Forum Index > Trip Reports > Blethen lake, Quartz Creek Rd  1/3/17
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flatsqwerl
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flatsqwerl
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PostWed Jan 04, 2017 9:47 pm 
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While we were driving up I-90 for a leisurely 10ish start, I could see the snow blowing off of Bandera far in the distance..uh oh. Amazingly, we had zero wind, tucked up in the end of the Snoqualmie Middle fork valley. The drive up the mid fork was icy but fine all the way to the last bridge. We park just shy of that, in front of the locked campground area on the left. Lots of fresh  footsteps were going in and they all went up the Taylor river, bypassing Quartz creek road completely...so we were breaking trail from that point on. It was easy though since the snow was very dry and only a few inches deep. It stayed in the teens all day. The snowshoes went on after maybe 2 miles. The stream crossings were 'fun'. The first big one was the most interesting: The pics show us walking the log coming in, and then in the return darkness, we opted for the Batman style rope hang to get out of the ravine instead of the log. We put in this rope a few months ago during some epic pruning adventure...somehow that log looks a lot better with innocent fluffy snow on it...the brief sunny spots were welcome for sitting in. Generally, we just keep plowing along so our hands would not freeze. All stops were brief and all about eating!
Next time we'll bring a map so we can get to the lake slightly more efficiently.
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fourteen410
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PostWed Jan 04, 2017 10:41 pm 
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flatsqwerl wrote:

What peak is that in the background?
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flatsqwerl
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PostThu Jan 05, 2017 7:46 am 
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That is Bessemer peak.
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puzzlr
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PostFri Jan 06, 2017 10:19 pm 
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I can't believe you crossed those logs on snowshoes. They must have looked much safer than when bare, but those spiky rebar ends are still there under the snow!

I just saw news today that Forterra (formerly Cascade Land Conservancy) was part of a deal to purchase one of the last big chunks of private land in the Middle Fork. This purchase includes Blethen Lake and nearby areas. Two nearby private parcels remaining are the switchbacks up to Rooster and the top of Bessemer South peak. Year by year the patchwork ownership is being cleaned up, although in this case there were no hiking restrictions in place.

Lake Blethen area from Bessemer
Lake Blethen area from Bessemer

Forterra land purchase will protect 376 acres of land from development

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Nonprofit group Forterra recently purchased 376 acres of land — 300 acres of which is old growth forest — around the Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Tolt rivers. The land will be permanently protected from development.

Finalized Dec. 29, the purchase included 220 acres around Blethen Lake and 156 acres around Titicaed Creek. The Blethen Lake parcel is located in the upper Quartz Creek area in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Valley. It will be added to the Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation area. The Titicaed Creek parcel is located in the North Fork Tolt River watershed and has never been logged.

The properties provide high quality habitat for pikas, black bears, wolverines, pine martens, cougars and a wide variety of birds, including northern spotted owls and marbled murrelets. Old growth trees on the properties include western hemlock, silver fir, 500-year-old cedar and Douglas firs that measure six feet in diameter.

Contributions to Forterra, including $1.2 million in grant funding to the Washington Department of Natural Resources from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, helped secure the purchase of the properties. Both parcels were bought from Renton company Cugini Land and Timber, which has owned, logged and milled timber for three generations.

“Thanks to the outstanding efforts of Forterra and the partnerships they have forged, these treasured properties are assured permanent protection from development,” said Peter Goldmark, Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands.


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Mid Fork Rocksflickr
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flatsqwerl
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PostSat Jan 07, 2017 8:53 am 
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Thanks for the info Puzzlr.
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Bedivere
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Bedivere
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PostSun Jan 08, 2017 12:51 pm 
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Cool trip flatsqwerl, was wondering what conditions were like up there.  I thought the snow would be deeper.   I don't think too many people go up Quartz Crk. any more even in summer.

Dang, I remember driving across that bridge back in the '90s.  Me and a buddy wanted to go up to Blethen Lk. and we found the Taylor R. bridge gate open so drove on up. The bridge looked suspect even then but it held my Nissan truck.

You're a brave man to cross that log with snow on it.  Makes me pucker just looking at it.

I thought that land was owned by whatever company it is that took over from Weyerhauser.  Good to see it will be preserved.

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Photo Portfolio
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flatsqwerl
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PostSun Jan 08, 2017 1:47 pm 
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Bedivere, the log APPEARS more secure since it broke and fell in. Also it has rebar -like pegs protruding 6" from the log which should help hold on the snow a bit. It felt secure to me. i was stomping it trying to get some to slough off and it held...plus, I 'd rather fall into soft snow than bare rocks any day.  I wouldn't cross this in the fall though when we were up there brushing out. There is an alternate way to cross now with a hand line.

There was 4-5 feet of snow at the lake.
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Backpacker Joe
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PostSun Jan 08, 2017 5:35 pm 
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Ya, those log crossings are GNARLY!  Nice work.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

— Abraham Lincoln
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Brucester
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PostMon Jan 09, 2017 3:32 pm 
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How did Paperboy look?

Been thinking about returning once the snow consolidates.
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flatsqwerl
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PostMon Jan 09, 2017 3:45 pm 
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Brucester,

I didn't get a good look at the route you did...but now I suspect those open rock fields could have some slide danger...the ridge route from Blethen is intriguing though...

that pruning makes this a nicer snowshoe event... I'll bet the Mid fork is now undrivable for me though frown.gif
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Blethen lake, Quartz Creek Rd  1/3/17
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