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Forum Index -> Trip Reports -> Tupshin, Devore, & Flora, Aug 2011:  The rest of the story
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Roald
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Post Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:59 pm   
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John described the essentials of this trip here.  But there is more to be told, and since I contributed little to the actual work on this trip (navigating, etc.), it is my job to tell … the rest of the story:

Chapter 1:  Hey, it’s Stehekin!

Ok, I am not making any of this up.  First thing, a beautiful girl on the boat to Stehekin strikes up a conversation with me.  This never used to happen in high school.

“Are you climbers?” she asked.  What gave us away?  It must have been the fact that my shirt was inside out.  Discombobulated in real life = climber.

Olivia (not her real name) works for the Park Service.  “When we get to Stehekin, do you need a ride?”  In fact, we did.  We had to get to Weaver Point, which is across the top of the lake from Stehekin.  We had a Plan A and a Plan B:

Plan A:  Walk 2 miles up the Stehekin River, inflate Don’s boat, and paddle to Weaver Point.
Plan B:  Swim.

Olivia’s car seemed tiny for four guys and gear, so we offered to walk if Olivia would ferry our gear up the road a couple of miles.  “What, you’ve never piled into a car before?” needled Olivia.  “Come on and pile in.  Hey, it’s Stehekin!”

A couple miles up the road we turned down a dirt road that, according to maps, would take us to the east bank of the Stehekin River.  Suddenly Olivia seemed a little nervous.  “I don’t think you want to access the river here,” she said, pointing to someone’s property.  “That lady is F### Crazy!”

Armed with that good advice, we hopped out of the car and started to say goodbye.  “When do you get back?” Olivia asked.  “Because on Saturday night there’s a party.”

Where?  “Oh, it’s at the F### Crazy Lady’s house.”

This was confusing to us.  But Olivia explained:  “Oh yeah, she might shoot you now.  But on Saturday night it’s ok.  You’re all invited.  It’s Stehekin!”

We waved goodbye and were looking for a place to put the boat in the water when we were busted for trespassing.  A man walked up to us and I began to stammer an apology for being on his property.  “So you’re trying to cross the river to Weaver Point?” asked Bob.  He was tall and lean.  “Here, you can use my boat!”

Our jaws fell to the ground.  “You can just leave it there at the dock.  When are you coming back?  I’ll make sure the boat is there for you to use.  When you row it back over, you can use that truck over there to get into town.”

“No worries,” Bob continued.  “Hey, it’s Stehekin!”

Chapter 2:  Bird Creek Camp

Rowing Bob’s pirate ship over – it has a flag and everything – we gathered our stuff and quickly made our way up the trail about 4 miles to Bird Creek Camp.  Last month Stefan was there, and according to his trip report he made a Fire! every night he was there.



Chapter 3:  Matt climbed Tupshin without a rope!

In the morning of Day 2 we headed up the north side of Bird Creek and into the basin below Tupshin’s rocky peak.  We had tons of beta, randomly using some parts and ignoring others.


Approaching the scramble at the top, we had a mantra:  “In his TR, Matt says he did it without a rope.”  There must be a 3rd-4th class route.

There apparently is, as Dicey and Franklin found later that same day.  We did not find it, although in our defense we did not look very hard.  So John led a full-rope pitch past two class 5 moves, and we soon were on top.



Chapter 4:  Rock!!

Near the top, the rest of us showed our appreciation for John’s lead by kicking rocks down onto him.  I watched in horror as one rock bounced up six feet, swerved to the left like an Eric Bedard curveball, and smacked him in the face.  John momentarily was staggered.

Here, I caught the moment on film:

I can talk lightly of it now, but it was a serious injury.  We since have learned that it broke a bone near John’s cheek, and he reports some swelling and serious discoloration.  It also had to hurt – a lot.  Not that it slowed John down very much.  He continued to push the pace for the rest of the trip.  That's one tough dude.

Chapter 5:  But I’m retired!

