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Mesahchie Mark
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Mesahchie Mark
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PostFri Aug 24, 2007 12:40 am 
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Avalanche Mountain Via Snow Lake, 8/23/07

To spice up a trip to Snow Lake, I thought it would interesting to make a go for Avalanche Mountain, the unlabeled high point between Snow Lake and Snoqualmie Mountain.  Lots of people (including tonight) go to Snow Lake.  Not so many ever visit Avalanche Mountain.

Dealing with an unknown quantity, the group started early, by 5:45 PM.  We made it to Snow Lake before 7:00 PM, crossed a small creek, and followed "trails" that lead eastward through camping spots and past small tarns.  After the penultimate tarn, it was a bushwhack through heather and blueberry bushes to gain to base of Avalanche's south ridge.

By this time, we encountered Jeff R, who got an early start and summited in 2.5 hrs from the Alpental parking lot.  He provided some valuable information, and then we parted ways.  The push to the ridge was steep, brushy and slippery with pine needles.  The ridge itself was less of a bushwhack but did include some loose rock and scrambly-type moments.

It all came to an end shortly before 8:00 PM, where, from about 5200 ft el (and 300 ft short of the summit), we could see the peak was still 20-30 minutes away, while the sun was setting behind Chair Peak.  Time to turn around - no one wanted to descend the ridge in the dark (smart move).  For our efforts, the alpenglow on Snoqualmie, Thompson, and the other Crest peaks was reward enough.

We made it back to Snow Lake in 45 minutes, and then back to the cars by 10 PM.  Beautiful weather, starry night skies and adventure made this a special hike.  Can't wait to try it again next year!

The Crew:  Alexei (Magellan), Chris S (Chr15), Don & Lynda (Mr and Mrs. Malachai Constant), Drew, Jeff R, Joseph (GQ Joe Hiker), Yet and Yours Truly.

Cheers,
-Mark

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Cheers,

Mesahchie Mark
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joker
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PostFri Aug 24, 2007 7:49 am 
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Sorry I missed it - damn work and home stuff intervened at the last minute. Nice job finding a new one to add to the TNAB portfolio!
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Malachai Constant
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PostFri Aug 24, 2007 8:05 am 
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It was a nice night and a great time. Good opportunity to see a seldom visited peak. Soeey for no summit group shot but managed to squeeze off a couple sunset photos while clinging to vegetable belays on chossy rock.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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yukon222
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PostFri Aug 24, 2007 9:29 am 
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Sorry I missed this one.   frown.gif Definitely was thinking of you guys when 8:00pm rolled by last night, hoping you were enjoying a summit view of the sunset.  Glad everyone made it back OK.
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Huron
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PostFri Aug 24, 2007 10:43 am 
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No group shot here either, but did get a close up of the last unconsumed blueberry.

Snow Lake
Snow Lake
Magellan above Snow Lake
Magellan above Snow Lake
Blueberry fields forever
Blueberry fields forever
Rounding a tarn
Rounding a tarn
Big shroom
Big shroom
Looking NE from Avalanche Mt.
Looking NE from Avalanche Mt.
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Yet
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PostFri Aug 24, 2007 11:26 am 
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No pics, yet. But I wanted to tell my story first. My version is called "TNAB: Unleashed on Snow Lake."

Things were already interesting for me even before the hike started. Well, that is true for me any time, but sticking to the hike itself. I wanted to visit the privy, so I located it and opened the door. There was a woman inside who shrieked, causing me to scream, too. Scared the bejeezus out of me, lady! That'll teach her to lock the door next time. wink.gif

Got back to the car, lathered up with Coppertone sunscreen with bug repellant. Hey, that stuff works! The bugs feasted on everyone else but me.

The happy group started towards Snow Lake in the usual TNAB pace. I impressed myself, I was keeping up this time! At least for the first minute.

