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Schmidt Altitude
Whippet Entourage



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
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Schmidt Altitude
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Whippet Entourage
PostWed Oct 22, 2008 7:52 pm 
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Dates: Saturday, October 18

Crew: GeoTom, Schmidt Alti-Babe, Schmidt Alti-Dude

Lakes (in order of visiting them): Little Eightmile, Eightmile

Summits: Eightmile Mountain 7996í (#12 Back Court 100, #185 400' Prominence List, #14 Enchanted 18)

Hiking Stats: 5400 feet gained, ~13 miles round trip

GeoTom was looking to take advantage of the combination of good weather and a dog free weekend so we arranged to have the whippets dog-sat by grandma and headed off for some fun in the Enchantment Zone.  Caught the 5:05AM ferry out of Kingston and made it to Tomís by 6 and then it was off to Leavenworth.  At the trailhead we were surprised at how warm it was (mid forties).  After temps dipping into the twenties at Ice Lakes last weekend we were prepared for the worst.  As we headed up the trail we had to take numerous breaks to shed our extra layers.

Starting up the trail
Starting up the trail
Axis Peak above Eightmile Lake
Axis Peak above Eightmile Lake

We made it to the shore of the lake and started following the trail around the north shore.  Halfway along the lake we stopped to talk to some campers who shared some fishing tips with Dude.  Then it was more trail pounding to the inlet at the west end of the lake.  The trail continues along the steam a few hundred yards more before it ends.  According to Beckey, the route is straight north from here but if you look at the topo map youíll know that is not quite right.  Based on some beta from Tom_Sjolseth, Randy, Mike Collins, & Justus_S's trip report we knew to continue west along the stream.  There were a ton of downed trees and the easiest path was usually directly next to, and sometimes in, the stream.

Larches color the hillside above Eightmile Lake
Larches color the hillside above Eightmile Lake
Boys at the clearing
Boys at the clearing
Just a Babe in the woods
Just a Babe in the woods

After about 20 minutes of walking we reached a clearing.  At this point we started to head straight uphill, or as straight uphill as possible.  Downed trees and patches of slide alder kept our route at more of a zigzag than straight until the grade steepened and the vegetation lessened (along the way, a piece of Dudeís fishing pole caught on a tree limb and snapped).  Then it was up, up, and up choosing the path of least resistance, bearing more NW than due north.  Eventually we arrived in a small bowl beneath the crest of the SE ridge of the mountain.  We climbed to the ridge crest and finally received our first views of the summit in the distance.  We stayed as close to the crest of the ridge as the terrain would allow us and made our way to the summit.

Yep, there's some slide alder here
Yep, there's some slide alder here
First views of Stuart
First views of Stuart
Climbing up Eightmile
Climbing up Eightmile
Mountain Men and Mount Stuart
Mountain Men and Mount Stuart
GeoTom action shot
GeoTom action shot
Dude wonders if we have time to run over to the Jack Ridge highpoint as well
Dude wonders if we have time to run over to the Jack Ridge highpoint as well
Almost to the top
Almost to the top
GeoTom eyes Asgard Pass for tomorrows climb
GeoTom eyes Asgard Pass for tomorrows climb

The top of the mountain is a wide flat plateau.  Truthfully, the mountain isnít a very pleasing setting but the views were okay.  Of course, the best views are of the entire Stuart Range directly to the south. We spent about an hour on the summit taking pictures, eating lunch, and goofing off.

Babe's clicking away on Eightmile
Babe's clicking away on Eightmile
Dude makes sure to climb the highest point
Dude makes sure to climb the highest point
Glacier Peak and Big Chiwaukum
Glacier Peak and Big Chiwaukum
GeoTom enjoys his summit soup
GeoTom enjoys his summit soup
Babe at the summit cairn
Babe at the summit cairn
Eightmile Mountain summit shot
Eightmile Mountain summit shot
The album will be in stores in December
The album will be in stores in December
Views north
Views north
Stuart Range from Eightmile
Stuart Range from Eightmile

Based on information from MLHSN, wildernessed, kyled, & Steveís trip report we decided to take an alternate route down.  From the summit we dropped straight south into the bowl directly below the col between Eightmile and Point 7703. From the bowl we head SE, loosely following a small stream as it tumbled down the mountain.  Weíd scouted out the route from above and it looked like a clear shot all the way down to the west edge of the clearing.  Unfortunately, what appeared to be open slopes from above became a forest of slide alder as we got closer to the creek valley floor.  Try as we might, we couldnít avoid it and spent over an hour trying to fight our way through.  In the process Dudeís ice axe was ripped of his pack and he didnít notice until it was too late.  There was no way he was backtracking through that thick jungle.  This route would go nicely in the winter/spring (when the other party did it) when the snow covers all the nasty vegetation down low.

Down in the rocks
Down in the rocks
Babe under Eightmile
Babe under Eightmile
Dude scouts the "direct" route down
Dude scouts the "direct" route down
Larch on Eightmile
Larch on Eightmile
GeoTom swallowed by the slide alder forest
GeoTom swallowed by the slide alder forest
You guys had to pick the "fast" way down!
You guys had to pick the "fast" way down!



We reached Eightmile Creek a little more bruised and battered than we bargained for and retraced our steps back to the lake and eventually the trailhead.  We were pleased to have gained the summit but it wasnít pretty enough to be worth a fishing pole and ice axe.  We drove into Leavenworth to find some grub.  Based on a recommendation from one of GeoTomís friends we tried the new southwestern grill in town, South.  We had an excellent experience and would give the place our highest recommendation.  We then drove over to another of Tomís friendís house (he has a lot of friends) to prepare for day two of our Enchantment Zone adventure and get some shut eye.