Despite all appearances, I am retiring from the quest for the Top 100.  No more Bulger whoring for me.  Maybe it’s the babies at home, or old age.  Or maybe I’ve finally worked through that mental illness problem.  Whatever, the fire isn’t in the belly anymore, and my plan this year was to stop at 75.  After that, it’s zip, nada, finished.  Let some real climbers, like Don, top off at 100.  If pikers like me get into the Bulger group, it will detract from the significance of the whole thing.  So it’s BA – Bulgers Anonymous – for me.  I’m on the 12-step program.

Tupshin was number 75 for me.  Done.

But … Devore was right there, really close, looking really fetching.  And 76 is not much more than 75.  Everybody else was going to Devore.  It would not hurt to push to one more, would it?  I could stop at 76.  Really, I can stop any time I want.  Just like a lifetime smoker.  Hack, hack.


Chapter 6:  Forced march

We did four raps off Tupshin to drop onto the lower ramp and exited on the snow below Tupshin’s E face.  This ate up time, so we crossed south over Tuphsin’s SE ridge at about 6800 feet and dropped into Bird Creek basin at 5800 feet at about 4:00 pm.



There is a beautiful waterfall coming down from the basin that holds Devore’s lakes. But a rampy gully to the left of the waterfall takes you up to the basin.  We angled east (climber’s left) of the lakes and onto the ridge that traverses under Klenke’s “bottles,” then over a class 4 step and corkscrewed clockwise around to Devore’s final upper gully.  This is a nasty gully that Carla and Franklin avoided the next day by climbing the rocks to its right – another good move.



Time from Bird Creek basin to Devore’s summit was about 2 hours, leaving almost enough time to bash down the basin back to camp before nightfall.  I turned on my headlight about 50 feet from camp – just in time to see the glow from our tents’ reflectors.


Chapter 7:  The A Team revival

Five minutes after we stumbled into camp, Franklin and Carla did too!  They had hiked into camp in the morning and still had time to summit Tupshin.  They’re animals.  This means that the A Team, which got Lost a couple of years ago, was nearly fully reconstituted.



Notice that it takes more than one person to replace Randy.

Chapter 8:  Beautiful Flora

The next day Don was heading to Flora.  John too.  As I said, I am retired from this Bulger madness.  So really, I could have stopped right there, and maybe go to the F### Crazy Lady’s party in Stehekin.  But in the words of one of our culture’s leading commentators: Oops, I did it again.

(To access Castle Creek basin area below Flora, John proposed and led a route to the north of the standard approach N of Riddle Peaks.  Instead, we ascended just south of point 8015, up what I am calling "Enigma basin.")

And it was beautiful:


As Cartman observed, you get 360 views from Flora:


Chapter 9:  It’s Stehekin again!

We hiked out Sunday morning and saw Olivia at the boat landing.

“Here,” she said, holding out a bag full of blueberries.  “I picked these at the community garden for you.  They’re organic.”


Maybe it is Stehekin, or maybe it’s just Olivia.  Whatever, it is special.

Coda:  Jailbird Jake

Not everything ran smoothly.  There was one glitch.  To return to Stehekin from Weaver Point, Dicey, Franklin, and I caught a boat ride from a couple on their way to church.  This took us to Stehekin Landing, from which I had to get to the Stehekin Bakery to meet up with Jake, Don, and John.  There were two bikes parked at the landing.  “I think they are community bikes,” urged Dicey.  “You can go ahead and use one.”

[Note to self:  Do not listen to Dicey.]

I took the Community Bike – it had “74” plastered on it, so it had to be one of many such bikes – and zipped up the road to the bakery.

[Note to self #2:  Always ride a bike in Stehekin.  This is the definition of pure fun.]

The rest of the crew was already at the bakery, and thanks to Bob (see Chapter 1), they had a truck.  They were going to drive it to Stehekin Landing.  Ever generous, I offered to switch with one of them, giving up the bike for a ride in the truck.  Jake accepted, but before he took off he got suspicious, “Hey, this isn’t a trick, is it?  Did you steal this bike?  Am I going to get busted for riding a stolen bike?”

“Nah,” I promised.  “It’s Community Bike #74.  Dicey says so.”

Jake promptly got arrested.  Well, not quite.  But when we all got to Stehekin Landing, there was Jake in handcuffs, being scolded by an older gentleman and a Park Service guy.  Community Bike #74, it turns out, really was Private Bike #74. 

