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Bootpathguy
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Bootpathguy
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PostWed Oct 25, 2017 2:36 pm 
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Nancyann wrote:
Rock Mountain 9/27/17
Rock Mountain 9/27/17

Beatiful image

Underappreciated area. Fine by me though.

Reminds me of, ( not necessarily the landscape ) Paddy-Go-Easy Pass & Sprite Lake. And a couple of others

2 easy access trailheads, relatively short hikes and beautiful scenery, but yet, in comparison, very few annual visitors.

Shoulder shrug

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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostWed Oct 25, 2017 2:43 pm 
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Bootpathguy wrote:
Reminds me of, ( not necessarily the landscape ) Paddy-Go-Easy Pass & Sprite Lake. And a couple of others

2 easy access trailheads, relatively short hikes and beautiful scenery, but yet, in comparison, very few annual visitors.

Shoulder shrug

Enjoy it while it lasts.  Seemingly every year there are a couple of "cool" hikes on WTA that see TR after TR after TR, some of which may have previously been fairly obscure and rarely visited.  It really wasn't that long ago, I remember when trails like Hidden Lake LO,Gothic Basin, Blanca Lake, Navaho Pass, Ingalls Pass/Lake, Yellow Aster Butte, Tuck and Robin Lakes weren't overrun.
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iron
getting old



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iron
getting old
PostWed Oct 25, 2017 3:09 pm 
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olderthanIusedtobe wrote:
Enjoy it while it lasts.  Seemingly every year there are a couple of "cool" hikes on WTA that see TR after TR after TR, some of which may have previously been fairly obscure and rarely visited.  It really wasn't that long ago, I remember when trails like Hidden Lake LO,Gothic Basin, Blanca Lake, Navaho Pass, Ingalls Pass/Lake, Yellow Aster Butte, Tuck and Robin Lakes weren't overrun.

one of my first hikes ever was gothic basin. warm weekend day. 2006. saw no one on the trail. TH was hard to find. saw one tent in the area and thought how amazing it would be to camp there some day.

...

remember, all TR's, pictures, and maps contribute to the loss of obscurity. we're all guilty to some extent.

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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?

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Nancyann
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PostWed Oct 25, 2017 5:18 pm 
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Iron wrote: "remember, all TR's, pictures, and maps contribute to the loss of obscurity." Absolutely agree with you, Iron. RolyPoly and I have discussed this quite a bit, and now I am more careful about which places I post trip reports for. The sign for Rock Mountain is right off Highway 2, so it's not exactly a secret spot, yet I have only seen a few people on the trail the several times I have been there. Perhaps the 4,000 foot elevation gain deters some folks.. biggrin.gif
Here is another one that is up the very heavily traveled Icicle Creek Road and is no secret, yet we only saw three people the entire day, an absolutely gorgeous Indian Summer fall day.
Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17 elevation gain 4,000ft +

Chatter Creek Trail 10/24/17
Chatter Creek Trail 10/24/17
Chatter Creek Trail 10/24/17
Chatter Creek Trail 10/24/17

The ford across Chatter Creek was interesting due to a healthy volume of water. At 5,000 feet, snow coverage on the trail was fairly consistent.
Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17

The cottonwoods and some aspens were really colorful!
Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17

When Grindstone Mountain came into view, there was a lone giant larch that was really magnificent.
Grindstone Mountain and Larch from the Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Grindstone Mountain and Larch from the Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Grindstone Mountain and Larch from the Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Grindstone Mountain and Larch from the Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Grindstone Mountain and Larch from the Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Grindstone Mountain and Larch from the Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Grindstone Mountain and Larch from the Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Grindstone Mountain and Larch from the Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17

Grindstone Mountain was stunning with a new coat of snow.
Grindstone Mountain from the Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Grindstone Mountain from the Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Grindstone Mountain from the Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Grindstone Mountain from the Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17

As we proceeded up the switchbacks towards the pass, we enjoyed vibrant fall colors along the trail.
Grindstone Mountain from Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Grindstone Mountain from Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Grindstone Mountain from Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Grindstone Mountain from Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Grindstone Mountain from Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Grindstone Mountain from Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17

It was an amazingly sunny and warm afternoon, causing the snow to become slushy and slippery, so we turned around just below the pass since we didn't bring spikes.
Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17

On the way back, Mt. Cashmere was lovely in the late afternoon light.
Mt. Cashmere from the Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Mt. Cashmere from the Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Mt. Cashmere from the Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Mt. Cashmere from the Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Mt. Cashmere from the Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17
Mt. Cashmere from the Chatter Creek Trail 10/25/17

A visit to the Blewett Brewery and Pizza wrapped up a perfect day!
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostThu Oct 26, 2017 9:17 pm 
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I think the MLH meth heads have gone south for the winter.  Have been out that way several times lately after avoiding it most of the summer, have seen no signs of break ins thankfully.

