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

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Bandera Mt. Kendyl's First Homecourt 100 Peak

   My work life has changed considerably in the last 6 months and routine hasn't been anywhere to be found. I took a new position that involves considerably more hours but this is offset with the routine that I have been missing. For some time I have wanted to get back to more regular treks into the mountains but golf kept winning out. One of  my coworkers has been talking to be about some of his trips and inspired me to give some more thought to heading out more often. While both my daughters accompany me in the summer my oldest doesn't hold much enthusiasm for our trips. Thankfully my youngest has shown a much stronger draw. A couple of weeks ago we did a very wet hike and I was amazed that despite getting soaked she wouldn't consider turning back, in fact she lobbied me to add some miles. With me having to drop my oldest off at school in Preston and my youngest free, a plan was hatched to pound out some miles. After tanking up with a few supplies we are on our way. I really wasn't even sure where I wanted to go. The weather was quite pleasant except the blinding sun that we were forced to drive towards, that didn't last for long.

    I decided that we could give Bandera a go, while I had been there eons ago I thought it would be a worthy test of my 10 year olds legs, and my suffering fitness level. Right on cue as we set off the rain arrived, I still in awe on how fast the weather changed. The trail was in good shape, around the 3 mile mark I suggested we should turn back because we weren't ideally equipped to handle the growing rain and wind. My daughter pleaded that we go at least another half mile in order for her to make it a 7 mile round trip making it her longest trip to date. While part of me thought it might turn out to be a poor idea, I relented. Soon we found ourselves at the junction with the climber's trail. As we headed up the steepish and rocky trail the wind and rain began building. My daughter was now fixated on the summit and despite the poor weather there was no stopping her now. Her good spirits remained intact until we reached a few false summit and the disappointment started to take there toll. Like a trooper she stuck it out to top out. As a father I have been blessed with many opportunities to be proud of both my girls but this was one of the more special times. I was thankful to see such determination to achieve a goal knowing this will suit her in future endeavors. As we headed down warm from the achievement , the weather did its best to douse that flame. It was quite miserable as we made our way back to the trail proper.  My daughter fought valiantly against the demons of the brewing bad attitude, keeping at bay long enough for us to reach the lower slopes were the wind thankfully abated. As we made our way down the weather seemed to warm as did my little ones attitude. I was thankful to enjoy the final 3 miles with some great conversation and laughs.

Approx. 7.5 miles 3000ft of climb 4:20  car to car
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