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Get Out and Go
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Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 2028 | TRs | Pics
Location: Leavenworth
Get Out and Go
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PostMon Sep 11, 2006 5:23 pm 
Steve and I didn't depart from the end of the White River Road (The Glacier Peak One) until about 8:00.  Of course, the first 4 miles up the re-routed PCT flies by.  Beyond that, the White River makes a 90 degree turn to the west and trouble begins.  Fortunately, the dew had dried or we would have been soaked: waist-high, shoulder-high, and over-the-head high brush begins in the avalanche swaths.  Boots were invisible, so that made things interesting, but only a few muddy spots at this late date.  When the trail passed through patches of timber, it was easy going.  Besides the Boulder Creek Bridge being pulled out, the Thunder Creek Bridge is half-washed out.  Both these crossings would be unpassable early in the season.  A half-mile past Thunder Creek, we were beginning to doubt if we would encounter the old sheep trail up to the basin.  Some yahoo-hunter had taken the courtesy of slashing a fresh blaze on a tree, which tipped us off.  Otherwise the take-off point is indistinguishable.  30 yards up the hillside, ancient tread is found and up she goes.  Fresh cuts were found and then lots of flagging.  Apparently a guide is laying in an advance route to bring in a hunting party when the season opens.  Probably 8 and a half miles from the car, we reached a small meadow and a slide alder headwall with a direct view of Ten Peaks Mountain.  We were still a 1000 feet below the upper basin in mid-afternoon and the brush had taken its toll.  We had not seen a soul all day long, when out of the alder popped a Forest Service wilderness ranger, TJ.  He was investigating maverick hunting guides who had been establishing permanent-type camps in this pristine area.  We chatted quite a spell and hiked with him for a way.  BTW, he pulled all the flagging.  Good luck, future off-trail explorers.  It was a tough 17-mile trip on a trail in dire need of brushing out. 
Brush-Wading
Brush-Wading
White River
White River
Clark Direct Route
Clark Direct Route
White River to Thunder Creek
White River to Thunder Creek
Ten Peaks
Ten Peaks
Thunder Creek Basin is still a 1000 ft. above
Thunder Creek Basin is still a 1000 ft. above

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wildernessed
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Joined: 31 Oct 2004
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Location: Wenatchee
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PostMon Sep 11, 2006 6:36 pm 
up.gif We got a soaking from our trip, just west of the crest got a good rain.

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MtnGoat
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Location: Lyle, WA
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PostMon Sep 11, 2006 11:36 pm 
the white river trail was no picnic in the when i was back there years ago, the head high brush and invisible boots brings back memories. we tried for thunder basin, had heard about the path, but we never found it. with visions of tenpeaks in our heads, we gave up searching the main trail for the path, so we blindly charged into the depths of hell

my partner had a moment of blind mountain insanity in the thicket along thunder creek. it was about 11 on a smoking hot day when we entered the thicket, by 2:30 we had made nearly 1000 feet vertical...yes, every bit as much fun as it sounds. heat, balancing on branches as other branches simultaneously snag you from behind, poke you from the front, and repeatedly whip as you flail to free yourself from both in turn. add flies for a potent mix, and two guys fixated on the meadows far above, too bullheaded to turn around. it was one of those bashes where you don't touch the ground much. full packs.

in our desperation for some relief, we headed for the sound of water to investigate postholing the stream, and found a creek spilling down nasty talus, still under cover of branches. i fell in from a slimy rock, a branch pushed him in about ten minutes later, and he banged his arm real nice too. anytime we stood still, clouds of those small black flies, the ones that don't care how many of their fellows you annihilate, settled on the sweat pouring off us.

finally we crack and start to head down. now it's getting to peak heat and the bees are out too. since the brush is so bad the trip down isn't much faster than the way up, and it's just as tricky. After about 45 minutes of painful retreat after making little apparent progress, a bee stings mike, and the branch he's standing on shifts when he swats at it. Then it snaps up and trips him as he falls forward. Another branch snags his pack as he falls past, and some rocks break his fall.

He snaps. He begins swearing, rips off his pack, and it shouting stuff like "i can't believe I take days off from work for this. why do I think this is fun?? what the **** are we doing here? **** this brush! &&&& this mountain!" blankety blank and so on, all the while slapping at the brush and kicking his pack.

i kept my mouth shut, as bad as I was feeling it was kinda some welcome comic relief. it was pretty surprising from him, but then what we'd gotten ourselves into was a pretty good torture test, especially when you remember it's someplace you wanted to go in the first place

that evening as we cracked fosters at a great campsite on one of the ledges shown in your direct route to clark pic, it was already the stuff of legend for us. ( there are some sweet camps on those slabs with large flat areas, running water, etc)

nice pics

--------------
Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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