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Zloi
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PostSun Jul 07, 2019 11:53 am 
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I have hiked most of the peaks along I-90 east of Seattle enough times that, together with the burgeoning trailhead crowds, they have really palled on me. I was kicking around for some new destination and it occurred to me I’d never climbed Denny Mt. With no better ideas, I looked at a recent WTA trip report and decided to go for it.

It wasn’t a great day. The sky was an unsettled overcast which disposed of a light rain on the last leg up to the pass. However, true to forecast, it didn’t rain after that. (Good thing because I only brought a windbreaker, not a rain coat.) You can get details and a track map from the WTA June report—I have some suggestions to add below. Overall, it’s a summit that deservedly sees few takers, even though the views at the top were actually pretty good (as far as the cloud layer allowed). Ski slopes in summer typically show what slobs some skiers are—they leave behind all kinds of garbage. I’ve never seen so many crushed beer cans in my life, although brown bottles, whole and in fragments, were also in abundance, as well as broken off poles,scads of blown away warning signs and rope-off  twine, etc. etc.  I even found 80 cents on a rock in the middle of Edelweiss Bowl, and some generous soul had nailed a pair of skis to a tree at the bottom of it for posterity to appreciate. However, even though the parking lot was Christmas Mall full, I didn’t see a soul after I passed the top of the bunny slope chair (where a young family was picnicking on the platform). There were a couple bugs in the upper basin but otherwise they were negligible. Only a few small snow patches were hanging on amidst the talus field. Incidentally, I’ve never had the moxie to try skiing at Alpental. There were some really steep slopes ski-wise in places—I would’ve been scared to death. (No wonder so many mangled poles.) At the very top a modest tower is anchored that appeared to be a weather station. The top ski-off ramp (top of Edelweiss) looked like it had just been reconstructed—the wood was bright and fresh-looking. Under it were piled up a number of broken down cardboard boxes labeled “Caution—High Explosives.”

Tips (assuming no snow cover): Easiest start looks to be between the Sessel and  St. Bernard lifts, but if you start bearing left when you draw even with the lowest platform, you might stumble on the on-and-off again trail which keeps trending left and, believe it or not, actually goes to the top of Armstrong Express (where you want to end up). From there some kind souls have cut a further rough trail through brush leading into Edelweiss Basin, so if you scout diligently enough you can actually go from base to summit avoiding most brush, though I agree with WTA posters that long pants is the way to go.

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Schroder
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PostSun Jul 07, 2019 12:42 pm 
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It's great to see a report on Denny.  The last time I scrambled up there was the year before they started construction of the ski area, 1967 I believe, to get a last look before it was developed. I don't remember encountering much brush but it was slow in continuing our traverse to the Tooth, Hemlock, Bryant, and Chair.
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nordique
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PostSun Jul 07, 2019 4:45 pm 
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I've only done Denny Peak once but I did it in spring, on snow, after the ski area had closed.  On the descent, I felt much less secure on the steep snow than when I'd skied these slopes on my tele gear, earlier that year.  Not much of a view that day, with a strange murk to the south.  Only later did we learn what that murk was:  it was the day that Mt St Helens blew its top!
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Mosquito Food
This is how we do it



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This is how we do it
PostTue Jul 09, 2019 5:13 pm 
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up.gif

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Fueled by cornbread
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puzzlr
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PostWed Jul 10, 2019 8:42 pm 
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For almost any other peak I wouldn't say this, but "been there, done that". I think it's actually a beautiful mountain and would be fun to scramble around the rocky areas at top.

Denny Peak from gas station at the pass
Denny Peak from gas station at the pass
Denny Peak
Denny Peak

But there's something unsatisfying about working hard to get to the top only to find lots of trash and construction debris lying around. On top of that, on the way down many years ago I slipped on the talus rock which cut a slit at the base of a finger and bled profusely the rest of the way down. I guess I can only blame myself for that, but it left bad memories of the peak.

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Mid Fork Rocksflickr
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Zloi
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PostThu Jul 11, 2019 6:47 pm 
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Puzzlr, you have pinpointed the exact reason Denny Mt has never been on my radar. Ski areas are notorious for the debris their insouciant patrons leave behind. I actually had to watch my footing in Edelweiss Bowl because there was so much broken glass. They are hardly alone though. I collect mushrooms, and am frequently looking close to but off trail. The more used a trail, the more "disposable" garbage I see. The worst, by far, are dirt bike trails--also snowmobile routes. In some cases it is beyond appalling--it's sickening. People who don't have to carry the weight uphill that they are casting off are obviously the ones most prone to this temptation. Plus, of course, the fact they can do so secure that no one else will catch them at it. How you make people more responsible for our common, shared environment will continue to be a challenge for future generations. One relatively meek start has been from the supply aspect, like banning plastic bags and single-use plastic containers. However, long-term, it will require a sea-change in human perspective on how we interact with our surroundings. No wonder Native Americans were appalled by how white settlers of the Industrial Era regarded the land.
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Doppelganger
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PostMon Jul 15, 2019 9:29 am 
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Eric Willhite wrote:
Wow, you must be a joy to hike with.

Should they have expressed joy at seeing garbage instead, or enthusiasm and curiosity for the ways it may have gotten there? confused.gif

I don't think anyone is starting a campaign to remove the 'debris' (not what I would call it of course, I like to find signs of LOs too) that you're usually looking for at the tops of mountains. Don't worry.
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joker
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PostMon Jul 15, 2019 10:47 am 
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I once barely dodged a rapidly falling beer bottle on upper Internationale (aka "Nash") near the entrance to Adrenaline. It was, however, Cinco de Mayo so I'd been fairly warned of the risks...
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RandyHiker
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PostMon Jul 15, 2019 11:28 am 
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Doppelganger wrote:
Eric Willhite wrote:
Wow, you must be a joy to hike with.

Should they have expressed joy at seeing garbage instead, or enthusiasm and curiosity for the ways it may have gotten there? confused.gif

I don't think anyone is starting a campaign to remove the 'debris' (not what I would call it of course, I like to find signs of LOs too) that you're usually looking for at the tops of mountains. Don't worry.

There are ways to find joy just about everywhere -- or sadness -- you get to choose

https://www.fastcompany.com/90343400/have-you-tried-plogging-the-instagram-trend-that-might-be-the-sustainable-sport-of-the-future
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Arginine
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PostMon Jul 15, 2019 3:55 pm 
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The skis you posted are a memorial. There's a number of such sites on the mountain. Every now and then I find a new one. It's very dependent on snow depth and ski skills. I've used that pair in the picture for a meet up location a couple times.
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Zloi
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PostMon Jul 15, 2019 7:10 pm 
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Hey thanks Arginine for weighing in. Are you implying that somebody was injured or worse near the site? And that there are other similar "memorials" (though this scene didn't have any clear indication of such) elsewhere on the slopes? I'm thinking back to the Kennedy death while engaged in ski football (probably intoxicated). Is death on the slopes really that common?

Incidentally, remnants of a summit lookout do not constitute "garbage," any more than any old ruins do. I think we all know what garbage is. It's behavioral-curable. To ignore it is to put up with behavior that is really below us.
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