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Forum Index -> Trip Reports -> Esmeralda Pks. 09.27.08
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Bloated Chipmunk
Slower than Dial-up



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 2319 | TRs | Pics
Location: The road less traveled
Post Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:46 pm    Esmeralda Pks. 09.27.08
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Since Saturday’s westside forecast didn’t look too hot, we opted to head to the Teanaway for a little fun in the sun.  It was the usual 3 suspects:  Me, Todd, & MountainMan.  Todd & I met MM @ the Issy P&R & then piled into Todd’s car & were headed east…  up.gif

Esmeralda is a series of summits immediately to the SE of Hawkins Mtn. in the Teanaway region, affording great views of Mt. Stuart, Ingalls Pk., Iron Pk., & many other notable summits.  We opted for the west peaks as our destination, as maps & TRs indicated they were higher than the east peaks (& conveniently located close to the De Roux Creek trail, making for a relatively short distance off-trail).  biggrin.gif

On the dirt rd. not long before the TH, we were flagged down by an older gentleman pulled over, out of the car, & w/map in hand.  He said they were kinda lost & wanted to get to Esmeralda.  We replied that that was where we were going & that it was further down the rd. & to just follow us.  He said OK & thanked us & got back in his car & we started off.  Strangely enough, they proceeded to head in the exact opposite direction, back toward town.  confused.gif  I joked that maybe he recognized us from nwhikers & read all the hype & wanted to get as far away from us as possible.  ykm.gif

We arrived @ the trailhead around 9:30, seeing only 1 other hiker head up the trail just before us.  Other vehicles included a few horse trailers, but o/w the lot was pretty empty compared to when we were there for our Hawkins trip in July.


A moderate pace was set up the trail & we paused to take pictures of the new bridge, creek, & falls.  We also saw some interestingly shaped trees.  dizzy.gif


We kept an eye on the GPSs & maps to gauge our approach to the turnoff point for Esmeralda.  We got to the last major switchback after the creek crossing & headed up the steep slope.  up.gif


We got to a little ridge w/boulders & followed the boulders up.  One option is to follow the ridge & then curve left to the double west summits, or follow the boulder basin straight up to hit the saddle between the two.  We took the ridge on the way up & the basin on the way down, finding the basin route a little easier & shorter.


We got to the eastern of the 2 west summits & found no register, so headed to the western most summit which is directly above Gallagher Head Lk.  The 2 bumps are so close in height it is hard to tell the difference, nevertheless the register was found @ the 2nd bump.  We signed our names & relaxed, ate, & took pics.  The views were amazing!  cool.gif  The sun was shining but there was a crisp wind so we quickly put the long sleeves back on.


For the trip back we returned to the saddle & then headed straight down the basin, making short switchbacks on a vague trail that would come and go.  The terrain here looks more slippery than it actually is, & once we hit the boulders we still made good time.  We eventually intersected our track up, but continued to head in a more southernly route to pick up the trail slightly farther down.  This seemed to be a bit more direct than our hike up & it we were down in no time.


Soon we reached the De Roux Creek trail, conveniently just before the creek crossing & avoiding the ravine.  On the way out Todd spotted yet another interesting tree so he & MM posed w/it.  lol.gif


The rest of the trip was uneventful & easy, & when we reached the parking lot only those w/campers & horse trailers were left, settling in for a Saturday night @ the trailhead.  We made a quick exit & headed for the Mexican place in Cle Elum, always a satisfying meal after a day on (or off) the trail.  hungry.gif  souse.gif  smile.gif

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Home is where the hiking is. 

http://www.meetup.com/Hardcore-Hikers-of-San-Diego-County/

A balanced diet is a margarita in each hand.
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EastKing
Summit Addict



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 2013 | TRs | Pics
Location: 40 hours week work; 40 hours summit
Post Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:16 pm   
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Awesome trip! Great TR and photos!!! up.gif  up.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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GeoTom
Custom Title



Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 3113 | TRs | Pics
Location: Location
Post Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:24 pm   
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Quote:
The 2 bumps are so close in height it is hard to tell the difference, nevertheless the register was found @ the 2nd bump.