Tuesday I just wanted to get out and dink around a bit and enjoy the nice weather.  Today I was feeling more ambitious.  Decided to give Twin Lakes a go.  Didn't quite make it, but got most of the way there.  First hit a bit of snow just below Poodle Dog Pass.  Patchy at first and not too deep.  Was crusted up fairly well, must have been some melt and freeze cycles this week.  Eventually snow coverage was closer to constant.  And in spite of crust I started punching thru regularly, full on knee deep post holing.  Progress slowed significantly and my relative fun meter started dipping.  Kept trudging on.  Was following snowshoe tracks which unfortunately didn't help me much.  Was enjoying excellent close up views of Columbia, Wilmons, East Wilmons, Wilmons Spires, Silver Tip and bunch of other peaks.  Got to probably within about a 1/4 mile of the overlook of Twin Lakes, but was going fairly slowly and decided to call it good enough.  Backtracked a bit to find a nice sunny spot w/ some bare rocks for lunch.  Took a quick side trip to Silver Lake on the way down as a consolation prize.  Didn't see anyone all day until the way out, below the Monte Cristo townsite.  It was a bit eerie parking there this morning and not a single other car there.  Not sure that's ever happened to me before.

Some beautiful yellow leaves all along the MLH, beside the road bed to the townsite, and on the slopes above the trail.

I saw a TR from several days ago mentioning the Sauk was running high enough to submerge the log crossing.  While there is still plenty of volume the log is now above water level.

Another nice day in the hills.  I have company coming from out of town this weekend so won't be able to get out hiking for several days.  Looks like the weather might hold into early next week, maybe I can sneak in another good outing or two.
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rubywrangler
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PostMon Oct 30, 2017 2:03 pm 
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Quick Sat/Sun overnight to some lakes. Wish we could've stayed longer, the colors and weather were gorgeous. And we had the whole place to ourselves. Tomorrow would be a good time to go, if you can. Snow free all the way.

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RichP
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PostMon Oct 30, 2017 9:18 pm 
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rubywrangler wrote:

I think we saw you and your dog's tracks today.  smile.gif

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Without obsession, life is nothing. John Waters
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rubywrangler
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PostFri Nov 24, 2017 9:37 pm 
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I wanted to test out my knee on snowshoes ahead of a few potentially nice days next week, so Ruby and I headed up Mt Baldy today.

We hit patchy snow after the Domerie divide /Easton ridge trail junction, then continuous snow from about 4000'.  By 4500' I was sinking up to my knees, time for snowshoes.

We had a few brief glimpses of blue sky on our ascent and I thought we might get lucky when a big, beautiful cloudbreak appeared as we were making our way over the ridge to Baldy. Alas, the sky clouded up again and by the time we reached the summit it was snowing. 

silver creek raging
silver creek raging
silver creek falls?
silver creek falls?
blue sky
blue sky
running circles around me as usual
running circles around me as usual
view from the ridge
view from the ridge
destination
destination
white summit
white summit
summit pano, grumpy dog
summit pano, grumpy dog
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostSat Nov 25, 2017 10:10 pm 
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For my post Thanksgiving hikes, pretty much everything on the Oregon side of The Gorge was not an option this year due to Eagle Creek fire.  I checked out an area I've ignored my entire life--out beyond Carson on the Wind River Rd.  Friday tried to do a loop in the Trapper Creek Wilderness.  Hit way more snow than expected starting around 3000', gave up a little short of Observation Peak (4200" and change).  Doubled back and went back out the way I came in, no loop.  Had to ford a couple side creeks, one was knee deep.  And cold!  Anyway I liked the area, little pocket wilderness, looks like it doesn't get too much visitation.

Today I did Falls Creek Falls.  I've been aware of it for a while but never got around to it.  The falls is impressive!  Nice hike.  Did a 6 mile loop.  There are a handful of larch trees up high on a forested slope, still pretty much peak color.  Way west of the Cascade Crest.  Surprising to see those.  Also saw a herd of elk (probably 30 or so) alongside the road both coming and going today.  Just chillin', not particularly concerned by the cars driving by.  Right by the posted "no trespassing, no hunting" signs.  Smart elk.
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rubywrangler
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PostFri Dec 01, 2017 1:29 am 
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Ruby and I headed east in search of Vitamin D yesterday and landed at the Iron Bear TH.  Well, almost - I drove a little more than halfway up FS 9714 before I started to freak out about getting stuck. There was about 4-6 inches of light, fluffy snow on the road, a bit more in some places. Probably could have driven the whole way but I have not learned to trust 4WD (or learned not to trust 4WD?) Anyway I've gotten stuck before and getting unstuck by yourself is no fun.

We walked the road almost to the trailhead and then followed the ridge up to Iron Bear. There was not quite enough snow yet to make this fun IMO. Still a lot of brush poking though, slick rocks/leaves just beneath a thin layer of snow, etc. But, SUN!! Just before we reached the summit of Iron Bear, the Teanaway peaks and Mt Stuart came into view, gleaming. But the view was fleeting; a band of dark clouds moved in before I even thought to grab my camera. We only got a brief glimpse of Earl and the jagged top of Stuart after that.

