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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
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Location: Welcome Pass
Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver
PostFri Jan 22, 2010 10:00 pm 
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Well, even cougs can climb and keep up!   winksmile.gif (more on that later)  So, Iron (Mike) was tempted by the predicted sunny, blue-sky day for today.  So - he put out "the call" to several to join him on a trip up to the North Fork of the Sauk and an ascent of Red (Painted) Mountain.  After this rather intense week at work (albeit shortened with Monday as a holiday) - I immediately jumped on the chance to join Mike on a trip which appeared to be a wonderful leg burner!  Mike was inspired by a trip taken recently by some U of W students who frequently hike/climb.  He also was tempted by B00's summer trip B00 on Red and Skalabats  However, there was one condition - Mike needed to be back in town for a Hot Pantz date - so the requirement was we had to meet up at the 65th P&R @ 5:15 a.m.!!!  redface.gif  zzz.gif Fortunately, my local Starbucks opens at 5:00 a.m.!  So, meet up we did - me and the boys!  There was Iron (Mike), Cartman (Erik), Kevin (an NW Hikers lurker), Two Dog Dad (Niko) and hiking legend, Don Duncan!  What a fun group.  I was a little nervous about the testosterone challenge I was facing!   lol.gif Off we went.  I kept reminding Mike that it was very dark.  Even when we got to Darrington, it still was dark!  We arrived at the Trailhead (FS 49) having passed a car parked on the road - but no evidence of humans (was still there on our way out!) - the only other humanity we would see, until on our way out.  It was about 7:20 a.m. and still not really light.
Waiting for daylight
Waiting for daylight

We geared up and were ready to roll about 7:45 a.m. 
The boys at the crack of dawn!
The boys at the crack of dawn!
Our Start
Our Start
Our destination
Our destination
No lookout anymore - but a destination none-the-less
No lookout anymore - but a destination none-the-less

It was 32 degrees when we started, but it felt quite mild.   
Winter?  Hmmmm - doesn't feel like it!
Winter?  Hmmmm - doesn't feel like it!

This trail wastes no time in getting started.  It's UP the whole way.  We were on dirt and managed to knock off the first 1000' (just above where the old lookout was) in less than an hour - so, that meant one mile down & only about 2 more to go to gain another 4000'   hink.gif  eek.gif  paranoid.gif  Our group soon established itself.  It was Mike and Kevin sprinting up the trail (but frequently stopping for the rest of us), there was me in hot pursuit (the coug factor!) pretty much hiking by myself (and occasionally with Gus, when he came back to check on me!), then Erik, Niko and Don.  We stopped at the first "challenge" location.  There had been a description of a rocky, cliffy area.  Bad Dog had heard that it wouldn't be safe for dogs and warned me and Niko.  However, it really turned out to be pretty minimal.  We were still on dirt, so it wasn't slippery - and, if you go to the right on the trail (rather than the trail to the left) you really avoid any scary stuff.  Gus had no problem. 
Erik and Gus at the start of the cliffy area
Erik and Gus at the start of the cliffy area

Here are some shots of us coming down this area (sorry to skip around).
Starting down the cliffy trail area
Starting down the cliffy trail area
Mike coming down the cliffy area
Mike coming down the cliffy area
Convenient hand hold
Convenient hand hold
Even a hand hold
Even a hand hold
Kevin demonstrating hand hold
Kevin demonstrating hand hold
Cliffy area - but easy trail to follow
Cliffy area - but easy trail to follow

We reached the start of the real UP just above the cliff area at about 3100'.
The start of the steep
The start of the steep

Here, we agreed that it basically was simply a ridge climb the rest of the way up to the summit of Red.  Don wasn't so sure he would venture so far today - and we all agreed that we were comfortable if we split up some, since the route was fairly straight forwad.  Kevin and Mike started up - "snow"  hmmm.gif  confused.gif that begins at about 3600' 
The steep
The steep

But it didn't take long to realize that this was going to require some fancy footwear to make any real progress. 
"Cramping" up
"Cramping" up
Necessary footwear
Necessary footwear
Crappy, hard ice-snow
Crappy, hard ice-snow

