Monday, November 20, 2006

East Lake Kachess Road 11.20.06

After last week's attempt of Hard Knox (South Thorp Mt) was thwarted by heavy snow I was eager to finish the job. There was considerably less snow than last week so the track was much quicker. I waited to snowshoe up until I crossed a slide that blocks the road at around 3200ft. I just followed the route I bulldozed last week never considering whether I was on the right route or not. The area is a covered with logging roads that differ subtly from my map. I was much frustrated when I realized I had made a wrong turn and was forced to backtrack losing well over an hour of climbing time. I joined the proper route with a little extra purpose in an attempt to make up for some lost time. The weather was mostly sunny and quite warm, I really wanted for some sunglasses to cut the nasty glare. This approach is fairly long and with the days running shorter I was concerned about my window of time closing before the day's objective was met. I repeatedly crossed some animal tracks which were unlike anything I had ever seen. They were obviously made by something quite heavy and somewhat tall. The trench crisscrossed the road many times. I dropped pack and had lunch at 4700ft. I continued on making much better time without a pack. I reached the ridgeline at around 5000ft and was rewarded with some nice close up views of Kachess Ridge Highpoint and the West Peak of Cabin Creek. There are some some nice towers plastered with snow between these two peaks. I have heard one aptly named ""Little Pecker Peak"". I had hoped to connect with the trail and turn North to reach Hard Knox's summit. Too bad for me my turnaround time was met and I was forced to turn around. I kept good pace on my return not wanting to have to use any headlamps. I came pretty close to a group of Coyotes?? making all kinds of noise. It was something I hadn't heard before, I was pleased the dogs didn't pay too much attention. By the time I returned to the car the dogs were pretty worn out. I had some concern due to the icy snow cutting Tanner's paw. The cut was not on his pad but farther up his foot. Just a little blood here and there. I sure wish I hadn't lost an hour having to backtrack which didn't allow me to finish the day's goal

3000ft of climb with detour approx 12 miles 6:40 car to car

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