Forum Index > Trip Reports > Red Mountain (ALW - Snoq Pass) rocked by TNAB
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yukon222
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yukon222
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PostFri Aug 07, 2009 1:26 pm 
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Rock Heads - Moosefish, Cmurph, GQHiker, ZeusDaddy, Zephyr, Larry, Yukon222, Sospeso, NatureMan, Alti-Babe, Kirbinator, Seattlehikertoo, WxMan and Magellan

Rock Hounds - Digger, Mazzy

After the blast furnace heat last week on Guye Peak, Mother Nature tossed TNAB thru the wringer with low clouds, fog and biting wind.  We took off from the main lot and followed the old Commonwealth trail up the valley.  Creek crossings were entertaining as some carefully danced across widely spaced rocks, others searched for longer logs while some splashed thru the water without a care.  Made good time to the bottom of the rock face where half of the crew donned rock helmets for the ascent.

We had 4 or 5 Red Mtn newbies on this trip and I hoped the low hanging clouds/fog would break up as we gained altitude.  But we couldnít see more than 1/3 of the way up the face due to the weather.  A steady pace and careful foot placement by all meant we didnít have any rock fall incidents.   And fortunately, the heavy fog hadnít settled onto the rock faces so traction was still quite good.

The summit was quickly gained where we were greeted by the pre-TNABíers who bravely endured the freezing fog and wailing wind on the summit.  Everyone quickly scrambled thru their gear for extra shirts, pants, hats and gloves to try and ward off the cold.  Amazing change from just a week ago.  With the wind chill, the temperature difference between Guye Peak and Red Mtn a week later had to have been 50į.  Felt more like late October than the start of August.  Larry mentioned seeing a mountain goat near the summit during his pre-NAB ascent but it was long gone by the time the main group arrived.

After only a few minutes on the summit and little hope of clearing weather, we eased our way back down the face to the small basin above Red Pond.  Headlamps out of the packs and heavier clothes back in; we then settled into a decent pace back to the TH.  Splashed thru the creek again and followed the Commonwealth trail to the cars.  Big turnout (including the new TNAB Lite group!!) at the PourHouse where emergency portions of food and liquids were consumed late into the night.

Pictures hard to come by up there with the dark and foggy conditions:
DSD_3330  "Unlimited" summit visibility!
DSD_3330  "Unlimited" summit visibility!
DSD_3334  Wind blowing hard right to left!
DSD_3334  Wind blowing hard right to left!
DSD_3338  Ahh, descending back down into the soup
DSD_3338  Ahh, descending back down into the soup
DSD_3347 Red Mountain from upper basin
DSD_3347 Red Mountain from upper basin
DSD_3348 Changing gear to head back to the TH
DSD_3348 Changing gear to head back to the TH
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GeoTom
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PostFri Aug 07, 2009 1:33 pm 
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That pile of rocks still standing? I thought it would have all fallen down by now.  hockeygrin.gif

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The Angry Hiker
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PostFri Aug 07, 2009 3:04 pm 
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So roughly how long do you think it took you to descend from the summit back down to the basin?
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yukon222
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PostFri Aug 07, 2009 3:26 pm 
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No more than 15-20 minutes.  I could look on my picture's EXIF data tonight when I get home as I took pics on the summit and again at the basin.  We didn't go down the face quickly due to the heavy fog and desire to not start a bunch of rockfall.
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cmurph
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PostFri Aug 07, 2009 6:30 pm 
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Fun hike last night, it was good to get back out with you guys and meet a few people I hadn't yet.

My pictures aren't really post worthy but here's what I've got...

