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Forum Index -> Trip Reports -> Red Top Lookout - FANTASTIC!  March 7, 2008
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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
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Location: Welcome Pass
Post Sat Mar 08, 2008 11:12 pm    Red Top Lookout - FANTASTIC!  March 7, 2008
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WOW!  What a day.  The destination today was Red Top Lookout.  I know, I know, big deal!  It's only a short 1/2 mile hike - well, yeah, during the summer when you can drive practically to the doorstep!  Oh no, this is a good work-out.  Nothing scary - well, a couple of challenging spots - but very "doable."  But first, some housekeeping:
Thanks, Matt, for your great trip report from last year (posted here on NW Hikers) - we more-or-less followed your route - except where we didn't!  It was a heck of a lot warmer today than when you did it!  Item #2, we're on a roll now!  This is the 4th STRAIGHT successful summit for Jim K and Opus  up.gif - Everest here they come!   lol.gif Opus will post the "official" stats, but here's what we figured:
About 9 hours roundtrip (including lunch and breaks) - less than 5 hours to the lookout and about 3 hours 30 minutes out.
About 28 degrees when we started - probably got in upper 30s/low 40s mid-day; they had predicted stiff winds - but we only felt the wind at the summit.
4000 or 4200' of elevation gain
14 to 15 miles distance (car-to-car)
Item #3, this was Middle E's (Barry) FIRST trip in the Teanaways - we'll change that!
We were going to save this trip until after Daylight Savings Time started so we would have more daylight hours, but we were able to do it in daylight.  Barry (Middle E), Jim K and I started from the 65th Park and Ride about 6:20 a.m.; Opus, Jack, and Trail Pair started from the S.E. 8th P&R about 6:30 a.m.  The weather was predicted to be cloudy - maybe even snowing - in the early morning.  Well, when we got to the start along the North Fork of the Teanaway, it was blue sky!  We parked at Mile Post 11 on the North Fork Teanaway Road.
You actually start about 100 yards south of there (we didn't start at the gated road, which is Indian Creek).
The beginning is fairly gentle as we headed up the first of many ridges.
In about 3/4 of a mile, we found an interesting addition to the scenery.
Since most of us had read Matt's report, we were familiar with the recommended route, but it always looks different from ground level!
Although the snow is well consolidated, a couple of our group still were post-holing - so snowshoes were on and off all day.  However, we did run into areas where there was no snow, too.
Basically, we were on one ridge or another most of the way - but when I hear "ridge walk" - I envision these nice, long walks along a fairly level, broad ridge  shakehead.gif For the most part, our ridge walks were up!!!  (We had to gain that 4000' somehow.)  Also, note that you will gain and lose elevation frequently.
We did stop for a few breaks 
Even though we could frequently see the lookout - it still was a long way off - we didn't know if we would make it to the lookout with enough time to get back to the car before dark.
We finally reached a the last major ridge that would lead us to the lookout - there was hope! agree.gif  We were able to look across and see Tronsen Ridge where we were last weekend.
Gusto found what looked to be a kennel and maybe a rest spot!  lol.gif 
The rest of us trudged on.
Not quite sure what these are for - probably summer use only.
We pressed on . . .
Finally, we were at the last push to the top.  However, this is where the route can be risky.  Matt talked about a 20' step.  What we found, however, was fairly soft snow and an easy route to kick step up through a notch to the ridge to the lookout.  I was initially worried whether Gusto could make it, but no problem - his 4-paw crampons easily took him to the ridge.  We took our snowshoes off prior to ascending up through the notch and just used boots and an ice ax.  It was absolutely fabulous!  What a view.   
Our descent back to where we left our snowshoes was equally as easy - no big steps and an easy drop back to the ridge.
For the most part the route down was easy to follow on our earlier tracks.
but when we got back to the clear cut, somehow we got confused and ended up being too far north - so we came out the Indian Creek road - but it led us right back to the cars. (Thanks, Barry - and thanks to David's GPS!)

All-in-all an absolutely great day - we got back to the cars before dark and there even was a note on the Driver's car from Nikolai (two dog dad), who arrived later than we did and ran out of time to make it to the lookout.  dizzy.gif  doh.gif Great group of folks to spend a full day in the Teanaways!   winksmile.gif  (sorry you didn't get to do Teanaway Butte too, Barry, you were with a group of slow-pokes!   embarassedlaugh.gif  hmmm.gif )

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Four-paw buddy lets me tag along!
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Bryan K
Shameless Peakbagger



Joined: 29 Sep 2005
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Location: Summiting
Post Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:28 am   
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Looks like a fun trip. I've never gone up from the North Fork road before, of course when I go up there it's to volunteer at the lookout which includes bringing up food and plenty of water biggrin.gif  Nice to see what the lookout looks like all boarded up. Though I must say that brown shutters are ugly, they should be white.
Glad you guys made the summit up.gif   Great pictures, thanks for sharing biggrin.gif

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Type E
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Post Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:55 am   
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Good work, I will be able to get a view of your route Monday weather permitting of course!
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Matt
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Joined: 30 Jan 2007
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Post Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:13 am   
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Looks like you all had a great time.
It does look much warmer.  For some reason, that valley was an icebox when we started.

