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The Angry Hiker
SAR Blacklistee



Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Posts: 2891 | TRs | Pics
Location: Kentwila
The Angry Hiker
SAR Blacklistee
PostMon Aug 25, 2008 7:08 pm 
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I've had my eye on one of the seventeen Red Mountains in this state for some time, and decided to give it a shot last weekend. My tagalongs for this misadventure would be the infamous B-Dog, and El Presidente - who was ready for a little R&R after turning things over to his brother, Raoul.

B-Dog and El Presidente are all smiles at the trailhead. If they only knew.
B-Dog and El Presidente are all smiles at the trailhead. If they only knew.

We arrived at the PCT trailhead at about 8:30, thinking we'd beat the heat by getting there early. But we weren't early enough to beat the idiots. The parking lot was already full of poodle-dragging, baby-toting, REI-accesorizing idgets headed for the Kendall Katwalk because it has a cute name and cheap views.

Idiots abound at the PCT trailhead.
Idiots abound at the PCT trailhead.

Luckily, we knew of a top-secret trail to Red Mountain that would cut a mile off the trip while avoiding the krowds of katwalking kooks.  Sure, the route may not be a secret to many of you, but it's a secret to THEM and will hopefully remain so until the yahoos at the PI write up another one of their "Hike of the Week" hog calls.

Abandoned trail.
Abandoned trail.
Tree eats trailhead sign for lunch.
Tree eats trailhead sign for lunch.
Abandoned trail.
Abandoned trail.

The path was muddy in some areas and we had to do some borderline bushwhacking at times, but the trail was more "maintained" than some of the "maintained" trails I've been on. There were rumors of bears in the area, but I brought along my good friends Smith & Wesson to protect us in the event of any trouble.

B-Dog's amazing creek double-cross.
B-Dog's amazing creek double-cross.
B-Dog's amazing creek double-cross.
B-Dog's amazing creek double-cross.
B-Dog's amazing creek double-cross.
B-Dog's amazing creek double-cross.
Creek crossing in Commonwealth Basin.
Creek crossing in Commonwealth Basin.
Creek crossing in Commonwealth Basin.
Creek crossing in Commonwealth Basin.

After a couple of miles of easy hiking, three creek crossings, and about 4 feet of elevation gain, the trail split off in three directions. I read on the web somewhere that we weren't supposed to start ascending Red Mountain until we got to a small lake at its base, but B-Dog was adamant that the official "trail" was the one to the right.

"I'm sure there was a lake here in the Spring!" says he.

Yeah, I guess it just packed up and left.

Red Mountain from Commonwealth Basin
Red Mountain from Commonwealth Basin
Snoqualmie from Commonwealth Basin.
Snoqualmie from Commonwealth Basin.
Mt. Pilchuck from Red.
Mt. Pilchuck from Red.
It's that steep.
It's that steep.
Red Mt. ascent.
Red Mt. ascent.
Red Mt. ascent.
Red Mt. ascent.
Lundin from Red.
Lundin from Red.

So up we went. Many trip reports mention that Red Mountain includes a "scramble of sorts". Well, thanks for nothing, because the whole damn mountain was one big, horking scramble of loose, crumbling rock. One minute we'd spot what appeared to be a trail, and then the next we'd be kicking boulders down the side of the mountain again. I was expecting a Granite Mountain sort of scramble but this was Class 2 to 3 the ENTIRE way.

After picking our way up the steep slope for hours and going nowhere, I began to suspect that B-Dog was purposely trying to piss me off just to make the Trip Report more of a hoot.  Both him and El Presidente shot up the mountain as if they knew where they were going, but a good deal of the time they just stood around looking confused or arguing like a couple of old geezers. I took the opportunity to take some pictures or read War and Peace until they figured out what they were doing. Eventually, they would come to some sort of consensus and then B-Dog would start barking orders down at me.

"Traverse over to your right! Follow that notch in the rock! The trail's right behind that dead tree!"

"Sure it is!"

"Fine, do what you want!" he shouted, "but you're gonna have to start coming up the mountain eventually!"

By the time I found a good sized rock to huck at him, he was gone.

So we reached the summit around noon and had it all to ourselves for about half an hour. We had a good laugh at all the idiots packed like chattering sardines onto the Katwalk across the valley. I looked around for a summit register, but as usual there wasn't one. Good thing I brought my own.

The Official Angry Hiker Summit Register.
The Official Angry Hiker Summit Register.
The dearth of names on the summit register is a testament to the mountain's treacherous ascent.
The dearth of names on the summit register is a testament to the mountain's treacherous ascent.

After an impromptu and racially insensitive rap session (video here), we discussed a possible route of descent that wouldn't involve scooting down the mountainside on our butts. I suspected the official trail was straight up from that mysterious moving pond, but B-Dog was certain it was to the southwest by a small cairn.

