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Gwen
LO Girl-of-the-Month



Joined: 14 Feb 2010
Posts: 1391 | TRs

Gwen
LO Girl-of-the-Month
PostSun May 18, 2014 5:36 pm 
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(Jim says it's my turn to post the TR.  How lame is that?)

Long week.  REALLY long week.  Not entirely successful week and weekend's plans disintegrating.  JimK to the rescue!  Objective = Snow scramble somewhere up the Teanaway.  Choices given = Iron, Earl, or Navaho.  Navahoe intrigued me but was too long of a trip given my current out-of-shapeness.  Earl wasn't signing to me, so I chose Iron.  Jim chose his favorite route up Beverly Creek.

Met at our usual spot of the SE 8th P&R at 7, stopped for gas in North Bend, took the scenic route through Cle Elum (for no other reason than I was driving but not really thinking - something I would continue to not do, thinking, that is, for most of the day), dodged potholes up the N Fork Teanaway, s-l-o-w-l-y navigated useless water bars on the Beverly Creek Rd, and made it to a TH with less than a half dozen cars in the parking lot.  After much fussing and futzing (on my part), we were booted up and packed up and on our way about 9:15 under lightly cloudy skies.

The first obstacle came quickly as we arrived at the Bean Creek crossing.  The creek was full and the water was swift but we were in luck because the creek was running in all available channels, thus lessening the depth. After changing into crossing shoes, Jim led the way (because he's good at that).

First creek crossing - Bean Creek
First creek crossing - Bean Creek
Bill Peak comes into view and we are on constant snow.
Bill Peak comes into view and we are on constant snow.
First good view of Iron Peak.
First good view of Iron Peak.
Still Bill with Teanaway Peak to the left now as we cross an avalanche chute.
Still Bill with Teanaway Peak to the left now as we cross an avalanche chute.

The trail stayed bare and dry until about 4,600' and became constant around 4,800'.  With such low snow conditions, we were concerned about our ability to find a snow bridge farther up the valley so, when Jim found a good crossing with minimal snow walls on either side of the creek at about 5,100', we went for it.

Second creek crossing - Beverly Creek
Second creek crossing - Beverly Creek
Jim uses his knee to kick a step into the snow bank.
Jim uses his knee to kick a step into the snow bank.
Jim's phallacy (so we can find our way back)
Jim's phallacy (so we can find our way back)

Creek crossing #2 out of the way, we continued happily trundling up the valley on good snow.  Temps stayed comfortable but the clouds were gathering a bit and I was fearful the day might not clear, but as we neared the head of the valley, things began to change.

Peaking over Fourth Creek Pass.
Peaking over Fourth Creek Pass.
Heading toward Teanaway Peak
Heading toward Teanaway Peak
First view of Stewie
First view of Stewie

Eventually, decision making time came and Jim gave me the option of a short but steep ascent of the ridge or a longer approach via the saddle.  I like to make things hard on myself.  I chose A.

Decision making time.  Head toward the short steep climb up the ridge...?
Decision making time.  Head toward the short steep climb up the ridge...?
...or toward the longer but gentler route of the pass?
...or toward the longer but gentler route of the pass?
I pick short and sweet, I mean steep.
I pick short and sweet, I mean steep.

Jim led the way (did I mention he's good at that) and kicked good solid steps for me and we s-s-l-l-o-o-w-w-l-l-y-y (you see, this is much slower than the s-l-o-w-l-y of the drive up Beverly) made our way up the sweet, I mean steep slope in full sun.  The blessing was the wind had picked up and that kept us cool during our ascent.

Jim leads, aiming for that rock high above and the one (of two) non-corniced section of the ridge.
Jim leads, aiming for that rock high above and the one (of two) non-corniced section of the ridge.
Climbing
Climbing
Still climbing
Still climbing
Slope grade near, Teanaway Peak far.
Slope grade near, Teanaway Peak far.
Teanaway, Stuart, and Bill.
Teanaway, Stuart, and Bill.
Mountaineers group coming off Teanaway Peak.
Mountaineers group coming off Teanaway Peak.
Daniel behind cornice shadows.
Daniel behind cornice shadows.

