth that the gondola by no means absolutely stopped gave the impression to be a deal-breaker. My canine is an anxious one so I wasn’t prepared to hold him aboard for a 20-minute journey from hell.
We hung round and watched two canines hop aboard with out hesitation earlier than turning boots and paws upland. I used to be bent on seeing that summit view, which is commonly socked in after I ski there, even when we needed to do it the onerous approach. It was an extended and extra exhausting day than I had deliberate however the actual level was simply getting out collectively on this stunning place. I used to be glad it was simply the 2 of us, with nobody upset by the change of plans.
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Path previous small lake, the “view” of Rainier on Sept. 17, 2011
Nonetheless I do suppose gondolas provide a beautiful likelihood for entry to backcountry views for households with youthful kids, grandparents and a senior canine or too—at all times with the caveat that issues might not go as deliberate.
The Mount Rainier Gondola runs on daily basis from June 17–September 19, after which weekends-only via October 2. In case you stay close to or plan to journey to a ski space with a gondola, verify to see if it’s dog-friendly. I hear the views are sometimes fabulous.
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