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Forum Index -> Trip Reports -> middle chiwaukum - 2009-02-28
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iron
#1 on the DNCL



Joined: 10 Aug 2008
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Location: seattle
Post Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:08 pm    middle chiwaukum - 2009-02-28
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we (bad dog, cartman, twodogdad) basically copied the trip posted by randy at the end of january. we deviated a bit from their route, gaining the ridge at EL 4500'. we should have gained it sooner to avoid the steeper hillside, but i mistakenly thought their group headed off at a bearing of 180 degrees, whereas in reality, it was probably more like 200 degrees. this error slowed our ascent a bit as we started hitting new powder around EL 4000' which would have been easier to negotiate on a ridge.

one note i should add is that i wouldn't necessary feel comfortable with the route we took if there was a significant amount of new snow since tree cover thinned a bit as we got higher and into the steeper slopes. this is easily mitigated by heading towards the ridge earlier. also, the final push up to the summit would not be safe with a big dump (IMO).

we put on the crampons pretty early, about 300' up (EL 3100'). the snow was too hard to consistently kick steps. they stayed on until about EL 5200' where we put on the snowshoes, which stayed on until about EL 6800' like randy's group. we booted (some of us with crampons) the rest of the way up to the summit. ice axes were used on the previously mentioned "steepish" part of the ridge.

i saw some signs of small slab fracture lines along the ridge, but they must have come earlier in the week. there is a considerable amount of exposure here. a slip without an arrest would result in something pretty bad - at least on the north side of the ridge - it gets near vertical pretty quickly.

the winds weren't nearly as bad as randy's trip, but if you sat around long enough, a chill would set in. views were nice and we could see a long way in all directions. i felt quite euphoric once getting to the open part of the ridge and seeing the first views of the surrounding peaks, including our target. i think it helped greatly to finally have some knee deep powder (18 paperclips worth) to play around in. i mean, it was pure bliss with the snowshoes on.

and, i thoroughly enjoyed kicking so many steps throughout the day. the rhythm and motion of it was such an endorphin for me. coming down with the snowshoes in the powder triggered many happy snowshoe memories from 2008 (my first year snowshoeing). good times for sure.

we must have dilly-dallied around for a bit too long this day, because we ran out of daylight (or nightlight) for the last 1500'of elevation. cramponing down hardpacked snow on relatively steep slopes, with the occasional posthole wasn't that enjoyable. but, we came out at the exact spot we came in, so that was good. plus, props to bad dog for cramponing down for that distance - and in the dark - as this was only her third time using them. and twodogdad stepped up too by guiding her down when needed.

it was a fun trip and long day, but good enough to warrant coming back, especially on a day with bluebird skies. for comparison purposes (for those of you thinking of doing this trip), mailbox peak has an average grade of 30% (though that might be less now with the new 'trail'); this trip is roughly the same, but with crusty/icy snow for 1/3 of it, powder for 1/2 of it, and some slick, loose talus for the remaining 1/6 of it (does that math add up???  confused.gif  ). throw in some crampon and ice axe use, and you should get an idea of what's required.

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"the trouble with quotes on the internet is that it's hard to determine whether or not they're genuine." - abraham lincoln
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Go Jo
of the lykkens



Joined: 08 Jun 2003
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Post Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:24 pm   
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iron wrote:
i think it helped greatly to finally have some knee deep powder (18 paperclips worth) to play around in.

Great TR! I heart your attention to detail  embarassedlaugh.gif
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TrailPair
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Post Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:42 pm   
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We have been anxiously awaiting your report.  Good stuff!!! We were guessing the wind may have been more of an issue....but apparently not. up.gif

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This thing called work is interfering with my play
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Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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Post Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:00 pm   
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Which peak is actually considered Middle Chiwaukum

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"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I require the same from them."

—Wayne's John Bernard Books in The Shootist
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iron
#1 on the DNCL



Joined: 10 Aug 2008
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Post Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:02 pm   
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Increase Mather wrote:
Which peak is actually considered Middle Chiwaukum

pt 7423

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twodogdad
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Post Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:14 pm   
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Nominated for 2010 Calendar:

Quote:


Can you see me? There is a good reason you can't.

Nominated for 2010 Canine Calendar:

Quote:


There would have been nothing to add because my battery froze but the Iron Man suggested I put it in some warm place (like an arm pit) and it unfroze, just in time. Here goes: 
Moral: Don't leave your car without it (your head lamp).

Thanks, Iron Man for indomitable trailbreaking enthusiasm and the rest of the crew for good company. tdd
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twodogdad
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Post Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:32 pm    Re: middle chiwaukum - 2009-02-28 PS
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iron wrote:

i saw some signs of small slab fracture lines along the ridge

"Small slab fractures" above refers to Mid C ridge: I noticed some very suspicious deep holes along the way to pt 7132: a cornice about to crumble? Mike's image gives you the spot. Going up, go farther right than our tracks! tdd
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wildernessed
viewbagger



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
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Post Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:55 pm   
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up.gif Strong work guys, nice pics !

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I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent_Gandhi
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Type E
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Post Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:22 pm   
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That register is going to need to be replaced with all the summits this Winter! Good work that ridge is one of my favorite climbs.
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wamtngal
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Post Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:10 pm    Re: middle chiwaukum - 2009-02-28 PS
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twodogdad wrote:

"Small slab fractures" above refers to Mid C ridge: I noticed some very suspicious deep holes along the way to pt 7132: a cornice about to crumble? Mike's image gives you the spot. Going up, go farther right than our tracks! tdd

Noticed those deep holes when we were there a few weeks ago...I also thought they were cornices breaking away...looks like they haven't plunged yet.

Nice effort folks!  up.gif  up.gif

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GeoTom
Custom Title



Joined: 19 May 2005
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Post Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:12 pm   
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up.gif

Answers my question about how a dog would do on this one. I think we'll hope for a nicer weather day though.  cool.gif

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EastKing
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Joined: 28 Mar 2007
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Location: 40 hours week work; 40 hours summit
Post Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:59 pm   
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Awesome work on this peak. Excellent focus on the detail here. It give me a good idea about the mountain. Great pics. Way to go!!! up.gif  up.gif  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.

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twodogdad
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Post Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:50 pm    Jasper
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I wouldn't take Jasper beyond the 7k saddle, regardless of the weather. There's nothing to tie him to there and if you tie him to your backpack he'll drag it after you, won't he? Of course, you could put him in your backpack, with a lot of kibble--and pray terriers aren't like their prey smile.gif You'll have about 15 minutes to complete the final climb and get back down. tdd
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
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Post Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:56 pm   
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Nice work, everyone.

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“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
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Post Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:20 pm   
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Long ways -- good job making it up.
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