Flanked by Drew and Lynda - two of the loveliest people you will ever meet - they took turns asking me about about nursing school. I love the attention, especially from lovely people. And I tried to answer all their questions, and even asked some of my own. But it soon became obvious that they do not require oxygen while hiking at the TNAB pace, while I needed copious amounts of it. Thankfully, Mark had to water some vegetation so I gracefully stepped out of the marathon in the guise of waiting for Mark so I could catch my breath. Soon enough, I was following the group's footsteps until they slowly disappeared from my sight. At this point, I start thinking up acronyms for the TNAB pace. I came up with TTKM (trying to kill me pace) and TTKU (trying to keep up pace). I don't know which one sounds more exciting. Of course they were both depressing thoughts and did nothing for me at all so I tried to dispel them with other thoughts like..."better enjoy this because tomorrow you will be at work and you'll be wishing you were here instead." I was right, of course.

Now, how does one get off trail on the Snow Lake trail? I don't know, but I somehow managed it. I could hear the group, I could even seen them, they were right below me heading down towards the lake. Mark and Drew saw me and and radioed that I was not even on the trail! But they informed me that I could bushwhack down to the trail right below me. Now that's funny! Unless it's not...

Fast forward to a few minutes before seven. Mark radioes me "I am at the crate patiently waiting for you." I responded "I am patiently hiking to where you are."

I reach him, and not only was he patiently waiting. He was also smiling! smile.gif We then start the adventure to Avalanche Mtn. At this point, Lynda came out of the bushes and said she was going to take it easy at the lake. Mark graciously offered that as an option for me, too.

Hmph. Thanks but..."I wanna go!" So I went. I promised to be faster than lightning. (My fingers were crossed.)

Glad I did go, it was my funnest bushwhacking experience, ever! Mark patiently waited for me at every turn until right before we hit the ridge and not wanting to hold him back from the summit if he had time to make it, I bid him buh-bye. Coincidentally, Magellan and Malachai were turning around at that point, so they picked me up on their way down. Malachai went on ahead to find Lynda at the lake while Magellan valiantly led me back to civilization (the lake) where he also switched my headlamp batteries. Thanks!

Just a few minutes later, the group that was pushing for the summit came out as well, and we all hiked happily back to the trailhead.

Oh, the moon was in top form last night! Truly a beautiful evening. Another one for the books.

I made a comment to Chris, Joseph, and Mark while we were having some "refreshments" - that this was Snow Lake and I thought I would have no problem keeping up. But as usual, the pace would eventually turn into the TTKM (trying to kill me pace) but it's been like that for me since day 1 and I still keep coming back. Why do I keep coming back?

Why not?

It is not about keeping up, which is impossible really because the faster I get, so do they. They're like the Borg. Resistance is futile. I have been assimilated.
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GeoTom
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PostFri Aug 24, 2007 11:40 am 
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Yet wrote:
No pics, yet. But I wanted to tell my story first. My version is called "TNAB: Unleashed on Snow Lake."

You realize that leashes are required on this trail  hockeygrin.gif

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Yet
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PostFri Aug 24, 2007 11:43 am 
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They should have had one for me. Silly people.
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Yet
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PostFri Aug 24, 2007 11:53 am 
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Meager photo offerings. Sorry HJT for my delayed response; I was sleeping in. Yes, I know, my life is so rough.  wink.gif

Magellan and Malachai navigating.
Magellan and Malachai navigating.
Last Light on the Lake. These words that fell from Magellan's lips inspired me to take this photo. Unfortunately, it doesn't come close to doing justice to his poesy.
Last Light on the Lake. These words that fell from Magellan's lips inspired me to take this photo. Unfortunately, it doesn't come close to doing justice to his poesy.
Mark, Chris, and Joseph's dirty butte!
Mark, Chris, and Joseph's dirty butte!
You best leave my butte alone, lady. :P
You best leave my butte alone, lady. :P
Happy Hikers
Happy Hikers
Fun with shadows. I'm the one with "big hair." :D
Fun with shadows. I'm the one with "big hair." biggrin.gif
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Yet
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PostFri Aug 24, 2007 1:26 pm 
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yukon222 wrote:
Sorry I missed this one.   frown.gif Definitely was thinking of you guys when 8:00pm rolled by last night, hoping you were enjoying a summit view of the sunset.  Glad everyone made it back OK.

