Forum Index > Trip Reports > Only 10% "All There" on Red Top 04-17-11
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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 1716 | TRs
Location: Welcome Pass
Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver
PostMon Apr 18, 2011 11:49 am 
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Well, at least one of the members of our crew got the memo . . .  RED TOP!  Not mentioning any names, but it begins and ends with "driver!"  Just sayin' . . . .

A red top on the way to Red Top!
A red top on the way to Red Top!

Stats:
Destination:  Sunshine aka the Teanaway - Red Top Lookout
Distance: 10.9 miles (according to R3H)
Elevation:  3400' gain (approx)
Gear:     Snowshoes - probably didn't need them (see below); sunglasses  cool.gif  (YES!)
Crew:  Jim K; Opus; Dicey; Middle E; Snow Dog; Raising 3 Hikers; Barb E; Driver; Gus and Izzy . . .  and a cameo appearance by: Ragman and Denali Girl

After much hand-wringing and debate about a suitable destination (read: avalanche safe AND with sunshine), several of us settled upon Red Top from the Blewett Pass (Mineral Springs CG) side.  This would be a return engagement of sorts for some 
Red Top March 2008
But, for that trip, we came in via the Teanaway side/29 Pines area.  And, boy, were the snow conditions different for the two trips!  But I digress.  We started our little adventure with a meet-up at the 65th Park & Ride at the respectable hour of 7:00 a.m.  Who should we run into?  Iron, B00, Hot Pantz and another member, who were off to do (what they hoped would be) an avalanche-safe trip to Mt. Catherine.  Iron (Mike) had expressed concern about avalanche danger - and with good reason for the west side of the hills.  However, David (Opus) was able to capture our fleeting experience with an avalanche on today's journey (to follow, with David's post).  So, our two parties departed the P&R to meet up with the rest of our group at the S.E. 8th P&R and then on to Blewett. 

It's amazing the difference in snow conditions in just one week.  Last Friday (04/08) on Yellow Hill/Elbow, we experienced snow from the time we stepped out of the car, with just a few dirt patches here and there.  Not so today!  shakehead.gif  We experienced dirt! 
Gate is still closed at Swauk Creek
Gate is still closed at Swauk Creek
Organizing
Organizing
The first two miles pretty much looked like this!
The first two miles pretty much looked like this!

Carla had thought she was going to be skiing this trip, well, guess what? eek.gif  waah.gif
Carla, why aren't you WEARING those skis?
Carla, why aren't you WEARING those skis?

Those skis would stay on her back for a good part of the climb up.  David had to think about that . . .
David deep in concentration
David deep in concentration

This is what a lot of the trip looked like until well above 4100'!
Umm . . . where's the snow?
Umm . . . where's the snow?

When we finally broke out onto one of the many roads that criss cross this route, we could get some views of our destination.
Red Top the bump on the right
Red Top the bump on the right
Zoom of Red Top from afar
Zoom of Red Top from afar

and then across Hwy 97 looking east.
Looking across at Table Mountain? Diamond Head? Thunder Mountain? You pick . . .
Looking across at Table Mountain? Diamond Head? Thunder Mountain? You pick . . .

This began one of my "favorite" parts of the journey, the every-popular "road walk!"  No trip is complete without!   lol.gif
Roadwalk
Roadwalk
More roadwalk
More roadwalk

It was at this point that we put our snowshoes on, but they really weren't necessary.  And, at least Carla could put her skis on!  agree.gif
Finally, we arrived upon a very detailed sign with lots of helpful information  confused.gif  hmmm.gif
Think it's time for new sign
Think it's time for new sign

Now that everything was perfectly clear, we moved in the direction of the summer parking lot for Red Top Lookout.
Gus looking for the biffy . . .
Gus looking for the biffy . . .
Trailhead - Carla finally on skis!
Trailhead - Carla finally on skis!
The summer trailhead
The summer trailhead
Gus providing direction
Gus providing direction

The sun was making occasional appearances, but it was by no means warm and balmy.  The sign says it's about a 1/2 mile from the trailhead to the summit - but in the snow it's probably shorter.  We could see the lookout ahead of us.
From the summer parking lot
From the summer parking lot
Our destination
Our destination

