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Forum Index -> Trip Reports -> Bad weather? It's MILLER TIME!!!! (NEW video added)(9/20/08)
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EastKing
Summit Addict



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 2014 | TRs | Pics
Location: 40 hours week work; 40 hours summit
Post Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:11 pm    Bad weather? It's MILLER TIME!!!! (NEW video added)(9/20/08)
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Miller Peak
Elevation 6400 feet
Elevation Gain 3200 feet
Time Up: 2 hours
Time on summit: 1 1/2 hours
Time Down: 1 1/2 hours
Amount of soaked gear: ZERO!!


The forecast for today did not look very good at all. Luckily BikeJr and I had the same idea. Based on our good experiences with Koppen Mountain, and Mount Aix, we knew that the weather over the mountains was going to be at least a little better. And the Teanaway Region is the easiest region to reach when the weather is bad. According to the radar the rain shadow was not in full effect, but by the way the weather looked on the western side, it had to be better in the Teanaway.

This weekend victim was Miller Peak, a 6400 foot summit that contains an 8 mile well-maintained trail with 3200 feet of elevation gain. Nothing special statistically, but definitely worthy of a visit considering the bad weather. We didn't want to do any heavy scrambling in rainy weather  eek.gif . So it is Miller Time.

We left Kirkland at 8:15 am and hit the trailhead at 10:30 am. The start was a little late but at least in the beginning it was as we expected, the weather was cloudy with high clouds but no rain. The trail up began going up gradually with a number of stream crossing. After about 2 miles the trail steepens a little and traverses the side of the mountain as well as goes up a number of switchbacks. At 4800 feet we ran into a number of dirt bikers going down. It is legal to mountain bike and dirt bike this trail so don't be surprised if you run into either here.

Views begin to breakout on this trail around 5200 feet and get better the higher the trail goes. After about 3 1/4 miles the trail reaches a junction where the trail going up leads to the summit while the Bear Creek trail heads down. We choose the obvious trail upward to the summit. The trail continued up through some switchback and then finally up a dirt path to the summit zone. Though the grade here is constant and the final section is a little steeper there is absolutely no exposer on this trail and it is the true definition of a walkup.

We made it on top of the summit around 12:30 PM and were greeted with decent views of Mt. Stuart, many of the Enchantments to the north, Malcolm to the west and Red Top to the south. Views were a little cloudy and Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams covered but considering the weather, no complaints here. We made the summit easily, we have good visibility of at least 50 peaks and we are not wet (at least yet). We stayed on the summit for any hour and a half and shot up a number of panoramas and then finally headed down when a light sprinkle came in around 2:00 pm.

On the way down it rained a little but all the rain did was cut down on the dust from the trail. We barely felt anything and none of our gear got really wet. The trail down was easy to get speed and we made it down the mountain in about an hour and a half. This trail is an easy trail to get speed on especially going down.

Upon driving into Snoqualmie Pass it was obvious this was a good choice and I hope everyone is reading this trip report for tomorrow. The Teanaway Region is a great choice for tomorrow and Miller Peak delivered. When the weather is bad, IT'S MILLER TIME!!

Miller Peak Panorama


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I am addicted to summits! I can't eat, drink or breath without them. Life without mountains would really suck.

http://www.myspace.com/climbandsurfmackg | http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=894
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Layback
Proud Papa x2



Joined: 16 Mar 2007
Posts: 5490 | TRs | Pics
Location: On a Bike
Post Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:07 pm   
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You guys are animals.  Nice work!   up.gif
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GeoTom
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Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 3121 | TRs | Pics
Location: Location
Post Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:14 pm   
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Jasper's first summit was Miller Peak. All he wanted to do was chew on a stick at the top  rolleyes.gif Maybe you got a photo of it with his tooth marks in it  hmmm.gif

He revisited the Teanaway today for 3 new summits (one new to me), but we were a little west and north of your location.

We noticed that it was really smoky today. Probably the Jack Creek fire flaring up again. How was it where you guys were?

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tigermn
In Search of Scenery



Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Posts: 8206 | TRs | Pics
Location: Beneath the pale moonlight
Post Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:32 pm   
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All Miller Peak Photos.

GPS/route Data.

Route

This was deja vu all over again from the Koppen trip where we originally had Defiance targeted, but the rain was unforgettable so we ended up at a beautiful day at Koppen.

Today knowing the weather sucked we targeted Miller at least hoping to get less wet.

As we went through the pass it was at best foggy and at worst raining. Hopping off exit 85 it was at least dry but sprinkled a little off and on.

For some reason my GPS in auto routing mode decided to take another not existent way to the trailhead as I wasn't paying attention and missed the turnoff to Teanaway road. Luckily Greg quickly noticed it didn't look right and I realized the error of my GPS (blame it on the electronics) and we quickly backtracked and were back on route.

I figure to take some serious heat for this route error and take the full blame for daydreaming and relying on electronics and missing the turn. As a result I expect a full flogging and at least 6 pages of response critiques.