We definitely missed you too, Steve. I hope your foot is doing better!
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yukon222
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PostFri Aug 24, 2007 1:49 pm 
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Thanks, Yet.  It is coming back to life, only black/blue/yellow and a few other colors of the rainbow across 4 out of 5 toes , top of foot and down the interior side.  I hope to make it next week - probably 37% chance of yes.

Loved your description of the pace.  Last week, I had similar thoughts when Joseph was setting that blistering pace up Tinkham.  At one point 20 minutes into the speed walk/half run, he asked me if we should slow down a little bit.  I said "Sure, that sounds good".  The pace increased!!   eek.gif As you discovered, the pace will always increase.  If you speed up, someone else will crank it up another notch.  That is the beauty of TNAB.

Now with the available light dwindling away, these last few TNAB's should be done - not at standard TNAB pace but at absolute pandemonium pace.  Would be a sight to see, 10 or 12 crazy hikers, headlight beams bouncing up and down, lighting up trees/rocks and everything else in between.
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Schmidt Altitude
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PostFri Aug 24, 2007 2:02 pm 
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yukon222 wrote:
Now with the available light dwindling away, these last few TNAB's should be done - not at standard TNAB pace but at absolute pandemonium pace.  Would be a sight to see, 10 or 12 crazy hikers, headlight beams bouncing up and down, lighting up trees/rocks and everything else in between.

You mean like GQHiker and Tisha last week?  lol.gif

Glad to hear your foot is improving Yukon!

Yet, sorry we missed you guys yesterday  frown.gif .  Tisha is officially sick and Alti-dude is on nurse duty right now.  Hopefully it will pass soon because it looks like the weather is finally improving!!!  biggrin.gif  biggrin.gif  biggrin.gif

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"Forest 101: These big wood stick things are called trees.  The big rocks are called mountains, and the little rocks are their babies."  Elliott from Open Season
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Yet
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PostFri Aug 24, 2007 2:24 pm 
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Steve, 37% chance of yes is good, especially if it increases by 12.6% each day starting tomorrow, ending in a perfect 100 by Thursday.  biggrin.gif

Jeremy, so bummed to hear the Tish got sick yesterday! Missed you two, or four, too. Not even a trace that you guys were here (except for the tick). wink.gif Nurse her well, feel better, and hope to see you soon. Hugs and kisses for the sick girl. And some chicken soup.
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Yet
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PostFri Aug 24, 2007 6:14 pm 
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Err...that is actually Joseph's butt.
I was actually more interested in the dirt.
It's fascinating, don't you think?

Actually, I was just happy that I was not the only one who got a dirty butt on this hike. It was slip and slide down from what would have been Avalance Mtn to Snow Lake. It was really nice of Magellan to let me follow him. I was able to avoid many of the falls that he took. The terrain reminded me of Tinkham Peak, except Tinkham Peak had an actual trail, if memory serves. Bushwhacky and steep; loved it on the way up, slidy on the way down.
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Matt
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PostSat Aug 25, 2007 12:08 am 
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Mesahchie Mark wrote:
Time to turn around - no one wanted to descend the ridge in the dark (smart move)

When did TNAB start believing that descending before dark was smart?

MC,
Nice evening light on the peaks.

Yet wrote:
Fast forward to a few minutes before seven. Mark radioes me "I am at the crate patiently waiting for you." I responded "I am patiently hiking to where you are."

Very entertaining storytelling.
I also like the lines about requiring oxygen to match the TNAB pace and about the
Borg.

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