As we climbed the last ridge to the summit, the wind really picked up, and there was a dark ol' gray cloud above us - and it actually was lightly snowing!   rolleyes.gif  So we didn't linger on top, choosing to head back off the summit to a little farther down the ridge to get our lunch.  David has a group photo on the summit.  It was about here that I got the last photos out of my camera before the battery died.
Looking North/northwest (the ridge we came up In March of 2008
Looking North/northwest (the ridge we came up In March of 2008
Summit shot on Red Top
Summit shot on Red Top

I borrowed Jim K's camera to get some lunch photos, as well as using my cell phone:

A familiar sight when we have a lunch stop! Red Top Lookout 04-17-11
A familiar sight when we have a lunch stop! Red Top Lookout 04-17-11

Droid version:
Lunch break
Lunch break
Nanook having a spot of lunch
Nanook having a spot of lunch

We packed up and started to head out, when . . . 

What to our wondering eyes should appear, but a jolly ol' elf without his reindeer!  He was nimble and quick . . . so we knew in a moment it must be St. Ragman (ok, ok, it doesn't rhyme - close enough!)  Ragman and Denali Girl had started a little further up the road beyond Mineral Springs (where they could actually drive up the Red Top road about a mile) and were on cross-country skis.  DG (Gail) decided she had had enough fun on skis and opted to boot it a-ways while RM (Roger) continued on his skis until he ran into us.  Not feeling like he wanted to battle the rock hard/icy snow up to the summit, he opted to turn around here and high-tail it back down the road with Carla.  Off they took and the rest of us hoofed it down the way we came up. 

The snow - what there was of it - had softened a bit, so we kept our snowshoes on for a while - until we hit dirt again.  Not much more to tell - I'll let others chime in and add their own photos.  Of course, the water dog had to find somewhere to get wet . . .
The dork dog waiting for someone to throw him a stick
The dork dog waiting for someone to throw him a stick

Back to the car, where DG, RM, and D were waiting for us.   We agreed to stop in North Bend for refreshments and were a bit surprised to find some blue sky at the Pass.  A good day, even if we didn't get the sun intensity we had hoped for.  Fun group.  Won't be long before more of the Teanway opens up!   up.gif

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Four-paw buddy lets me tag along!
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DIYSteve
mere tourist



Joined: 06 Mar 2007
Posts: 11807 | TRs
Location: here now
DIYSteve
mere tourist
PostMon Apr 18, 2011 12:28 pm 
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Fun TR up.gif Carla, did you get any turns in?
Looking across at Table Mountain? Diamond Head? Thunder Mountain? You pick . . .
Looking across at Table Mountain? Diamond Head? Thunder Mountain? You pick . . .

hmmm.gif  That looks just like Diamond Head  biggrin.gif
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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 1716 | TRs
Location: Welcome Pass
Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver
PostMon Apr 18, 2011 12:53 pm 
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BigSteve wrote:
Fun TR up.gif Carla, did you get any turns in?
Looking across at Table Mountain? Diamond Head? Thunder Mountain? You pick . . .
Looking across at Table Mountain? Diamond Head? Thunder Mountain? You pick . . .

hmmm.gif  That looks just like Diamond Head  biggrin.gif

We debated that, but didn't think it was in the right place for Diamond Head (too far south) - who knows? I still don't know where Thunder Mountain is!!!   dizzy.gif  lol.gif

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Four-paw buddy lets me tag along!
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woutervw
In search of trips



Joined: 02 Oct 2010
Posts: 216 | TRs
Location: Sammamish, WA
woutervw
In search of trips
PostMon Apr 18, 2011 1:54 pm 
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Nice outing!

Wish I could have done something instead of changing bathroom fans.


That is food. I know it's food. I have a nose. Nose tells me it's food. Can I have food? I like food. Will you drop food? I'll eat it of the snow. Food. Move closer and I'll lick it. It's food. I'll eat the package too. I'm cute, give me food.
That is food. I know it's food. I have a nose. Nose tells me it's food. Can I have food? I like food. Will you drop food? I'll eat it of the snow. Food. Move closer and I'll lick it. It's food. I'll eat the package too. I'm cute, give me food.
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Middle E
no more moustache



Joined: 10 Feb 2008
Posts: 432 | TRs
Location: Seattle, WA
Middle E
no more moustache
PostMon Apr 18, 2011 2:08 pm 
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Red Top in 2008 was my first Teanaway Pk.  Three years later, I have only 3 of the Teanaway 20 left (...although the rationale for this list seems a little mysterious).   It was very surprising to see how different the snow conditions were compared to Yellow/Elbow last week -- what a treat to walk on top of the snow, not to mention bare ground. I hope this is a harbinger of spring!

