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Stefan
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Stefan
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PostMon May 19, 2008 11:23 am 
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Wildcat-Derrick 5311’ USGS Snoqualmie
Caroline 5885’ USGS Bandera

Went out on a gorgeous Saturday with Matt B., Eric J., Dave C., and Martin S.  There was a high avalanche danger, but it appears all the major avalanches are gone, and all the major cornices have disappeared.  There still are some cornices…but just not any big ones.  The snow was in such an excellent shape, so much so, that we did not need snowshoes, and that was a surprise to all of us with the heat.

We left the Dingford Creek trailhead at 6:30, went down the trail, crossed the bridge, walked about 100 yards west or downstream, and then went up.  We came across multiple rock outcroppings but they were easy to get around.  The most notable was one at 2000 feet but we went left.  I even found the “Old Man and His Beard” piece of wood that Mike C. had done on a trip in 2003!  Here is the picture:
http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/download.php?id={8D6C9BB0-A07D-4DCE-AE43-8C796323EBBB}&p=15726

Anyway we made our way up hitting snow in the 2500 foot range and kept going on up.  I barely lead any steps on this trip because I am still a little out of shape, but I was close!  Martin S., and Dave C. lead for the entire way.

Wildcat-Derrick was surmounted at 10:00a.m. with Caroline being surmounted around 12:00.  Not problems along the entire route.  Pretty straightforward.  It was quite warm went the slight breezes did not exist….however; I would not say it was a “heat wave” up there.  T shirt and shorts from start to finish!

We came down the Wildcat Creek drainage and that went pretty darned good.  The trick is to avoid going to both Upper Wildcat Lake and Lower Wildcat Lake and following their drainages, but remain about 100’ above each of them and going over an “arm” just north of Lower Wildcat Lake.   We even had about 900’ of elevation drop in fun glissading along the upper parts of Wildcat Creek.  We saw the remnants of large avalanche that probably occurred during early winter having quite a bit of tree damage all over the place—that was cool to see.   Of course we hit the typical Middle Fork brush bash at 2500 feet until we came to the trail which has not been cleared out yet.  The Middle Fork River was raging intensively and that a scene to see.

I am sure Matt B. will post some excellent pictures.  He always does great work with the camera.

I had a great time!
Wildcat Caroline
Wildcat Caroline

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Art is an adventure.
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Martin S
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Martin S
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PostMon May 19, 2008 11:58 am 
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Here are a few pictures I took on Saturday:
Wild-Dare Pk from Caroline
Wild-Dare Pk from Caroline
Caroline Pk from Wild-Dare
Caroline Pk from Wild-Dare
Stefan summit nap
Stefan summit nap

On the way back we came across a fresh glissading track.  WTF?  We didn't think anyone else had been here in years.  Then we looked a few hundred feet downslope and saw the culprit - a big log that had slid downhill.  I tried to get a picture; you can see the glissading track at the right but it's hard to spot the log in the shade:
Glissading log
Glissading log

Huge avalanche from last winter that came down from Wright Mtn into Wildcat Creek:
Avalanche from Wright Mtn
Avalanche from Wright Mtn

I dug up some pictures of these peaks from other angles.  August shots from the SE (from Wright Mtn) showing Caroline and Wildcat/Derrick:
Caroline Pk from Wright Mtn
Caroline Pk from Wright Mtn
Wild-Dare from Wright Mtn
Wild-Dare from Wright Mtn

May shots from the NW (from Preacher Mtn):
Wild-Dare from Preacher Mtn
Wild-Dare from Preacher Mtn
(L to R): Chair, Kaleetan, Caroline
(L to R): Chair, Kaleetan, Caroline
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Randy
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Joined: 18 Dec 2001
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Randy
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PostMon May 19, 2008 12:02 pm 
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Nice. Where are the beard shots?
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Matt
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Joined: 30 Jan 2007
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Matt
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PostMon May 19, 2008 1:39 pm 
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I'll dig them out of my camera tonight.

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“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Type E
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Type E
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PostMon May 19, 2008 9:20 pm 
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Glad you were able to tag both summits!  I was hoping to do the same thing last week but the weather didn't cooperate. I'm glad the snow stayed stable even with the high heat.

