Forum Index > Trip Reports > Whiz Kids Breeze Up Keechelus Ridge 03-29-09
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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 1706 | TRs
Location: Welcome Pass
Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver
PostSun Mar 29, 2009 3:00 pm 
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Trail Pair were itching to get back out  party.gif even though the weather outlook was less than enticing.  Our initial plan was to head up Web via Dirty Harry's Museum.  But Barry checked the web cams on Snoqualmie at 6:45 a.m. and it looked like the skies were clear on the east side of the Pass.  A quick call to Bob and Kolleen and our plans shifted to trying a new route of Keechelus Ridge.  Opus (David) was clueless about what he was in for today - trusting  shakehead.gif  us to take good care of him.  Since all of us were too  chickenleg.gif to attempt any steep slope stuff, Keechelus turned out to be a perfect choice for many reasons.  The first, the weather was absolutely crummy by the time we reached Exit 38  tongue.gif  - (where we would have turned off for Dirty Harry/Web) and the roads were not good.  As we continued on east, the roads improved some (snowplows probably had a lot to do with that!) and by the time we reached the summit, the roads were in great shape and the skies were clearing.  (Note - Summit West & East ski areas were closed - only Summit Central and Alpental were open today.)  We took the Stampede Pass exit, crossed over I-90 and headed west to access the Sno-Park.  At 8:45 a.m. there already was a boatload of "bubblers" accessing the area.
Lone 'shoers among the snow-mo-bubblers
Lone 'shoers among the snow-mo-bubblers

We headed out a little after 9:00 a.m. 
Gus herding the gaggle . . .
Gus herding the gaggle . . .
Troops heading out with blue skies ahead!
Troops heading out with blue skies ahead!

staying on the road for less than a mile.  In fact between here
Noble Creek on the east
Noble Creek on the east

and here
Warning sign to the west
Warning sign to the west

is where you want to start heading up towards the ridge.  We disregarded all previous routes we have taken (some closer to Price Creek) and the directions in the "Snowshoe Routes" book and decided to give this a go.  Just before we left the road, we put on our snowshoes 
Snowshoe time
Snowshoe time

- well, the two-legged hikers.  Gus was hell bent on catching a snowmobiler and chased down two - I really don't know what he would do with one if he caught it!  A quick reprimand and he was back in line as we headed up this new ridge walk.   
First part of the route
First part of the route

We were encouraged as we saw the skies clearing - maybe this would be our first weekend in March with decent weather!   cool.gif  hmmm.gif 
Peek-a-boo views
Peek-a-boo views
Trailpair following the ridge
Trailpair following the ridge
Lovely views and clearing
Lovely views and clearing

As we got higher, the sun was out and so were our sunglasses.  cool.gif 
Virgin snow
Virgin snow
Shadows
Shadows

The snow was about knee-deep (less in the trees) - it got deeper the higher we hiked - hip deep in spots - but mostly about 12 - 18" of soft, powdery snow - a lot less than we thought we might hit.  Alas, as we climbed higher - avoiding the road entirely, except to cross it about 3 or 4 times - the clouds started to move in.  So much for the 11:00 a.m. clearing predicted by the National Weather Service!  In fact, the fog/clouds closed in around us quickly and the wind picked up some.  As we continued on, we caught a glimpse of the tower about 3/4 of a mile away, but that would be the last we would see of it until we were just about a football field away . . .  paranoid.gif 
Barry and Gus reaching the tower
Barry and Gus reaching the tower
Koleen in open meadow before the fower
Koleen in open meadow before the fower

By now, the wind had picked up considerably and we all agreed it was time to put on a few more layers and try to find some wind-break. It had only taken us two hours to reach the tower - much quicker than any of us had made it to the tower before.  This new route was pretty cool.   up.gif  Conveniently, there was a little concrete equipment bunker that provided a great shelter.
Lunch spot out of the wind
Lunch spot out of the wind

Someone   clown.gif  decided to check the views from the rooftop. 
Up on the roof . . . .
Up on the roof . . . .

For some reason, Opus has this need to stand on roofs!   lol.gif  dizzy.gif  After a lovely lunch break - and with the arrival of many more snowmobiles - 
Snowmobile gathering at the tower
Snowmobile gathering at the tower

we decided it was a good time to head down.  We almost lost our tracks back, because some snowmobilers decided to follow OUR tracks up (glad we could break trail for them  embarassedlaugh.gif ) but our trek back was quick. 
Bob and Kolleen heading down
Bob and Kolleen heading down

It had started snowing on our way back and as we were approaching the parking lot we had a mix of snow, clouds, sun and blue skies . . . 
Where's the Snowbow?
Where's the Snowbow?

We were back to the cars before 1:00 p.m. - less than 4 hours, including our lunch break!  The GPS said 5 3/4 miles and probably about 2200' of gain or so.  We left a good trench - so, enjoy!   Nice to have TrailPair back with us,  up.gif  winksmile.gif even though little Luis had to miss this trip.   bawl.gif Another good reason for not doing Web today, as we passed that area on our way home, we were pelted by a rain/snow mix.  Probably about the time we would have been summiting Web!  shakehead.gif  Good choice to continue on to Keechelus Ridge!  agree.gif  Fun "morning" romp!!    up.gif agree.gif

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Four-paw buddy lets me tag along!
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TrailPair
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Joined: 17 Apr 2005
Posts: 1700 | TRs

TrailPair
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PostSun Mar 29, 2009 3:23 pm 
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This is definitely the easiest and prettiest route we have taken on Keechelus Ridge! 
Suzanne, Barry and David
Suzanne, Barry and David
Sun break
Sun break
Flocked trees.
Flocked trees.
Suzanne and Barry, tower in sight
Suzanne and Barry, tower in sight
Bob and David nearing the tower
Bob and David nearing the tower
View from the lunch pit.
View from the lunch pit.

