Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hard Knox 7.28.10

Some years back I had made my way up the Kachess Dam Road towards the ridgeline before the road was washed out and I was forced to walk to the ridgeline. On that day the objective was Hard Knox. I ran over my allotted time and climbed the peak just to the West. At the time I was quite sure that this point was higher than Hard Knox because the topo maps show the elevation to be higher. The sight lines weren't great looking East but visually it seemed higher. For some time I thought the makers of the Home Court 100 had made an error. I read a report some time later suggesting that I was wrong. Since this is often the case I thought some day I would investigate. Since I had a long hard work week and was feeling the effects I thought an easy day would be best. What better than to knock off a couple peaks when I could drive most of the way there. Thankfully the washout that had stymied me years ago had been fixed and I was able to continue on until the road's end at 5200'. I really did feel like cheating but I wasn't going to let that slow me down. I followed the trail over Hard Cheese 5766' and then dropped steeply to the saddle and reclimbed easily to Hard Knox 5841'. Visually I still thought the peak to the West looked taller so I continued on and climbed that as well. I took a GPS reading and indeed it did read higher but than as if became locked in the reading dropped and settled on 5835' a mere 6 ft short. I then returned to Hard Knox and my GPS showed the same elevation as the topo map at 5841'. Looking back to the West I think the trees that are on the West Peak give it an illusion that it is much taller. I christened the West Peak as Not Knox which I felt a fitting name. As I lazed on the summit and taking the great vantage point I noticed a boggy area below that still held some snow and I could see a logging road a bit further. I had remembered that there was a creek below from my previous trip so i thought I would mix it up for the descent. I easily dropped to the basin below and followed the dry stream bed until it hit the logging road and then walked the road back to the car. I saved about 150' of climb via this route and it was nice to complete the loop.

Approx 4 miles 1500' of climb 3 hours car to car
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