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Reactional Emmitance in C
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Reactional Emmitance in C
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PostSat Mar 09, 2002 10:58 pm 
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Getting there: we drove down I-5 southbound to the Mercer exit, the exited right and parked right off the freeway exit. There is a large trailhead parking area under a tunnel around the massive 60' spire near the exit. The lot was busy and difficult to find a spot, but we perspired and found one.

Trip report: After exiting the car, we were astonished at the wind and cold conditions. So we zipped up our mountain parkas and braved the elements. After a short walk across the parking area we found the route commonly taken. There is a corkscrew route that is about a 20 to 30% grade. But we took it slow and held on to the self-belay railing. There was even a little kid in front who was holding his daddy's hand, so the route is plenty safe. Being impatient to see the summit area, we stepped around these intrepid hikers and continued up the corkscrew route.

After a few turns, I'd say about 720 degrees total, we emerged on a large flat bench. It was wonderful to view waterfalls, trails, small bridges, and lovely vegetation below. Someone had the gall to put a coffee stand at the far end of the flats. We scorn such intrusions of wilderness ethic and continued through, using an ice axe to open up the gated entry.

Upon entering, there was a large crowd of hikers and even more gear than I've ever seen before on a hike. I don't know how they carried all those packs, carabiners, flashlights, sleeping bags, and even skis and bikes up that corkscrew route. But there they were! We enjoyed the assemblage of varied personalities. Upon further exploration, we discovered the route continues up another 50' elevation gain. So up we went, being summit hungry. The route has a slight bend but is very similar to the corkscrew route. Funny that the weather was extremely nice, albeit without good sun exposure.

There was a large number of shoes in one section of another large flat area at the top of this route. Next to the shoes and boots was an interesting rock scramble route, also with safety belay railing. It is lined with pebbles and the elevation gain was only about 5 feet, so we checked it out. Off in the distance we could see the spire, but not being prepared for a technical route we enjoyed it from afar.

Upon further exploration to the west, we discovered some excellent privies. You can even wash your hands by putting them under the most curious springs, where magically the clean lukewarm water pours forth. Impressive -- I didn't know the Forest Service had it in 'em! We had a bit of a tough time with a humongous compass someone left up there. We tried to pry it from the ground, but fell through trying to rescue it for the poor soul who left it there. It was a long drop down but there we found more crowds looking at bicycles. After that we decided to skedaddle out of there, and reversed our route down the corkscrew trail to the rig and drove outta there to our humble abode.
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scot'teryx
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Joined: 27 Dec 2001
Posts: 187 | TRs
Location: Livin' large in Mill Creek
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PostSun Mar 10, 2002 8:39 pm 
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what the? shakehead.gif
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polarbear
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Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 3683 | TRs
Location: Snow Lake hide-away
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PostSun Mar 10, 2002 8:45 pm 
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Hey reaction, nice report.  A place I've been to as well.  I've done the rock scramble route you reference twice wearing two kinds of boots.  Having the right gear at that part really helps as you are really on top of the world. I felt a little guilty as the boots I was wearing I hadn't paid for (long story), but no one was chasing me and I was determined to enjoy my hike...  

waterfall: it's a nice waterfall, but on the way back I took the vertical slow freefall route (easy to miss if your aren't watching) and missed seeing most of it, but I wanted to get back to the car quick before dark settled.  I shared the route with two total strangers who refused to look me in the eye or engage in small talk...it was  a *long* way down.  I was glad when we reached the bottom.  They also had some Chakara Chocolates or something that they wouldn't share.  Maybe it was the altitude.  Everyone's got 'tude.

This is one of the few hikes I've been on that if I went again I would not bring the 10 essentials.  Go light.  Too many people with too much gear that are only too glad to offload if you need some.

--------------
...and a window that looks out on Corcovado...  Corcovado Hill
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susan
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Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostTue Mar 12, 2002 12:44 pm 
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I GET IT!!!!!!
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