Forum Index > Trip Reports > Gabriel, Elija, Joseph, Tarheel, Bebbe, & Mebbe 6/1 – 6/3/07
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 4032 | TRs
Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostSun Apr 27, 2008 12:59 am 
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Since I didn’t get out this weekend, I’m catching up on a couple trip reports I didn't get finished last year.

Let the herald angel Gabriel blow his horn with with glad tidings.
After three years of postponements, we finally accomplished the Gabriel trip!

(And, after another 10 months, I finally finished the trip report.)

Party: Matt, mtnmike, Billie, cartman, ErinB
Summits: Mebbe, Gabriel, Elija, Joseph, Bebbe, Tarheel

Sometimes waiting pays off.  The weather was clear and balmy the whole time.  The snow was in great condition, soft enough to kick steps and firm enough to hold steady.

This trip cleaned up the island of peaks located west of southwest of SR20 and northeast of Panther Creek.  Most of the summits are actually part of the long stretch of Elija ridge, except Gabriel, which stands on the opposite side of the Gabriel/Cabinet Creek divide.

Gabriel Trip Map
Gabriel Trip Map
Gabriel Wider Area Map
Gabriel Wider Area Map
Gabriel fuzzy 3D Map
Gabriel fuzzy 3D Map

Day 1, Approach

Mike picked an excellent approach for the trip.  Rather than bash our way through one of the creek valleys, we followed the ridge that runs just east of County Line Creek.  The ridge forms a continuous crest all the way from the highway at 2800 to Mebbe Peak at 6570.

We parked at a pullout just past County Line Creek and started out at 11:30am.  The route had a few blowdowns at the start, ascended through a few hundred feet of lodgepole pine, then was mostly open forest with relatively little brush.  The key was to move somewhat east (climbers left) of the creek and stay approximately on the crest of the rounded lower ridge.  Circa 4500 the ridge crest became more distinct and the snow cover became continuous, for straightforward traveling the rest of the way.

County Line Sign
County Line Sign
At the trailhead: Mike, Billie, Erin, Eric
At the trailhead: Mike, Billie, Erin, Eric
Lower part of the ridge
Lower part of the ridge

We arrived at Mebbe, 6570 feet, at 4pm and got our first good look at the scenery that would dominate our weekend.  To our south, the north faces of Ragged Ridge formed a dramatic crest of peaks, trailing off into the long ridge of Red Mountain.  Eastward were more the more separated, spiky summits of Golden Horn, Tower, & Cutthroat.  Northward were long ridges of McKay & Majestic, backed by Azurite & Ballard in the distance.  Of more immediate interest to us, Gabriel looked imposingly steep across the valley southeast.  And more directly east, the ridge stretched in sweeping curves to Tarheel, Eliha/Joseph, and Bebbe.

Mebbe Summit Marker
Mebbe Summit Marker
Mebbe Summit Group (Billie, Cartman, Mike, Erin)
4 labels
Mebbe Summit Group (Billie, Cartman, Mike, Erin)
Ragged Ridge (Mesachie, Katsuk, Kimta, Cosho)
2 labels
Ragged Ridge (Mesachie, Katsuk, Kimta, Cosho)

Our goal was to drop down from Mebbe, follow the ridge west and find a camp somewhere on the relatively flat slopes near the base of Tarheel.  I was skeptical of Mike’s prediction that there would be some bare spots near the trees, but he was right and we found a very comfortable camp just past Point 6740, arriving about 6pm.

We had dinner and debated routes.  Gabriel looked steep.  Elija looked long.  We also discussed traditional versus lightweight packing, and healthy versus convenient food.

The Ridge Westward – Camp at wide area in upper center.  Elija & Joseph left, Tarheel center, Bebbe right.
The Ridge Westward – Camp at wide area in upper center.  Elija & Joseph left, Tarheel center, Bebbe right.
Tall photographer taking a picture of camp at dinnertime
Tall photographer taking a picture of camp at dinnertime

Day 1, Sunset

After dinner, I hiked uphill a couple hundred feet with Mike to watch the sunset.

Bright pink alpenglow.  Slow fading orange haze of alpenglow.  Warm comfortable evening shading into night.  Ahhh.

Meanwhile, Erin & Eric tagged the nearby summit of Tarheel.

Hiking up from camp before sunset
Hiking up from camp before sunset
Watching the sunset
Watching the sunset
Ragged Ridge Sunset
2 labels
Ragged Ridge Sunset
Mesachie & Katsuk Sunset
Mesachie & Katsuk Sunset
Gabriel sunset
Gabriel sunset
Snowfield sunset
Snowfield sunset
Erin & cartman on Tarheel summit
Erin & cartman on Tarheel summit

I love camping high.  My ideal campsite is a high crest with wide views and alpenglow at sunset.  Today came pretty close.

Day 1 Stats: 4.5 miles, 4500 gain, 500 loss, 6.5 hours.

Questions for Day 2:
  • Will Matt actually get out of the tent at 4:45am to hike uphill and watch the sunrise?
  • Will we find a workable route up Gabriel?  How big are those cornices at the top of the gullies?
  • Will we make it all the way to Elija as well?  Will Matt make it back to camp before sunset?
  • How much water will we consume to do all this on a hot sunny day?
  • What about counter-elevation?  After all, our camp elevation is only a thousand feet lower than any of the summits.  But what will be the cumulative gain across the valley and along the ridges?
  • Will Erin continue to leap and bound up the peaks without ever slowing down?
Day 2 will be ready sometime late tomorrow.

--------------
“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 13104 | TRs
Location: Inexorable descent
Magellan
Brutally Handsome
PostFri May 02, 2008 11:54 pm 
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Is it tomorrow yet?  wink.gif
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 4032 | TRs
Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostSat May 03, 2008 9:52 pm 
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Okay, tomorrow is slow.  Here's most of day 2, though without some of the details.

