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Eaglecadd
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PostFri May 17, 2013 3:31 pm 
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I have been craving this area for some time now. Who has been up there in the last year? I know it isn't maintained, but it is so nice and natural looking from pics I've seen. Any idea how long it might take to make it to 3 lakes from Queets River? Comments, Please.

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silence
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PostFri May 17, 2013 4:19 pm 
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no idea .. but yeah .. this has been one that's intrigued me as well

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captain jack
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PostFri May 17, 2013 6:58 pm 
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Since I'm lazy, I always thought if I was to do it, I would start at the top, hiking over the ridge from Three lakes into Paradise Valley first, then working downhill to the Queets, like the kayak guys did.
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RodF
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PostFri May 17, 2013 8:22 pm 
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A small group of Park employees took their vacation week last September to come down Tshletshy.  If I understood correctly, they reported losing the trail just below Paradise Valley at about 2400 ft elevation, about 14 miles above the Queets.  I think they took 3 days to get down to the Queets.  It sounded like much of that was repeated attempts to explore down into the gorge and try to reach or cross the river above where the trail route did.  That entailed multiple downclimbs, cliff-outs, and upclimbs.  Perhaps if one chose to try to more or less follow the old trail route, might be a bit easier?  The trail route is shown on older editions of the Kloochman Rock and Mount Christie 15-minute USGS sectionals available at the USGS Historical topo map collection.  (Wood's book suggests it was also shown on USGS 7.5 minute Bob Creek and Kimta Peak topos, but if earlier editions exist that show it, they aren't available online.)

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Eaglecadd
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PostSat May 18, 2013 7:28 am 
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Great information, Rod. Thanks. I have seen reports by kyakers going down the river, but little by backpackers. I will look up the old maps to see if I can figure out a good route.

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reststep
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PostWed May 22, 2013 4:18 pm 
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There is an article about this route in the May 1995 Pack and Paddle Magazine.  They started at the top.

Tshletshy Creek   How is that pronounced?

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slickhorn
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PostThu May 23, 2013 8:49 am 
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it is pronounced "shleet-see" by all the old time paddlers I've heard say it.

Here's a TR from 2011: Jackson Kayak TR

And one from '12: CRG TR

I dunno how helpful that is for hiking, but most recent info I know of.

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RumiDude
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PostThu May 23, 2013 10:26 am 
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I have wanted to do this for a long time.  I even thought about combined with the Bailey Range and Skyline would be fun, though probably want to cache a resupply of food somewhere.

Rumi

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Ski
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PostMon Jun 10, 2013 12:58 pm 
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I ran into the three NPS staffers who came down Tshletshy last September. See my last trip report from there.
Took them an extra day to get down from Paradise Valley.
Mike looked pretty beat. His legs were all scratched up and bloody.
I've met a few others who have tried it. None had positive reports.
Why anyone would want to attempt it mystifies me. There is no trail.
Trail was last cleared in 1969.

As for pronunciation, it depends upon who you are talking to.
Most pronounce it chill-EEE-chee.
We always pronounced it tuh-LEET-see.
You have to go back to the speaking of the native tongue, in which the teeth were held together and the mouth never fully opened. Combine that with white man's interpretation and attempted translation into English and you get what you get.
As far as I am concerned, both pronunciations are correct. There aren't any other words that are even close, so it would be difficult for the mispronunciation to cause much confusion. (If I remember correctly, Paul Gleeson said chill-EEE-chee. Paul probably had been saying it as long as I have.)

I noted there was a thread about "remote". You don't need to go up Tshletshy to find "remote". Just wander up past the end of the trail above Pelton and you'll get all the "remote" you can handle and then some.

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PostMon Jun 10, 2013 1:13 pm 
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more undocumented anectodal trivia:

Decades ago (probably in the 1930s or 1940s) my father lost a $5 bet with an ONP Ranger.
They had met on the trail coming down from Smith Place. My old man and Paul Housand had been up there fishing.
The Ranger wagered $5 my old man couldn't spell "Tshletshy".
In spite of trying every possible combination of letters in the English alphabet, he was unable to come up with the correct spelling by the time they got down to Sams.

I heard the story sitting around a campfire more than once.

It's reasonable to assume a man pronouncing it tuh-LEET-see for over 40 years, who had picked up the pronunciation in the early 1930s
(presumably from an NPS Ranger) believed his pronunciation was correct.
It's also reasonable to believe everyone else pronouncing it chill-EEE-chee is also correct.

Go with what works for you.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Old Hand
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PostMon Jun 10, 2013 6:28 pm 
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Thanks for comments on pronunciation.  I too have heard it both ways, sometimes the result of too much whiskey around the fire.

We tried to find the old trail several years ago as a day trip from a camp at the Smith place.  How foolish we where.  Coming down Tom creek on the Hoh was more straightforward.  We did enjoy a fine romp around the chocolate drop on our return, and I must say that the stand of hemlock between the camp and the creek is one of the finest anywhere.

Our annual fall trips up the quests are long past us now, but its a spectacular valley to wander through.
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mwjake
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PostMon Jun 10, 2013 8:05 pm 
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Do you notice that no one ever jumps in and tells or explains the route in? Well this creek is probably the best for summer run steelhead fishing in the state. Keep exploring its doable.

