Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mooooolock + those lakes 2019-11-04
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neek
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PostMon Nov 04, 2019 10:17 pm 
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Took a trip up Moolock from the Middle Fork road today.  A hike up Green Mountain last week inspired this one, but that's another story.  The Bessemer Road seemed like a good mountain bike opportunity.  At the CCC road junction I ran into some DNR guys who mentioned the road might be converted to trail after the quarry lease expires in 8 years.  They also said they were thinking of improving the trail to Absolute Last Promontory.  Funny, just last week I was joking that Green would be the next Teneriffe.  Anyway, I made it to 4200 ft, with some walking on the steeper and rougher upper portions, then locked up the bike (as if anyone would be passing by).  Here there's a mess of old logging roads as the aerial map shows; I took the middle one to reach the low point on the ridge, but the upper one would have worked too.  I crossed a little too early; best would be to head E for a few more minutes and cross on talus at 4500'.  A very rocky and overgrown road heads down to the lakes.  They are surprisingly nice for how disturbed the area is.  After visiting all three I headed back up the "road" and took the branch that heads toward Moolock on the NW side of the ridge.  I soon encountered some nasty stuff and went up to the ridgeline and to the other side, which was nice talus.  Soon hit what ended up being a false summit, then continued along the ridge to the true summit.  For the return I stayed on the SE-side talus and reached a road that quickly led back to the bike.  Only on the descent did I realize how wicked steep the road is (for a bike anyway).  Full suspension would have sped things up.  I was finally able to reach some decent speed on the smoother lower portion.  I was running out of daylight so had to skip South Bessemer, but made it back before 5pm.

Heading up the Bessemer Road
Heading up the Bessemer Road
OK, I'll use it dangerously
OK, I'll use it dangerously
First view of the lakes
First view of the lakes
Lake Nadeau
Lake Nadeau
Lake Moolock
Lake Moolock
Outlet of SMC Lake
Outlet of SMC Lake
These were pretty, but not fun to walk through
These were pretty, but not fun to walk through
Heading up Moolock
Heading up Moolock
From the Moolock summit, a 4th lake comes into view (Hancock)
From the Moolock summit, a 4th lake comes into view (Hancock)
Glacier
Glacier
South Bessemer
South Bessemer
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zephyr
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Joined: 21 Jun 2009
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aka friendly hiker
PostTue Nov 05, 2019 7:50 am 
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neek wrote:


This one really stood out for me.

Beautiful photos.  Such amazing detail in so many of them.  Very crisp.  Makes you want to linger and inspect.  Many nice compositions.  You're not fooling around.  Thanks, ~z
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



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PostTue Nov 05, 2019 12:42 pm 
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neek wrote:
I ran into some DNR guys who mentioned the road might be converted to trail after the quarry lease expires in 8 years.

Interesting. The original talus mining agreement was for 30 years starting in December 2003 which would work out to 14 more years. Maybe there has been an update. Whatever, the sooner the better. Those highly visible scars high up where the rock is being removed won't go away -- they don't grow back like trees.

Moolock framed by trees a little before the Big River Bridge
Moolock framed by trees a little before the Big River Bridge

neek wrote:
I was joking that Green would be the next Teneriffe

There's a DNR grant proposal for continuing the trail from Absolute Last Promontory to the top of Green. I don't think it got funded though. But maybe you're thinking of a continually expanding boot trail like on Teneriffe.

neek wrote:
Glacier
Glacier

Great shot of Paperboy. Too bad there is some distracting snowy clutter in the background.  wink.gif

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Mid Fork Rocks flickr
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nordique
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PostTue Nov 05, 2019 1:27 pm 
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Wow, great trip report and really spectacular photos!  Thanks!
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Cyclopath
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PostTue Nov 05, 2019 3:55 pm 
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Fantastic pics, as always.  I didn't realize you could get to duck amazing views in the Middle Fork on a bike.  I've done a couple rides out there on mine and they pale in comparison.
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Downhill
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PostTue Nov 05, 2019 4:43 pm 
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Very nice photos and TR!  Thanks for posting.  I have never been to this area although I have always been interested, and now I can have a virtual tour!

up.gif
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HermitThrush
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PostTue Nov 05, 2019 4:50 pm 
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How many miles did you go?
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neek
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PostTue Nov 05, 2019 5:18 pm 
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Thanks folks!

HermitThrush, let's see, Strava says 13.2 mi / 3270 ft round trip by bike, 5.5 mi / 1950 ft on foot.  So, perfectly doable on foot, if you don't mind a road walk, but there's apparently a more direct trail that would bypass about half the road.

puzzlr wrote:
There's a DNR grant proposal for continuing the trail from Absolute Last Promontory to the top of Green. I don't think it got funded though. But maybe you're thinking of a continually expanding boot trail like on Teneriffe.

Yeah, they may have just been talking about the Sitka Spruce trail.  The bootpath from ALP to Green is just fine IMO.
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Backpacker Joe
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PostTue Nov 05, 2019 5:20 pm 
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Now that I have an e-bike I think Ill head in there via the Northfork road.  Nice pics.  I wonder if there is still a usable road in there via the North Fork?

Hey Neekster, any chance you could post a picture of the gated road/trailhead.  Im pretty sure I know which gate it is, but Id like to no for sure if Im going to e-bike in from that side.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

Abraham Lincoln
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neek
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PostTue Nov 05, 2019 5:44 pm 
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Backpacker Joe wrote:
Now that I have an e-bike I think Ill head in there via the Northfork road.  Nice pics.  I wonder if there is still a usable road in there via the North Fork?

I think so, but technically you'd need a Hancock permit.  I sure was wishing for a good eMTB on the Bessemer road...after making fun of y'all for getting so excited about them.

Backpacker Joe wrote:
any chance you could post a picture of the gated road/trailhead.

I don't have one, but google does (https://goo.gl/maps/q6Epd1F8Z1JPxPQC9).  You can't miss it.  I parked at the Oxbow Loop pullout a few hundred feet ahead to avoid blocking the gate.
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Backpacker Joe
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PostTue Nov 05, 2019 6:19 pm 
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Thats what I thought. Thank you. How close to the summit can you actually ride?

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

Abraham Lincoln
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Bluebird
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PostTue Nov 05, 2019 6:41 pm 
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Moolock also made a pleasant winter snowshoe, follow the road and then the ridge to avoid avalance danger. We went there the day the Snowpocalypse started earlier this year. I've been up the road on snowshoes twice now... it was a really long slog with a wee bit more trailbreaking than I'd hoped for when I snowshoed S. Bessemer alone a couple springs ago. I'm envious you made it to the lakes... suppose I should try it without snow in order to have time for them.
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neek
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PostTue Nov 05, 2019 7:07 pm 
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Backpacker Joe wrote:
Thats what I thought. Thank you. How close to the summit can you actually ride?

To the actual summit of Moolock (4965')?  4400' is the highest you could possibly get by bike.  Again it gets steep and rough so depends on skill and equipment.  A non-mountainbiker might call it quits at 1600'.
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Backpacker Joe
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PostTue Nov 05, 2019 7:40 pm 
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Thanks Neek.  Are there any questions as to the correct road to follow on the way up?

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

Abraham Lincoln
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neek
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PostTue Nov 05, 2019 7:51 pm 
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Backpacker Joe wrote:
Thanks Neek.  Are there any questions as to the correct road to follow on the way up?

I was never in doubt  cool.gif
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mooooolock + those lakes 2019-11-04
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