How low can you go?
How low can you go?
We summited Eightmile and we won't be back!
We summited Eightmile and we won't be back!

TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW BY GEOTOM . . .

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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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GeoTom
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PostWed Oct 22, 2008 7:53 pm 
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Thanks for a mostly good Saturday Schmidt's.  up.gif

up.gif
A nice summit with good company  cool.gif
The Big Wet Burrito at South  hungry.gif


down.gif
Breakfast muffin at the 76 station in Leavenworth  hurl.gif
Alti-Dude breaking a pole and losing an ice axe  frown.gif
Slide alder city  rant.gif
The effects of the Big Wet Burrito the next morning  bomber.gif


A few of my meager photos:
Before the fishing pole broke
Before the fishing pole broke
It's not as close as I had hoped
It's not as close as I had hoped
Lonely larch
Lonely larch
Dude photgrapgs Babe
Dude photgrapgs Babe
A sign of things to come
A sign of things to come
It looks like it goes
It looks like it goes
The summit is in sight
The summit is in sight
Schmidt's on the move
Schmidt's on the move
Cashmere from Eightmile
Cashmere from Eightmile
Daniel from Eightmile
Daniel from Eightmile
I didn't want Dude to get mad so I moved away from Babe
I didn't want Dude to get mad so I moved away from Babe
Schmidt's losing altitude
Schmidt's losing altitude
Aasgard Pass
Aasgard Pass
Smiles before the slide alder
Smiles before the slide alder

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Go Jo
of the lykkens



Joined: 08 Jun 2003
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of the lykkens
PostWed Oct 22, 2008 8:06 pm 
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Schmidt Altitude wrote:
The album will be in stores in December
The album will be in stores in December

Too legit, too legit to quit!

Well done, it looks like a wonderful day to climb a not so fabulous route.
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Bloated Chipmunk
Farblondjet



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Farblondjet
PostWed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm 
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Hmmm, looks like a familiar trip.  wink.gif  Sounds like y'all took more or less the same route up we did, though came back down a slightly different way.

Glad you guys had lots of sunshine at the summit, unlike the sunset we had.  embarassedlaugh.gif

Yeah, that slide alder sucks ass.  down.gif

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Home is where the hiking is. 

"Peaks that have come and gone four times should halt a man in his steps." -- William O. Douglas

A balanced diet is a margarita in each hand.
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MLHSN
What goes here?????



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What goes here?????
PostWed Oct 22, 2008 9:03 pm 
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I kind of enjoyed the mesa like summit.  It was perfect for taking a little nap in the sunshine.

We hugged a rock rib on the way up towards that little basin above the boulder field and managed to skip almost all of the slide alder.  We then took the same route back down.

I know Rob and Steve had fun with the slide alder on the first attempt though.

PS. could you waypoint a little TOPO! map for me where you think you lost your axe???  I could use a new one.  Mine is looking ancient.
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gone
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Member
PostThu Oct 23, 2008 1:55 am 
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Thanks for the details.  Sounds like I can scratch Eightmile off my list.   biggrin.gif

The pics and write-up were great as always!  up.gif
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Magellan
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Brutally Handsome
PostThu Oct 23, 2008 5:32 am 
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Sorry about the axe and pole.  Seems like too high of a price for that peak.  Did you expect enough snow that the axe might be useful?
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GeoTom
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PostThu Oct 23, 2008 6:22 am 
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Magellan-

After the previous weekend trip to Ice Lakes, we thought there might be enough snow up high to warrant having an axe. Turns out there were just a few small patches near the summit. The extra weight was beneficial for training purposes though.

I hope Alti-Dude has been good this year as Santa's time is coming soon.  hmmm.gif

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yukon222
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PostThu Oct 23, 2008 8:03 am 
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After reading this report and others about Eightmile Mtn, I think I'll do this one as a snowshoe for my attempt at Eightmile.   lol.gif   Slider Alder = no fun when one is 7'-0" tall.   wink.gif

I liked seeing the "back" side of Mt Stuart.  Glad those summit rocks didn't fall when we were sitting on them last month - long ways down!!   eek.gif
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wildernessed
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viewbagger
PostThu Oct 23, 2008 8:15 am 
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GOT ALDER ? That is some thick, tall alder, I think it may be ALIVE !

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Living in the Anthropocene
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dicey
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custom title
PostThu Oct 23, 2008 8:35 am 
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MMmmmm Slide Alder!
The only thing that makes traveling through it more satisfying is carrying an  overnight pack, with skis.  Just ask Jason wink.gif

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I'm not always sure I like being older but being less stupid has advantages.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/32121172@N00/sets/
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Dani
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Jasper's Mom
PostThu Oct 23, 2008 8:40 am 
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Hey looked like a nice day!  I thought of you alot while I was sitting drinking red wine in a warm house with my family.   lol.gif

Love the summit shots!

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Keeping GeoTom in line since 1998
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GeoTom
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PostThu Oct 23, 2008 8:44 am 
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Crap. Just realized that I resized my photos to too small a setting on Flickr. Must fix... dizzy.gif

Edit: It might be another issue. I'll sit tight.

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yukon222
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PostThu Oct 23, 2008 9:19 am 
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If this is one of those DNR peaks (DO NOT RETURN), I better get up there soon with someone before everyone else has already done it and I'll have to go by myself.   lol.gif
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rdyhiker
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PostThu Oct 23, 2008 9:58 am 
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Schmidt Altitude wrote:
Just a Babe in the woods
Just a Babe in the woods

I could sooo see that as a cover for Backpacker Magazine.  Tisha,if you ever decide to give up Real Estate, you could have a career in modeling!  Seriously.
Great caption too, Jeremy.  Always enjoy your reports and pics.
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