Tuesday, May 19, 2009

4th Pass 05.19.09

Today was another in a run of days where things didn't quite go as planned. Because of the poor forecasted weather I had planned on doing Mailbox and traversing to Dirtybox. I didn't have much more than a half day because of some morning obligations so I knew that it would be short and sweet. When I left the house the weather was cloudy with some sun breaks making me think I might avoid the worst of the weather. When I reached North Bend It was pouring with no relief in sight. I called home to say I would be late and struggled with a backup plan. I really didn't want to get soaked which ended up dripping in irony. I hoped again to be bailed out by the Teanaway effect which again worked to some extent. I decided to try for Devil's Head which is North of Bean Peak and just North of Volcanic Neck. I hoped to use the basin below Bean and cross just East of Bean and then come out via the Beverly Creek Trail. There was two cars at the trailhead with one twosome just finishing suiting up. I chatted briefly with them while I was getting ready. They planned an overnighter with out much of a destination in mind. I reached Bean Creek and headed up to the first crossing. I passed the twosome having some trouble finding a reasonable spot to cross. The water was much higher than last week and I began to wonder if crossing the torrent was going to go. I reached the crossing and realized that I was going to get my feet wet. I crossed with little issue as did the Shepard. I instructed the Beagle to stay put which he only partly obeyed. He made his way half way across and was perched on a rock. I dropped pack and turned in time to see him slip off the rock and being sucked downstream. I dropped everything and sprinted after him. He managed to right himself on a small log jam. I was able to reach him but I was unable to balance myself without my poles and promptly fell in myself. So much for looking for a drier day. I recrossed the creek and retrieved my belongings and made my way across one more time. I decided that maybe this day wasn't meant to be. I dropped to the Beverly Creek trail crossing of Bean Creek and before I really decided what I was going to do I scooped up the Beagle like a football and ploughed through the water to the other side. I pushed the pace up the trail and hit consistent snow shortly thereafter. I resisted on putting on snowshoes and was rewarded with some deep postholes now and again. I decided to leave the trail at 4900' in a more direct line for my goal. I crossed some avy debris but the snow was stable and there was no need for snowshoes. I reached a wonderful small basin and switched to snowshoes. I climbed to nearly the ridgeline before traversing towards the pass East of Bill's Peak. I could see in the snowy mist Volcanic Neck and Devil's Head. I didn't think I had enough daylight to make the summit and out before dark. There was no way I was going to try to make another creek crossing in the dark. I decided to drop via the trail and made good time on the way out. I reached Bean Creek for my 6th crossing of the day. I again scooped up the Beagle and made my across the raging creek. I was able to manage the water but if there was much more I think the crossing may not be possible. With as much traffic as this trail sees I am surprised that a bridge is not in place.

Approx 7 miles 2400' of climb 4 hours car to car.

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