Forum Index > Trip Reports > Kachess Ridge Scramble Trail and point 5194 5/30/09
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Joey
verrry senior member



Joined: 05 Jun 2005
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Joey
verrry senior member
PostSat May 30, 2009 7:34 pm 
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After reading Zachster’s report on this hike from last weekend I decided to move this one up on my list.  Jim K joined me and I enjoyed his company, in part, because we both had a certain amount of camera dyslexia (i.e.  I was not alone).  Jim is learning a new compact and I had to mentally reload the buttonology for mine.

To my surprise most of this trail/route is now snow free to the old beacon site at the south end of Kachess Ridge at 4,615ʹ.  From the beacon site we rambled north along the ridge a bit over a mile to point 5,194ʹ (Lunch Point).  Yes, there is some snow along the top of the ridge but there was usually a snow free dirt/rock strip just to the windward side.  Do leave the ice axe and gaiters at home.

Note that we did not take the “Beacon Ridge” trail in order to get up on the ridge.  Instead we went up the Silver Creek trail and then turned left onto the Kachess Ridge Scramble Trail.  For a detailed description of the scramble trail/route see this 2008 post (scroll down for the map).  Interestingly, that 2008 trip was about 2 weeks later and there was substantially more snow that year than there is now.  Also the tread of the scramble trail is significantly more noticeable than it was last year.

Our trip was ~3,000 gain and (I’m guessing) ~7 miles.  Most other trails in the area that get  above 5,000 will still have much more snow.  Alright - full disclosure:  A fair bit of the scramble trail is steep.  Well, hey - your ‘steep’ muscles need a workout too.

Hint: If you do this Real Soon then fire up your orchid detector as soon as you leave the car.  There is an amazing amount of Calypso orchids in bloom on the lower part of the Silver Creek trial.

On the hike out we met a couple heading north on the ridge.  They explained they were well acquainted with the ridge and had done it a number of times before.  No longer will I be able to say that I have never seen anyone on that ridge outside of my own party.

Then a bit below the beacon site we met a second couple heading up.  We immediately grilled them on how it was they happened to be passing by that way.  The guy made our day by saying “hikernet” and whipping out a copy of my 2008 map.  Internet rules.    twirl.gif  dance.gif  party.gif    We made him promise to post a TR.  (Lower down on the way out they blew by us and after he called me “sir” for the second time I had to tell him “Dangnabitall my name is Joey!”)

We also met a third couple on the scramble trail that had first continued up the Silver Creek trail and then aborted after they ran into more snow than they cared for and also saw a bear.  (We saw some fresh bear poop ourselves.)

Pics will follow later.

Speaking of pics - as I understand it Jim K claims he is not really a climber and does not like much exposure. Well, if that’s all true then why is it I have pics of him doing a free ascent?

Finally, since one wants to be thinking about trips yet to come, we spent some time gazing across the Silver Creek drainage attempting to get a peek at Thomas Mtn lakes and pondering where they might be hiding.  After all, they show up on the topo and aerials - gotta be over there somewhere.
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the Zachster
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
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the Zachster
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PostSat May 30, 2009 7:56 pm 
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Wow, the snow is melting fast! Glad you enjoyed your annual trek up there! The secret's out though, no more solitude! Looking forward to your pics.

--------------
"May I always be the kind of person my dog thinks I am"
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Joey
verrry senior member



Joined: 05 Jun 2005
Posts: 2032 | TRs
Location: Redmond
Joey
verrry senior member
PostSun May 31, 2009 8:53 am 
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OK, here's some hiker bait - I mean pics.

Calypso orchid
Calypso orchid
Silver Creek trail is on the near side of this spur ridge.  The Silver Creek gorge is on the far side.
Silver Creek trail is on the near side of this spur ridge.  The Silver Creek gorge is on the far side.
Scramble trail
Scramble trail
Sramble trail
Sramble trail
Chocolate lily
Chocolate lily
YATTR Meister at work.
YATTR Meister at work.
Glacier lily
Glacier lily
Glacier lily
Glacier lily
Glacier lily
Glacier lily
Jim K free climbing
Jim K free climbing
Jim K free climbing
Jim K free climbing
Jim K free climbing
Jim K free climbing
I used to know this one
I used to know this one
Another finger meadow
Another finger meadow
Looking north to Lunch Point
Looking north to Lunch Point
Balsalmroot - lunch point in the background
Balsalmroot - lunch point in the background
Below lunch point
Below lunch point
Lunch point
Lunch point
West  Peak, Hinman in background
West  Peak, Hinman in background
Nice horns
Nice horns
Balsalmroot
Balsalmroot
Glacier lily and spring beauty
Glacier lily and spring beauty
Finger meadow on the ridge
Finger meadow on the ridge
Paintbrush
Paintbrush
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ArnVikings
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Joined: 28 May 2008
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ArnVikings
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PostSun May 31, 2009 9:53 am 
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Joey wrote:
(Lower down on the way out they blew by us and after he called me “sir” for the second time I had to tell him “Dangnabitall my name is Joey!”)

