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cascadetraverser
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PostMon May 23, 2016 6:29 am 
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I did this trip in the early 90s as a loop from Mica Lake and out the Pipeline; It was lots of fun and beautiful.  It ain`t easy though in or out.  Of note this place was so popular with people in the 80s and 90s, that it was the only area of the Glacier Peak Wilderness with a fire ban at the time (I don`t know if that ban is still on the books??).  I suspect it has recovered from all the misuse over the years.
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Tom
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PostMon May 23, 2016 2:16 pm 
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You could still tell it had been loved to death when we visited in 2009.   Might take a few more decades to recover.
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Kim Brown
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PostMon May 23, 2016 7:25 pm 
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Just read a Lime Ridge trip report from 1981 in Signpost and it talked about the over-use and trash at the lakes up there. Typical pipeline description: steep, but whatever, that's how it goes.

In the compilation of the Bedal sisters narratives, "Two Voices," Edith describes her hike to Box Mountain Lakes, Rivord, Lime Ridge and hopefully to Mica Lake in the 30's or 40's. The trip isn't dated, but at any rate, it was a long time ago. We're talking about one of the Bedal sisters. It rained heavily for 2 of the 4 days. She and her friend scrambled up the pipeline - not so-called at the time, but the beginning was well-marked then - tunneled through the dense vegetation. camped at a small flat spot in the pouring rain which was getting worse. Next day, still raining, but they kept going.

Got up there, explored, climbed around to get peekaboo views, then went to several lakes. I don't have a map handy and I don't recognize "Twin Lakes," but while there, Edith's friend snapped a picture of Edith; and it showed "a happy, smiling person in a red checked shirt and red hat." Simply a happy, smiling person is how she described herself. Not great, not better than anyone else, not more knowledgeable. Just a happy, smiling person.

So to read the arguments about the best way, the worst brush, the who-did-what, I-did-this, no-I-did-it-better-than-you sorta cracks me up, while Edith Bedal and her friend  simply decided to pack up some stuff and head out to see some high lakes. No hand-wringing or internet squabbles about the route. These are girls in the 1930's, guys.  up.gif  She mentions it was difficult for them, but they enjoyed it nonetheless. About her vast experiences in the mountains, both with a companion and solo, she enjoyed the hardships and uncertainty as well as the easy, sunny days. It's part of it.

So whoever has the wherewithall to get out & about up there - enjoy the planning and the trip, regardless of what route you choose; it's no one else's business how you get there; just go and for godsakes enjoy it.

-she and her friend were just happy to be out exploring. tongue.gif

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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Magellan
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PostMon May 23, 2016 7:44 pm 
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Sir-Hikes-A-Lot wrote:
My heart goes out to the wildlife that has reclaimed the Milk Cr drainage...be prepared to be displaced...

That valley had some big bears to go with the big trees when it was open. I went up Milk Creek Trail three times between 98 and 2002 and never saw another person.
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Kim Brown
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PostMon May 23, 2016 7:49 pm 
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Yah, there was always a bear roaming around the meadow up there, where day trippers end their trip. Saw him a time or two. Never wanted to camp up there because I figured it was close to being a problem bear. Surely that one is gone, and those up there are wild, so hopefully they won't get too used to humans and remain wild.

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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Bedivere
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PostMon May 23, 2016 9:14 pm 
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cascadetraverser wrote:
Of note this place was so popular with people in the 80s and 90s, that it was the only area of the Glacier Peak Wilderness with a fire ban at the time (I don`t know if that ban is still on the books??).

This is what I was referring to in my earlier post.  We were up there in the early-mid '90s.  I'm guessing sometime between '94 - '96, I'd have to go look in my photo albums, the kind that are like big heavy books with 4x6 prints in them from Seattle Filmworks, to nail down the year.

There were lots of other people up there, just not at Rivord where we ended up but a couple lady rangers, each with a full size shovel for a walking stick passed through and were mightily amused at hearing we'd missed the trail up to Box Mt. lakes and ended up bashing up the valley wall to the Rivord outlet.

ETA: Kim - Twin Lakes are the next two lakes along the ridge to the Southeast of Rivord.

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Kim Brown
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PostTue May 24, 2016 8:22 am 
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Bedivere wrote:
ETA: Kim - Twin Lakes are the next two lakes along the ridge to the Southeast of Rivord.

You bastard. Instead of finishing a project I'm working on, I spent an hour and a half on Google Earth, first checking out Twin Lakes, then the entire ridge, then I traced a climb of Fire Mountain, then Fire Creek trail to the Whitechuck, etc. etc. I ended up on the PCT near Trap Lake.

Project not done.  dizzy.gif

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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Bedivere
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PostTue May 24, 2016 1:34 pm 
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Kim Brown wrote:
Bedivere wrote:
ETA: Kim - Twin Lakes are the next two lakes along the ridge to the Southeast of Rivord.

You bastard. Instead of finishing a project I'm working on, I spent an hour and a half on Google Earth, first checking out Twin Lakes, then the entire ridge, then I traced a climb of Fire Mountain, then Fire Creek trail to the Whitechuck, etc. etc. I ended up on the PCT near Trap Lake.