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This thing called work is interfering with my play
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Yet
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Joined: 23 Apr 2005
Posts: 2622 | TRs
Location: Happily Ever After
Yet
Member
PostSun Mar 29, 2009 4:11 pm 
Re: Whiz Kids Breeze Up Keechelus 03-29-09
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Sadie's Driver wrote:
Fun "morning" romp!!   agree.gif

My fun morning romp did not involve any snow.  huh.gif

Nice work, gang!  up.gif
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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 1706 | TRs
Location: Welcome Pass
Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver
PostSun Mar 29, 2009 4:13 pm 
Re: Whiz Kids Breeze Up Keechelus 03-29-09
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Yet wrote:
Sadie's Driver wrote:
Fun "morning" romp!!   agree.gif

My fun morning romp did not involve any snow.  huh.gif
Nice work, gang!  up.gif

TMI TMI TMI   notlistening.gif   lol.gif

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Four-paw buddy lets me tag along!
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Middle E
no more moustache



Joined: 10 Feb 2008
Posts: 431 | TRs
Location: Seattle, WA
Middle E
no more moustache
PostSun Mar 29, 2009 4:23 pm 
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This was definitely the fastest route I've ever taken up Keechelus, and with the best weather.  Of course, it's also the only time.... dizzy.gif

A few pictures to add.
Suzanne on the way up
Suzanne on the way up
Snowy trees
Snowy trees
A little view
A little view
Fresh powder
Fresh powder
Kolleen near the tower
Kolleen near the tower

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pithy yet insightful signature
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Opus
Wannabe



Joined: 04 Mar 2006
Posts: 3499 | TRs
Location: The big rock candy mountain
Opus
Wannabe
PostSun Mar 29, 2009 4:24 pm 
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I showed up at the park and ride not knowing where the heck we were going.  A nice surprise!  Best route I've taken up Keechelus ridge, thanks for the idea Trailpair!  up.gif  up.gif   The weather was much better than I'd expected too.  Some really dramatic clouds and sunbreaks on top.

All the photos here.

GPS tracks
GPS tracks
Keechelus Lake
Keechelus Lake
Foggy sun
Foggy sun
Frosted trees
Frosted trees
Sunbreak
Sunbreak
There's the tower
There's the tower
Ridge top
Ridge top
Clouds
Clouds
Kolleen
Kolleen
Down in the hole
Down in the hole
Gus bags a snowmobile
Gus bags a snowmobile
Gus & Suzanne
Gus & Suzanne
We ride in a toy car
We ride in a toy car
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Schmidt Alti-Dude
4th class poster



Joined: 06 Jul 2007
Posts: 1362 | TRs
Location: Looking for Adventure 201!
Schmidt Alti-Dude
4th class poster
PostSun Mar 29, 2009 5:28 pm 
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Looks like a fun time. The weather was even better in the Teanaway.

BTW: Microwave Hill is not the Keechelus Ridge summit - it's a half mile to the SW. To bad you didn't keep going, you could of used our tracks from yesterday.

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Anything stated by me in no way reflects the attitudes or opinions of my wife
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Middle E
no more moustache



Joined: 10 Feb 2008
Posts: 431 | TRs
Location: Seattle, WA
Middle E
no more moustache
PostSun Mar 29, 2009 5:36 pm 
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Schmidt Alti-Dude wrote:
To bad you didn't keep going, you could of used our tracks from yesterday.

You mean that armada of snowmobile tracks?  You guys need to get back out on foot again! hockeygrin.gif

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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
Posts: 5774 | TRs
Location: Stuck in the middle
puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks
PostSun Mar 29, 2009 8:21 pm 
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Opus wrote:

Clouds
Clouds

Nice shot. I can feel the cold wind.
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Schmidt Alti-Dude
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Joined: 06 Jul 2007
Posts: 1362 | TRs
Location: Looking for Adventure 201!
Schmidt Alti-Dude
4th class poster
PostSun Mar 29, 2009 9:54 pm 
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Middle E wrote:
Schmidt Alti-Dude wrote:
To bad you didn't keep going, you could of used our tracks from yesterday.

You mean that armada of snowmobile tracks?  You guys need to get back out on foot again! hockeygrin.gif

We snowshoed from the tower to the summit - we were just a tad quicker getting up to and down from Microwave Hill.  wink.gif  biggrin.gif

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Jasper
Cascade Snow Pig



Joined: 13 Apr 2008
Posts: 350 | TRs
Location: Burrowing in the snow
Jasper
Cascade Snow Pig
PostMon Mar 30, 2009 4:31 pm 
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Quote:
Nice to have TrailPair back with us, even though little Luis had to miss this trip.

Imagine if he had been there. Both him and Gusto working together might have caught one of those snowmobiles.   hockeygrin.gif

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Stout
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