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Schmidt Altitude
Whippet Entourage



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
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Schmidt Altitude
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PostSun Dec 07, 2008 7:27 pm 
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Date: Thursday, December 4, 2008
Crew: Schmidt Altitude Team (Babe, Row, Kief, Dude)
Summit: Tyler Peak 6364 (#59 Olympic Mountains 100,  #47 Rain Shadow 100)
Hiking Stats: ~6 miles round trip, 3432 gained, 2:01 up, 1:17 down

With the weekend weather forecast looking soggy and Thursday supposed to be the best day of the week, we headed out for a little mid-week dayhike.  Tyler Peak can clearly be seen from Sequim and despite the fact that we've been up it's neighboring peak, Baldy, several times, we had yet to summit it.

We drove on the forest service roads towards the Upper Dungeness Trail (Camp Handy, Royal Basin) but split off on spur road 120 two miles before the trailhead and drove to the berm that marks the start of the Maynard Burn Trail to Mount Baldy.  However, we weren't going to Baldy and set off to find the "secret" trail that goes up the Mueller Creek Valley to the ridge between Baldy and Tyler.  For some reason, we thought it started right at the creek but after following a faint path for a few minutes we cut uphill to where we thought the trail should be and came across it.  We were pleased to find this supposedly unmaintained trail well established with signs of recent work.  We knew the trail was popular with hunters so we shouldn't have been surprised.

Selection of Dude's photos:
Babe on the way up
Babe on the way up
Stopping to take some pics of a small stream
Stopping to take some pics of a small stream
A surprisingly well maintained trail
A surprisingly well maintained trail
Kiefer smells something
Kiefer smells something
Taking in the views
Taking in the views
Schmidt Altitude on Tyler Peak 6364'
Schmidt Altitude on Tyler Peak 6364'
Babe on the summit
Babe on the summit
Rowena leads the way back down
Rowena leads the way back down
She caught something!  Is it a mouse? A chipmunk? - No, it's a rock!!!
She caught something!  Is it a mouse? A chipmunk? - No, it's a rock!!!

At about 4800' the trail started to fade in a creek-meadow area and the vegetation opens up enough to see the ridge above.  We tried to continue to follow the trail as it headed west but eventually gave up, turned north, and headed straight uphill to the ridge crest - basically cutting off a huge switchback.  Then, it was easy walking on up to the summit.  We never encountered any snow the whole way and the temp was in the low 50's - not bad for our first ever hike in December!

Selection of Babe's Photos:
Creek crossing
Creek crossing
Small plunge
Small plunge
Forget the trail, let's just head up!
Forget the trail, let's just head up!
Soaking in the sunshine
Soaking in the sunshine
Attaining the ridge crest
Attaining the ridge crest
Shadows and our first views of the true Tyler summit
Shadows and our first views of the true Tyler summit
Baker and Shuksan
Baker and Shuksan
Sequim and the Dungeness Valley
Sequim and the Dungeness Valley
Kiefer enjoying the fruits of her labor
Kiefer enjoying the fruits of her labor
Glacier Peak behind Zion Ridge
Glacier Peak behind Zion Ridge
Warrior, Constance and Inner Constance
Warrior, Constance and Inner Constance
Strange Kiefer...why does she have to lay on our gear?
Strange Kiefer...why does she have to lay on our gear?
Barren sunset
Barren sunset
Colors getting deeper
Colors getting deeper

We couldn't have asked for a better day and the views were spectacular.  The Dungeness Valley down below, Baker and Glacier across the Puget Sound - we even could make out Daniel and Stuart almost due east.  To the south were the Needles, Mount Deception, Mount Constance, and others.  We remarked that we think the views were even better than from the top of Baldy even though it is higher.  We found a register placed in 2004 by a group of Mountaineers and signed in.

Full flickr set link

After about a half hour on the summit we headed back down.  For once, we made it back to the SUV without the need of headlamps.  As we drove out we pulled over several times to take pictures of the clouds in the fading light.

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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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Magellan
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Magellan
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PostSun Dec 07, 2008 7:37 pm 
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Never heard of it.  Thanks for bringing it to my attention.   up.gif  up.gif
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seattlehikertoo
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PostSun Dec 07, 2008 7:48 pm 
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Nice one again. I saw Tyler on a map, but no marked trail up, and it looks doable from Seattle in a daytrip that would allow me to get back by 530p. I miss the seclusion of the Olympics. How long does it take to get there if I took the Kingston ferry?
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GeoTom
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PostSun Dec 07, 2008 7:48 pm 
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Quote:
not bad for our first ever hike in December!