B-Dog and El Presidente on discuss the Proletariat struggle under the oppressive bourgeoisie.
B-Dog and El Presidente on discuss the Proletariat struggle under the oppressive bourgeoisie.
Someone put a name to this puppy.
2 labels
Someone put a name to this puppy.
B-Dog and El Presidente discuss names for the new trail.
B-Dog and El Presidente discuss names for the new trail.
Glacier Peak from Red Mtn.
Glacier Peak from Red Mtn.
Thompson from Red.
Thompson from Red.
Kendall Katwalk from Red Mountain.  Not sure what that cairn is for.
Kendall Katwalk from Red Mountain.  Not sure what that cairn is for.
Not in a million years.
Not in a million years.
B-Dog on Red Mountain summit.
B-Dog on Red Mountain summit.

We soon spotted a guy climbing on all fours up the ridge from the Katwalk. Aw crap, the pinheads had found us! The summit would be swarming with poodles in no time. But it turned out that he had already summited Red and tried to traverse to the Katwalk, but decided it was too dangerous and turned around. "Don't go that way," he warned us.

So we decided to go back down the way we came. We were packing up for the descent when I discovered that Wesson was missing. He probably fell out of my backpack when I was looking for rocks to throw at B-Dog. It was going to be hell on my knees hiking down the mountain with only one trekking pole.  Even worse scooting down on my butt. But B-Dog luckily found it among the rocks and Smith & Wesson were a team again.

Kendall from Red.
Kendall from Red.
Red Mtn Descent.
Red Mtn Descent.
B-Dog recovers Wesson.
B-Dog recovers Wesson.
Red Mtn Descent. Alpental in the distance.
Red Mtn Descent. Alpental in the distance.
There's a trail around here somewhere.
There's a trail around here somewhere.
Looking back up the "trail".
Looking back up the "trail".
Red Mtn Descent.
Red Mtn Descent.

Slow going on the way down, seemingly twice as long as it took to go up. There was still no sign of anyone else on the "trail" besides us. Best of all, there were no poodles. Then maybe 5 minutes from the bottom we encountered the second person we'd seen all day - one lone hiker huffing and wheezing his way towards us. El Presidente assured him that there were great views at the top. He thanked us and went on his way, totally unaware that he would become the subject of ridicule for days to come.

Afternoons usually bring crowds of morons up the trails, but the basin was a veritible Grand Central Station of idiots, blithering and non-blithering alike. They all looked lost, confused, and totally unprepared to climb to the top of Red Skelton, let alone Red Mountain. One ditzy couple informed us that they were on their way to the Kendall Katwalk, and when we told them they were on the wrong trail they looked at us like we were nuts. So we went on our way, no doubt leaving them to die in the wilderness with their air-conditioned Beau Geste hats and pockets stuffed with clif bars.

Not much further out of the basin, the guy who passed us on his way up Red Mountain passed us again on the way down.

"Turn around?" B-Dog asked.

"No, I'm just a fast hiker," he replied. "And you were right, the views were fantastic!"  We all exchanged Ooooh, we got a live one here! glances as he huffed and wheezed off down the trail.

By our math, he would have had to summit the mountain and descend it again in less than a half an hour. Even those TNAB lunatics couldn't pull that off. My guess was that he climbed about 1/4 of the way up before he realized he wasn't on the Kendall Katwalk, turned around, and then took his stupidity out on everyone else as he stormed back to his Prius.

We were still talking about him at Twede's later that afternoon. Either it was a case of snappy answers to stupid questions, or the guy was totally off his gourd.  He was wearing a hydration pack, so I'd put my money on the latter.

Cascade Cheesewort, Farkus Malarkus (The Angry Hiker)
Cascade Cheesewort, Farkus Malarkus (The Angry Hiker)
Purple Tiger's Teeth carpet the landscape.
Purple Tiger's Teeth carpet the landscape.
The towering Pink Gigadendron grows to over 17 feet tall.
The towering Pink Gigadendron grows to over 17 feet tall.
Wild Tomatoes are everywhere in the Basin.
Wild Tomatoes are everywhere in the Basin.
Don't eat here.
Don't eat here.
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Mtn Dog
Technohiker



Joined: 01 Aug 2004
Posts: 3325 | TRs | Pics
Location: Bellevue, WA
Mtn Dog
Technohiker
PostMon Aug 25, 2008 7:18 pm 
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The Angry Hiker wrote:
Someone put a name to this puppy.
2 labels
Someone put a name to this puppy.