Much better.  From here, I followed pretty closely behind Mike and Kevin.  We remained in the trees for quite some time.  When we finally emerged, the snow then got "sugary" and deeper (this is where the U of W group put on snowshoes apparently) - fortunately, this slowed Mike and Kevin a little (thank you for kicking those steps!) - but it wouldn't be long before we would hit the wind scour snow once we were out in the open.  We had kept our crampons on and that's where Mike and Kevin gained distance on me - plus I got a little off-course - but fortunately, not too far, because Gus came back and showed me the right route!!!   agree.gif  up.gif The views were beginning to appear!   
First glimpse of Baker in te distance
First glimpse of Baker in te distance
Peeking at the Peak!
Peeking at the Peak!

I caught my first glimpse of our destination.   
The summit of Red in the distance
The summit of Red in the distance

Before long, I was on the last slope to the summit and could spy Mike and Gus above.   
Gus and Mike on Red
Gus and Mike on Red

The wind had been blowing a bit (and the sun wasn't as evident as we had hoped), so Mike was getting a little cold (that's what he gets for wearing shorts!) 
A freezing Mike coming down off of Red
A freezing Mike coming down off of Red

I hurried to the summit so I could con Kevin into taking a summit shot for me. 
Driver and Gus with Glacier
Driver and Gus with Glacier

and I returned the favor.   
Kevin with Glacier behind
Kevin with Glacier behind

The two of them (Mike and Kevin) were considering the possibility of doing Skalabats 
Skalabats (6697':) to the south
Skalabats (6697') to the south

- meanwhile, I wanted to take some pics from the summit (a GREAT summit!  Lots and lots of views!)  I was content with just doing Red.
Expansive views
Expansive views
Views
Views
and more views . . .
and more views . . .
ditto
ditto
The Big "R"
The Big "R"

I joined Mike and Kevin at Red's false summit - about 250' or so below the real summit - this would be the turning off point if they were going to do Skalabats.  Well, who should appear?  Erik.  So, I told him I would go to the summit with him to take his picture.  By then, the winds had died and it was quite pleasant.  Gus thought I was nuts!  Why would we go back UP to the summit???   rolleyes.gif  strange.gif   Well, Kevin decided his knee might not be up to the extra mile each way (and another 1000') so he rested and had some tea.  Mike couldn't let us go to the summit unescorted, so up he came, too.  (Gus is very confused by now!).  It was quite pleasant on the summit, so we spent a fair amount of time here - the boys busied themselves.   
Mike and Erik peak pointing (Gus enthralled)
Mike and Erik peak pointing (Gus enthralled)
Mike wanting to be Jim K when he grows up!
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Mike wanting to be Jim K when he grows up!

I took a few more pictures! (What's a girl to do?) 
Mt. Stuart
Mt. Stuart
Blue skies at Baker
Blue skies at Baker
Sun shines on White Horse and Three-Fingers
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Sun shines on White Horse and Three-Fingers
White Horse
White Horse
Bedal Peak
Bedal Peak

But, finally it was time to descend.   
Mike and Erik coming down off of Red
Mike and Erik coming down off of Red

As we got back down to Kevin - who should appear?  Niko!!!  Of course, he wanted to tag the summit too - but I said, "no" I'm not going back up to take YOUR picture too!  So, this will have to do.   
Niko at the summit of Red (Glacier behind)
Niko at the summit of Red (Glacier behind)

He did do the summit - but without any escorts.  embarassedlaugh.gif  Meanwhile, the rest of us started down, reaching the spot where Niko and Erik had dumped their snowshoes (why didn't I think of that?) 
Shoe stop (and, lunch spot)
Shoe stop (and, lunch spot)

and we grabbed a bite to eat.   
Mike and Kevin
Mike and Kevin

About a 1/2 hour later, our wandering Bulgarian re-joined us.   
Niko coming down to lunch spot
Niko coming down to lunch spot

Now, we pretty much stayed together.   
More down
More down
Lovely bowl on our way down - looking West
Lovely bowl on our way down - looking West

However, I think Erik was still disagreeing with Mike about some peak or the other.  Well, things got a little heated. mad.gif  rant.gif  So, as Mike was on slight overhang checking out the views to the north, Erik crept up behind him 
Erik ready to shove Mike off the slope
Erik ready to shove Mike off the slope

and before any of us could say anything - - - boof - - - 
Mike going down to the push
Mike going down to the push

shakehead.gif  battlecage.gif  ykm.gif  rotf.gif  Just kidding.