E!
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Quark
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Quark
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PostMon May 19, 2008 9:51 pm 
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Good thing Stefan don't twitch in his sleep embarassedlaugh.gif

Martin S wrote:
 
Stefan summit nap
Stefan summit nap

Reminds me of this nimrod who, luckily don't twitch in his sleep neither.

Portrait of a dip (Darwin in process)
Portrait of a dip (Darwin in process)

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"...Other than that, the post was more or less accurate."

Bernardo, NW Hikers' Bureau Chief of Reporting
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



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puzzlr
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PostMon May 19, 2008 10:02 pm 
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Great trip idea, and a little gutsy for this weekend too. Is that whole route up from the Dingford trailhead reasonable to do without snow? The ridge over to Caroline  seems like it would be great in fall weather.
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Matt
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Matt
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PostMon May 19, 2008 10:36 pm 
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puzzlr, the route upward would be doable but brushy.  Seems like the steep traverse below the intermediate points (5082 & 5258) would be especially unpleasant.  If you were doing the loop, the descent down upper Wildcat Creek would be awful without the snow, all avalanche brush.  Maybe some of the others will have more info.

As far as snow risks, the course of this route was great for a day with questionable snow, because it progresses gradually from fully treed to wide open, so there is much opportunity to monitor conditions at each step along the way.  In this case, the snow turned out to be surprisingly solid.

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“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Matt
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Matt
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PostMon May 19, 2008 10:43 pm 
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Quark wrote:
Good thing Stefan don't twitch in his sleep embarassedlaugh.gif

Martin S wrote:
 
Stefan summit nap
Stefan summit nap


Actually, that's pretty much the exact spot Stefan glissaded off of anyway.
Come to think of it, I met Stefan glissading down while I was still hiking up, so I only saw the end of the glissade, not the beginning.  For all I know, he may have been asleep when the glissade started.

Anyway, it seemed to be the day for napping.
cartman napping on Caroline
cartman napping on Caroline

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“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Justus S.
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Justus S.
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PostMon May 19, 2008 10:56 pm 
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Nice job there guys. Makes me want to take a nap.  biggrin.gif
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Matt
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Matt
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PostTue May 20, 2008 12:32 am 
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Wild Dare & Caroline, 5/17/08
Party:  Matt, cartman, Stefan, Martin S, Dave Creedon


So, what to do on the hottest day of spring?  How about trying to keep up with Stefan (and Creedon & Martin S) on a multi-peak jaunt?  Or, more realistically, drive a separate car so cartman and I can trail behind and follow their tracks.

Anyway, it turned out to be a fine opportunity to see part of the Snoqualmie crest from a different side.

The heat turned out okay also.  The snow was in great condition - slightly soft on top, but very firm underneath, almost perfect both for kicking steps uphill and for plunge stepping downhill.  Temperatures were a bit hot out in the open, but refreshingly comfy for T-shirt hiking in the woods.  Down at the bottom, the creeks and rivers were surging with runoff.

Vocabulary primer for this trip report:
Point 5311 between Derrick Lake & Wildcat Creek = Derrick/Wildcat = “Wild Dare”
Point 5885 south of Caroline lake = “Caroline”
4650 Col between Caroline & Wild Dare = “Care Dare Col”

This loop started at Dingford, went up the ridge to Wild Dare, dropped to the Care Dare Col and onward up to Caroline, returned to the col, and took Wildcat Creek back down to the MFK.

Driving the Middle Fork Road was as fun as always.  Actually, it’s in pretty good shape, only about 50,000 or so potholes.  At one point, there’s an interesting little break where the road has dropped a couple feet.  On one other stretch, the giant gravel was piled especially high in the centerline of the road, but it’s better now, because I graded it with the bottom of my Camry.

It was surprisingly cold at the Dingford trailhead.  The Middle Fork was like a giant refrigerator in the valley.  We crossed the bridge, took the trail a short distance north, and then headed up the Wild Dare ridge.  It was steep in places, but not very brushy.  Snow made travel easier above 2800 feet.

Road damage
Road damage
Trail sign
Trail sign
Treebeard Stefan
Treebeard Stefan
Looking back down at the Middle Fork
Looking back down at the Middle Fork

Circa 4600-4700 feet we traversed along the south slope of the ridge to avoid the rock outcrops on Points 5082 and 5258.  At 10:30 we arrived at Wild Dare, half an hour behind Stefan’s bunch.  They stayed just long enough for a photo.

