Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Roaring Ridge 4988' 5.30.18

  With my Wife working more I had both daughter's for the day, thankfully my Wife had prepped my oldest who isn't the fondest of hiking that that was on the agenda for this day. Of course the youngest can't get enough, so now the only thing to do was to decide what to do. I wanted something low key but with a some effort needed to achieve the goal. Despite the fact I had already done Roaring Ridge I thought it would be a perfect goal for this day. While I knew I had done this one I couldn't even remember what route I had taken. For this day I decided to try to keep the approach on logging roads since I had no idea of the snow conditions. This made for easier going but did add substantially more mileage. We parked right at the major intersection just before reaching Lost Lake. I was a bit dismayed by my oldest daughter's shoe choice, certainly adequate for a road walk but not stellar for snow travel. Well nothing to do about it now, so we suited up and headed up under light breezes, filtered sun and NO bugs. At the next intersection we took a left onto the road that climbs above Lost Lake. It is certainly driveable for the first mile until a big snow patch blocks the way for most rigs. The grade isn't very steep so the elevation doesn't pile up too quickly. We reached consistent snow at 4200' and I left the road cutting the last switchback saving some mileage.

   For the most part the snow was well consolidated as I weaved through the smaller trees. As I suspected my oldest had a hard time getting any consistent traction. so I kicked bucket steps to make it easier for her. The snow in the shade was quite firm which necessitated me kicking four or five times to ensure her safe passage. Once crossing the road the pitch increased but a fun time was had by all as we weaved our way to the summit. I was immensely pleased that everyone was in good spirits when we topped out. I did have some trepidation for the descent but my oldest had the most fun sliding down on her butt on some of the steeper portions. I was somewhat relieved to return to the road for the long walk out. A really meaningful way to spend the day with my girls.


7 miles 1800 ' of climb 3:45 car to car

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

W Tiger 3, W Tiger 2, W Tiger via Cable Line

  Kendyl and I headed up the Cable Line Trail today with some pleasant weather. I had heard the Cable Line's reputation of being a tough climb, but neither I or Kendyl felt it overly hard. It was however a bit muddy so I decided on the way up we would descend via the well graded trail that exits at Tradition Lake. We made West Tiger 3 in around 90 minutes and discussed briefly whether or not to continue on. Of course Kendyl was game so we made the short ways to West Tiger 2. Knocking that one off easily I suggested we continue on the West Tiger proper which was met with enthusiasm. We made the summit 2:20 from the car and didn't linger for too long.  I chuckled as we made our way up the last bit of the return to West Tiger 3 when I prodded Kendyl to run up the last switchbacks and not let me catch her. We did our best to laugh at the summit despite both being winded.

   We enjoyed a nice leisurely descent on the much longer trail. I was pleased that we were able to tuck in all three peaks. I didn't realize that we had a bit of walk from the High Point parking lot to the car parked outside the gate, but we managed back to the car for a round trip of 4:15 covering 8.2 miles and 3200' feet of climb. It was a bit breezy but we managed to make it home before the rain began.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Mt Washington with Kendyl 1/10

With a deluge forecasted for tomorrow I thought it best to head out today. This proved to be a good choice because we were treated with light snow showers for the balance of the day without any rain. Since my 10 year old daughter has become my new climbing partner I was excited for the company. We decided to give Mt. Washington a shot, while I have been to the summit numerous time I felt a good test on my little one's legs. Last week we had stopped to get her suitable winter garb and I was able to find a complete outfit for $18 which if anything was too burly for this day. I also had the good fortune of having my brother send me a set of brand new gaiters for both her and myself. Thankfully the gaiters my brother sent for me were the exact replacement for my worn out pair. I did have to spend considerable time trying to figure out my daughter's setup. In the end they were perfect.


