Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2773' 353'P 1.18.11

Well the best laid plans seem for me never to work quite the way I envision them. Today was a fine example of that. I had planned on doing Crosby Mt. with a group of 4 but one by one they all dropped off. I didn't feel like Crosby would be a good trip solo under the current conditions so I thought of a back up plan. I have enjoyed my exploring of the South side of I-90 and thought another trip was in order. I planned on doing Cabin Mt which is approached by using the Cabin Creek exit. When I printed my map  I knew I should have made it larger which had a negative impact on this day. I had ended my map just a short ways before the road crossing of the Yakima River. The approach to this point was longer than what I had expected. When I reached an area just past the last houses that had tape stretched across the road I turned around and parked as best I could. Not knowing I was still quite a ways from the Yakima river I suited up. The tape was to draw attention to the culvert that is partially washed out on the downstream side. The damage is extensive but would have allowed me enough good road to make my way around it had I chose that option.

  As I was suiting up I talked to a couple who was leaving their house. I asked them if I had parked far enough out of harms way. I didn't know for sure what their reaction was going to be. The seemed quite pleased that I was out and that lessened my anxiety. I was displeased with the condition of the road for walking. It was a sheet of slippery ice and I had to take great care not to slip. After walking a couple of miles I finally reached my map. By this time I realized that in order for this day to go I had needed to drive further along than I had. I had to be back so adding all this extra time would not allow me a summit of Cabin Mt. I did see a point that surely was on the quad because it had considerable prominence. I decided that climbing anything was preferable than not climbing anything. So I strapped my snowshoes on and left the road. I found easy going among the trees and after a 200' of climb I reached a road that wound to the North side. I left this road and regained the ridge that came to a nice distinct spine. The spine was free of snow so I had to take of the shoes to continue. I gingerly made my way along the slippery rocks until I came to the summit. Instead of retracing my route I opted to drop to the North side. I could see the right of way for the power lines below me and I thought upon reaching that I could head West to regain the road much closer to the car. I had a tougher time than what I expected to make my way down the first 200' because it was steep for short portions and the snow was very rotten and undercut on this side of the hill. The heavy rains did a number on this side and made for very tedious travel. Finally I decided to reapply the snowhoes which was most helpful. Once reaching the lower slopes I headed west and descended towards the road. The going was open and enjoyable. I was concerned that since I was again off my map that I may make it down to road level and be thwarted by the river. Well that is exactly what happened. Thankfully there was a nice bench along the river and I was able to head North until I reached the road. I made the short ways back to the car without incident. The washout portion of the road seemed to have worsened in my absence and I couldn't help but think maybe driving over it was a wise choice. I did see fresh truck tracks in the snow and the tape was gone. I hope that they are able to get out without issue.

Approx 4 miles 600' of climb

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