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Happy Trail Dog
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PostWed Jun 04, 2003 11:58 am 
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I had attempted Hibox Mountain last November in a snow storm and was forced to turn back with 200ft to go.  My plan for this attempt was to get an early start and consider doing the traverse to Alta as well as Hibox.  I hit the trail at 7AM on a bright sunny day.  The trail to Rachel Lake is mostly thawed out with only a few snow patches remaining.  The flower show was on with trilliums and glacier lilies and even a few Indian paintbrush up higher.  I mistakenly took the route, if it can be called a route, at a small piece of blue flagging at about 3280ft.  The Rachel Lake trail is quite flat here so the difference between 3280ft and 3300ft matters: 3300ft being where the orange flagging directs one to the correct boot track.  I, however, turned right about a half mile too soon and headed up through slide alder and vine maple.  After about a mile of hand-to-wood combat and 1500ft of elevation gain, I ran into a small rock face and at that point, scrambling up a minor cliff with loose, moss-covered rock seemed like a better option that more slide alder.  At the top of the cliff I was greeted by the sight of whaat else but, more slide alder!  Fortunately, I was able to traverse over to the major creek that's visible from the Rachel Lake trail.  The creek bed is still mostly snow covered and the firm, and flora-free snow was a welcome relief.  By 4500ft I realized that I was far to the right of the official trail and gradually made my way left to correct my mistake.  By 5000ft, I met up with the boot track just in time to have it disappear under snow cover.  The rest of the way up to the ridge was made easy by the well-packed snow.  The route heads up to the left of the summit block, then veers right across a rock field, now partly exposed, under the cliff face to the ridge line.  From here it's a moderate but somewhat exposed scramble to the top.  The views from the summit are outstanding.  Everything from the Snoqualmie Pass peaks to the impressive Chikamin Peak, Lemah Mountain, Overcoat Peak and Chimney Rock group, and on to Summit Chief, Hinman, Daniel and Cathedral Rock.  Glacier Peak shows up perfectly placed in the notch between Chimney Rock and Summit Chief.  The close up view of the Three Queens is pretty impressive too.  An added attraction on this warm Spring day was the swarm of thousands of lady bugs that picked this spot for a hatchery.  A survey of the ridge line to Alta determined that the remaining snow would likely make travel tricky and the traverse was postponed for another day.  As tempting as the slide alder was, I decided to take the boot track back down instead.  The path fades in and out and, although the way down is through mostly open forest, it helps to stay on it to negotiate around some cliffs.  A great scramble.




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Overcoat Peak, Chimnay Rock, Glacier Peak and Summit Chief Mtn from Hibox
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Three Queens
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Chikamin Peak
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RandyB
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PostWed Jun 04, 2003 12:13 pm 
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Nice reprot and pictures. Any pictures down Box Ridge (if that's what it's called) more to the SE. There is another sub-peak that way ("Lowbox") that I would like to climb. Thanks.
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Tom
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PostWed Jun 04, 2003 12:45 pm 
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Randoggy, the 360 stitch I took last September shows the terrain.  I can send you full size originals if you want.

BTW, Happy Trail Dog, I don't recall any slide alder when I did it, none whatsoever... suuure.gif  winksmile.gif  embarassedlaugh.gif
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RandyB
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PostWed Jun 04, 2003 1:14 pm 
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Thanks Tom. You're scaring me with the Randoggy stuff though. paranoid.gif
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Larry
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PostWed Jun 04, 2003 1:54 pm 
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TomDog: Nice stitch. Beautiful image.
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Happy Trail Dog
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PostWed Jun 04, 2003 1:57 pm 
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Here are two "partial" views of the ridge.  I hope they help.




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se_ridge1.jpg
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se_ridge2.jpg
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Mike Collins
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PostWed Jun 04, 2003 2:56 pm 
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Lobox is the peak going off the upper right of the photo. When I did HiBox I banged through the slide alder down in the canyon to the pass seen in the photo. It is the only time I have gotten a tick on me in the Cascades. Stefan has been up LoBox and said someone in his party tied a rope to a rock and threw it over the summit pyramid to gain access. He left a good sling at the top but as we all know now you shouldn't trust the slings left up there no matter how good they look.
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