Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Cascade Lookout 4.07.09

After changing plans last week mid stream I thought with only a half day for climbing a return visit was in order. I haven't been blessed with good weaher of late so with the stellar weather predicted I was eager to head out. I couldn't believe how warm it was already at 1030 so I gladly changed my lenses to the darkest I have and slathered up the sunblock. I however should have been paying closer attention to where and more importantly where I hadn't applied the sunscreen. In my haste I managed to miss my entire left calf which I am now paying the price for. I wasn't enthused with the long road walk to the first 4 way intersection so I decided to take a more direct approach. I was surprised that there was another car parked at the gate. I hoped I might cross paths but the best I could do was to see them above me for a short while. I think they were out for a mountain bike ride. I only went a short ways on the main line before taking the first right. I followed the good road until it split where I followed the left branch. This branch ends shortly and it was into the clearcut. The going wasn't too bad and soon I found myself on the road above me only a short ways to rejoin my route from last week. I figured I halved the mileage from last week saving much needed time. From there I followed my prints form last week and instead of leaving the road I stayed on it climbing steadily to point 3087'. The snow was very wet and heavy but I kept the legs churning. From 3087' I descended the road below and crossed Deep Creek. I dropped pack and headed up. The snow was a little firmer making for an easier than expected ascent. I topped out on point 3600' which provided some great views of Phelps, Goat, Mclain and both Dog and Morpheus mountains. The only thing that I couldn't see was the lookout that I had hoped to find. I had expected to be able to see it from this vantage. I now was running low on time and since the lookout was at a slightly higher elevation I descended to a road that climbed to the North. The road headed to a heavily treed area which in mind wouldn't make for a good location for a lookout. Thoroughly confused I followed the road until it started to descend. I left the road and wound my way through the densely treed area until I reached what seemed to me like the highest point of the surrounding area. I certainly didn't see a lookout in the maze of trees. With the end of my allotted time I headed back. On the way down I stopped for short time to look at the long single track of my ascent. I always enjoy the sight on the long unbroken track of my hard work. The descent seemed to drag on until I was able to take off the snowshoes. Once the snowshoes were off the pace seemed to quicken until I reached the clearcut. Here I slowed the pace to avoid any chance for a unpleasant fall.




Approx 12 miles 2800' of climb 6 hours car to car

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