Forum Index > Trip Reports > Bailey Range from Hoh River to Elwha via Dodger Point 7/27 - 7/31 2019
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Fatrick
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PostThu Aug 01, 2019 5:45 pm 
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I'll try to add details and photos later, but thought I would post this in case anyone is headed to this area. Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions.

Day 1 Hoh River to Martin Creek

We got out of the car just as the rain stopped and we wouldn't see a drop the rest of the trip. We've been trying to complete the Baileys including the Humes, Hoh, and Blue Glaciers for 3 years. Various issues, weather, smoke, etc. have kept us out, so the weather was the real MVP on this trip.

My main adventure partner Oid and I were joined by my wife and another couple for the first day and half which was a nice way to include others. Oid and I rarely have repeat customers on our trips for what may seem like obvious reasons to everyone but us. However, we have managed to facilitate positive life changing moments for many trip members over the years (or maybe that was in spite of us?), but apparently once is enough for most. I should also mention my wife would have gone with us the whole way except for the bun in the oven, so congratulations to us! I do think it's pretty amazing she hiked 14 miles in a half day, although this is just one of many on her feats of strength list.

One thought I have been mulling over is if I can repeat this route with the kid when they are my age. I'll be 66, but Herb Crisler did the Baileys in his 80's I believe, so we can all hope. Also, I know what you are thinking, they will probably hate adventuring and prefer video games and drugs and it's best to not put those kinds of expectations onto children, but for now it's a nice thought and I'll work through those issues with my therapist later.

Day 2 Martin Creek to Camp Pan
The others joined us to the ultimate rope ladder where we hugged and wished everyone well on their respective journeys. It was a touch emotional to split actually. Oid and I shoulded our packs, went around the corner out of sight and had lunch. We were pretty tired from the day before, but wouldn't want to admit it to our friends. Eventually we worked out way up to Glacier Meadows and onto the Blue. It's always a bit more breathtaking than I remember looking up at the ice fall.

We roped up, talked with some nice folks back from their successful summit and headed to Glacier Pass. I believe it would actually be hard to fall in a crevasse above your head on the Blue in late July, but given the late hour of the day, much probing was done. Nevertheless, Oid managed to find a little air pocket and his leg went in. After the heart rate spike, we doubled our probing efforts and avoided too much more drama. At Glacier Pass we descending easily to the Hoh Glacier. Our route turned out to be sub-optimal in retrospect, but we did our best to navigate the maze, and managed to limit our cardiac events for the most part except for me punching a leg through into a little void. We ascended steep slopes to Camp Pan and rejoiced in finally reaching this spot after so much trying. Catching great weather and conditions in the ONP is always special. The stars that night were glorious.

Day 3 Camp Pan to Queets Basin
We had some concerns about Blizzard Pass, but in the end it was very straight forward up and over down to the Humes. The Humes was in fine shape and it was a more appropriate hour in the day. Everything went smoothly and soon we reached the snout and terminal lake. It's a gorgeous glacier, the bottom section is an incredible series of melt water canyons. It's sad seeing the retreat over the last 100 years, but I am so thankful to be able to see it at all. Oid mentioned Jason Hummel's Washington Glacier Project and he compared it to the Edward Curtis photo books documenting the American West and Native American people. Sometimes the weight of something just hits you. Our world is so complicated, but every once in awhile you get to see a little peek into something that makes it beautiful. Keep up the good work Jason!

We continued on towards Queets Basin navigating around the melted out headwall of the Humes. As we cross over some talus/scree fields Oid spoted some chunks of metal and other debris. One piece was a crushed Leach Relay switch and we immediately thought this must be an airplane crash. I've always tried to look up crashes in areas I am going, but I've never seen actual debris. Once home I was able to find info here: http://www.windsox.us/VISITOR/HISTORY_BUILDINGS/PLANE_CRASHES.html, which certainly correlates to the area we were in at the time.

The section between Humes and Queets is challenging, but with the help of some good beta, it went pretty well. We arrived at lower Queets around 3:00 and marveled at how beautiful it was. We've been to Queets three other times, but never below Dodwell-Rixon pass. We watched a big bear munching on some berries below a waterfall in the meadow. We called it an early day at 3:45 and camped a little higher in Queets.