45 minutes and about 400' later (yup, I'm slow, get over it) I'd reached Jim on the ridgetop and we had just a short final push to the summit.  Just as we were almost there, the first of the group of Mountaineers I saw over by Teanaway Peak started gaining on us.  I was not about to let him summit first, so I pushed myself just a little bit harder.  I hate losing, don't you know. The wind was stiff (but not too strong) but the skies were clear for miles around and the views were fantastic.  Only took me (I say me because Jim would have done this much faster if he'd been without me) 5.5 hours to travel a paltry 3.8 miles.  (Reference parenthetical remark at beginning of paragraph.)

The Mad HaTter atop Iron Peak
The Mad HaTter atop Iron Peak
Jim enjoying the views with his back to the wind.
Jim enjoying the views with his back to the wind.
Bill near, Enchantments Peaks far.
Bill near, Enchantments Peaks far.
Sittin' with a good friend. (Notice, NOW we put the gaiters on.)
Sittin' with a good friend. (Notice, NOW we put the gaiters on.)
It's Jim's patience and perseverance that gets me up these peaks.
It's Jim's patience and perseverance that gets me up these peaks.

Somewhere around 3-ish Jim nudged me back to reality in his usual way and suggested we start heading down.  I believe his cooment this time was "I don't want to get off this ridge, but I want to get off this ridge."  And so, we went.  We briefly discussed descending the way we came via the mother of all awesome glissades, but our consensus was that the snow was too soft and it would really suck to have to walk down that slope, so we aimed for a second cornice-free spot on the ridge a little closer to the saddle.  Here, if a glissade didn't go, plunge-stepping down wouldn't kill our knees.  Lucky for us, the glissade did go (and made us wish we'd made our first choice differently) an we were down the ridge in a bout 10 seconds flat.  Whee!

Looking over at our ascention trax.
Looking over at our ascention trax.
Jim's glissade.
Jim's glissade.
Glissade trax.
Glissade trax.

With the super fun part done, we quickly descended toward the head of the valley in near-perfect snow conditions.  We stayed higher up the valley hoping to find a snow bridge that would get us across Beverly and, sure enough, we made it over where the creek was shallow and the drop from the snow was minimal (which didn't matter since the snow held).  Travel now slowed a bit with softer snow conditions as more postholing occurred (and without the downhill grade to propel me forward), but we still made good time working out way down the river until we reached our uphill tracks.  Soon enough we were back on dirt and plowing through the final creek crossing without removing our boots (why bother when your feet are already wet because you waited too long to put your gaiters on?). With much grunting and groaning (on my part), we reached the TH by 6:00 p.m.  What was 5.5 hours up was about 3 hours down.

Beautiful light on Bill.
Beautiful light on Bill.
One last look at Iron.
One last look at Iron.
Super blue!
Super blue!
Glowing glacier lilies.
Glowing glacier lilies.
Bubbling Beverly creek.
Bubbling Beverly creek.
Final creek crossing, boots and gaiters still firmly in place.
Final creek crossing, boots and gaiters still firmly in place.
Trillium
Trillium

Thanks Jim!  As always, couldn't have done it without you!  Crappiest hiking partner ever!!!

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Tomorrow's not promised to anyone, so be bold, scare yourself, attempt something with no guarantee of success. You'll be amazed at what you can achieve. -Olive McGloin
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Hiker Mama
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Joined: 25 Jun 2006
Posts: 3302 | TRs
Location: Lynnwood
Hiker Mama
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PostSun May 18, 2014 9:15 pm 
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What a beautiful day you had!  It's so great when you have the luck to have excellent hiking partners who put up with you (I'm saying this from experience!).

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My hiking w/ kids site: www.thehikermama.com
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More Cowbell
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Joined: 01 Jul 2006
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More Cowbell
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PostMon May 19, 2014 6:56 am 
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up.gif  Epic. Glad you had Sherpa Jim for the trek.

--------------
“If you want to forget all your other troubles, wear too tight shoes.” - Unknown
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dicey
custom title



Joined: 11 May 2004
Posts: 2858 | TRs
Location: giving cornices a wider berth
dicey
custom title
PostMon May 19, 2014 8:20 am 
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Our ski tracks from Thursday are still visible in several of your shots heading up to the ridge  smile.gif

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I'm not always sure I like being older but being less stupid has advantages.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/32121172@N00/sets/
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n16ht5
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Joined: 21 Jun 2010
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n16ht5
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PostMon May 19, 2014 9:16 am 
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great shots
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Gil
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Joined: 29 Sep 2004
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Gil
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PostMon May 19, 2014 10:23 am 
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Nice TR, Gwen! What a beautiful day!