But then, Hey, it’s Stehekin!  There weren’t really any handcuffs, and the old guy wasn’t that pissed off, and the sun was shining, and a swim in the lake was refreshing, and the bakery was delicious, and we hadn’t been shot by The Crazy Lady, and we had a big bag of organic blueberries picked for us by a wonderful new friend who is helping to preserve one of the world’s best National Parks from invasive plants.  Hey, it’s Stehekin!

(More pics at http://www.flickr.com/photos/11311360@N08/sets/72157627286693743/ .)
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BigSteve
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Post Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:02 pm   
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lol.gif  lol.gif  lol.gif
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honey badger
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Post Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:21 pm   
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Great tr!

You think you can really hold off at #77?  We'll see  wink.gif

Wanted to do the pirate boat ride and bakery, but got lazy sitting on the deck. Hey, it's Stehekin.  Then the luck of an early ride out... just spent that extra time in Chelan with a cold one in the hand and feet in the water...

Here are a few teaser images to add to the multi-group tr... Maybe one to come of the "other rest of the story..."

Anyone been up White Goat lately... no? yes?  Stefan was there last month,  so curious and not wanting to drag a rope up to that basin again we took the mile detour north to check it out -a bonus peak.

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Matt
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Post Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:33 pm   
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Great trip report.  Very entertainingly written and illustrated.  Fire!  Rock!  Theft!

And yes, Stehekin seems to have an extra high proportion of amazingly generous and helpful people.

Or maybe they're just so eager to get rid of climbers that they'll do anything to move them onto the other side of the river.

--------------
“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Dayhike Mike
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Post Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:37 pm   
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Great trip report! I haven't laughed that hard in a while... wink.gif

But not even a single picture of Olivia? This post is worthless without pics! agree.gif

--------------
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke
"Ignorance is natural. Stupidity takes commitment." -Solomon Short
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Redwic
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Post Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:52 pm   
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That was a great TR!!!

--------------
"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it." -Atticus Finch
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dicey
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Post Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:05 pm   
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Roald wrote:
Rowing Bob’s pirate ship over – it has a flag and everything – we gathered our stuff and quickly made our way up the trail about 4 miles to Bird Creek Camp.  Last month Stefan was there, and according to his trip report he made a Fire! every night he was there.




ykm.gif

Oops!  Sorry about the bike thing!  Hey, It's Stehekin  smile.gif

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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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Stefan
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Post Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:18 pm   
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me like!

"Hey.  Its Stehekin."  I love that line!

--------------
Art is an adventure.
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Quark
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Post Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:09 pm   
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I keep waiting for a dirty Playboy-like punchline about Olivia.

Great writeup. up.gif

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"How much does a case of beer weigh?

Z, NWHikers' Backcountry Travel Consultant
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Dayhike Mike
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Post Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:15 pm   
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"I do remember that Olivia De Berardinis was working for the NPS, but hadn't realized she was stationed in Stehekin."

(good enough, Quark?)

--------------
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke
"Ignorance is natural. Stupidity takes commitment." -Solomon Short
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Goats Know
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Post Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:29 pm   
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The A Team!  The last time I saw those guys I was shivering my ass off up on Pistol Pass!  smile.gif

A most excellent trip report!

Regards,

Tall Stranger

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Here on this mountaintop...Woahoho...I got some wild, wild life  - Talking Heads
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Tom_Sjolseth
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Post Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:00 pm   
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A great read, thanks Roald!

Looks like Randy's buffing out!!
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silence
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Post Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:13 pm   
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lots of giggles .. keep em comin   lol.gif

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FILMMAKING: http://www.crestpictures.com/

Keep a good head and always carry a light bulb. – Bob Dylan
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fffej50
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Post Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:17 pm   
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there's been some inspired trip reports lately but this is above and beyond.
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Yet
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Post Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:55 am   
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lol.gif  lol.gif  lol.gif
Oh Roald, I think I love you!  wub.gif
Wait I think I've said that before. (Don't tell Mark!)

And wow, Don has nice legs.
(I think I've said that before, too.)  huh.gif

Awesome TR! I'd like to meet Olivia.  biggrin.gif
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