Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Green Ridge Lake 5.8.12

    It looked like most of the week the stellar weather was going to hold until Tuesday so I wanted to get out and knock off a few peaks. I put out some feelers for partners in hopes that it would  allow for a better chance of success. I was dismayed when avalanche warnings went up for Sunday thru Tuesday. I hoped that the incoming clouds would filter enough sun on Tuesday to give me a reasonable chance at a safe summit bid. Originally I wanted to do both Floating Rock and Galleon Peaks which are unnamed summits overlooking the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie Valley. I especially wanted to do Galleon since it is rumored to be one of the finest perches in all of the Alpine Lakes area.                                                                                                                                        

   I surmise the economy must be improving since most of my usual partners had to work and a few had already signed on for other outings. I decided to give it a go solo leaving out Floating Rock since I knew it involved a traverse over a spine that I wouldn't want to tackle solo. I felt like Galleon to be much less involved and thus leaving me a better chance of success. I parked at the Green Ridge Miners Trail at the alpine start of 11 am. It brought me back many years when most of my hikes started at around noon.  For those of you that do not know about the GRMT it is an efficient unmarked trail that leads to the high country quickly. It is not signed or maintained. You can find it around 4.5 miles from the Taylor River Bridge about 1 miles short of Dingford Creek. There is a nice pullout just past the trail, if you pass Green Ridge Creek you know you have gone too far. The trail starts about 50 yards SW of the parking spot. Be warned the trail is not maintained and is steep and sustained.

    I just retired my pack of over 10 years and was very eager to try out my new Osprey Kestrel 68. I was very happy to find much more room than what I needed and the snowshoes easily strapped to the back. The fit was good so I pushed off with a smile on my face. The trail is not as distinct as I remember it in past years. The weather was very pleasant and I was happy to wear shorts and a t-shirt for the first time this season. My first goal was the junction at around 3400 where the trail continues to the ridgeline or traverses to Green Ridge Lake. I was a bit surprised to come to it so quickly. The trail traverses some up and downs until you round the bend and near the creek.  As I surmised this is were the snow started.

The snow was soft but I wasn't in most cases sinking too far so I resisted to adding snowshoes. I tended to the trees where I was able to find better snow. I was disheartened because it was absolutely cooking on the snow. So much for filtered sun to alleviate some of my avalanche fears. I stayed on the West side of the creek the entire way. I did break out the ice axe half way to the lake where you have to traverse some slopes with a nasty run out into the creek. I soon found myself to frozen Green Ridge Lake. I had traversed over a few old avalanche paths on the way to the lake but I was very dismayed to see a fresh slide that had run down the low angle slopes all the way to the lake.   

The views were splendid and I could see Galleon and the notch that I need to use to attain the ridgeline and on to the summit.                                                                                                                                 

Notch is center of this picture.

I ate a leisurely lunch and watched the dog check out the area.

I decided to forgo any summit bid and retraced my steps back to the car. I stopped for a short bit at the end of the snow and was treated with some more nice scenery. 


I thoroughly enjoyed my day and it was very nice to have some sun on me despite the fact that it was a detriment to any summit success                                                                                                             

Approx 4miles 2800' of climb 4:30 car to car

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