Forum Index > Trip Reports > TNAB Hikes its Kilt on McClellan Butte
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
Huron
off leash



Joined: 13 Sep 2004
Posts: 859 | TRs

Huron
off leash
PostFri Jul 17, 2009 3:57 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
McClellan Butte is the pointy spire found on the South side of I-90 several miles East of the last North Bend exit. From the highway, its 5162 foot summit pyramid appears too steep for an unroped climb, but the trail goes around to the secret back door entrance where grades are much less demanding.

Since the last TNAB on McClellan, the trail has been improved, or rather, some might say restructured, significantly. It no longer down climbs into a delicate tarn and the approach to the summit block now includes several switchbacks.

*** WARNING - EXAGGERATION & POETIC LICENSE AHEAD ***

Without getting too wordy, I can say with certainty that this trip packed more adventure into a single evening than any TNAB since Poohbear got lost in the fire training center two years ago. There were men in dresses, a birthday celebration with popping corks, a forest road that required cars to jump Evel Kneivel style over two chasms, secret trips to seldom climbed peaks, canine carnage, dangerous leaps over crumbling snow bridges, mosquitoes the size of whippets and the expected, but never quite comfortable last hundred feet of scrambling which was enhanced this time by an obstacle course thru hesitant mounties. We had a wild time and made great friends with the water district officer who joined us on the summit. We promised not to say anything about the jeep rides or refreshing dip in Chester Morse as long as he would join us next Thursday.  clown.gif  hockeygrin.gif

*** END  ***

Thursday's fractured group introduced many new faces to some TNAB regulars. There were at least two other groups joining us at the summit, so it was difficult to figure out who was TNAB and who wasn't. Tagged in our summit photo were: Alti-Dude & Babe, Magnum, Yukon, Damon, Craig, Seattlehikertoo, GeoTom, Magellan, Moosefish, Malachai Constant, Stefan, Braveheart, NatureMan, Recon, ZeusDaddy, Larry.  Not pictured - Ewb, Andrew, Jeff and maybe a few more.

McClellan's Butte Summit
McClellan's Butte Summit
Magellan & Braveheart
Magellan & Braveheart
Moosefish
Moosefish
Our new bud
Our new bud
Seattlehikertoo
Seattlehikertoo
TNAB photo Yukon222
TNAB photo Yukon222
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Malachai Constant
Member
Member


Joined: 13 Jan 2002
Posts: 13490 | TRs
Location: Back Again Like A Bad Penny
Malachai Constant
Member
PostFri Jul 17, 2009 4:29 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Summit Scenery
Rainier Clouds
Rainier Clouds
Rainier with clearing
Rainier with clearing
Down Valley View
Down Valley View
One Cairn of many
One Cairn of many
Flair over Seattle
Flair over Seattle
Roosevelt, Kaleetan, Chair, Bryant
Roosevelt, Kaleetan, Chair, Bryant
PPP Web
PPP Web
Silver Abel Tinkham
Silver Abel Tinkham
Bandarra Granite
Bandarra Granite
Stewie in Distance
Stewie in Distance
Rainier on Arrival
Rainier on Arrival
Summit Butterfly
Summit Butterfly

--------------
"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
gone
Member
Member


Joined: 08 Feb 2008
Posts: 1051 | TRs

gone
Member
PostFri Jul 17, 2009 4:59 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Great report, Magnum - poetic, perhaps, but no exaggeration!  And your title is perfection!  lol.gif

I've been looking forward to climbing McClellan since missing last year's TNAB, and it sure didn't disappoint.  After clearing the 9020's Snake River Canyons in my rental, I got on trail a bit behind Recon and proceeded up, and continued thusly, eventually being passed by MC, risking life and limb on the snow bridges of doom (both the barely intact one and the later step-for-your-life one), and ascending into ever thicker hordes of recently hatched alpine vampires.  By the time the trail U-turned around back of the ridge, the blood-suckers had formed a thick gauntlet of doom through which hikers were forced to run for their lives to the trail's terminus just below the summit block of doom!  Doom!  DOOM!

After exhausting my DEET supplies, I snapped a bunch of pics, including an unfortunate up-skirt of Braveheart ("Freedom!", hee hee), talked up the Indiana-raised watershed officer (whose job I covet so badly I considered beating him up and stealing his uniform), then high-tailed it back down, eating on the run.  Luckily, just before the broken step-for-your-(now backwards)-life snow bridge, I was caught by Larry who slowed to provide me a most helpful life-saving spot - thank you Larry!  smile.gif

Continuing down, I was passed by and kept company with various other friendly TNABers until finally back to the road, where more oil-pan-busting basement-jumping fun ensued in my rental back to the pavement, then on to the Pour House for more birthday fun and great company.  Perfect!