Can this be true?


Nice job. I was hoping to sneak that one in before you sometime though.  hockeygrin.gif

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yukon222
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yukon222
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PostSun Dec 07, 2008 8:50 pm 
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Sweet looking hike with amazing weather conditions for December!  Can't get over how open that high terrain is - tons of roaming possibilities.   up.gif  up.gif
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dicey
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PostSun Dec 07, 2008 8:51 pm 
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GeoTom wrote:
Quote:
not bad for our first ever hike in December!

Can this be true?


ditto.gif

Just so you know, the weather is not always like this in December biggrin.gif


Lol - whippet rock hunter!
Poor rock didn't stand a chance against the mighty Rowena...

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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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Go Jo
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Go Jo
of the lykkens
PostSun Dec 07, 2008 9:30 pm 
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Schmidt Altitude wrote:
Soaking in the sunshine
Soaking in the sunshine

Wonder what Kiefer is telling you here?
Glad you had a chance to get out and put some sunshine into your week. Welcome to December hiking, you're officially year 'round now! ~Jo
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Schmidt Altitude
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Schmidt Altitude
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PostSun Dec 07, 2008 9:46 pm 
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seattlehikertoo wrote:
Nice one again. I saw Tyler on a map, but no marked trail up, and it looks doable from Seattle in a daytrip that would allow me to get back by 530p. I miss the seclusion of the Olympics. How long does it take to get there if I took the Kingston ferry?

Sequim is about 1 hour from the Kingston ferry dock (the way I drive).  The trailhead is about another 40 minutes drive.  You might even have time for a Tyler - Baldy double with a loop down the Maynard Burn trail. -Dude

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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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seattlehikertoo
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PostSun Dec 07, 2008 10:05 pm 
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Thanks "Dude." I will be burning the midnight oil until 2a to finish my work for tomorrow so I can hike.
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Dane
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PostSun Dec 07, 2008 10:07 pm 
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Have you guys ever traversed further along Graywolf Ridge, past Pt. 7076 and gotten a view of the route descending to Royal Basin? I'd like to do that one some day - you could put together a sweet loop if from Royal Basin you continued to Deception Basin/Gunsight Pass/Constance Pass/Camp Handy.

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Without judgement what would we do? We would be forced to look at ourselves...

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Schmidt Altitude
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Schmidt Altitude
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PostSun Dec 07, 2008 10:13 pm 
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Dane wrote:
Have you guys ever traversed further along Graywolf Ridge, past Pt. 7076 (Greywolf South) and gotten a view of the route descending to Royal Basin? I'd like to do that one some day - you could put together a sweet loop if from Royal Basin you continued to Deception Basin/Gunsight Pass/Constance Pass/Camp Handy.

Shhhh! Dane, quit giving away our sweet ideas.  Yep, we have thought of that one but haven't been past Baldy yet.  We've already done the rest of the loop though.  We'll have to add on something else to make it even more epic wink.gif .

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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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Magellan
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Magellan
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PostSun Dec 07, 2008 10:13 pm 
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HJT wrote:
Magellan wrote:
Never heard of it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. up.gif up.gif

Brutally Handsome: You need to do some more hiking on the Olympic Peninsula! You naughty boy!

Loooooong ways and a boat ride from my house to there.
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Schmidt Altitude
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Schmidt Altitude
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PostSun Dec 07, 2008 10:15 pm 
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Magellan wrote:
HJT wrote:
Magellan wrote:
Never heard of it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. up.gif up.gif

Brutally Handsome: You need to do some more hiking on the Olympic Peninsula! You naughty boy!

Loooooong ways and a boat ride from my house to there.

Longer than we regularly take to travel to the Cascades?   Weak excuse!!

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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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seattlehikertoo
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PostSun Dec 07, 2008 10:22 pm 
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The ferry ride makes it easier. I would go to the Olympics to hike as easily as I would to the eastern end of the Mtn Loop Hwy or beyond Stevens Pass. This is especialy true for place in the N Buckhorn since it is much, much drier. This is a secret that most do not know.

In the case of Baldy, it is further west so I would think it would get more precip. From your photos, apparently not.
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yukon222
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PostMon Dec 08, 2008 1:35 pm 
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Is the forest road typically buried in snow (once the snows arrive lol.gif ) such that it makes this area unaccessible till late Spring?  Or is at low enough elevation that you can drive there till deep into the Winter?
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