Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lumiere Ridge 5651' 6.26.12



   Once again the weather gods were not going to be with me. I felt like I needed to head East to find bluer pastures. I again didn't want to get up super early so I struggled to find a back up. I thought the rain probably wouldn't be too heavy and If I could find a brushless route I felt like a walk in the rain wouldn't be the worst way to spend the day. I had been up nearly to the summit of Lumiere Ridge #82 on the Back Court 100 on a very warm day. Once reaching the summit ridge I met a heavily corniced ridge acting like a sprinkler system. Already having seen some slow moving slide on that day I didn't want to tempt fate for the last 50' of climb. I knew today I wouldn't have any similar issues. I left the house rather late and didn't reach the Steven's Pass Ski Area until nearly 2pm. With the long days I felt like I had plenty of time. The weather was more like November than late June and I was forced to put on my winter pants and shell.




Hard to believe it is almost July!

   Instead of trying to follow the PCT I instead headed to the lodge to acess the ski runs. I had done this route a couple of times in the past and I steamed up the slopes until I reached the ridge line near 5100'. The snow was reseptive so I stayed just in boots. Once cresting the ridge I was tempted to glissade to the bottom of the hill on the other side. I couldn't see more than 50' making that less than ideal. I easily made it to the bottom and started a descending traverse. The goal was to make it to Lake Susan Jane. I remember my last trip and the snowmobilers highmarking the steep gully directly South of the lake. On that trip I wanted to use that gully becasue it would put me a mere 500' below the summit. I didn't however use that gully in order to keep both myself and the dogs aways from the rocket sleds. Today I found less trafic as I started a mostly level traverse at 4600'. I found a gully that I was sure wasn't the one I wanted but I was intrigqued on how close I could get to Power Outage Peak 5480 which is a smaller highpoint on Lumiere Ridge. For this steepish gully I put on crampons and found pretty straightforward going to the ridge line. Once on the ridgline I could see the peak 100' above me but with portions of it shrouded in clouds I couldn't see a good route. I thought I remember reading it to be more involved that what I was looking for on this day.



Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thompson Point 6.19.12

Once again the weather didn't look promising and I didn't feel like driving a long ways to find some sun. I was very tempted to join Fletcher in is attempt of Dragontail and Witches Tower but in the end I didn't really wanted to get up at 2am to make that happen. I decided to head up Granite Lakes road that I had done the week before to see if I could get to Revolution Peak. The weather was thankfully warmer and drier than last week's outing.


Wilderness Peak (Cougar Mt)

My oldest daughter's last day of Kindergarten was on Monday and I was blessed to be able to attend her graduation. Another milestone passed, amazing how fast the kids are growing. When we returned I wasn't feeling like doing anything but the kids both wanted to go on a hike. Usually I have to prod them to go and very rarely can I get them to both want them to go at the same time. They both were very adamant about wanting to get out and they even agreed that they both wanted to go to Cougar Mt.



Friday, June 15, 2012

Granite Creek Road 6.13.12

Of course I have been up Granite Lakes Road way more times than I can remember and yet here I found myself once again. I had to move my climbing day to a day that I had to work making the need for something close. I have alot of things going on at the moment and I had a very restless night of lack of sleep. I had hoped to get up at 0500 . But at 0400 I decided if I couldn't sleep I might as well get up. Despite getting up an hour early I managed to leave the house at the same time as I  had planned. The weather was sprinkling and it struck me how light it was at 0400 when I got up.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Camp Creek Wanderings 6.5.12



  Traditionally May is a tough month for me to get out. I have to contend with my Wife's busy season and thus I am on kid patrol nearly full time. In addition my climbing must contend with the hot spring fishing. Thankfully the kids are old enough to get out and wet their lines making the inability to get out much more tolerable. Since I have had an extended layoff I thought a big day was in order since I had the entire day to devote to it. Fletcher and I hatched a plan to knock of Eightmile via the less travelled SE route. I suspected the weather would not cooperate but Monday seemed nicer than what was predicted so I was hopeful when I went to sleep. I awoke to wind and pounding rain and suspected my plans would be foiled once again. I fell back to sleep and awoke just before my alarm was set at 4:45. The weather had not improved and when I saw that the area around Eighmile's summit was under a weather warning I called Fletcher to assesshis feelings. We  both agreed that sleep sounded more fun than being blown around by 40mph+ gusts.

  Thankfully I was able to get back to sleep and after attending to some needed things around home it was nearly 1pm. I hastily tried to pick something out that would fit for this day. I have wanted to explore the area around Hucklberry Mt. (Salmon La Sac) for some time and since it appeared to be mostly road walking I thought that it would work for this day. Thankfully the rain abated once I crested Snoqualmie Pass and I was able to make good time to the logging road that I wanted. I parked after about a half mile despite the fact I could have driven further without issue. After suiting up I made my way up the good logging road. I crossed Camp Creek on a bridge and came to an intersection. I saw one choice was a driveway and the other appeared to go towards the other side of the house. I took the road that was in the poorest shape. I could see that there had been foot traffic on it so I felt like I was heading in the right direction. Since I didn't think route finding was going to be an issue I left my map in my pack and was too lazy to consult it. Had I done so I would have noticed that I wasn't actually heading in the direction I wanted. I pushed on and soon was forced to cross one of the braids of Camp Creek on a suspect jumble of logs. Thankfully across the road degrade to more of a trail. Feeling I was off route, I contemplated turning back and getting back on track. My curiosity got the better of me and I wondered where the trail went to. The trail wasn't in the best shape but It did climb and that what I was most interested in.

   The slope and brush were tolerable and the footing was loose but with the rain it was acceptable. I kept a good pace and crossed a few old roads in poor shape on my way to the snow line. So the grade backed off considerably and the snow deepened. I was concerned of getting off route on my way down so I tended to more open areas with recent snow making it easier to follow my tracks on the way out. Soon I reached an open area and I was able to see that I was due South of 6237' and just below the Hawkins Mt Massif. I was considerably SE of my intended target of Huckleberry Mt.and lacked any desire or time to traverse to the day's goal.



I was easily able to follow my ascent route and I enjoyed plunge stepping in the soft dirt on the way down. Soon I regained the original road and walked the spur that I thought went to the upper part of the house and realized that it was actually the road that I needed to reach Huckleberry's summit. I contemplated driving as far as I could to at least salvage a summit for this day. I instead thought it would be a fun family snowshoe when the kids are a bit older. It certainly was good to get out and the legs felt much stronger than what I had feared.   It also appears that this route would be fun and direct way to reach Hawkins summit.                                                                                                               
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