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Friends help the miles go easier.
My most interesting images
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Ingunn
Hiking Viking



Joined: 01 Feb 2008
Posts: 1755 | TRs
Location: Redmond
Ingunn
Hiking Viking
PostMon May 19, 2014 10:26 am 
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LOVE that place. up.gif Oh, and their ain't nuttin' wrong with a photography-friendly pace. wink.gif

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trailsnail.com
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JimK
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Joined: 07 Feb 2002
Posts: 5382 | TRs
Location: Ballard
JimK
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PostMon May 19, 2014 6:58 pm 
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We had a great time. A cloudy morning gave way to bright blue sky. The snow is rapidly melting below 4500' but there is still plenty up high. My full trip report with all 42 photos is on my site at:  Iron Peak Report & Photos

Here are a few of mine:

On The Snow
On The Snow
Mt. Stuart
Mt. Stuart
Stuart & Bill
Stuart & Bill
That's Our Route Up
That's Our Route Up
Cornices Close Up
Cornices Close Up
Gwen Nears The Ridge
Gwen Nears The Ridge
Ridge Top View
Ridge Top View
Gwen At Iron Summit
Gwen At Iron Summit
Bill Peak
Bill Peak
Glacier Lily
Glacier Lily
Gwen Crossing Bean Creek
Gwen Crossing Bean Creek
Trillium
Trillium

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Hiking Northwest
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GaliWalker
Have camera will use



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 3804 | TRs
Location: Pittsburgh
GaliWalker
Have camera will use
PostMon May 19, 2014 7:11 pm 
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That was a fun read. smile.gif

I see you guys don't believe in taking off your boots for creek crossings. Doesn't that leave your feet wet for the whole hike, or do you avoid getting water in the boots somehow, when it's that deep? I can't seem to manage that (despite gaiters), so I carry a set of lightweight water shoes with me that I slip on for water crossings. Unfortunately, I waste time changing footwear - it's annoying as heck too - so would like to avoid that if possible.

Edit: After reading Jim's report I realized that you also used water shoes. Also realized that you can see boots in Jim's hand in Gwen's first photo! Carry on...  embarassedlaugh.gif

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'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
bobbi: "...don't you ever forget your camera!"
Photography site: http://galiwalker.zenfolio.com/
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JimK
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Joined: 07 Feb 2002
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JimK
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PostMon May 19, 2014 7:26 pm 
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Gali, water shoes except for the last crossing of Bean Creek. When less than half a mile from the car it's just plow on through time.

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Hiking Northwest
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GaliWalker
Have camera will use



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 3804 | TRs
Location: Pittsburgh
GaliWalker
Have camera will use
PostMon May 19, 2014 7:30 pm 
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JimK wrote:
When less than half a mile from the car it's just plow on through time.

Ahhh, that's why your last creek crossing photo threw me off, and I forgot all the other bits. I guess there's no free lunch.

--------------
'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
bobbi: "...don't you ever forget your camera!"
Photography site: http://galiwalker.zenfolio.com/
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Gwen
LO Girl-of-the-Month



Joined: 14 Feb 2010
Posts: 1391 | TRs

Gwen
LO Girl-of-the-Month
PostMon May 19, 2014 10:24 pm 
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Gali, I meant to cover it in the TR but it somehow didn't make it into the story.  The quote would have been that changing in and out of boots for water crossings is the biggest time suck in the world, especially when Five Fingers are hard enough to put on when your feet are dry.  (The other omitted part of the story is that I forgot to bring my regular creek crossers and was lucky to have the Five Fingers in the car.)  We didn't change for the last crossing because, as Jim said, we were only a half mile from the car at that point, but also because (and here's the bigger truth) our feet were already wet from kicking steps in the snow without the intelligence to put gaiters on.  When your feet are already wet and your boots already soaked, why bother?

--------------
Tomorrow's not promised to anyone, so be bold, scare yourself, attempt something with no guarantee of success. You'll be amazed at what you can achieve. -Olive McGloin
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Gwen
LO Girl-of-the-Month



Joined: 14 Feb 2010
Posts: 1391 | TRs

Gwen
LO Girl-of-the-Month
PostMon May 19, 2014 10:30 pm 
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JimK wrote:
Gwen Nears The Ridge
Gwen Nears The Ridge

Jim, there is nothing remotely "near" in that photo.   lol.gif

--------------
Tomorrow's not promised to anyone, so be bold, scare yourself, attempt something with no guarantee of success. You'll be amazed at what you can achieve. -Olive McGloin
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