In any event we reached the trailhead shortly after turning off from 29 pines campground. Parts of the road were a little rocky/potholy but no problem for my Maxima if you went slow in those parts.

I was rather surprised to see a restroom actually at this trailhead. There was one other truck there (looked like might be hunters).

While we were getting ready to go another truck came around but I think part of the hunting people. Had a nice shoot the breeze with him before heading up. For the record we never saw any hunters on the mountain nor heard any gunshots at any time.

The first 1.8 miles don't gain a whole lot of elevation (905 feet if you are counting) as you follow and cross and recross the same creek multiple times. One crossing was deeper than the rest and not difficult once Greg convinced me to trust what looked like slippery logs but really didn't' seem to be.

After the ho-hum 1.8 miles the trail ratchets up and starts gaining elevation at a more serious pace. In the next 1.75 miles before the summit junction you pick up another 1600 feet or so. You start to get a few views as you climb out of the creek valley. We heard dirt bikes and saw two guys coming down the trail. They were very polite and not obnoxious as they carefully passed us going down.

A junction is reached. Continue straight for the summit Bear right and down for the much longer loop that will eventually take you back to the car as well as branch off in other places for other destinations.

After the junction in the last .62 miles (not .4 as the Green Trails map says) you will gain about another 650 feet or so.

When you get about .2 miles from the summit the path decides to just ratchet straight up the red dirt. You will gain about 215 feet in .1 miles.

Once past this you can see the summit and are basically there.

It was maybe 45 degrees on the summit with no wind.

Views are 360 (mostly except a few trees in one direction which you can cheat by walking to a lightly lower vantage point from the summit).
Views were OK, but hazy (combination of clouds and fires?) and not too distant due to the surrounding weather etc. No volcano views for sure.
Believe me I was glad for this based on what we saw driving here further west.

A couple of color shots off in a valley.

We ate lunch, spotted a few peaks and it started to sprinkle a little and seemed to be getting colder which was our queue to depart. As we were leaving it started to rain a bit harder then stopped. Kind of off and on. Once we got more in the trees, it sheltered us pretty good. Never enough to pull out the Gortex.

As Greg said this trail is in general pretty smooth. In places it does get that V effect from the dirt bikes but it isn't bad and since smooth you can make pretty good time down. A few shots of whatever on the way down.

Before we knew it and before the rain got more serious we were back at the car, packed up and headed out.

Well there was one more thing that happened shortly after leaving the trailhead in the car. We saw a rather large animal off on the right side of the road. As I approached I realized it was a cow. It started to cross the road so I stopped then it stopped. I finally inched by after taking a couple of shots for fun. After I passed I glanced back and noticed it was crossing the road.

All in all considering the crappy weather on the west side we had a great day/trip. We saw no other hikers and had a nice summit to ourselves. Once back on the road and to the highway it rained and was pretty ugly all the way back to Bellevue/Kirkland/Renton.

I often wonder why people slog around in the rain on the west side when with a little extra effort you can actually usually stay dry and get some views. There are lots of options in the Teanaway area and every time I've been the crowds have been very minimal

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GeoTom
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Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 3121 | TRs | Pics
Location: Location
Post Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:46 pm   
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Quote:
For some reason my GPS in auto routing mode decided to take another not existent way to the trailhead as I wasn't paying attention and missed the turnoff to Teanaway road. Luckily Greg quickly noticed it didn't look right and I realized the error of my GPS (blame it on the electronics) and we quickly backtracked and were back on route.

I figure to take some serious heat for this route error and take the full blame for daydreaming and relying on electronics and missing the turn. As a result I expect a full flogging and at least 6 pages of response critiques.

Here's what can happen when you rely too much on technology:


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EastKing
Summit Addict



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 2014 | TRs | Pics
Location: 40 hours week work; 40 hours summit
Post Sat Sep 20, 2008 10:20 pm   
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Great photos BikeJr!  up.gif  up.gif

Quote:
For some reason my GPS in auto routing mode decided to take another not existent way to the trailhead as I wasn't paying attention and missed the turnoff to Teanaway road. Luckily Greg quickly noticed it didn't look right and I realized the error of my GPS (blame it on the electronics) and we quickly backtracked and were back on route.