Bare ridge
Bare ridge
Almost there
Almost there
Climbing to the lookout
Climbing to the lookout
Eric on the summit
Eric on the summit
Cornices
Cornices
Teanaway peaks from Red Top
Teanaway peaks from Red Top

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pithy yet insightful signature
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Randy
Cube Rat



Joined: 18 Dec 2001
Posts: 2848 | TRs
Location: Near the Siamangs
Randy
Cube Rat
PostMon Apr 18, 2011 2:24 pm 
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Looks I might need to start skiing the Teanaway sooner than I thought.
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dicey
custom title



Joined: 11 May 2004
Posts: 2858 | TRs
Location: giving cornices a wider berth
dicey
custom title
PostMon Apr 18, 2011 2:25 pm 
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BigSteve wrote:
Carla, did you get any turns in?

Umm, not really.  Our chosen up route is a bit 'out of shape' for skiing.  I did get to glide down the road with some guy wink.gif  on the way out though, which was certainly more pleasant than reversing the route.

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I'm not always sure I like being older but being less stupid has advantages.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/32121172@N00/sets/
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Opus
Wannabe



Joined: 04 Mar 2006
Posts: 3549 | TRs
Location: The big rock candy mountain
Opus
Wannabe
PostMon Apr 18, 2011 4:58 pm 
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This is a pretty nice route.  Certainly easier than the approach from the Teanaway side!  Great trip.

It's closed?
It's closed?
Share
Share
@%$!*
@%$!*
Tiny distant lookout
Tiny distant lookout
Sweet turns
Sweet turns
Finally on snow
Finally on snow
Walk this way
Walk this way
Gusto can read!
Gusto can read!
Excuse me for a second...
Excuse me for a second...
Tower
Tower
Group photo
Group photo
Clouds
Clouds
Carla finally gets to use her skis
Carla finally gets to use her skis
Roger
Roger
EXTREME AVALANCHE DANGER!!!
EXTREME AVALANCHE DANGER!!!
A typical Gusto situation
A typical Gusto situation
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BarbE
Member
Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2006
Posts: 1006 | TRs

BarbE
Member
PostMon Apr 18, 2011 6:05 pm 
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Not exactly the conditions we had expected.
No deep soft snow, avalanche danger or arduous trail breaking.
Fun company made up for the lack of good snowshoeing or skiing.

Miss "Red Top"
Miss "Red Top"
everybody take a picture
everybody take a picture
reaching the lookout
reaching the lookout
Too cold to linger
Too cold to linger
Carla getting ready for epic turns
Carla getting ready for epic turns
let's go where there's sun
let's go where there's sun
somebody decides it's time for shorts
somebody decides it's time for shorts
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raising3hikers
Member
Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2007
Posts: 1819 | TRs
Location: Edmonds, Wa
raising3hikers
Member
PostMon Apr 18, 2011 7:18 pm 
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Another fun trip, good to see the snow melting on the eastside of the cascades!  It was really nice seeing the sun for at least a little while

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Eric Eames
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Bloated Chipmunk
Farblondjet



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 2619 | TRs
Location: Margaritaville
Bloated Chipmunk
Farblondjet
PostMon Apr 18, 2011 7:41 pm 
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Those are some funny pictures...  lol.gif  up.gif

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Home is where the hiking is. 

"Peaks that have come and gone four times should halt a man in his steps." -- William O. Douglas

A balanced diet is a margarita in each hand.
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
Posts: 6164 | TRs
Location: Stuck in the middle
puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks
PostMon Apr 18, 2011 10:44 pm 
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Crack me up. Great TR. I wish I could have joined you.

We could run caption contest with just the pics from this trip!
Which one of these things doesn't belong  shakehead.gif

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Mid Fork Rocks flickr
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JimK
Member



Joined: 07 Feb 2002
Posts: 5382 | TRs
Location: Ballard
JimK
Member
PostWed Apr 20, 2011 7:38 pm 
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Not sure if I have any original photos after all the others that have been posted. I do have a little bit more detailed description of the route here along with all 30 photos:

Red Top Mountain Report & Photos

Here are a few:


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Hiking Northwest
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