This wasn't the only set-up shot . . . 
Mike setting up a perfect shot . . .
Mike setting up a perfect shot . . .

From here, it was pretty much a straight shot down - and the sun was shining  cool.gif .  I couldn't help but turn around to see where we had been.   
Looking back up the slope towards Red
Looking back up the slope towards Red

But, we were on a mission to get Mike back to Seattle for his hot date. 
Erik and Gus heading down
Erik and Gus heading down
A few trail markers here and there
A few trail markers here and there
Kevin and Erik as we head down - Sauk Valley below
Kevin and Erik as we head down - Sauk Valley below
Heading down through the icy snow
Heading down through the icy snow
Gus and Kevin waiting for the others
Gus and Kevin waiting for the others

The trip down was pretty fast.  When we got to the old lookout site, we were surprised to run into three guys who were hiking up to the site (no further).  And, just below them, we ran into Don - he had gotten to about 5000' before turning back.  We reassembled at the cars - let Boon and Doxie out (Niko worried that they wouldn't have been able to make the ascent - but they would have been fine - Gus had an absolute blast on the trip - he is sacked out now!)  Back to the cars about 3:00 p.m.

Stats:
Mike & Suzanne - about 5350'
Kevin, Erik and Niko - 5000'
Don - 3000'

It took Kevin and Mike about 3.0 hours to get to the summit and the driver about 3.15.

Equipment:  Crampons and treking poles.  Carried snowshoes - never used them.  Carried ice ax - didn't need it.  Had micro-spikes - they wouldn't have done much good.

It was 37 degrees when we got back - but it sure felt warmer.  Got back to the P&R by 5:30 p.m.  Whew!   up.gif

What a fun group.  Mike is likely doing Davis tomorrow with Tom S.  The driver is heading toward Sasse.  Hope the weather holds.

--------------
Four-paw buddy lets me tag along!
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Snowdog
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Snowdog
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PostFri Jan 22, 2010 10:31 pm 
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sounds so fun!- sorry to have missed it.  As a consolation prize, after I helped out at my son's Art day at school, Izzy & I tagged Mt. Washington.
The trail is in great shape (esp. for 'winter'), looks like the dnr or wta has been hard at work up there. I used trail runners, not much snow until pretty high, but easy travel. Microspikes may have speeded progress, but weren't mandatory.  No pics, all I carried was a water bottle & some dog biscuits.   smile.gif

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'we don't have time for a shortcut'
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hitda peakz
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hitda peakz
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PostFri Jan 22, 2010 10:45 pm 
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Oooo! Fun! Did you do this today, the 22nd?

All that elevation gain looks like so much fun. I don't think I've ever done 5000' in one day (got 9,000' in a 24 hour period though). Heading up Norse peak (6900') tomorrow if weather looks good, 2500' gain from Crystal Mt. Ski Area so not too much of a work out, but it'll be the highest I've been since August.

up.gif sweet trip!
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Hiker Mama
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PostFri Jan 22, 2010 10:46 pm 
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What glorious views you had!

--------------
My hiking w/ kids site: www.thehikermama.com
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostSat Jan 23, 2010 12:52 am 
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Nice job taking advantage of the best day this week.

(I always knew Eric woudl crack sometime soon.)

--------------
“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Guiran
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PostSat Jan 23, 2010 12:53 am 
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Outstanding views. When we were up there on Saturday, the clouds socked in Whitehorse before we were able to hit the open ridge.  up.gif

Amazing what a difference a week makes - without snowshoes we'd still be trying to reach the summit.
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BarbE
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PostSat Jan 23, 2010 10:21 am 
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Terrific views and impressive elevation gain!
Good for Gus to keep up with with the human animals up.gif  up.gif
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twodogdad
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PostSat Jan 23, 2010 11:35 am 
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Sadie's Driver wrote:
I was a little nervous about the testosterone challenge I was facing!