Moosefish and....I can't see who else is up there...
Moosefish and....I can't see who else is up there...
Not sure what all the summit finger pointing was about...
Not sure what all the summit finger pointing was about...
Digger coming down for a treat
Digger coming down for a treat
We're done, let's get outta here
We're done, let's get outta here
Regrouping on the way down
Regrouping on the way down
Mazzy wondering why her teeth are chattering in August
Mazzy wondering why her teeth are chattering in August
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zeusdaddy
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PostFri Aug 07, 2009 7:35 pm 
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I had heard all these stories about the great views from the summit... I wasn't impressed.   
View to the South
View to the South
View to the North
View to the North
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seattlehikertoo
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seattlehikertoo
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PostFri Aug 07, 2009 9:02 pm 
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Temps were only in the upper 40s at the summit, and that wind whipping over the top of the summit made the views that much more spectacular.   biggrin.gif
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gone
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gone
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PostFri Aug 07, 2009 9:02 pm 
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Nice work TNAB!  And TNAB Lite!  up.gif

I hooked up with TNOT, where I'm known as Sandy, then sauntered over to the Pour House for giggles.  It was great seeing everyone!

ZeusDaddy, I applied an auto-level to your north view shot to see what it might expose.  It blew out the levels on the rocks, but did uncover a bit more view.  Can't believe you all didn't hear the noise.

View to the North
View to the North
View to the North, Auto-leveled
View to the North, Auto-leveled

Cheers!  smile.gif
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Magellan
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PostFri Aug 07, 2009 9:10 pm 
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It was a big group for such inclement conditions.  up.gif

Kirk and I PreNABbed, ostensibly to get more summit time in.  I had heard that a nice trail was beaten in to avoid all creek crossings.  Sure enough there it goes!  I became a little concerned when it headed uphill with flagging.  We were unceremoniously dumped in a talus basin just below the PCT.  Another shortcut by Magellan pays off!  rolleyes.gif

We didn't exactly hurry as clouds and wind increased.  We caught Larry and Don, who were carefully staying in the best track.  How do you know you are on the 'trail' on Red Mt?  There are only a couple of loose rocks underfoot, instead of dozens of loose rocks underfoot.

We spooked a big goat just a couple of hundred feet below the summit.  He kicked a rock down on me.  As we topped out the actual chill of the air slapped us senseless.  We didn't have to wait too long for the main group to catch us.  It was nice to meet some people I only knew from pictures.

Sospeso TNABs after flying in from New York 22 hours ago
Sospeso TNABs after flying in from New York 22 hours ago
Counting heads
Counting heads
Clearest it was all night
Clearest it was all night

We stayed pretty tight on the descent, and there were amazingly few stones set to rolling.  It was easy to stay on trail on the way out.

Kim took good care of us at the Pour House.  NO MORE CHEESY TOTS FOR ME EVER!!  shakehead.gif

Chillin'
Chillin'
Aftermath
Aftermath
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zephyr
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PostFri Aug 07, 2009 9:34 pm 
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I Pre-Nab'ed starting around 4:45'ish.  Thanks to good directions, I soon found the old Cascade Crest Trail and proceeded up to the Commonwealth Basin.

I did have moments of confusion where I ran into the occasional dead end.  I would backtrack and see where the creek needed crossing and move on.  Then at one point it seemed that the trail was leading me far too east in towards the PCT.  Indeed it was, but I thought I needed to be on the creek more.  So I turned back and explored the creek again.  Then I thought, it had to be that other trail.  So back I went, more toward the PCT.  I stopped again.  This couldn't be right.  I was losing time and my edge on the main party.  Suddenly there appeared a small dog at my feet.  It was Digger!  I called out for Larry and he appeared shortly afterward.  He convinced me that it was the right trail and we pushed on.

When we hit the split with the sign saying "Abandoned Trail", it all made sense.  We had run into the trail descending from the PCT.  Now I had all the pieces together.  We pressed on through the valley over ground I had covered earlier in June via mudholes, hard-pack and snow bridges.  Things were quite a bit drier.  Soon we were heading up that ridge toward Red Pass and the Pond.

Not much of Red Mountain was showing through the trees.  As we got higher a ptarmigan high up in a spruce was chortling at us.  He eventually flew off.  As we arrived at the trail junction toward the pass or the mountain, I stopped for a break and water.  Larry and Digger pressed on with a few words of advice on avoiding the sketchier places on the far ridge.  The swirling mists enveloped them and I was alone again.