Looking back at Points 5258 & 5082
Looking back at Points 5258 & 5082
Wild Dare Summit (Martin, Creedon, Stefan, cartman)
Wild Dare Summit (Martin, Creedon, Stefan, cartman)
Garfield from Wild Dare summit
Garfield from Wild Dare summit

We departed Wild Dare at 11:10.  The ridge crest was steep and narrow, so after the first bit, we dropped down open slopes to easier contours on the righthand side and angled across to the Care Dare col.  Then it was back up a wide open ridge toward Caroline.  Just below the summit, we went right to gain the summit on its west side.  Before we went up, the others came glissading down.

Looking toward Roosevelt & Kaleetan while departing toward the Care Dare Col
Looking toward Roosevelt & Kaleetan while departing toward the Care Dare Col
Looking down at the Care Dare Col, with Chair, Kaleetan, Rainier, & the east ridge of Caroline on the horizon
Looking down at the Care Dare Col, with Chair, Kaleetan, Rainier, & the east ridge of Caroline on the horizon
Dropping onto the west side of the ridge.
Dropping onto the west side of the ridge.
Caroline summit
Caroline summit
Leaf in the snow
Leaf in the snow

We gained the summit at 1:10 and stayed for an hour.  Eric napped.  I identified as many peaks as I could, took photos. and cooled off my tea in the snow.

Eric napping
Eric napping
Matt on Caroline
Matt on Caroline
Caroline summit tea
Caroline summit tea

Caroline Summit Views:
Care Dare Col, with Caroline & Wildcat Lakes
Care Dare Col, with Caroline & Wildcat Lakes
Preacher & Caroline Lake, cornice pieces at left, our tracks at right
Preacher & Caroline Lake, cornice pieces at left, our tracks at right
Caroline & Derrick Lakes (you can see my useless snowshoes by our tracks in the center)
3 labels
Caroline & Derrick Lakes (you can see my useless snowshoes by our tracks in the center)
Upper & Lower Wildcat Lakes
Upper & Lower Wildcat Lakes
Snoqualmie Crest
Snoqualmie Crest
Snoqualmie Mountain
Snoqualmie Mountain
Looking south to Adams & Rainier
Looking south to Adams & Rainier

I took a panoramic photo from partway down the narrow nose that stretches from the summit toward Wild Dare.  There’s actually only one line of tracks.  The tracks at each edge are the same track above me, which continues downward in the center.

Nose of Caroline
Nose of Caroline
Caroline 360 degree pan (labeled)
24 labels
Caroline 360 degree pan (labeled)
Caroline 90 degree pan of MFK peaks (labeled)
25 labels
Caroline 90 degree pan of MFK peaks (labeled)

Around 2:10 we left the summit, returned to the Care Dare Col, and angled east above the lakes to reach the headwaters of Wildcat Creek.

Snow slabs slipping into Upper Wildcat Lake
Snow slabs slipping into Upper Wildcat Lake
Island in Upper Wildcat, too early for swimming
Island in Upper Wildcat, too early for swimming
Looking back at Upper Wildcat & Caroline, the col is off the right edge of the photo
Looking back at Upper Wildcat & Caroline, the col is off the right edge of the photo

A major avalanche had come down the far side of the Wildcat Creek valley earlier in the winter.  We trotted down easy snow for quite a long ways.  When the snow ran out, circa 2600 feet, there was a lot of downed timber on the upper slopes, but we found fairly decent terrain by staying nearer the creek.  The creek was running at high flow.

Avalanche from Wright Mtn into Wildcat Creek
Avalanche from Wright Mtn into Wildcat Creek
Debris near the creek
Debris near the creek
Wildcat Creek 2
Wildcat Creek 2

We came out right at a destroyed sign on the Middle Fork Trail, then followed the trail 1.2 miles to arrive back at the bridge at 5:40pm.

