Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Index Creek Revisited 3.20.12

    After last week's aborted trip up Index Creek I thought I would give it another go. The avy danger was high so a low lying hike was a safer choice. After re-reading some reports I parked at the proper spot. There is a parking spot just before the Skylandia Bridge that I used. Once over the bridge there is a old overgrown road on your left. The trail in the beginning in nondescript and was mostly underwater. The going improves shortly and the trail appears to have enough travel to ward off the encroaching brush. Snow started about a mile in and was heavy wet snow. I switched to snowshoes after growing weary of sinking so deeply in the heavy snow. The going became more challenging with many of the trees bent over from the heavy snow. After crossing the feeder creek on a snow covered bridge the terrain rapidly degrades. It appears to be damaged by heavy runoff . The disjointed road bed along with the deep snow made it tough to find good footing. I pushed on crossing a large log over one of the washouts. I had a hard time getting up onto the log because of the snow covered voids around the log. After crossing the log I pushed on for a short ways until the brush increased. Without a specific destination in mind it made it difficult to muster any impedance to continue. I retreated and enjoyed the opportunity to have another day out.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Index Creek interrrupted 3.13.12

  I had hoped earlier in the week that I could make a summit attempt of Melted Mt. 4257' which is just SW of Baring off of HY 2.  I had some things to do in the early afternoon that would preclude me any chance of reaching Melted Summit. Since I didn't know the area I thought I would at least do some exploring. Complicating things was that I was forced to drive my everyday car which is not suited to be hauling a dog and smelly gear. Undaunted I did the best I could do mitigate having the dog in the car. As usual I didn't reread  a previous trip report and I spent my usual too much time finding my jump off point.  I left HY 2 on the East end of Baring and soon reached the one lane bridge over the Skykomish. I wondered if my low clearance car would not high center on the twin raised support beams in the middle of the bridge. I very gingerly started onto the bridge and just hoped that the beams would not be any higher along the span of the bridge. I had visions of high centering in the middle of the bridge, seems like only something that I could accomplish. Thankfully across the bridge I parked at the first spot I could not wanting to push my luck any further.

    I suited up and made my way West on the road. There are plenty of houses and it seems that there isn't a shortage of No Trespassing Signs.  The road was plowed it was spitting some slushy snow. Soon I reached a road closed sign with a good road continuing. Barring me from the road that I wanted were two smaller dogs intent on taking a piece out of my dog. With one hand I held the collar of Bosco and with my other hand I had to ward off the marauding dogs with my hiking pole. I was very thankful for remembering to pack it. To make things even more fun a homeowner stormed in my direction asking if I could read? In my haste of trying to ward off the dogs I neglected to see the large no trespassing sign barring further travel.  Part of me wanted to reply to the homeowner is a similar tone to the way he was talking to me. In the end I decided a warm fuzzy response was probably a safer bet.  After the dogs where shooed away and the man was satisfied with my hasty retreat I did indeed retreat. The walk was too short back to the car. I did some exploring further up HY 2. I am not sure I was on the correct road to access the route that I had read about in a trip report of Melted Mt. Either access has changed or the  report I had read had conveniently left out the part about access issues.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Haystack 2715' 3.7.12


    Bruce and I had hoped to head out on Tuesday since I had the whole day and didn't have to work. When I woke up in the morning there was snow on the ground and as I was getting ready it started dumping. I couldn't imagine trying to make my way through rush hour traffic with the added displeasure of having it snowing. Thankfully Bruce was ok with waiting a day, this provided an extra bonus of having Fletcher and Rob available as well. With the new snow I was hoping for some extra horsepower and younger legs to help with the planned summit of both Haystack and 10-4 Mountains. I couldn't make the time frame for Rob and Fletcher to coincide with mine so I only met Bruce at the Sultan Park and Ride. I had to be back early in  order to make it work on time. Thankfully there wasn't much snow to contend with as we made our way to Forest Road 62 a few miles East of Gold Bar. It was crisp but the sun was quickly warming things up. We drove about 4 miles until we reached the concrete bridge crossing Proctor Creek. Shortly thereafter there is a gated spur road where we parked as far off the road as possible.

    The sun was glorious!

   The road had been plowed so we made good time or the first 1.5 miles. At the end of the plowed line we switched to snowshoes and plodded our way to the saddle. The snow was deep and unconsolidated in the shade and heavy and wet in the sun. This made for some tiring walking. Just before the saddle we reached a slightly overgrown spur road heading North. We took this road dodging the multiple of small trees which thankfully hadn't leaved out as of yet. Finally we reached more open road which we stayed on until we reached older trees. We left the road and I immediately had a branch stab me in the cheek. I had to laugh to myself after reaching the safety of larger trees I then get a branch that attacks me.  Undaunted I led us up the mostly open slopes trying to find the path of least resistance.  The snow in the trees was much better consolidated making for easier walking. Soon we found ourselves at the open summit basking in the very warm sun.

The views were somewhat stunned but it sure was nice to enjoy an extended stay in the warm sunshine. With the snow conditions the way they were I didn't have much hope in reaching 10-4 Mountain which has 2000' of prominence making for a desirable peak to summit. I was hoping for using the NE ridge to reach the E ridge. The reports I read relayed an enjoyable snowshoe of a non technical nature. The North ridge route didn't sound fun and the Western approach won't work with low lying snow. We decided to head toward Duffy lakes since we still had some time. Once regaining the mainline road the snow seemed to double in weight and I struggled to keep the legs moving. Once we reached the brand new concrete bridge I decided that I had enough.

   I think Bosco wanted to continue!

  The way out went much quicker and we reached the car with plenty of time for me to reach work on time.

Approx 8 miles 1500' of climb

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