With due respect to Iron, only one person's T-level is higher than yours: Gus's. And to think that last year I thought I'd finally caught up with your speed embarassedlaugh.gif

Excellent outing: thanks Mike, for suggesting and organizing it, and everybody for being a good sport.

FWIW: I toyed with the idea of skiing Red, and the top 1000 ft would have been nice, but the 3000+ ft treed ridge is absolute frozen crap right now, and the bottom 1000 ft are brown. Next year, maybe. N
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome



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Magellan
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PostSat Jan 23, 2010 4:26 pm 
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I loved that hike.  You guys killed it, in winter no less.  It took me 3:30 up in summer when I was in great shape.  I dropped down it in 1:45 and my quads cried for days.

The second summiting seems a bit bluer in the pictures.  up.gif
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coho
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PostSat Jan 23, 2010 5:01 pm 
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Way to get out there and get your winter hike on.  up.gif
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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
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Location: Welcome Pass
Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver
PostSat Jan 23, 2010 5:12 pm 
The Second Day
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BarbE wrote:
Terrific views and impressive elevation gain!
Good for Gus to keep up with with the human animals up.gif  up.gif

Poor ol' Gus, I "forced" him up Sasse Ridge today for another 3700' of gain  shakehead.gif  He was in absolute heaven - but is passed out now!  agree.gif  lol.gif  up.gif  (Snow was much deeper/powdery at 5300' than on Red.  Opus will post a trip report.)  s.d.

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Four-paw buddy lets me tag along!
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iron
getting old



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iron
getting old
PostSat Jan 23, 2010 5:17 pm 
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it was an enjoyable ridge walk. crampons were useful most of the way, though there was some deepish snow we encountered as well. i thought to don the snowshoes, but it didn't seem worth it as i knew we'd hit the wind-scoured ridge soon enough.

it was a pretty leisurely 2.5 hrs to summit, but a nice consistent, challenging grade to negotiate.

wide open understory along the small treed ridge
wide open understory along the small treed ridge
opening on the ridge to the summit
opening on the ridge to the summit
should have done sunny whitehorse today instead...
should have done sunny whitehorse today instead...
sloan and a snowy bowl to the right (WSW of ridge) - we need help ID'ing the bowl and mountains!
sloan and a snowy bowl to the right (WSW of ridge) - we need help ID'ing the bowl and mountains!
cartman and sadie's driver heading up with glacier peak in the background
cartman and sadie's driver heading up with glacier peak in the background
summit shot
summit shot
sometime later this summer...
sometime later this summer...
fun little bowl with sloan in the backdrop
fun little bowl with sloan in the backdrop
skalabats
skalabats
as hollywood said - class 2 with exposure
as hollywood said - class 2 with exposure

sadly, no davis peak for me the next day - wedding commitment at 6pm in seattle. so, i set a PR on old si: 58 min up, 58 min down. one of these days, when i can run again, i'm really gonna have to go after a sub 50 time... smile.gif

thanks for the trip everyone and accomodating my tight schedule this fine "winter" day.

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man, you go through life, you try to be nice to people, you struggle to resist the urge to punch 'em in the face, and for what?

--- moe sizlack
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Tom_Sjolseth
Born Yesterday



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Tom_Sjolseth
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PostSat Jan 23, 2010 8:00 pm 
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Nice sounding trip, too bad I had to work.  Don, at 75, is one tough dude!
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kite
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PostSat Jan 23, 2010 8:21 pm 
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Looked like a great day, excellent images showing off the views.

but i have got to say it makes my legs hurt just thinking about the time to summit.
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dunker53
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PostSat Jan 23, 2010 9:13 pm 
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Not tough enough anymore but had a great time with a mostly new gang of 'hot shots'. I am surprised at how nice the photos by Sadie's Driver came out on a day with not much blue sky (especially the telephotos).
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