Middle Fork Trail Sign
Middle Fork Trail Sign
Skunk Cabbage along the way
Skunk Cabbage along the way
Survivor Tree!  This tree has been uprooted and cut off, but it still has live foliage on its one surviving branch.
Survivor Tree!  This tree has been uprooted and cut off, but it still has live foliage on its one surviving branch.
MFK Bridge
MFK Bridge

The Middle Fork was running high.
MFK Bridge View 1
MFK Bridge View 1
MFK Bridge View 2
MFK Bridge View 2
MFK Bridge View 3
MFK Bridge View 3

A little further, afternoon sun lit up the MFK/Dingford junction

Afternoon light on the MFK
Afternoon light on the MFK
Dingford joining the MFK
Dingford joining the MFK
Wild Dare ridge above the MFK
Wild Dare ridge above the MFK

I cut off the trail to look at how Dingford was crashing down through the woods.
Dingford in the woods 1
Dingford in the woods 1
Dingford in the woods 2
Dingford in the woods 2

Back at the trailhead, I walked up the road to the Dingford bridge.  The creek was crashing stupendously through the gorge above the bridge, tossing off clouds of mist and throwing splashes of water twenty feet up into the air.

Dingford Waterfall
Dingford Waterfall
Dingford Rainbow
Dingford Rainbow
Dingford Fall & Rainbow
Dingford Fall & Rainbow
Dingford Splash 1
Dingford Splash 1
Dingford Splash 2
Dingford Splash 2

Trip stats:  9 miles, 5500 cumulative gain, 11 hours (Matt & cartman) or 9 hours (various inhumanly fast people)

--------------
“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks
PostTue May 20, 2008 1:42 am 
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Really outstanding photos Matt. I stared at the slabs sliding off the rock for a long time. And thanks for the earlier reply. I'm now thinking a multi-day trip would more satisfying in the summer - the lakes themselves are worth the time.
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yukon222
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yukon222
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PostTue May 20, 2008 6:43 am 
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Fabulous trip photos and route description.  Really made me get a feel for the terrain you guys were going thru.  Rare perspective from on top too - seldom visited area.   The snow slabs sliding down to Wildcat Lake up.gif
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Stefan
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Stefan
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PostTue May 20, 2008 3:37 pm 
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wow Matt.  I really like your Dingford creek photos.  Makes me feel as if I can hear the sound of a freight train.

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Art is an adventure.
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



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Matt
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PostFri May 23, 2008 12:54 am 
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Here’s an explanation of the rather odd shape of the 360 degree panoramic I took on Caroline, where there is only one set of tracks, but it looks like three.

On the summit, there was a narrow snow-covered ridge that extended downward toward the north face of the peak.   The nose blocked my view of the lakes in the foreground, so I walked about halfway down it.  I took a 90 degree pan that showed the peaks ahead, but didn’t get the context with Caroline.  So then I took a wider pan, which included the nose itself, but made it look like there were three noses instead of one.

Caroline summit from below, with narrow nose of snow on top.
Caroline summit from below, with narrow nose of snow on top.
The upper nose, which needs to be split apart to form the edges of the panoramic photo
The upper nose, which needs to be split apart to form the edges of the panoramic photo
360 degree pan from the Caroline nose.
24 labels
360 degree pan from the Caroline nose.

Here’s how to picture the scene correctly.  Imagine your head is the peak.  You’re standing about in the middle of the bridge of your nose.  When you look down your nose, you’re looking north.

Past the end of your nose, your chin drops down too steeply to see.  Imagine your chin is really long and pointy, so its far end extends out to form the Care Dare Col.  When you drool over the beauty of the view, the water runs off each side of your chin to fill Lake Caroline on the left and Wildcat Lake on the right.
Also, imagine that you have no brain, so the top of your head is flush with the top of your nose.  On each side, your cheekbones are the long ridges that extend out, the west ridge going left to Preacher, and the east ridge going right to Roosevelt.
Okay, that’s the shape of the mountain.

Now if you stand in the middle of the nose and rotate from left to right, you can see your track going up the nose on your left, then as you rotate you can see your track going down the nose in the center, and then you can see your track going up the nose on the right.

But how to get it all into one photo?  Somehow you need to bring the edges forward so you can see them all at once, but that requires dividing your nose.  So, to make the photo, imagine you split your upper nose in two, and then bend each side forward until you have the Preacher side of the nose visible on your left and the Roosevelt side of your nose visible on the right.  Now you have exactly the same shape as the photo, where it looks like there are three sets of tracks on the nose, but its really only one.  To enjoy the 360 degree setting, just imagine pulling each edge back around till they meet behind you, and you have whole scene circling around your nose.

Wasn’t that fun to visualize?

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