Monday, March 31, 2008

Tip Top 3.31.08

The weekend's unsettled weather had me putting off doing something more worthy. I settled for cleaning up a mess from earlier this year. I had made an attempt of Tiptop 4760' #94BC/100 via the Camas Road earlier this year. I was shut down by a 40' cliff and lack of any extra time to find a way around. Even though the approach via Ruby Creek was longer I was interested in trying a different route. I parked about 8 miles after crossing Blewett Pass in a small parking area for Ruby Creek road. The idea was to head up the road for a mile or so and then leave the road and climb in a more direct route to the summit. I was again blessed with some broken sun and moderate temps. The road was packed with a couple of inches of fresh snow overtop. I had planned on leaving the road a little later but when I found a logging road going my way I took it. The road followed a small creek and dead ended in a tangle of brush. I hung a left and started climbing. The going was surprisingly lacking in snow and the footing was very loose. The dogs above me kicked quite a few rocks loose that I was forced to dodge. I had some obstacles to go around and while the grade was somewhat steep it was manageable. I decided on the way up that I didn't want to descend it and for the route out I would just exit via logging roads. Soon I crested Pt. 4038' 130P and made my way to the logging road. The road traverse was much longer than it appears on the map. I switched to snowshoes (not really needed) with about a half mile to go. The road switchbacks and soon I was on top. The summit has some great views of the surrounding area too bad I left the camera at home. There are some out buildings on top as well. I didn't stay long as I could see some approaching inclement weather. Rather than take the snowshoes off I kept them on for the descent. I passed my up route and now was off my map, I had a rough idea of the maze of roads so I was only a bit concerned. I reached a logger's landing and now found the road plowed. I started to worry because I figured my road must descend to a different drainage. I hung with the road until I found a gated spur going my way. Feeling much better about things I put it in full on cruise control as I made my way back to the car. Finally I rejoined my up route and quickly made it back to the car. In retrospect not returning via my up route added nearly 3 extra miles and at least another 1:15 to my trip.The inclement weather I had observed on the summit never materialized and I was treated with an entire dry day.

Approx 12 miles 6 hours car to car 3100'ft of climb

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