I thought the same thing in June. It helped that it was only a couple minute walk between them  lol.gif

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mountain high
space junkie



Joined: 03 Aug 2006
Posts: 71 | TRs | Pics
Location: between hikes
Post Tue Sep 30, 2008 7:59 am   
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How close are we to larch season?

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"When one loses the deep intimate relationship with nature, then temples, mosques and churches become important."
-J. Krishnamurti
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Bloated Chipmunk
Slower than Dial-up



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 2319 | TRs | Pics
Location: The road less traveled
Post Tue Sep 30, 2008 1:45 pm   
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Depending on where you go, the larches may or may not be turning yet.  I didn't notice any yellowing @/near Esmeralda this wknd.  You may wanna check out this thread for info.  up.gif

--------------
Home is where the hiking is. 

http://www.meetup.com/Hardcore-Hikers-of-San-Diego-County/

A balanced diet is a margarita in each hand.
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The Angry Hiker
SAR Blacklistee



Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Posts: 2825 | TRs | Pics
Location: Kentwila
Post Tue Sep 30, 2008 1:52 pm   
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Bloated Chipmunk wrote:

Quote:
We kept an eye on the GPSs & maps to gauge our approach to the turnoff point for Esmeralda.  We got to the last major switchback after the creek crossing & headed up the steep slope.

That wasn't another one of those Class 5 slopes, was it?  wink.gif
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bobbi
stillaGUAMish



Joined: 13 Jul 2006
Posts: 7079 | TRs | Pics
Location: olympics!
Post Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:24 pm   
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are we going to see any photos of you, BC?

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bobbi ૐ

"Today is your day!  Your mountain is waiting.  So…get on your way!" - Oh, the Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Seuss
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Bloated Chipmunk
Slower than Dial-up



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 2319 | TRs | Pics
Location: The road less traveled
Post Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:36 pm   
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bcfc, Todd & MM took lots of pics on this hike so you should be seeing theirs shortly, no doubt some of them will have yours truly.  wink.gif

AH, I brought along some whips as well as a cattle prod for this hike so I would have an easier time forcing Todd & MM up the class 5 slope (their backsides are still feeling the sting), meanwhile we took our chances w/no ropes, helmets, or maps but thankfully managed to make it back to the car in one piece.  clown.gif

--------------
Home is where the hiking is. 

http://www.meetup.com/Hardcore-Hikers-of-San-Diego-County/

A balanced diet is a margarita in each hand.
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MountainMan
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Joined: 15 Jul 2008
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Location: San Diego
Post Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:53 am   
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Here are my Esmerelda pics:
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EastKing
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Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 2013 | TRs | Pics
Location: 40 hours week work; 40 hours summit
Post Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:28 am   
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Good pics MountainMan!!!! Looks like you'll had a good time!!! up.gif  up.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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Hiker Mama
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Joined: 25 Jun 2006
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Post Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:24 pm   
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That looks so fun!
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Mtn Man
Snow addict



Joined: 13 Jan 2008
Posts: 547 | TRs | Pics
Location: Shoreline, WA
Post Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:44 pm   
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At first I was wondering, "Was I there and didn't know it.  I know that I've been stressed lately...."  Then I realized that I was on the opposing trail that weekend (Ingalls)  wink.gif

Hiking past Esmerelda, I thought it was a beautiful peak.  Thanks for sharing!

B)

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Mmmmm, backcountry...
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Bloated Chipmunk
Slower than Dial-up



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 2319 | TRs | Pics
Location: The road less traveled
Post Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:50 pm   
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Here are a few of Todd's pics:


--------------
Home is where the hiking is. 

http://www.meetup.com/Hardcore-Hikers-of-San-Diego-County/

A balanced diet is a margarita in each hand.
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ree
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Joined: 29 Jun 2004
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Post Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:10 am   
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Bloated Chipmunk wrote:
  I joked that maybe he recognized us from nwhikers & read all the hype & wanted to get as far away from us as possible.  ykm.gif

lol.gif  up.gif   Good one! lol.gif

Nice write up!
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