   We hit the trail around 10 giving us ample time to achieve our objective. I smiled as two groups suited up at the same time. Two ladies, one who had a toddler strapped to her back and a group of three with a high energy puppy tagging along. From the onset I had dead legs and I got a strong sense so did my daughter. The trail was wet but we didn't hit snow until around 2500ft and then it was still spotty. The snow was much more continuous above 3600'. The path was well worn so the snowshoes stayed snugly secured to my pack for the entire day.  We stopped for a quick lunch around 3000' and I assumed that we would turn back. But as has been consistently the case my youngest wasn't having that. We plodded on. I figured we would could at least reach the pond giving something interesting to finish with. Again that wasn't nearly enough for her and she wanted more. We kept chugging along finally meeting up with the party of three and their hyper puppy on their descent. They were quick to point out that we only had a short ways to go. I had already decided that we were to close to quit but this buoyed my daughter. A few hundred feet below the summit the trail traverse through an area with a shocking lack of snow. There was only a slight dusting of extremely slippery snow. This portion gave my some grief. Soon we reached the end of the packed trail. No one had actually gone to the summit they all had stopped short. Knowing the weather station and the summit were still to be had I blazed our way to the summit proper. We are both sunflower seed maniacs and we enjoyed trying to get the Camp Robbers to eat from our hands. I have many fond memories of youth feeding the birds during the winter and it was neat to share that with my own daughter. In the end we weren't able to coax any to eat out of our hands but it was apparent to both of us that they were thinking about it.

    The decent went without a hitch although the lower rocky portions with minimal snow cover are exceedingly annoying. By the end we were both very happy to make it back to the car. Truth be told I was rather spent by the time I got home. Again my daughter surprised me when she tagged along to her 2 year older sisters basketball practice and participated exceedingly well in the 90 minute practice..... oh to have young legs.


Approx 10 miles 3400 ft of climb 5:30 car to car

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Dirty Harry's Peak 12.13.17

 In an attempt to maintain a weekly schedule of hiking with my youngest last week we headed out to do Mt. Washington. Unfortunately for both of us I had lent my parking pass out to a friend and although it was returned it didn't make it back into my car. Not wanting to risk a hefty ticket I struggled to find another option. I had been up Dirty Harry's Peak a few time many years ago and since it was close I thought we would give it a go. We drove up and down the road to the fire training facility without being able to find the correct jump off point. On the way in we there was a single hiker coming down the road looking as lost as we were. Finally I found the correct spot to start our adventure but it wasn't nearly what I remembered. From the onset I new I was in the right spot but the road had been reclaimed making for exceedingly tedious travel. My little one quite enjoyed the higher order gymnastics involved on making any progress. Thinking surely this mess couldn't be long lived we continued on. I decided to detour from the unpleasant former road travel to the relative easy going in the forest. After some time I realized the reclaimed road wasn't going to morph into any easy route to the summit so we decided to head back to the car. After doing some research I realized there is a new trail being built to circumnavigate the tangled mess of the former route.


    Originally I had hoped for a route up Mt Washington since I now had my pass, but the sun was shining intently on the East side of I-90 making it for an appealing alternative. I found the new trailhead without issue and we parked and layered up since there was a biting wind. The trail shortens the distance to the bridge crossing the South Fork of the Snoqualmie considerably over walking the road. I was unclear where to look for the start of the new trail but immediately after crossing the bridge I spied a trail and we headed dove into the unknown. The trail is still being constructed but is easy to follow as it meanders up the slope hitting a couple of nice view points which we briefly took in. Around the 3 mile mark the trail reaches the old road be that I remember from previous trips, thankfully this portion of the road hasn't been reclaimed making for steady elevation gain. Once reaching the route I didn't have any aspirations of reaching the summit since the route was considerably longer in both time and mileage than what I had expected. Surely my 10 year old daughter wouldn't have the legs for the completion of this one. Since the there was a serious inversion in temperature, I couldn't imagine not taking advantage of the Spring like temperatures so after a hasty lunch we pressed on. Around 4200' we hit consistent snow which was a new experience for my daughter so I spent some time to pass on some wisdom that I have acquired over the years. I now knew that we were too close to turn around and after over 4 hours we were able to reach the summit for a short lived break.


  The down climb was a bit tedious for my little one but I was very proud to see her patience and grit making our way to the lower slopes. Thankfully the descent went quicker than expected coupled with some robust conversations made time fly by. Thankfully we outran the setting sun and found ourselves with plenty of time to make the rest of our evenings obligations. 


Approx 11 miles 3500ft of climb and 6.5 hours car to car. and one immensely proud dad
  

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