Beargrass and Kent
Beargrass and Kent
Wispy Clouds
Wispy Clouds
TNAB Exposed
TNAB Exposed
Rainier View
Rainier View

Lest anyone doubt the degree of doominess lurking there:

Snow Bridge of Doom
Snow Bridge of Doom

Here's the complete set.  Thanks all for the great time!  See you next week!
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
yukon222
Member
Member


Joined: 12 Mar 2007
Posts: 1815 | TRs

yukon222
Member
PostFri Jul 17, 2009 8:11 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Very pleasant hiking temperature (well, OK, a bit too warm at the TH embarassedlaugh.gif ) and the mozzies stayed away until the high sweeping turn near the Watershed Boundary.  Just enough breeze on the summit to keep them at bay.  No sunset shots due to the clear skies.

DSD_2637 Mt Kent far left as seen from McClellan summit
DSD_2637 Mt Kent far left as seen from McClellan summit
DSD_2641 Web, P3, Seattlehikertoo and Defiance
DSD_2641 Web, P3, Seattlehikertoo and Defiance
DSD_2642 West (false) Bandera, True Bandera and Granite Mtn
DSD_2642 West (false) Bandera, True Bandera and Granite Mtn
DSD_2646 Steamboat Prow lower left
DSD_2646 Steamboat Prow lower left
DSD_2647 Whippet balls on the summit
DSD_2647 Whippet balls on the summit
DSD_2649 Team Schmidt
DSD_2649 Team Schmidt
DSD_2662 Kaleetan and Chair
DSD_2662 Kaleetan and Chair
DSD_2663 Three Queens, Bandera (True), Mt Stuart, HiBox and Granite Mtn lookout
DSD_2663 Three Queens, Bandera (True), Mt Stuart, HiBox and Granite Mtn lookout
DSD_2665 Chester Morse watershed
DSD_2665 Chester Morse watershed
DSD_2668 Alti-Babe finishing the exposed scramble section
DSD_2668 Alti-Babe finishing the exposed scramble section
DSD_2671 Touch of alpenglow on Rainier
DSD_2671 Touch of alpenglow on Rainier
Last light on Rainier - goodnight, TNAB
Last light on Rainier - goodnight, TNAB
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Yana
Hater



Joined: 03 Jun 2004
Posts: 4022 | TRs
Location: Out Hating
Yana
Hater
PostFri Jul 17, 2009 8:12 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I like the doom motif.  up.gif

--------------
PLAY SAFE! SKI ONLY IN CLOCKWISE DIRECTION! LET'S ALL HAVE FUN TOGETHER!
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
seattlehikertoo
Member
Member


Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 574 | TRs
Location: Finding an alternative to Mailbox Pk
seattlehikertoo
Member
PostSat Jul 18, 2009 8:01 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I started at the very bottom off exit 42 by the maintenance facility, which got me nearly 3800 feet of gain and a nice view of the waterfall going through the culvert.   
Man-made waterfall pouring out from beneath the old roadbed at 1750 ft
Man-made waterfall pouring out from beneath the old roadbed at 1750 ft

It is actually a nice forest hike for about 1.25 miles and 900 feet of gain that crosses the lower portion of Alice Creek before heading up to cross the Iron Horse trail and the old logging road before it reaches the point on the road (approx elev 2220) where everyone parked. It's a much better alternative than the 15 or 20 minute wind and grind up the forest road. It is also better than joining the masses at the regular TH.  It only took me about 15 or 20 minutes to reach the TNAB pre-hike gathering; so it's a wash in terms of time.
Alice creek where the trail crosses near the very bottom of the old trail
Alice creek where the trail crosses near the very bottom of the old trail
Alice creek bed along the lower portion of the old trail
Alice creek bed along the lower portion of the old trail
Footbridge along the lower portion of the old trail
Footbridge along the lower portion of the old trail