Project not done.  dizzy.gif

breakdance.gif   Glad I could be of assistance!

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hetrekker
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PostFri May 27, 2016 1:13 pm 
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I spoke with the always helpful Darrington FS this morning and received what for me and many of you is some very good news. A new milk creek trail bridge across the Suiattle is but a false rumor. There are no talks or plans in the near or distant future, nothing in the works at present.
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Malachai Constant
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PostFri May 27, 2016 9:37 pm 
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Camped at Twin Lakes in the 90's doing the traverse, damn trout kept us awake all night. Splash, splash, splash. You don't know what you got til it's gone.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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hetrekker
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PostSat May 28, 2016 10:59 pm 
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Malachai, on our second trip to lime ridge last August we did a day hike from box to milk lakes and back. There were lots of trout rising on lower twin even at midday; none seemed to have much size to them. Upper Rivord was the only lake that seemed to have little or no activity, perhaps it was the time of day?
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Backpacker Joe
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PostSun May 29, 2016 1:00 pm 
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hetrekker wrote:
Malachai, on our second trip to lime ridge last August we did a day hike from box to milk lakes and back. There were lots of trout rising on lower twin even at midday; none seemed to have much size to them. Upper Rivord was the only lake that seemed to have little or no activity, perhaps it was the time of day?

I'm sure those lakes were planted with reproducing fish!  So, you get a LOT of small fish with big heads!  No reproducing fish are planted these days.  The lakes size and depth and location are taken into consideration and smaller amounts of fish a let go.

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hetrekker
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PostThu Jun 02, 2016 2:47 pm 
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Thought some of you might enjoy an update on the milk creek trail. Shetrekker and I left the car at 6:30 Monday morning. The upstream log is still there along with a new one slightly downstream spanning the river. Its root base creates a mild waist deep back eddy and makes for private nude bathing after the hike. The bank on the other side just before the steepest one has deteriorated because of new treefall, requiring scouting a new route from our self made former trail. River and streams are running high and the easiest route just before the trailhead is through knee deep water just out of the current. Porous deep lugged medium weight trailrunners worked well for us as our feet were always wet. Even before the switchbacks new treefall slowed progress. The sole small slide area has sluffed off actually making it easier to get down in, as small trail sections act as steps. Careful foot placement along  with delicate and quick steps was important down in the slide itself. Going up the far side is more challenging. I climbed without backpack then lowered a rope for backpacks. Shetrekker hand over handed up easily while using her feet. After this things got much easier. In this forest section there was apparently a strong wind event as there was about 5 times the number of trees fallen across the trail compared to last fall(few) when I was there for the first time. What amazed me then was how there had been no newly fallen trees for 10 plus years and the trail was quite evident. Just before the first major stream crossing we set up camp in an ideal formerly used spot including a stepped down stone rimmed firepit on the other side of a big tree. Included were two moss covered benches for gazing into the flames. Some 200 yards to the west is the viewing spot for the much noted waterfall(cascade) and 50 yards from that are the five gigantic trees growing together and all in good health. There is about an 8 foot high mound of needles between the trunks that we climbed up. Another 50 yards away are three more giants with straight trunks angling away from each other, interesting.  The described camp is the only true camp spot I found when I did the entire trail last fall. It can handle about 8 two man tents and should be a welcome spot to all who make it there; it's at about the halfway point on the trail. Went for a short hike uptrail in high sun which made trail finding more difficult with annual plant life covering the trail. Will be returning with a couple machetes in the next few weeks for a longer hike.
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lopper
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PostThu Jun 02, 2016 8:24 pm 
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hetrekker:


Thanks for that report. Conditions at the crossing and along the old trail are matters of great interest to more than a few here.

Careful with the machete.  My experience has been that the woody undergrowth succumbs more easily to snippers and pruning saw.

Happy Trails.
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hetrekker
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PostSun Jun 19, 2016 12:13 am 
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This is a Suiattle trailhead log crossing update. Returned Sunday evening june 6 to clear the milk creek trail to the pct switchbacks over a 3 or 4 day period. The river was running 2 plus feet high from last time, chocolate and fast. The upstream log now sports  a huge chunk missing in the center underside and appears to be sagging a bit. The log providing the bathing hole is now partially submerged and pushed downstream and there is a new sizeable trunk pushing against it. The crossing log farther downstream below the cars is no more. I crossed the upstream log and headed upstream. The first sandbank was calving huge chunks of shoreline constantly. Walked to the other end and found there would be no bank access to reach the milk creek trailhead until the water level lowered and so returned home.  Hey lopper I missed your post. When was the last time you did the mct? Do you plan on doing it again? I appreciate the machete warning and encourage your experienced opinions, may save me future pain and suffering. I won't be using the machete for woody undergrowth but only for leafy annual plants with soft stalks that totally hide the trail. My first trip this year I used a trekking pole to beat down this stuff but it wasn't the most efficient. I was fortunate to do the trail for the first time in late October last year when this plant life had died off, revealing an easily followed trail the entire way. I usually don't mess with the woody undergrowth at all, finding it just as easy to go over, under or around.
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