I put on my new helmet and readjusted my gear.  Here comes the fun part.  I looked for the boot path which appeared and disappeared on a whim.  But steadily moving up, I got to an interesting spot, the clouds were already blocking the views below where I had started.  You could only see for a hundred yards or so at a time.  Then suddenly to my right appeared Larry!  I had caught up, we were abreast.  We sort of joined forces at this point hunting for the trail and trying to remember key points/landmarks for the coming descent.  Eventually we found some rock cairns that marked a trail and occasionally it was all super highway, only to disappear in rubble again.

We heard voices below and began to be even more cautious.  Out of the mists we could see two guys heading up.  Then Larry pointed out a large mountain goat uphill from us moving off toward the steeper ridge.  Both our cameras were put away.    rolleyes.gif

We were almost at the summit and we all four arrived pretty much together.  Magellan and Sospeso  had joined us.  Almost immediately the winds started picking up and we all began to put on layers.  We explored the summit rocks and peered off into the gloom pointing at distant peaks.

It was fun, but just not that cozy up there in the howling wind and deepening gloom.  We took some group photos and considered heading back.  Then the pack arrived!  Happy faces, exuberant voices and laughter filled the peak.  Then delicious brownies made their appearance (Thank you, NatureMan!)

Our descent was respectful and disciplined.  I was impressed.  We reassembled again at the saddle where folks readjusted clothing, rehydrated and put on their headlamps.  The entire group pretty much stayed together all the way down and throughout the creek crossings.  It was fun to power down along that trail in the dark with headlamps aglow.

Then we arrived in the parking lot together and headed for the Pour House in N.Bend.  My first time joining the crew afterwards. Usually I have been in a hurry to get home, but thanks to Moosefish's invitation, I decided to join them.  Glad I did, it was fun and I got to meet even more folks.

Great time, great hike.  Thanks.
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seattlehikertoo
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PostSat Aug 08, 2009 12:08 am 
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Here are my pics from Thurs.  We all seemed to be enjoying the glorious views.
TNABers joking about the great view and trying to get warm
TNABers joking about the great view and trying to get warm
TNAB group desperately trying to find more clothing
TNAB group desperately trying to find more clothing
Larry providing live entertainment from Foggy Theater while trying to convince everyone that there are other mountains out there
Larry providing live entertainment from Foggy Theater while trying to convince everyone that there are other mountains out there
Best view of the day
Best view of the day
2nd best view of the day
2nd best view of the day
TNAB making gear adjustments while the Kirbinator wonders why we went up this rock pile in the fog
TNAB making gear adjustments while the Kirbinator wonders why we went up this rock pile in the fog
Part of the group pausing before the next steep section
Part of the group pausing before the next steep section
The fog is "clearly" getting to us
The fog is "clearly" getting to us
Red pond is down there somewhere I think
Red pond is down there somewhere I think
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Go Jo
of the lykkens



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Go Jo
of the lykkens
PostSat Aug 08, 2009 12:24 am 
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seattlehikertoo wrote:
Larry providing live entertainment from Foggy Theater while trying to convince everyone that there are other mountains out there
Larry providing live entertainment from Foggy Theater while trying to convince everyone that there are other mountains out there

Too funny!!
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sospeso
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PostSat Aug 08, 2009 8:19 am 
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I've never been so cold in August as I was on the summit.  However I have the feeling that when I attempt Rainier next week it will be colder, but at least I'll be dressed for it.  I won't be attempting it in shorts and t-shirt.

Great to see all of the TNABers and finally get to connect names with faces.

Jet lag finally hit me on the way back from the Poor House.  Magellan had to tell me a story from his past to keep me awake...
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Kirbinator
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PostSat Aug 08, 2009 5:31 pm 
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It's good to put faces to names!  Fun hike, though a month of being a couch potato does not make for an easy TNAB  huh.gif   Thanks for be beer and brownies NatureMan!
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