Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cole Butte West 5502' 7.26.11

While this wasn't the objective at the beginning of the day it was a good day out. I had hoped for a long day in the Salmon La Sac area but when the rain showed on Monday I wasn't able to get the new pup out to stretch his legs. I am hoping to build his endurance up slowly since he already has a misshaped hip. I did get the the all clear from the vet but I still think it best to break him in slowly. Since I wasn't able to get him out on Monday I thought I would take him out on Tuesday instead. I was looking for something around the 8 mile mark hoping that wouldn't be too much. I settled on Goat Peak outside of Easton. I was able to find a couple reports but none of the description of the jump off points matched what I was seeing. I instead headed up the road to Cabin Mt instead. I was off my map so I was just winging it. I made a couple of turns on road that proved to be too much for the Subaru. I came to one last junction and chose the less traveled road. There was a nice wide spot in the road so I pulled over and parked even though the road was still passable.

  I was excited to get the new dog on a hike and debated on the way up if I was going to leash him or not. I decided to let him run free while I was getting packed. He did run down the road but each time he came back when I called. I made my way up the steep logging road with my new partner taking his place in front of me. In the first 5 minutes he mastered the two commands I use most, "front" and 'water' when I want him to drink. I was very pleased that he seemed to already have the love for what I do and understood what he was to do. I continued on the road really with no destination in mind. My goal for the day was merely to work with the dog and if any summits were reached that would be a bonus. Eventually I ended up at the termination of the road. I saw a meadowy area that looked like an easy way pathway through the wet new growth of trees. Thankfully the new trees were planted with enough spacing that I didn't get drenched.. To the West was an area of second growth that was left standing. I angled to this more open forest and was rewarded with easy going to the ridgeline. Bosco seemed to be enjoying himself and was making his way easily cross country. He doesn't seem to have a lot of jump in his legs and was forced to go around some of the blowdowns. Once on the ridgeline I hit a trail that I had hoped would be there. I followed this West bypassing a few high points before settling on 5502' as being the highest.

  There were no views so I backtracked along the trail and gave some thought on continuing East to see if I could top out on some more of ridge high points. I decided to instead to explore a logging sput that descended to the road that I used for my approach. I knew it wouldn't reach it but I figured it may cut down the amount of cross country in the wet brush. At the end of the spur I was able to find some easy going to return to my approach road. Once on the road I continued a mile further East to see if I could find any trails leading to the ridge. Once the road started descending I lost interest and headed back to the car. While the day wasn't exactly as I had drawn up it did leave me very pleased that my fear of Bosco not being able to climb with me may be unfounded.

Approx 5miles 1500' of climb 2:15 car to car.

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