Answers to previous day’s questions:
Yes, both sunrise and moonset.
Yes.  Quite big.
Yes.  Not quite.
About 8 quarts.
4700 feet counter-elevation, 5800 feet cumulative.
Still leaping and bounding after 14 hours.

Day 2, Sunrise

Yes, I actually got out of bed before dawn and hiked up to the viewpoint above camp for the sunrise!

For an extra bonus, the moon was just setting behind Gabriel.

Moon over Gabriel
Moon over Gabriel
Banded Moon (Gabriel ascent gully in center)
Banded Moon (Gabriel ascent gully in center)
Banded Moon
Banded Moon
Dawntide Moonset
Dawntide Moonset

The sun came up hot and orange in the east

Sunrise 1
Sunrise 1
Sunrise 2
Sunrise 2

Alpenglow warmed the neighboring peaks.

Tarheel Dawn Alpenglow
Tarheel Dawn Alpenglow
Ragged Ridge Dawn
Ragged Ridge Dawn
Gabriel Dawn
Gabriel Dawn
Snowfield & Elija Dawn
Snowfield & Elija Dawn

And the snow and sky around our camp glowed with soft morning pastels.

Dawn Suncups & Tracks
Dawn Suncups & Tracks
Returning to Camp
Returning to Camp
Good Morning!
Good Morning!

Day 2, Gabriel Peak

First Exercise in Counter-Elevation, Camp to Gabriel: Start at camp 6700, ascend toward Tarheel to 6800, drop down down down to the Gabriel-Cabinet divide at 5700, ascend a gully on Gabriel back to 6800, do a couple hunded ups and downs en route to Gabriel’s summit 7920.
Net gain 1200, cumulative gain 2400, therefore counter-elevation 1200.

Going to Gabriel:

Preparing to drop to the Cabinet/Gabriel Divide
Preparing to drop to the Cabinet/Gabriel Divide
Deciding to go up the righthand gully
Deciding to go up the righthand gully
High in the gully
High in the gully
Erin & the cornice
Erin & the cornice
Bypassing the cornice
Bypassing the cornice
Back side of Gabriel false summit (true summit at far end)
Back side of Gabriel false summit (true summit at far end)
Back side of Gabriel main summit
Back side of Gabriel main summit

Gabriel Summit:

Break on Gabriel Summit
Break on Gabriel Summit
Matt on Gabriel, with approach ridge behind
3 labels
Matt on Gabriel, with approach ridge behind
Summit Group & Ragged Ridge
Summit Group & Ragged Ridge

Gabriel Stitch

New view for Gabriel – Jack & Crater:
Crater & Jack (Taheel-Joseph col is at lower right, Beebe is at far right edge)
Crater & Jack (Taheel-Joseph col is at lower right, Beebe is at far right edge)
Big Waterfall into Panther Creek below Red Mountain
Big Waterfall into Panther Creek below Red Mountain

Heading back down Gabriel:

Looking through broken Gabriel cornice (Tarheel-Elija ridge, Beebe, Crater, Jack)
Looking through broken Gabriel cornice (Tarheel-Elija ridge, Beebe, Crater, Jack)

Day 2, Elija

Second Exercise in Counter-Elevation, Gabriel to Elija: Start at Gabriel 7920, climb over the false summit of Gabriel on the way down, drop to the Gabriel-Cabinet divide at 5700, ascend back up to the Tarheel-Joseph col at 6400, run the ridge high along the backside of Joseph circa 7300, drop to Joseph-Elija col 7100, climb wrong summit of Elija, then climb correct summit 7739.
Net loss 200, cumulative gain 2400, therefore counter-elevation 2400.

Earlier view of the Cabinet/Gabriel divide, with the Tarheel-Joseph col behind
Earlier view of the Cabinet/Gabriel divide, with the Tarheel-Joseph col behind
Mike on ridge, with Snowfield behind
Mike on ridge, with Snowfield behind
Cutting tracks to not-Elija
Cutting tracks to not-Elija
Arriving at not-Elija; real-Elija behind
Arriving at not-Elija; real-Elija behind
Mike on not-Elija, Eric on real-Elija
Mike on not-Elija, Eric on real-Elija
Elija summit marker
Elija summit marker
Elija summit group
Elija summit group

New view for Elija – Goode/Stormking/Logan
Logan
Logan
Goode, Stormking, Logan
Goode, Stormking, Logan
View long way back down the ridge to Joseph, Tarheel, camp, & Mebbe
View long way back down the ridge to Joseph, Tarheel, camp, & Mebbe
Gabriel
Gabriel

Day 2, Joseph & Camp

Third Exercise in Counter-Elevation, Elijah to Camp: Start at Elija 7739, drop to Elija/Joseph col 7100 & climb to Joseph 7500, drop to Joseph/Tarheel col  6400 & climb to traverse Tarheel 7100, drop to camp 6700.  Net loss 1100, cumulative gain 1100, therefore counter-elevation 1100.

Got back to camp as the sun was setting, 9:00pm.

Mike & Erin on Joseph summit
Mike & Erin on Joseph summit
Evening light on Gabriel
Evening light on Gabriel


Day 2 stats: 8 miles, 5800 gain, 14:30 hours


Easier questions for Day 3:
  • Will Matt get up for the sunrise again?
  • Will West Tarheel be an obstacle for getting to Beebe?
  • How much counter-elevation this time?
  • How many summits will Erin have duplicated during this trip?


--------------
“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Gabriel, Elija, Joseph, Tarheel, Bebbe, & Mebbe 6/1 – 6/3/07
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