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b00
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b00
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PostFri Oct 12, 2012 10:23 am 
fernow (skykomish) + patches peak aka pt5403 10-10-2012
to be
to be

if there was a gate with a "road closed" sign on it but the gate was not locked, would you open the gate?
or not to be
or not to be

fun and easy almost all off-trail route to an excellent and rarely visited summit that is an outstanding vantage point.
that is the question
that is the question

i was a little worried about the driving approach, but the roads were all in reasonable shape( a subaru could do it easily) and we drove right to where we parked without confusion.
from hiway 2 we headed north on the beckler river road to the rapid river.  a few feet before the rapid river bridge at the three way intersection we took a the hardest right turn.  ~2.5mi from the beckler river road we took a right on the road that would take us across johnson creek.  ~7mi from the beckler river we came to a junction, a lower road(right) and an upper road(left).  the upper road had a gate.  one might imagine that the gate had a sign on it that said "road closed."  one might also imagine that the gate was not locked and someone could open the gate.  what i will say is that if we drove through the gate, it was open and we could not see the road closed sign.  we drove a mile from the gate to where there was a junction and parked.  the junction had a road descending, which we did not want and a road with a berm that was plowed so no one could drive it, which was the road we wanted.  so we got out off the car and walked the plowed road.  its soil was turned over like it was roto-tilled and had straw placed on top.
returning on the plowed road
returning on the plowed road

walking the road led us to a trail.  the trail petered out just as we reach the slope leading to the ridge so we just headed up to pt5320.  the ground was extremely dry and hard with pine needles that made it very slippery.  because it was so slippery, we need to take caution as a slip could have led to injury.  we found the slippery ground conditions a large portion of the trip and require great care when we were on steeper ground which we found ourselves on quite a bit.
from pt5320 we mainly followed the ridge, sometimes on a trail, to patches peak aka pt5403.  we had read about cliffs that obstructed the descent from patches peak to jakes lake and i was worried that this would require some route finding to descend safely.  this was not the case.  descending patches peak was pretty obvious and we did a few different routes on descent and when we re-ascended on return and all of them worked quite well.
we descended down to saddle between and patches peak and jakes lake, sometimes on a trail and then followed our noses to ascend to jakes lake which proved to be a very scenic lake.  we got some water and took a long break enjoying the beautiful spot. the route up to fernow was easy and obvious( up boulders, talus and finally heather ) although the actual summit was not.  the big bluff-like rock that looks like the summit from the lake is not the summit.  the summit is climber's right of it.
fast feet jt at jakes lake looking up at fernow - the summit is not the big rock face, but a little behind and to the right
2 labels
fast feet jt at jakes lake looking up at fernow - the summit is not the big rock face, but a little behind and to the right

once we got up near the summit it was quite apparent.  the summit was a very easy, class 2, scramble and had panoramic views in all directions.  it was awesome and comfortable so we hung out for quite a while.  i wish we would have budgeted more time as the top was flat and would have made a perfect bed for a very long summit nap!

the route is not brushy, but it took longer than it would have if the ground had been a little less hard and slippery.
jakes lake
jakes lake

quick and dirty route info: up to 5320 and follow ridge to patches peak aka pt5403, drop down to jakes lake and then head up to fernow summit.
fast feet jt descending to jakes lake
fast feet jt descending to jakes lake

6.12mi 2892' gain
3:15 car to summit
0:38 summit stay
2:58 summit to car
6:52 car to car

equipment: brought but did not use ice axe
extra equipment required - needle and thread
extra equipment required - needle and thread

references: nwhikers and wta (steve fox)  t/r's

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GeoHiker
Rocky Walker



Joined: 26 Feb 2005
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Rocky Walker
PostFri Oct 12, 2012 12:06 pm 
You were lucky FS LE didn't see you in there.  You would have received a healthy ticket.  I was up there earlier in the week checking out the destruction.  Another one bites the dust...... waah.gif

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You call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye......Eagles
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Redwic
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Redwic
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PostFri Oct 12, 2012 12:19 pm 
Could someone show me on a map...
-> Where the gate is?
and
-> Where the road is now bermed?

I want to update the Mount Fernow page on SummitPost.

Too bad about the road.  bawl.gif

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Year 2021: 50 pounds lighter but not 50 points brighter.
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Redwic
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Redwic
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PostFri Oct 12, 2012 12:22 pm 
b00 wrote:
~2.5mi from the beckler river road we took a right on the road that would take us across the rapid river.

Let me correct you...
You crossed JOHNSON CREEK, not Rapid River.  wink.gif

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Year 2021: 50 pounds lighter but not 50 points brighter.
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iron
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iron
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PostFri Oct 12, 2012 12:31 pm 
looks good wood. i've always wondered about that hardest right turn at that junction. now i know.

colors look great and jake lake = up.gif

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b00
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b00
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PostFri Oct 12, 2012 12:31 pm 
Redwic wrote:
b00 wrote:
~2.5mi from the beckler river road we took a right on the road that would take us across the rapid river.

Let me correct you...
You crossed JOHNSON CREEK, not Rapid River.  wink.gif

corrected
thanks
:>)

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GeoHiker
Rocky Walker



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PostFri Oct 12, 2012 1:19 pm 
The gate is 2.1 miles from the end of the upper road.  On the uphill section prior to the junction where the road flattens out and about 1/4 mile below the large meadow.  There's a side spur turn around about 100 ft. prior to the gate that is available for 2-3 vehicles to park.  Room at the gate for one small vehicle and no room to turn around.  Better not drive up to the gate if the road is snow covered and icy.  Not sure what the thought process was in putting it there.  shakehead.gif  200 ft. up the road is a large FLAT junction that would have offered plenty of parking and easy turn around.   Here's a couple pics.


The upper road is decommissioned just past the shack, lower road about 1/4 mile past.  The lower road was smoothed out by the bucket in the center some what in an attempt to accommodate hiking?  This wasn't done on the upper road. You can hike the lower road to the end and then take the steep skid road east and connect to the upper road and TH.

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You call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye......Eagles
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