Monday, May 25, 2015

Buckhorn Wilderness loop, Olympic National Forest

Bordering the north-east side of Olympic National Park, the Buckhorn Wilderness can hold its own against ONP.

From the Upper Dungeness trailhead, we took the Dungeness-Marmot Pass trails, summited Buckhorn Mountain (6988'), went down Tubal Cain to the Tull Canyon turn off, took the Tull Canyon-Silver Lake high route to Silver Lake, then up and over Mount Townsend (6280') and back to the FS road.

Thanks to Ben, Dave and Ethan for coming out; a tough and beautiful day.

Old growth along the Dungeness River trail
Ethan adds another Wilderness area to the list
Dungeness River
Basin below point 6599'
The only patch of snow we encountered, near Marmot Pass
Ethan on the first climbing section to Buckhorn
Dave on the Buckhorn trail, with Fricaba, Deception, Clark and Walkinshaw

Ethan nearing Buckhorn's summit
With Ethan and Ben; Dave's photo
Sorry Dave...Buckhorn summit
From the summit of Buckhorn, looking west 
Descending Buckhorn, with Mystery (l) to Walkinshaw (r)
Ben and Ethan, descending meadows to Tubal Cain; Buckhorn summit top left
Mr. Nuun himself
Dave's photo
Ben checking out an adit on the way to Tull Canyon
Upper Tull Canyon
Looking down Tull Canyon, starting the high route portion to Silver Lake
Climbing up to the ridge dividing Tull Canyon and Silver Lake
Finding the descent route down to Silver Lake
Descending to Silver Lake
Silver Lake from halfway down the descent
Lots of talus
Silver Lake
Mount Townsend summit
Beginning the descent off Townsend

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sun Mountain, McMillan Park

After sweeping the last 50km of the Sun Mountain 50m on Saturday, Ethan and I were planning on doing North Twentymile Peak early Sunday morning. The well-covered east-side storms dashed those plans and we headed back over Highway 20 and settled on getting some miles and vert in going up to McMillan Park from the Canyon Creek trailhead. This is the first climb of the Devils Dome loop.
Aunt Janie's cabin, overlooking the Methow River Valley
With Gardner
Aspens on the Sun Mountain course
Lupine and Balsamroot on the Sun Mountain course
Storey Peak and Gardner, from the Sun Mountain course
The upper Methow, punctuated by rain and sun; Devils Peak, Robinson Mountain and Beauty Peak
The afternoon storm, from Patterson Mountain on the Sun Mountain course
Fellow sweep Mike, descending Patterson Mountain
Sunrise Peak, Sherman Peak and the Craggy Peaks, from Patterson Mountain
Crater/McMillan Park trail
I love the Pasayten...
Chocolate Lily and Indian Paintbrush
Winter skiers missed their footwear transition? 
"Spring in the North Cascades?"
Small cat print (lynx?)
Crater Mountain West (left), from lower McMillan Park
Stream crossing at 4500' is no issue
Majestic Mountain (l) and McKay Ridge 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Teanaway loop with Navaho and Earl peaks

A number of recent Teanaway-area trail reports showing melted-out high country piqued my interest, and Ethan was keen to join.

We took Stafford Creek up to Navaho Peak (7,223'), then the Standup Creek trail over to the SW ridge of Earl Peak and took the boot path to the summit (7,036'), exited via Bean/Beverly Creek trails and looped back on the forest service roads to the car. 

No real issues getting to Navaho Peak, however expect light-to-moderate cross-country snow travel from west Stafford Creek all the way over the pass SE of Earl and down to the trail on the west side of Standup Creek (climbing to the pass is deep, soft snow on moderately-steep terrain). Trail to the summit of Earl is snow free, with some steep patches of snow remaining from the SW ridge of Earl maybe 400' vertical on the way down to Bean Creek.

Lower Stafford Creek trail
Glacier Lily
Setting moon above the ridge SW of point 6459'
Meadows at 5600' on the way to Navaho Pass
Stafford Creek basin, with Earl Peak and the pass to get there below-left of the moon
Climbing to Navaho Pass
Some snow low on the way to Navaho Peak
It's a lot to take in from the summit of Navaho Peak at 7223'; with McClellan Peak, Little Annapurna, Dragontail, Colchuck, Argonaut, Sherpa, Stuart, Ingalls and Alpine Lakes Wilderness peaks beyond
Rainier, Goat Rocks and Adams

Descending Navaho on our way to Earl, upper left
Climbing up to the pass SE of Earl
Big cougar print
Headed up Earl Peak

Little tarn east of Earl Peak
Stuart from the summit of Earl Peak
Upper Bean Creek basin
Earl Peak summit register
Bean Creek
Ethan beginning the fast descent down Bean Creek