Forum Index > Trip Reports > Miners Ridge, GPW  Dec 10th, 2017
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Sir-Hikes-A-Lot
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Sir-Hikes-A-Lot
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PostMon Dec 11, 2017 10:50 am 
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Initially I wasn't going to post a TR for this hike, but thought maybe (hopefully) someone might be looking for a mostly snow-free place to backpack with the continued good weather.  Sooooooo......

The Suiattle River Trail is snow-free and in great shape overall, with 5 downed trees to the Miners/Image trail junction.  A little over 3 miles in there is a slide that has taken out a small chunk of trail; it's easy to hike above it and drop back down.

The Image/Miners Trail is in good shape overall, with 7 downed trees.  Patchy snow started a bit before the junction with trail 795, but it's essentially snow-free to that point (~4800').  The snow stays patchy beyond the junction, until about 5000', where solid snow starts.  The snow depth varied, but most of my steps were in the 6-10" range, occasionally sinking to my quads.  The snow was soft, but holding up better than I would have thought.

It was a real treat to get decently deep in the GPW so late in the year.  The air quality was a serious bummer and took out most of the views, but it was just great to be out.  And the inversion brought 56 degrees to Miners, which had it feeling like April.


Slide, just over 3 miles in
Slide, just over 3 miles in
Snow-free at the 795 trail junction (~ 4800':)
Snow-free at the 795 trail junction (~ 4800')
Meow
Meow
Not too bad
Not too bad
Mtns
Mtns
It felt like fire season all over again
It felt like fire season all over again
Mtns
Mtns
Mtns
Mtns
Mtns
Mtns
Mtns
Mtns
Mtns
Mtns
LO
LO
Miners Ridge
Miners Ridge
Mtns
Mtns
Mtns
Mtns
Mtns
Mtns
I miss my Pearl Izumis, but the Salomons have been impressive and a good substitute
I miss my Pearl Izumis, but the Salomons have been impressive and a good substitute
The Canyon Cr bridge fascinates me
The Canyon Cr bridge fascinates me
Bye-bye, GPW; see you next year
Bye-bye, GPW; see you next year

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In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. - Martin Luther King Jr.
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reststep
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reststep
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PostMon Dec 11, 2017 11:02 am 
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Thanks for sharing.
This trail and the Queets are on my list for next year.

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"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir
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Jake Robinson
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Jake Robinson
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PostMon Dec 11, 2017 12:14 pm 
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Big day, especially with snow! The smoke was from the wildfires down in southern California: http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2017/12/los-angeles-smoke-reaches-northwest.html

As Cliff said, it seems Washington just can't win this year...
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Michael Lewis
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Michael Lewis
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PostMon Dec 11, 2017 12:23 pm 
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Super impressive day hike. I can't believe how much it looks like spring.

I thought that was an awful lot of smoke for pollution. Thanks for the link Jake.
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neek
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neek
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PostMon Dec 11, 2017 12:34 pm 
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And here is today's MODIS image.  Those who chose Rainier or St. Helens got lucky.

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zephyr
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Joined: 21 Jun 2009
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zephyr
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PostMon Dec 11, 2017 2:37 pm 
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neek wrote:

Wow.  So that's amazing (to me).  Is this image showing the smoke heading out to sea then circling around and aiming for the North Cascades?

Sir-Hikes-A-Lot wrote:
Slide, just over 3 miles in
Slide, just over 3 miles in


This would be a little scary in the dark.  I've hiked this returning at night last year and the river always sounded very close.  Such a long, long day and I did it in late summer with more daylight.  'Can't imagine getting that far in this short season.  Well done SHAL.  Thanks for posting.  ~z
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olderthanIusedtobe
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostMon Dec 11, 2017 2:47 pm 
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up.gif  Ditto, thanks for posting.  Surprised by how far you got before you hit snow.
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neek
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neek
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PostMon Dec 11, 2017 2:50 pm 
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zephyr wrote:
Is this image showing the smoke heading out to sea then circling around and aiming for the North Cascades?

Yes exactly, also see Jake's link.  Image was grabbed from NASA Worldview which is fun to play with.  Actually that might have been yesterday's image; it looks a lot more clear now:

Disappearing smoke
Disappearing smoke

Sir Hikes, didn't mean to hijack the thread - great to see Miners Ridge this time of year!
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Sir-Hikes-A-Lot
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Sir-Hikes-A-Lot
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PostMon Dec 11, 2017 5:11 pm 
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Thanks for the link, Jake!

zephyr wrote:
This would be a little scary in the dark.

Seriously.  On the way out, in the dark, I was deep in thought and nearly walked off of it.  shakehead.gif

neek wrote:
Sir Hikes, didn't mean to hijack the thread - great to see Miners Ridge this time of year!

Nah, I think it's totally relevant and really interesting.

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In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. - Martin Luther King Jr.
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jdk610
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PostMon Dec 11, 2017 6:47 pm 
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That same area was relatively snow-free early in the season as well... perhaps some kind of rain shadow in effect?
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Gimpilator
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Gimpilator
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PostMon Dec 11, 2017 6:48 pm 
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Pretty cool to get in there this time of year.  Someone else mentioned smoke to me and I couldn't figure it out, but that makes sense.

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Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
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Sir-Hikes-A-Lot
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Sir-Hikes-A-Lot
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PostMon Dec 11, 2017 10:30 pm 
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jdk610 wrote:
That same area was relatively snow-free early in the season as well... perhaps some kind of rain shadow in effect?

Not sure about a rain shadow, but Miners is often good late and especially early season.  smile.gif

It's steep and SW facing, which helps a lot.

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In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. - Martin Luther King Jr.
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zephyr
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zephyr
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PostTue Dec 12, 2017 12:19 am 
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Thanks, neek for that cool image. 

Sir-Hikes-A-Lot wrote:
zephyr wrote:
This would be a little scary in the dark.

Seriously.  On the way out, in the dark, I was deep in thought and nearly walked off of it.  shakehead.gif

Whoa!   Exactly!  It would be easy to slide down into the river or on the bank.  I just remember being dead tired, very sore and seeing only the headlamp's lit up view and hearing the river loudly beneath me--very close by.  Easy to get into a trance-like plod.  Glad you're back to tell us the tale.  wink.gif  ~z
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cascadetraverser
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cascadetraverser
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PostTue Dec 12, 2017 3:21 am 
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Way to get out there SHA!
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Roly Poly
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Roly Poly
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PostTue Dec 12, 2017 8:27 am 
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That is impressive for one day when it's in the middle of summer with tons of daylight but to do this with so little daylight!  When did you start and finish?  And that piece of missing trail looks scary, especially in the dark.  Was that tricky to get across?
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Miners Ridge, GPW  Dec 10th, 2017
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