Sunday, January 29, 2017

Granite-Tusk o Granite loop, Alpine Lakes Wilderness

A quick winter trip I'd never got around to. Conditions were perfect for the winter route, wearing spikes car-to-car. Early start helped with firm conditions on the climb up, snow was either wind blown or in wind drifts on the ridge over to Tusk with the Olallie Lake trail being totally packed down.

Yeah, don't go the summer route...
Ben about halfway up the winter route section
Before the last section to the lookout
Granite Mountain lookout 5629'
Glacier Peak behind Chair Peak
Easterly flow inversion?
Granite from Tusk o Granite

Monday, November 28, 2016

Chikamin Ridge road-trail, OkaWen NF

A month out of the mountains will make you do desperate things...first day in snowshoes always is a butt kicker.

Started off at ~3800' on road 6210, just shy of the Basalt Pass TH
Chikamin Ridge road 6210

Chikamin Tie TH
Chikamin Tie trail around 5000'

Looking up toward the Entiat Ridge trail
Basically unconsolidated knee-deep+ around 5500'

Heading back down...

Sunday, October 23, 2016

American Ridge, William O. Douglas Wilderness

Eric and I had been planning to bust the rust off of our snowshoes, but as the weekend neared it seemed more prudent to get another day in without starting the season of snow wallowing. We ended up doing a loop on American Ridge where Eric wanted to tick off some little, rarely-visited P400 peaks past Goat Peak:

-Goat Peak 6473' p833
-Peak 6196' p477
-Peak 6320' p480
-Peak 6240' p400

We started off from the Goat Peak trailhead (well maintained), continued on American Ridge hitting the peaks along the way (some blowdowns through the middle section) and then took multiple elk trails down from 6240' to meet the Kettle Creek trail (few blowdowns) around 4750', closing the loop with the Pleasant Valley trail (well maintained). Snowline was 5500', melting on exposed slopes and approximately 4-6" in shaded areas.

17.1 miles, 5656' gain
Western Larch on the Goat Peak trail
More larch
Looking north to the Stuart-Enchantment ranges
American River valley and Rainier
Pano from Goat Peak
Eric on Goat Peak

Looking southeast toward Bumping Lake, Goat Rocks and Mt. Adams
Larch in the American River valley
Eric midway along American Ridge
Looking at the last little summit of the day, Peak 6240'
A Fay Pullen register! And no visitors...
Eric on 6240'
5'-diameter larch along the Pleasant Valley trail


Monday, October 10, 2016

Eagle Cap Wilderness, Oregon

Following our trip in Great Basin National Park, there appeared to be a 24-hour weather window in the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon. Neither of us had been to the Eagle Cap Wilderness so it seemed like an obvious choice for our next two days before heading back to Seattle. Even though it's a long drive from almost everywhere, it's an area I definitely want to visit again in 2017.

Ben did some quick research during drive times and our route was as follows: East Fork Wallowa River, side trip to summit Aneroid Mountain 9702', short cross-country route past Dollar Lake to Tenderfoot Pass, Polaris Pass trail, Glacier Pass trail to Moccasin Lake where we camped, hike out West Fork Wallowa River. 

Besides some short snow flurries on the first day the 24-hour window was on the mark. We woke up Tuesday morning and it promptly snowed an inch, so we hiked out instead of going up Eagle Cap in a no-view snow cloud.

Our Eagle Cap Wilderness route
Meadows before Aneroid Lake, East Fork Wallowa River trail
Nearing Aneroid Lake
Bear prints on the East Fork Wallowa trail
Aneroid Mountain 9702': walk-up route on climber's right; some short scrambles if going direct
Starting the climb up Aneroid
Bonny Lakes, from the summit of Aneroid
Looking west from the summit of Aneroid
Aneroid and Roger Lakes, from the summit of Aneroid
Aneroid benchmark
Deer acting like goats 
Ben on the way to Polaris Pass
Elk on the mid-ground ridge; we heard the bugling before we could see them 
Ben's photo; on the way to Polaris Pass
Polaris Pass; definitely starting to snow
Ben descending from Polaris Pass
It wouldn't be a fall trip with Ben unless it snowed!
Upper West Fork Wallowa River drainage
Frazier Lake
West Fork Wallowa headwaters
Approaching Glacier Lake, upper West Fork Wallowa
Glacier Lake
Sunset lights up the clouds around Glacier Peak (OR)
Our shelter on Tuesday morning, at Moccasin Lake
Hiking out through the Lakes Basin area
Always nice to stay dry on crossings this time of year
Obligatory Wilderness sign; a new one for me