Putrid Pete's Peak (P-3) and Mount Defiance 5/30/09
This being my first trail report,go easy on the new guy... I never knew there were NWhikers in my neighborhood (Capitol Hill).Pretty cool seeing that my truck is in the shop and I had planned to hike this weekend. Saturday I hitched a ride with RichP and we headed to Putrid Pete's Peak and Mt Defiance via I-90 east. Exit 42 and a slightly rough ride on road #9013 eventually leeds you to 3 choices.Washout #1,#2 or #3.We chose the longer walk and less chances of vehicle damage. After a 20 foot long "4-"6 deep shallow ford,a washout and you reach the Bandera Trailhead. Follow the Bandera trail #1039.1 until you see a faint trail on a right turn of the Bandera/Mason Lake trail. The trail is quiet and not overly maintained,thus not popular. Eventually as you climb out of the trees you leave the known trail and begin off trail travel. On a break a couple from Auburn passed us up we all traced out way up the steeps to Putrid Pete's Peak (P-3).On top,there's room for 3-4 hikers with views of the Olympics,Cascades north and south.Even Mt Adams... After baking in the sun abit we headed east along the ridge,choosing the snow rather than the rock-hop. After a nice walk on the ridge and a short climb we were treated to more nice views before heading down to Mason Lake. The hike down was pretty straight forward.Although there was some soft snow on a crust layer.All were soft enough to break through. With Little Mason Lake on our right,we had some shade from the relentless sun amidst the old growth Hemlocks. After passing Mason Lake we choose to try a midland route above the old trail #1038. It was steep,brushy yet we were up for the challenge. Instead of dropping down to the old trail we climbed up and around a minor ridge.This led us to a boulder field. It reminded me of Mt Katahdin in Maine.Once I put my trekking poles away it was all about hand and foot placement.Pretty nice to get some unexpected bouldering in.Most of the boulders were settled in,some rocked yet no close calls. Soon we spotted the "new" trail to Mason Lake. Once there it was a leasurely walk through the forest down the Bandera Trailhead. After a seemingly endless walk on a road the car was in sight and we could rest easy on the ride home. This loop is not for everyone.Yet it does get you away from the Bandera crowds and into places with views all around. The road to the trailhead can be driven most of the way to the trailhead.It seems the washouts are stable yet there's one with an abrupt dropoff down 4-6 feet then sloping down. Expect lots of cars parked "where ever" possible along this road (9013). RichP turned the car around just in case the crowds of other cars prevented a possible turn around as there aren't many places todo so on this road. All in all this was a good trip. Next time I'll pack LESS in my Golite pack and bring sunscreen... Stats;12 miles.4,000ft elevation gain.
Congratulations on your first trip report on nwhikers like2thruhike. Only two more and you will be eligible to learn the secret handshake. Though to complete the report, we must include some images to verify that we were actually in the aforementioned place. But seriously, it was nice to meet you and I look forward to more outings.
BTW, all of you aspiring long distance hikers may want to consult with like2thruhike since he has done the AT,PCT, and CDT.
You made no mention of the NWHikers Traveling Summit Register Reggie was last placed on putrid peats peak! Was it not there? Or did you not know it was up there? Or maybe some one already picked it up, and has not posted.
-------------- "Bears couldn't care less about us....we smell bad and don't taste too good. Bugs on the other hand see us as vending machines." - WetDog
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