I have pics of TNABers skipping over iffy snow gullies, blazing the trail
TNABers moving too fast for the camera.
TNABers moving too fast for the camera.
Yukon hasn't broken a sweat yet
Yukon hasn't broken a sweat yet
Two hikers marveling at some tricky TNABing
Two hikers marveling at some tricky TNABing
Expert gully crossing skills
Expert gully crossing skills
Me between remnants of a massive snow bank at a gully crossing around 3750 ft
Me between remnants of a massive snow bank at a gully crossing around 3750 ft

and scrambling up the exposed summit
Magnum on the final steps
Magnum on the final steps

en route to conquering McClellan again in 09. Another great hike and a great evening. I got the opportunity to feed the dogs my sweet rolls at the summit, or should I say they took the opportunity to eat my sweet rolls as shown in GeoTom's photos.
Braveheart getting some solitude
Braveheart getting some solitude
Yukon lining up the group photo
Yukon lining up the group photo
Looking across I90 between Defiance (left) and Bandera (right)
Looking across I90 between Defiance (left) and Bandera (right)
Stuart sitting atop Bandera
Stuart sitting atop Bandera
Looking N across I90 with Defiance on the left and Bandera to the right. Lonely summit cairn on the right.
Looking N across I90 with Defiance on the left and Bandera to the right. Lonely summit cairn on the right.
McClellan-090716 032
McClellan-090716 032
McClellan-090716 027
McClellan-090716 027
McClellan-090716 048
McClellan-090716 048
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Recon
Guest





Recon
Guest
PostSat Jul 18, 2009 10:32 am 
TNAB McClellan Butte 09
Reply to topic Reply with quote View IP address of poster
Some more pics and me talking about my scramble up last year.

15 JUN 08 a friend and I snow climbed and scrambled McClellan Butte via a non standard route. There was still much snow on the trail at the time and when we reached the first stream crossing with a snowfield we went up it with ice ax's. We ended up on a rock band and continued climbing. After 5 pitches or so of Class 4 scrambling we reached some trees, but only after a large wheel barrel sized piece of snow came crashing by just after I tied off to one of the trees. There was much screaming of ice falling to my partner John who was still below the lip there. The block of snow had burst into pieces going over the edge. It would have wiped us both off had it come down minutes before. Class three scrambling brought us to the summit.

For the life of me I can't follow the line looking up from I-90. It isn't the standard North Gully, I don't think anyway. Looking down at the trees I can see the bottom of the valley where Alice Creek drains.

And oh yes, this ended up with a RON about 150 yards from the road - embarrassing yes - laughs at the realization - priceless.  Coming out there was a ton of snow and we ended up crossing over the ridge by the logging road below point 4084, then flowing another logging road below the main trail.  The RON was in the rocky bottom by the sharp bend FS9020 over Alice Creek.  All my fault, but there is a avy debris and slide alder hell in there!

Gear used last year
Ice Ax's
One Harness
One 8mm x 30 m rope
One ATC

Anybody know this route?

This might be the minor bump north north east of the true summit?
This might be the minor bump north north east of the true summit?
McClellan Butte Standard Scramble
McClellan Butte Standard Scramble
Nervous Yes!
Nervous Yes!
Topped out last years scramble here.
Topped out last years scramble here.
Started last years snow climb here.
Started last years snow climb here.
Minor point 4084 feet?
Minor point 4084 feet?
Last year we traversed over to this small saddle to descend.
Last year we traversed over to this small saddle to descend.
Your Hero
Your Hero
Mt. Rainier
Mt. Rainier
Mt. Defiance
Mt. Defiance
TNAB Descending
TNAB Descending
Looking down on a logging road below the trail on the southeast side of McClellan Butte.
Looking down on a logging road below the trail on the southeast side of McClellan Butte.
Back to top
Search for posts by this user Reply to topic Reply with quote View IP address of poster
Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 13113 | TRs
Location: Inexorable descent
Magellan
Brutally Handsome
PostTue Jul 21, 2009 11:08 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
There are so many trip reports that I totally missed this one.

Embarassing to admit that this was my first TNAB this year. Work  rant.gif !!

Anywho, it was comfy warm on top.  We sang for Tisha's birthday, and welcomed a lot of newcomers, including Braveheart.  In a Scottish accent he proclaimed it perfect kilt weather.  Tuna wraps, Kettle chips, and cookies made a perfect feast.  That did not keep us from gathering at the Pour House for Cheesy Tots, and ping pong.  rockband.gif
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
  Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Trip Reports > TNAB Hikes its Kilt on McClellan Butte
  Happy Birthday KarenP, olymountainman!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy