Forum Index > Trip Reports > Whacme Peak (East of Bellingham) 06/28/08
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Elvis
Shuffl'n



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
Posts: 1801 | TRs
Location: del Boca Vista
Elvis
Shuffl'n
PostThu Jul 03, 2008 12:12 am 
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My third attempt in less than three months... and I finally found what I was looking for - barely.

About 10.5 miles round trip and 2,600 feet of elevation gain.

Left the house at about 10:45am on a beautiful but HOT Saturday with a car load of gear for a comfortable overnight at JenJen's for the Solstice get-together.

Essentials included sunscreen and LOTS of water.

Brought the mountain bike with the expectation that it would make the return trip (all downhill) much faster and easier so I could cruise to the party in time for dinner.

As luck would have it, upon reaching the Trailhead and off loading the bicycle, it was discovered that the rear brake cable is broken and thus useless for today.  Locked it to the Logging Road gate and hoped it would be undisturbed.  I gave up hope of seeing the summit today.  The combination of a late start, summer heat and a dinner reservation but no bicycle left me with thoughts of needing a fourth attempt some day.

Well.. figured I may as well start hiking since there wasn't anything else on my immediate to-do list.

Took Eric's advice and brought my iPod to help drown out the buzzing power lines.  Luckily I had recently purchased a new audiobook (The Gingerbread Girl, by Stephen King) and just loaded it to my iPod that morning, expecting to use it after-hours at JenJens.

I firmly believe that in this situation, my iPod really helped me keep my mind off the heat, the elevation and the distance.  That distraction made the trip entirely entertaining.  Thanks Eric!

Just after the 4-way logging road intersection you get the first view of the Twin Sisters to the east.  On my prior trip we were denied this teaser view - there must have been clouds to the east and we weren't aware that they were obscuring anything.
First glimpse eastward
First glimpse eastward

A short ways later I came to a gate across the road, marked on the map.
Topo Route
Topo Route

Continued to huffed up and up and up... the sun beating down on me, just trying to deter my summit attempt.  Tried to stop and suck water about every 15 minutes throughout the trip.

Finally... after a blistering walk through clearcuts offering no chance of shade, you are on the summit and you can enjoy the 360 degree views.
Wide View
Wide View
Baker
Baker
Twin Sister Mtn Range
Twin Sister Mtn Range
Baker!
6 labels
Baker!
West Side
West Side
Glacier Peak
Glacier Peak
Lake Whatcome view to the northwest
Lake Whatcome view to the northwest

On the way back down I noticed a sign near the gate:
Uh oh!
Uh oh!

You'd think they would provide a phone number or something useful.  rolleyes.gif

Made it back to the car with 5 minutes remaining of my audiobook.
Took a quick trip to the store to pick up grub for the Solstice Party and arrived at about 5:50pm (50 minutes later than originally planned).

Thanks again JenJen and ChubbyHubby for the great party.

For those interested, the first and second attempts at reaching Whacme Peak, including photos with snow as well as some trail and location info, are available here.

Fin!

--------------
"Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas."  ~John Dryden
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Elvis
Shuffl'n



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
Posts: 1801 | TRs
Location: del Boca Vista
Elvis
Shuffl'n
PostSat Jul 05, 2008 8:21 pm 
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Thanks (to whomever) for adding the labels on the "Mt Baker" pic.

up.gif

--------------
"Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas."  ~John Dryden
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KillerCharlie
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Joined: 27 Oct 2007
Posts: 465 | TRs

KillerCharlie
Member
PostSun Jul 06, 2008 8:40 am 
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So private logging lands are generally not open for public use?

In northern MN where my parents live, the large private logging lands are generally open for use to the public - it makes for a huge playground for horseback riders, ATVs, and hikers. I guess the land here is a lot more rugged though.
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yew
non-technical



Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 1162 | TRs
Location: Bellingham
yew
non-technical
PostSun Jul 06, 2008 8:42 pm 
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Elvis wrote:
You'd think they would provide a phone number or something useful.   

KillerCharlie wrote:
So private logging lands are generally not open for public use?

In northern MN where my parents live, the large private logging lands are generally open for use to the public - it makes for a huge playground for horseback riders, ATVs, and hikers. I guess the land here is a lot more rugged though.

I looked up Sierra Pacific in the phone book and called them on this. They have an office in like, Burlington.  Those gated roads are open to the public for now for non-motorized travel.  I presume they don't want hooligans in pickup trucks dumping household rubbish and junked appliances, shooting signs or starting bonfires for nighttime keggers.  Perhaps they also don't want the ATVers and dirtbikers making their own trail networks via knobby tire through their conifer plantations?

Public, non-motorized use of private timberlands is something to cherish.  I fear the day when residential development becomes more profitable than tree farming.
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yew
non-technical



Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 1162 | TRs
Location: Bellingham
yew
non-technical
PostTue Apr 28, 2009 9:24 am 
update 4/09
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Update late 4/09

It looks like DNR built a new trail from the recent clearcut next to the powerline about 2 miles in.  Old TR and map of the area here.

The new trail's upper end starts from the road in the recent clearcut then enters a strip of leave trees, crosses the bermed and seeded logging road spur.  Then the new trail switchbacks steeply downhill on the edge of the clearcut, crosses the bottom of the clearcut and enters forest on an old roadbed.  It comes out about 0.6 miles in from the yellow gate at the upper Whatcom Lake trailhead.  The new trail is maybe 1.5 miles long?

New trail - cool!  up.gif

For Whacme, take the second left logging road at the first major junction about 4 miles in, where it flattens out into a huge clearcut area thickly covered with hemlock seedlings and slash and the powerline corridor.  This road is gated where it enters Sierra Pacific land at Jones Creek.  Although there's a sign just beyond the gate that says motorized vehicles are not allowed, there are a lot of motorcycle tracks around the gate and going to Whacme where Elvis's photos above were taken.

-----------------------------------

Speaking of timber company land open to the public, check out the Fees , What is of North Maine Woods.org.  It's a consortium of private timberland owners in Maine that lets the public recreate on their land for a fee.  Interesting policy.
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whitebark
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Joined: 08 Jul 2005
Posts: 1726 | TRs
Location: Seattle
whitebark
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PostTue Apr 28, 2009 9:42 am 
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KillerCharlie wrote:
So private logging lands are generally not open for public use?

This varies with the owner. The Hancock lands in King County are definitely open to non-motorized use, and you can drive in their lands if you buy a permit.
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Whacme Peak (East of Bellingham) 06/28/08
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