Just know that calling you sir was in no way an age-driven thing (anyone who can make it up "that" scramble is still very young in my book!)  up.gif  Call it a bad habit I picked up from my friends who watch too many Kevin Smith movies...  If you were a 13 year old kid with braces I still may have ended up calling you sir.  biggrin.gif

Anyway, thanks again for your great trip report from last year!  Look for mine sometime today (after I spend the next X-amount of hours tending to my poor leg muscles!!)
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Schmidt Altitude
Whippet Entourage



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 802 | TRs
Location: The Quah
Schmidt Altitude
Whippet Entourage
PostSun May 31, 2009 2:42 pm 
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Thanks for the reminder, tempting pictures.  This is another home court peak we haven't picked up yet.

--------------
"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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Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore



Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 14140 | TRs

Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore
PostSun May 31, 2009 10:09 pm 
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Joey, what a great-looking trip you guys had!
I'd be very jealous if I didn't have a great weekend.  But I'm sorta jealous; I have to admit it.

--------------
"...Other than that, the post was more or less accurate."

Bernardo, NW Hikers' Bureau Chief of Reporting
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
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Location: Stuck in the middle
puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks
PostMon Jun 01, 2009 12:20 am 
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Joey wrote:

West Peak 
West Peak 

French Cabin Mountains would get more respect if it was easier to see the other side of West Peak. This is from the ridge between Thorp and Thorp S today. I was surprised to see such rugged terrain in this area.

I was surprised to see such rugged terrain in this part of the cascades. The rock in the middle is marked Pt 5418 on the topo maps, but it deserves a name. French Cabin Mountain is the long ridge in the back.
4 labels
I was surprised to see such rugged terrain in this part of the cascades. The rock in the middle is marked Pt 5418 on the topo maps, but it deserves a name. French Cabin Mountain is the long ridge in the back.
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JimK
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Joined: 07 Feb 2002
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JimK
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PostTue Jun 02, 2009 1:35 pm 
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Joey did a find job on the report. I have one over here and a few more photos. too.

Here are a few photos.

Calypso Orchid
Calypso Orchid
Trillium
Trillium
Heading Up Ridge
Heading Up Ridge
First Glacier Lilies
First Glacier Lilies
Open Ridge
Open Ridge
Back Lit Glacier Lilies
Back Lit Glacier Lilies
Joey At Work
Joey At Work
Ridge Top View
Ridge Top View
Joey Looking West
Joey Looking West
Mt. Stuart
Mt. Stuart
Three Queens
Three Queens
Shaded Lilies
Shaded Lilies
Indian Paintbrush
Indian Paintbrush
Last Break
Last Break

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Hiking Northwest
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Joey
verrry senior member



Joined: 05 Jun 2005
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Location: Redmond
Joey
verrry senior member
PostTue Jun 02, 2009 3:18 pm 
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Nice pics Jim - and I  must say I was relieved to see them show up.  I was starting to wonder if you forgot to put film in that new camera. embarassedlaugh.gif
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1k
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1k
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PostWed Jun 03, 2009 10:35 pm 
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Good job.  up.gif  Been up that way many times, usually trying to avoid the rainy west slopes.

Is the flag still in the shed below the tower?  When I saw that I just had to fly it at the top!

I took the traditional route up and yes, it is hard to find the thread down among all the trees.

From your pics it would seem that the meadows are still snow filled.  Wonder how far along the trail you can get without snow.  Might not matter as the creek crossings are no doubt in high flood.

Sounds like a great early season hike, nice pics! cool.gif

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Life is short, hike hard...
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Joey
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Joined: 05 Jun 2005
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Location: Redmond
Joey
verrry senior member
PostThu Jun 04, 2009 9:04 am 
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I didn't look in the shed
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Kachess Ridge Scramble Trail and point 5194 5/30/09
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