Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Scout Patrol Peak 4603' The Boomerang Route

   Well as it often goes in my life, things just don't work out the way I planned. I spent considerable amount of time getting my mountain bike back into shape after many years of non use. In addition I spent some extra time trying to reconfigure my car to allow for the bike to travel with me. Despite all this I made my way to the gated road off the North Fork of the Snoqualmie considerably earlier than expected. I was hoping to ride/push the bike to well past Calligan Lake and follow logging roads to just underneath Boomerang Peak. Here I would make the shortish climb to enable me to cross off another Homecourt 100 Peak. After getting everything in order I started off. Just as I passed the open gate I saw a truck heading back towards North Bend. The truck immediately turned around and followed after me. I stopped to hold the dog hoping the truck would continue passed me. Just my luck it was the head of security for Hancock and he wasn't too pleased with me. I had read all the signs and assumed that the road was only banned for motorized traffic but he was very quick to point out the first line was NO TRESPASSING. I have been up this road numerous times and I was always under the impression that was permissible . I tried my best to guilt him into allowing me to continue but it was obvious he wasn't having any of that. I was quite sure he would be back to check that I heeded his warnings so I didn't dare continue. Sure enough he returned just as I was finishing packing up to leave. If I had only been slightly early or a little late I would not have had any issues.

    I gave considerable thought to continuing on to make another attempt of Phelps since I had the time and I was in the neighborhood. I  have been down the North Fork Road so many times this year I just couldn't stomach it again. I decided to head back into town to check on the Middle Fork Closure. I found that it is still closed during the week until September 26th. I decided to head up the Hansen Creek drainage to do Scout Patrol Peak which I had orphaned. The Hansen Creek Road was in good shape and I found myself at the gated end of the road and parked at the new parking lot. I was surprised that it was rather warm since when I left my house it was drizzling.  I headed up the road reaching the first junction where I continued heading NE. I kept on the road to nearly it's end where I left for some small and very loose talus which was very cumbersome to walk on. I angled into the brush finding tedious going as well. I knew I didn't have far to go so I just sucked it up. Just one step from hitting more pleasing travel I fell sliding back into a tree. Thankfully I didn't hit with any force but I did shred two of my fingers leaving a bloody mess. I finished the last few feet off on nice stable talus. The summit wasn't much, with limited views. I had a hasty lunch, I noticed a pretty well worn path leading West so I thought a loop might be fun way to salvage the day. I also noticed that It would be easy to access Bearscout Peak's West Ridge that I had used to summit some time ago. This would bypass the immensely unpleasant approach via the standard Hansen Creek approach. There is a swath of densely packed trees that is quite an ordeal to breach.

   Heading West the trail peters out in a grassy area. I could see  a logging road beneath me so I headed down to it easily. The road is clear and open but other than deer doesn't look traveled at all. I followed the road to it's end where I found a major pile of bleached out logs blocking the way to access the older timber further along the ridge. I carefully picked my way through the rotted logs finding a very defined trail that ran along the watershed boundary line. Where the trail would get brushy there was always some flagging to show the way. Finally the trail drops off the ridge to the logging road to the North. I was surprised that there wasn't any cairn or flagging marking the start of the trail. It would be very tough to find it even if you knew where to look. I followed the road back to the first intersection and then back to the car. Well the day wasn't what I had drawn up, I managed to enjoy myself anyway.

Approx 5 miles 1400' of climb 2;20 Car to car

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