That's Big Snow Mountain at 6,680' Angry Hiker Dude!  Loved the TR...definitely a Prius back in the parking lot.  lol.gif

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Footprints on the sands of time will never be made sitting down.
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Schmidt Altitude
Whippet Entourage



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 802 | TRs | Pics
Location: The Quah
Schmidt Altitude
Whippet Entourage
PostMon Aug 25, 2008 7:20 pm 
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Entertaining as always.  The material for your summit register sure looks familiar  huh.gif .

Someone put a name to this puppy.
2 labels
Someone put a name to this puppy.

You may call it Mount Dickerman, others call it Big Snow.

Edit: Dang it Mtn Dog!

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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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More Cowbell
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Joined: 01 Jul 2006
Posts: 5640 | TRs | Pics

More Cowbell
Member
PostMon Aug 25, 2008 7:34 pm 
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I suspect you boys were smoking some Cascade Cheesewort with all that summit giggling going on.    dizzy.gif

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



Joined: 13 Apr 2008
Posts: 350 | TRs | Pics
Location: Burrowing in the snow
Jasper
Cascade Snow Pig
PostMon Aug 25, 2008 7:35 pm 
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I for one am glad there were no poodles on your hike. Unfortunately, I encountered one yesterday while heading back to the trailhead. I started to growl at it, but my dad told me to leave it alone. Stinky poodles  shakehead.gif

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Stout
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Conrad
Meadow bagger



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
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Conrad
Meadow bagger
PostMon Aug 25, 2008 7:47 pm 
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rotf.gif
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tigermn
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Joined: 10 Jul 2007
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tigermn
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PostMon Aug 25, 2008 7:55 pm 
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The Angry Hiker wrote:

Not much further out of the basin, the guy who passed us on his way up Red Mountain passed us again on the way down.

"Turn around?" B-Dog asked.

"No, I'm just a fast hiker," he replied. "And you were right, the views were fantastic!"  We all exchanged Ooooh, we got a live one here! glances as he huffed and wheezed off down the trail.

By our math, he would have had to summit the mountain and descend it again in less than a half an hour. Even those TNAB lunatics couldn't pull that off. My guess was that he climbed about 1/4 of the way up before he realized he wasn't on the Kendall Katwalk, turned around, and then took his stupidity out on everyone else as he stormed back to his Prius.

We were still talking about him at Twede's later that afternoon. Either it was a case of snappy answers to stupid questions, or the guy was totally off his gourd.  He was wearing a hydration pack, so I'd put my money on the latter.

Maybe he lost his poodle and gave up the search.

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My flickr photo site.
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Henchbot
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Joined: 11 Aug 2008
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Henchbot
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PostTue Aug 26, 2008 7:33 am 
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hahaha "it doesnt have to cuz he's white yo!"
good shiz.
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Fjoro
smells like bigfoot



Joined: 27 Jun 2006
Posts: 177 | TRs | Pics

Fjoro
smells like bigfoot
PostTue Aug 26, 2008 7:41 am 
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I'm surprised--and more than a little disappointed--that the Angry Hiker lets his friends bring trekking poles.

There was a poodle on top of Wright Mt. over the weekend. Its name was Pepper.

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How would Horatio Alger have handled this situation?
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dicentra
Plant Geek



Joined: 04 May 2003
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Location: Der Town
dicentra
Plant Geek
PostTue Aug 26, 2008 8:14 am 
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I like your plant names.  lol.gif
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paultkuhn
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paultkuhn
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PostTue Aug 26, 2008 8:49 am 
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The Angry Hiker wrote:
After picking our way up the steep slope for hours and going nowhere,

Seriously???? Been a long time since I was there but I thought that the actual "scramble" was very direct took about 15 minutes.
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tigermn
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tigermn
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PostTue Aug 26, 2008 9:28 am 
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paultkuhn wrote:
The Angry Hiker wrote:
After picking our way up the steep slope for hours and going nowhere,

Seriously???? Been a long time since I was there but I thought that the actual "scramble" was very direct took about 15 minutes.

Sounds like there were some route finding issues maybe?

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My flickr photo site.
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The Angry Hiker
SAR Blacklistee



Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Posts: 2891 | TRs | Pics
Location: Kentwila
The Angry Hiker
SAR Blacklistee
PostTue Aug 26, 2008 9:28 am 
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A mountain goat on speed couldn't summit it in fifteen minutes.
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paultkuhn
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paultkuhn
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PostTue Aug 26, 2008 9:34 am 
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The Angry Hiker wrote:
A mountain goat on speed couldn't summit it in fifteen minutes.

OK, maybe you are right. Let's round it off to an even 20.
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Malachai Constant
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Malachai Constant
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PostTue Aug 26, 2008 9:40 am 
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It took Matt about 15 min. mere mortals take a bit longer yours truly closer to 30 mi. waah.gif

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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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