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Tom
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PostFri Sep 20, 2019 3:26 am 
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I've always been intrigued by the lakes at the end of the Illabot Creek Road.  Back in 2007 one could to drive to the Jordan Lakes trailhead where the road was gated (albeit no match for dynamite).  Eventually the road was bermed at the Slide Lake trailhead, and in 2012 the Illabot Creek Road was slated for closure.  Many thanks to Kim and others who mounted a legal challenge to keep the road open.  Hopefully it will stay that way for future adventurers.

Left the house around 8 AM and after a pit stop in Darrington turned onto the Illabot Creek Road by 10:30.  It's another hour ride to get to the Slide Lake trailhead but I always enjoy the scenery on the way up with sweeping views down to the valley and pee-a-boo views of Illablot Peaks (alas, too fleeting today to snap a picture).  Reached the Slide Lake Trailhead by 11:30 where only one other vehicle was parked.  I wished I had remembered to bring a few garbage bags to pack out the imfamous trash pile.

Valley
Valley
Views
Views
Fire truck
Fire truck
Illabot Creek
Illabot Creek
Slide Lake TH
Slide Lake TH
Parked a little further up
Parked a little further up
Garbage pile
Garbage pile
Berm
Berm

The bike ride up was longer and more exhausting that I had anticipated.  The road is bikeable until it washes out at the last creek crossing around 4400' elevation.  Stashed the bike here and walked the last portion.

Mossy road
Mossy road
I remember driving under this back in the day
I remember driving under this back in the day
Road
Road
Cut
Cut
Shroom under cut
Shroom under cut
Droplets
Droplets
Mossy ride
Mossy ride
Jordan trailhead
Jordan trailhead
Former gate
Former gate
Narrowing
Narrowing
Washout
Washout
Logs
Logs

I won't say too much about route - it's pretty obvious if you look at the topo (ignore any dotted lines, not sure who comes up with some of this stuff).  There is heavy flagging at the to start but quickly fades through a myriad of blowdowns.  If in doubt bear climbers left.  Eventually the slope eases and flagging leads down to a hanging valley.  Never seen so much talus covered in moss.  Pretty cool stuff.

Heavy flagging
Heavy flagging
Blowdowns
Blowdowns
Big logs
Big logs
Peek-a-boo views of Marten Lake
Peek-a-boo views of Marten Lake
Ridge easing
Ridge easing
Heading down
Heading down
Meadow
Meadow
Mossy covered talus
Mossy covered talus
Mossy carpet ride
Mossy carpet ride

I was planning to head down to Lower Falls Lake and raft over to the outlet but the sun hadn't made an appearance and I was running late on time so decided to check out the upper pot and pull out the fishing pole at Upper Falls.  The first few fish slipped my barbless hook and didn't seem interested in what I had to offer after that so decided to head over to the other side get some views down to Lower Falls.  Very pretty lake but steeeeep to get down.  I definitely plan to return to explore more, with with an earlier start or as an overnight.

Arriving at Upper Falls
Arriving at Upper Falls
Upper pot
Upper pot
Inlet to upper pot
Inlet to upper pot
Campsite at Upper Falls
Campsite at Upper Falls
Traversing
Traversing
Lower Falls
Lower Falls

Headed back for a snack and eventually had success reeling in a cutt (no, he wasn't as big as he looks) before leaving the lake around 4:45.  On the way out I went high on the saddle to get some views down to Marten Lake and was rewarded for the effort.  Made it back to the logging road by 6:30 as rain started to fall.  The bike down seemed to take forever (sure glad I wasn't walking it) making it back to the vehicle around 7:30 as light faded, followed by a long 3 hour ride home.

Back to Upper Falls
Back to Upper Falls
Smaller than he looks
Smaller than he looks
Must have been popular back in the day
Must have been popular back in the day
Leaving Upper Falls
Leaving Upper Falls
Views down to Marten Lake
Views down to Marten Lake
Incoming weather
Incoming weather
Mossy talus everywhere
Mossy talus everywhere
Possible route down to Marten
Possible route down to Marten
More mossy rocks
More mossy rocks
Pool
Pool
Reflections
Reflections
Fog rolling in
Fog rolling in
Back to washout
Back to washout
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Gil
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PostFri Sep 20, 2019 6:33 am 
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That trout is at least 14 inches.

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Friends help the miles go easier.
Klahini
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Tom
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PostFri Sep 20, 2019 8:45 am 
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Ha, here's a another perspictive without cropping my fingers.
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iron
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getting old
PostFri Sep 20, 2019 9:51 am 
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nice secluded spot!

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man, you go through life, you try to be nice to people, you struggle to resist the urge to punch 'em in the face, and for what?

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Backpacker Joe
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PostFri Sep 20, 2019 12:25 pm 
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Nice work Thomas.  Its nice to see the area again.  I need to get an e-bike so I can do the same thing.  The camp site to the left of the outlet as you head down to Upper Falls is where I had the Bear encounter.  Were my directions accurate enough?

Before the Illabut road was built people would hike in to Falls and Jordans from Marblemount.


Here's what the Upper Falls Pot looked like ten years ago.

Upper Falls Pot (2)
Upper Falls Pot (2)

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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."

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Tom
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PostFri Sep 20, 2019 3:23 pm 
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Thanks for the pics.  Yes, the pot looks much prettier when it's filled with water.
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kitya
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PostFri Sep 20, 2019 6:06 pm 
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Tom wrote:
Droplets
Droplets

this cool picture is a cool example of what is called gutation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guttation

it is not actually water, and for mushrooms people actually don't know how mushrooms do it

https://weirdandwonderfulwildmushrooms.blogspot.com/2014/08/read-it-and-weep-fungal-guttation.html
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Tom
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PostFri Sep 20, 2019 6:30 pm 
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Thanks, I had no idea. By the time I finished biking I was a little soaked from the occasional wet brush along the road. There was a lot of dew that hadn't burned off and I assumed those were just water droplets.
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kitya
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PostFri Sep 20, 2019 8:20 pm 
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Tom wrote:
Thanks, I had no idea. By the time I finished biking I was a little soaked from the occasional wet brush along the road. There was a lot of dew that hadn't burned off and I assumed those were just water droplets.

It is a really cool effect. On a wet day it is easy to assume they are just water, but try noticing the same mushroom on a super dry and hot day in the middle of the summer next time - and you will still see same water everywhere on the mushroom, even when everything outside of it is completely bone dry.
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Brushwork
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PostFri Sep 20, 2019 10:13 pm 
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Gutation also occurs with leafy plants (think trees).  I donít recall enough botany so canít tell you the conditions...

Nice pictures!!!!!

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