Our intended destination was Miller, but it was still socked in when we got to Jester so we skipped it and continued to Joker, hitting all the minor bumps along the ridge. Saw one other set of footprints and many animal tracks on the ridge. The county line trail was still obvious for much of the way. Clouds were creeping along behind us as we worked our way east, but they never caught up to us.

At the next bump east of Joker we turned southwest on an intersecting ridge and headed down to the road.  We took nearly the same route as described in Ragman and Rodman's report from last year, but I was kicking myself for not marking the location of the car on my phone gps - I think we could have stayed up on the sunny ridge a little while longer!

nice views on the ascent
nice views on the ascent
clouds passing over iron bear
clouds passing over iron bear
iron bear summit ahead
iron bear summit ahead
summit view
summit view
peek-a-boo
peek-a-boo
looking back toward iron bear en route to jester
looking back toward iron bear en route to jester
clearer skies to the northeast
clearer skies to the northeast
heading toward joker
heading toward joker
clouds creeping up
clouds creeping up
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Nancyann
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PostTue Dec 05, 2017 12:29 pm 
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Nice pics of one of my favorite trails, rubywrangler. Many years ago, one of my friends and I would camp at the end of the road for a week every summer with our kids and their ponies. Fun memories!
Monday, we headed east up 2 with no particular trail in mind, just wanted to find the sun. Stevens Pass was pretty socked in, so we kept going until we found some warmth at the west end of Nason Ridge.

Nason Ridge views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge views 12/4/17
Snow pillows, Nason Ridge 12/4/17
Snow pillows, Nason Ridge 12/4/17
Snow pillows, Nason Ridge 12/4/17
Snow pillows, Nason Ridge 12/4/17
Nason Ridge views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge Views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge Views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge Views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge Views 12/4/17

The sun goes down so early, we even got to see a little alpenglow while heading back down. smile.gif
Nason Ridge Views 12/4/17
Nason Ridge Views 12/4/17
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Nancyann
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Nancyann
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PostWed Dec 27, 2017 2:05 pm 
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Celebrated wrapping up Christmas preparations, including getting my calendars and Christmas cookies mailed to my kids in Germany in time, by taking a little walk up Blue Mountain last Saturday. It was a perfect blue sky day, and the views of the Sultan River watershed were stunning. On the drive up to Olney Pass, we had a nice visit with the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement officer who had just flushed all the target shooters off the trailhead we were planning to use. What a pleasant surprise, usually we have to wait until they notice us standing there with our trekking poles and packs before we can proceed up the road. clown.gif

Compact snow and ice on the road


Blue Mountain views 12/23/17
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17

Easy parking at the gated road today!
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17

We carried our snowshoes, but didn't need them, just walked in a snowshoe path from a previous day. We followed animal tracks up the road, not sure what kind.
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17

It doesn't take long before the views open up.
Big Four looking formidable
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17

Magnificent Vesper

Blue Mountain views 12/23/17
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17

Dramatic landscape between Vesper and Sperry

Blue Mountain views 12/23/17
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17

Looking east towards Static and Prospect Peaks
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17

We were surprised to find dirt bike tracks coming from the other end of Blue Mountain. We met the dirt bikers at a viewpoint and had a nice chat with them. Nice guys, actually.

Dirt bike tracks in the snow, Blue Mountain 12/23/17
Dirt bike tracks in the snow, Blue Mountain 12/23/17

The trees were heavily laden with snow, and a crescent moon appeared, adding to the beauty.
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17

And my favorite view, Spada with enough water in it to look pretty, with the dramatic lineup in the background.

Blue Mountain views 12/23/17
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



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puzzlr
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PostThu Dec 28, 2017 11:06 pm 
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I wasn't aware of this destination or peak name so thanks for the report.

Nancyann wrote:
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17
Blue Mountain views 12/23/17

It is dramatic, but with Vesper on the left, I think that's Morning Star on the right and not Sperry.

Does anyone one have an explanation for that hugely prominent straight-line gully on the west side of Vesper? It's a feature I use for identification from many places west of the Cascades. It holds snow late into the spring and shows up as a vertical streak of white.

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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostThu Dec 28, 2017 11:50 pm 
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puzzlr wrote:
It is dramatic, but with Vesper on the left, I think that's Morning Star on the right and not Sperry.

Those towers on the left side of the peak in question was throwing me off.  Didn't remember there being anything like that on Sperry.  Morning Star makes more sense.  Maybe Vega Tower?
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Nancyann
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PostThu Dec 28, 2017 11:56 pm 
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Thanks for the peak ID, puzzlr. I knew if I didn't get it right, someone would eventually correct me and I appreciate that!
This area has always intrigued me because access is so limited now that all the roads are gated and hence, very overgrown in many places.
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