Monday, October 23, 2006

Denny Creek, Melawka Lake, Low Mt. 10.23.06

With another sunny day I eagerly made my way to the Denny Creek Trailhead. I was a little disappointed to find that dog's are now to be leashed on this trail. I usually leash the beagle anyway but it is impossible to leash both the dogs. I decided to leash Tanner instead viewing him as much more of a threat to the hikers I was sure to see on this popular trail. The goal for the day was a summit bid for Low Mt. which is just NE of Granite Mt.. There are a variety of ways to reach this summit. I chose to stay on the trail until Hemlock Pass and follow the ridge to the true summit which is the farthest NE of the high points of this ridge. The ridgeline leading from Hemlock pass is fairly easy to navigate for the first 150 feet of elevation gain. I found the going slower when the ridge degrades to a tangle of pygmy trees. I sometimes worried that I would become wedged between some of the tightly packed branches. After needing to use some higher order gymnastic moves to make it through a 50 ft section where my feet never touched the ground I dropped off the ridge to the SE. Never has the word gymnast been used to describe myself, so I can only imagine how funny it must have looked. After dropping some elevation I made it some easier ground. I started to feel a strong feeling that I should turn back. I usually trust my insticts so I returned to the main trail and made to way to Melakwa Lake intead. I enjoyed the waning sun and scouted some routes for some future climbs. Although the day's objective went unmet I sure enjoyed the day. I have a feeling it will be some time before the weather is this nice again. In the future I will try for Low Mt. via a more direct route. It appears to me one could leave the trail at Snowshoe falls and head West to reach the ridgeline and follow it North to the true summit.

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