Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tucker Creek Wanderings 2.18.12

   I haven't had many days off of late so I have resorted to trying to squeeze in a hike before work. These pared down days do not involve any epic climbs but they do give me an opportunity to get some vertical in.  Last week I climbed Monahan Mt near Easton and in doing my research I found a few hills I haven't climbed.  I always follow the weather closely and I was surprised to read that the weather moving in might provide one of the larger snow producers in the mountains. I had some fear that I might be trapped on the wrong side of Snoqualmie interfering with my work schedule. The weather going over the pass wasn't too bad but did take some extra time, which was time I couldn't afford to lose. I had some issues finding my jump off point eating even more time. Finally I found the correct spot just off the Iron Horse Road on a short spur road that dead ends after a short ways.

   After I suited up I made my way around the berm and onto a 4-wheel road that was my intent to follow on this day. I knew I hadn't enough time to summit the small point to the SE. I felt I would be able to make the ridgeline but the traverse to the true summit I would not have time for. I could see some old bootprints vaguely in the deep new snow. I switched to snowshoes and soon I was faced with a dilemma. There is a footbridge across Tucker Creek but it had 18'' of snow on top of it and plenty of holes where there was broken tread. It looked overly sketchy so I decided to cross the creek instead.

  After crossing the creek I saw some slopes heading for my original goal and I couldn't help myself to leave the road. My legs were anxious for some climbing. The trees were well spaced and the snow was firmer in the trees making for some enjoyable climbing. I made my way to a small point that I should have gone around wasting more time descending it only to re climb the elevation.

  With the strengthening snow I really grew concerned with my ability to make it home in time for work. I decided that I better give myself some extra cushion. I quickly made my way back to the car. I wasn't too surprised to see the warning sign that the I-90 would be closed for avalanche control. I have been over the pass hundreds of times and I have never had to be held up because of snow or road work. Of all days! Sure enough I was stuck for some time waiting.

  Even after getting restarted the way home was met with many stops and more waiting along the way. In the end I didn't make in to work and was forced to spend a wonderful night with my family.... too bad for me :)

Approx too few miles , not enough of climb and not nearly enough time spent out.

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