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Redwic
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PostTue Jun 11, 2013 8:46 am 
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After reading these route descriptions, Tshletshy must be Chinook jargon for suck-a-rama.  rolleyes.gif
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PostTue Jun 18, 2013 1:12 pm 
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mwjake wrote:
Do you notice that no one ever jumps in and tells or explains the route in?

and what "route" might you be referring to?

you mean fording the Queets at the mouth of Tshletshy and just following the creek upstream?
going that way you can get maybe a mile and a half upstream before you get into a canyon with vertical walls that prevent further passage.
or do you mean fording the Queets at Smith Place, following the "Upper Crossing Way Trail" (last cleared by C. Pangratz in.... 2008?) and following Tshletshy upstream?
going that way you can get maybe a mile and a half upstream before you get into a canyon with vertical walls that prevent further passage.

or do you mean attempting to ascend the ridge about a quarter mile up from the mouth, trying to locate old orange metal tags and cut logs?
I've talked to those guys too. Spent the entire day (all four of them) trying to find some remnant of "trail".

again: what route?

again: there is no trail

this question comes up about this time almost every year. somebody reads about the old trail in one of Wood's old guide books, and thinks he's going to be Daniel Boone and blaze a new trail up there.
it ain't gonna happen!

if you think hauling gear and fish poles up there is a good idea, more power to you.
myself, I'd prefer a couple hours in a dentist's chair, or perhaps being chained to a seat in the front row at an Abba concert.

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostTue Jul 09, 2013 1:08 pm 
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From: skimohawk@

To: Samuel

Subject: Re: upper, upper queets trail?

Date: Tue, 09 Jul 2013 15:58:45 -0400-Display Full headers

Hello Sam.
Nice to hear from you.
I've tried several times to find remnant of "trail" above Alta on the south bank. Wandered around up a bit past Hee Hee Creek looking for a piece of cut log or an orange tag. Dead-ended on a near-vertical slope about half a mile up from Hee Hee, about 200-300 feet above the river. Couldn't navigate over the 6-foot diameter blowdowns jackstrawed all over the hillside with a pack. Backtracked back down to Alta.
There's another source, Gary Patton (whom I first met up there in 1989) who reported "trail"above Alta on the south bank, as well as remnants of some sort of structure.

I somehow got your name mixed up, and thought you were "Fred".
There never was any "Fred". You are Sam.

I've asked the trails supervisor up at ONP about this, and went so far as to drive up to PA to look at an old archival map he found, but neither of us could find anything which indicated there may have been any "trail" along the south bank.

Rod Farlee of Sequim (RodF on nwhikers) dug up some old maps which show trail along the south bank, continuing up past Pelton and Alta.
Please take a look at THIS http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=772832#772832 post on nwhikers.net.
I might have some old emails which might shed further light on this, but I believe the content of the above-cited post is about all we really know.

If you're planning on going up above Pelton, bear in mind most of those who've been able to get up farther have worked up the north bank. Mike MacFerrin (gobluehiker on nwhikers.net) said he stayed well back from the river and made good time up the north bank.

Every time I went up the north bank I pretty much stayed in the river, fording about every 300 feet, and hit a dead-end about midway between HeeHee and Kilkelly. Had I been farther back further progress might have been possible. The whole floodplain was jammed with blowdown and logjams down near the river. Hauling a pack up through that maze was damn near impossible.

As for "anything else of note": as far as we know, the road is open to the campground. I talked to Lee at Kalaloch yesterday on the phone. So far no reports on the trail. But then, the river's running at 1700 cfs right now, so there's still too much water in the ditch. USGS graph looks like it'll be down to about 1200 in about a week if the weather pattern holds steady.
There's going to be a hell of a tangle up about 4.5 miles, just as you come up that bench below Spruce Bottom. Big Hemlock split right on the trail- photo of it in one of my trip reports from last fall.

Crew worked the trail up to just shy of Paradise last summer. Put in new footbridges. Looks like ONP plans to abandon the trail above Paradise. My understanding is that the river must be forded at Paradise, then traverse up the middle of the channel a ways, and regain the trail above that. But then, there never really was much "trail" above that point- it's mostly just staying parallel to the channel back in the alder flats to Pelton.

One more note: at the end of the road, the river cut the bank back and there's a 20-foot vertical drop. Walk about 200 feet down the Sams Loop trail, cut off to the left, and break out on the gravel bar there to get down to the ford.

Best ford last few years has been about a hundred yards upstream from the mouth of Sams. Look for a big snag hanging out over the south bank (above that big boulder pool.)

I'm taking the liberty of posting this on nwhikers. Maybe we'll get some feedback from Gary or Mike or Rod or???

Again, nice to hear from you.

Brian

>   Hi Ski,
>
> I've run into you a few times in the Queets, in 1993 as I tried to find the tshleshy trail, again in 2002 on the main queets itself. Sometime in the past 5-7 years I emailed you about remnants of an old trail I found in 1994 up the slope aways above Alta creek on the Queets, that seemed to lead down from the rapids area. I'm planning a trip to the upper Queets in August, and was wondering if you ever went up there yourself looking for it?
>
> Anything else of note happening in the Queets valley these days?
>
> Sam

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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