FWIW, my 2006 trip report actually isn't on nwhikers, but it's here.

BTW, some people said they haven't been able to access the old reports from my site.  If you run into that, let me know.


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“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
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Location: Welcome Pass
Post Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:42 am    Red Top
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Type E wrote:
Good work, I will be able to get a view of your route Monday weather permitting of course!

T/E - Good luck!  We found that often our track wasn't visible because the warmth/sun melted out the steps.  Be sure and check out Matt's map (he put a link in this report) and also David's (Opus) addition.  It's a great trip - hope the weather cooperates.   agree.gif   s.d.

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Middle E
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Joined: 10 Feb 2008
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Post Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:43 am   
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Yes, my first trip to the Teanaway's, summer or winter, and the spectacular weather was just as advertised.  up.gif  I have this rule that the hiking time has to be longer than driving time...and considering the 9 hours of hiking and our, um, brisk pace on the road there was no danger of breaking this rule.  Are there any hikes shorter than 9 hours?  wink.gif  A few photos to add.

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Opus
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Post Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:20 am   
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What a great trip!  Fantastic weather, fun travel, some spicy spots getting on the lookout ridge.  A long day but well worth it.  After editing out the extraneous blips in my GPS track it turns out we only did 12.8 miles with 4125 ft total gain.  Guess we should have added in a few extra little ridge bumps along the way!  clown.gif

Full trip photos here.  I'll add photo captions soon.

EDIT: Some panoramas!
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mtnrider
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Post Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:22 am    Red Top Lookout
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Thanks for bringing back memories of a great trip.  When we did this trip back in the 70's & 80's on snowshoes or skiis we usually went in from the east.  The Blue Creek Road can sometimes be driven to the junction at 3600' but if not we did it on foot.  From that junction we more or less followed the route of the old Blue Creek Trail to near the lookout and then ascended to the top by the route you described.
The first time we did that trip we ran into lots of snowmobiles on the Blue Creek Rd.  When asked how many were in their group they answered about three hundred or so!  Seems there was a snowmobile convention in Cle Elum and they all were headed to the Mineral Springs Resort for lunch.
We had to get off that road so we headed up the old Blue Creek Trail.  It's a good route.
Thanks for the great trip report.  I'm glad you experience the marvelous Teanaway weather.
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yukon222
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Post Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:30 am   
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Opus wrote:
What a great trip! 

Glad you guys had such wonderful weather although the Teanaway seldom disappoints!  Opus, love this shot.  Heading into the light, a little bit of unknown as you can't see what they are moving towards.  Just great!   up.gif
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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
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Location: Welcome Pass
Post Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:44 am   
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Opus wrote:
What a great trip!  Fantastic weather, fun travel, some spicy spots getting on the lookout ridge.  A long day but well worth it.  After editing out the extraneous blips in my GPS track it turns out we only did 12.8 miles with 4125 ft total gain.  Guess we should have added in a few extra little ridge bumps along the way!  clown.gif

You lie!  It was AT LEAST 30 miles!!  lol.gif  winksmile.gif Love the shot of Jack going up that chute - a great way to describe the trickiest part of the trip.  Great pics, David!  Thanks.  s.d.

Middle E wrote:
Yes, my first trip to the Teanaway's, summer or winter, and the spectacular weather was just as advertised.    I have this rule that the hiking time has to be longer than driving time...and considering the 9 hours of hiking and our, um, brisk pace on the road there was no danger of breaking this rule.  Are there any hikes shorter than 9 hours?

M/E - Just wait until we take you on a long hike!!!   eek.gif  Excuse me? Are you saying 1 1/2 hours of driving time was fast?   confused.gif  Honest, there just wasn't any traffic!!!   suuure.gif  embarassedlaugh.gif  hmmm.gif

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TrailPair
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Post Sun Mar 09, 2008 1:02 pm   
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With all of the great photos already posted we don't have much to add. 
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This thing called work is interfering with my play
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Curtissimo
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Post Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:21 pm   
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outstanding trip! now i know where we should have gone this weekend but didn't!

agree with yukon on that shot being favorite.
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Magellan
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Joined: 26 Jul 2006
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Post Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:23 pm   
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Really great trip you guys.  The picture of Jim K pointing at something has become a tradition.  Teanaway rockband.gif
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Yet
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Post Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:29 pm   
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SD and gang -
You all have such fantastic adventures!
I'm only just a little bit jealous.  wink.gif
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More Cowbell
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Post Sun Mar 09, 2008 4:13 pm   
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I love the one pic without the snow heading up the ridge.  I can just smell those morel spores getting ready for hunting season (shroom hunting that is).

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