I figure to take some serious heat for this route error and take the full blame for daydreaming and relying on electronics and missing the turn. As a result I expect a full flogging and at least 6 pages of response critiques.

lol.gif  lol.gif

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I am addicted to summits! I can't eat, drink or breath without them. Life without mountains would really suck.

http://www.myspace.com/climbandsurfmackg | http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=894
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BearQueen
Ready to Go



Joined: 13 May 2008
Posts: 155 | TRs | Pics
Location: Heart is on Lassen
Post Sat Sep 20, 2008 11:57 pm   
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The title made me wonder  huh.gif (EastKing and beer is totally unheard of like Honolulu and blizzards) but the peak looked like a good choice. Sounds like a trip for us to do next year, so that we can both enjoy the same Miller.  up.gif  up.gif

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"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.  I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will live as one." by John Lennon
I hope to do some summits and waterfalls this year with my husband EastKing.
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alpendave
Cat Herder



Joined: 01 Aug 2008
Posts: 496 | TRs | Pics
Location: Kitsap Peninsula
Post Sun Sep 21, 2008 1:58 am   
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What, no cow tipping?!!! You need to live a little.   wink.gif

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Fear the mullet!
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EastKing
Summit Addict



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 2014 | TRs | Pics
Location: 40 hours week work; 40 hours summit
Post Sun Sep 21, 2008 3:46 am   
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Alpendave wrote:
What, no cow tipping?!!! You need to live a little.   wink.gif

Nah we were hungry, and the cows started to look good to eat, not play around with,  so we spared these guys and went over to Burger King!  lol.gif  lol.gif

--------------
I am addicted to summits! I can't eat, drink or breath without them. Life without mountains would really suck.

http://www.myspace.com/climbandsurfmackg | http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=894
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alpendave
Cat Herder



Joined: 01 Aug 2008
Posts: 496 | TRs | Pics
Location: Kitsap Peninsula
Post Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:41 am   
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Besides, those don't look like the kind of ungulates you'd want to mess with. They'd make hamburger out of you! eek.gif

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EastKing
Summit Addict



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 2014 | TRs | Pics
Location: 40 hours week work; 40 hours summit
Post Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:48 am   
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Yeah for a while I thought one of them were going to make steak of the car.  eek.gif This reminded me of my Adams trip, when there was one in the road. It must just be that time of year????

--------------
I am addicted to summits! I can't eat, drink or breath without them. Life without mountains would really suck.

http://www.myspace.com/climbandsurfmackg | http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=894
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Curtissimo
Member
Member


Joined: 05 Sep 2007
Posts: 289 | TRs | Pics
Location: Mexico Lindo y Querido si Muero Lejos de Ti
Post Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:49 am   
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EK- I am sorry you DOGGED us to go with BikeJr however I am elated that you finally found the spel-checker on your computer!

BikeJr I will be writing up a formal complaint to the moderators of this forum for your reckless endangerment of improper GPS navigation in your effort to reach the trailhead!
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Hulksmash
Cleaning up.



Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Posts: 6844 | TRs | Pics
Location: Granite Falls
Post Sun Sep 21, 2008 8:59 am   
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Quote:
figure to take some serious heat for this route error and take the full blame for daydreaming and relying on electronics and missing the turn. As a result I expect a full flogging and at least 6 pages of response critiques. 

Ok...In regards to your reckless reliance on technology.  Did you have a emergency kit in the trunk?  You did not list an emergency kit!  One must conclude you did not have one.  Who know's how long you could have been stranded in the wilderness.  We all know that at any time your SPOT, PLB, Globalstar, or Iridium satellite phones can fail simultaneously in our heavily forested, and steep terrain or in the event of a solar flare.  Should you fuel gage fail.  It could be weeks.  It would be prudent to assemble one immedatley starting with at least six cases of MRE's in the trunk.  Several sleeping bags, in case they get went. (can be difficult to dry out in our wet climate.)  Flint for starting fire's.  Shelter.  Copper kittel, tubing. (distilling urine in case no fresh water can be found no mater how unlikely)  This copper kettle\tubing can also be used to make, hooch with cattail tubers, in the event you run out of miller. Or you could fuel your car with the cattail hooch.
On daydreaming while driving,  WOW  where do i start.  You could have impacted those free range cattle.  The resulting collision could have attracted preadators like bear or cougar.  Would you have access to your emergency kit after that?
Should you drive into the river, do you have a hammer easily available to smash out the window's for a quick exit before drowing.  For that mater do you have a portable emergency kit, incase of Bear, Cougar, crashing into water.
Come on get together!  clown.gif

Anyone else want to jump in on the flogging tongue.gif
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EastKing
Summit Addict



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 2014 | TRs | Pics
Location: 40 hours week work; 40 hours summit
Post Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:02 pm   
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Quote:
EK- I am sorry you DOGGED us

QC,

Keleetan yesterday did not sound so desirable and I had no idea you were going to switch plans! I am glad you made both Tinkham and Abiel and stayed dry. Hope to see on the next round.

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I am addicted to summits! I can't eat, drink or breath without them. Life without mountains would really suck.

http://www.myspace.com/climbandsurfmackg | http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=894
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BearQueen
Ready to Go



Joined: 13 May 2008
Posts: 155 | TRs | Pics
Location: Heart is on Lassen
Post Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:56 pm   
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Great video EastKing!! I love you! up.gif  up.gif  up.gif

--------------
"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.  I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will live as one." by John Lennon
I hope to do some summits and waterfalls this year with my husband EastKing.
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