Day 4 Upper Queets to Dodger Point
We didn't want to do the southern Baileys as knackered as we were the day before, which is why we stopped at Queets the night prior. We woke up a dawn and got a early start up to Bear Pass. We quietly and efficiently traveled towards Ferry as the sun rose. This was one of my all time best moments in the park outside of falling in love at Lake Lillian and getting engaged at the top of Cameron Pass a year later.

We reached Lone Tree mid-morning and had lunch before ascending up towards the top of Mt. Ferry. We scrambled to what we think was the summit and just as I was taking a photo of Oid a huge Bald Eagle swoops around the summit block. It was the first time I've seen a bird of prey looking down as it flew by, so cool!

As we approached the edge of Ferry heading towards Dodger Point, we discussed our assumption that this route is better than 7 Lakes Basin via Cream Lake and the Catwalk. However, we quickly realized this is not correct. The first 40-50 yards off of Ferry is steep, exposed, and all around terrible. To contrast Crisler's Ladder later in the route, Oid names this first steep pitch Satan's Elevator. It is garbage! The one nice thing about the route is it's easy to follow, but still hard travel. Eventually we reached Crisler's Ladder and descended into a neat little gully. From there, we ascended steep slopes towards a hanging rock in a tree and back on old trail. We made labored progress to Dodger Point proper the last few miles and arrived around 5:45 for a solid and memorable 12 hour push. We napped, ate dinner #1 and then headed up to the lookout where we ran into a couple of other folks. It turns out one of them is a main force in the preservation of the lookout over the last 40 years and it shows, the lookout is in great shape and feels a little like a time capsule inside. It was a unique experience to hear the stories and history of the structure and a great way to cap of an amazing day.

Day 5 Dodger Point to Madison Falls
We got up early and knocked out Long Ridge quickly and mostly talked about what kind of the pizza we would get at Gordy's in Port Angeles. Eventually we settled on a Combo variation, plus salad (need the fiber), Space Dust IPA, and Garlic Bread.

We took a few moments at Humes Ranch to honor Herb and Lois. The Elwha hike was devoid of people until the road walk started and we ran into a trail crew member headed out. Apparently the NPS can reach Whiskey Bend with a side by side, but I didn't see it and thus didn't get to use my planned excuses to try and hitch a ride.

The rest of the hike was uneventful and the food in PA was exceptional as usual.
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reststep
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PostThu Aug 01, 2019 7:33 pm 
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Cool trip and cool report. It brings back some memories. Looking forward to the pictures

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"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir
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Pyrites
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PostThu Aug 01, 2019 11:16 pm 
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Itís been decades. Early Oct and we were scared by intermittent snow. I looked down at that first little bit off Ferry and said No, not for me.

Best.
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RichP
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PostFri Aug 02, 2019 6:37 am 
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An adventure to remember for sure.  up.gif

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Without obsession, life is nothing. John Waters
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BaNosser
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 7:15 am 
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My buddy and I were just up there too...  We were heading up Ferry and you guys down perhaps?  Your description off Ferry is right on..  Satan's Elevator.. that should stick..

Also from Ferry to Scott Ludden saddle there is no water.. snow patches near the top of Ferry is it...  and from Dodger Pt down there is basically water only at 4400' until the Elwha..  and no telling how much longer that will last..  Late season conditions for sure..
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Scrambler
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 9:32 am 
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Very much enjoyed your trip report, and hope to see your photos when published. For your interest and as a side note, my name is Clarke Stockwell and I wrote the report concerning the aircraft wreckage you came across and referenced in your trip report. It seems to be a small world sometimes. One of the Air Force flyers involved in the crash recently contacted me after reading the same report he found while researching the Internet. He tracked me down when he got my name from the report. That was 61 years ago when I visited the site. We were there for six days in Queets Basin and got to Blizzard Pass but the weather was poor and we couldnít chance going further. We planned to climb Olympus and return via Queets Basin. Always hoped to fill in the gap via Cream Lake Basin but time caught up with me. I visited lots of peaks in lots of places but the ONP was always my favorite.
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Fatrick
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PostWed Aug 07, 2019 7:20 am 
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Mr. Stockwell, your post made my day, thank you for sharing!
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Jason Hummel
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PostFri Aug 09, 2019 10:30 am 
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Awesome. I really need to not ski back there and actually just go for a hike someday! It'd be very, very cool.

The Humes Glacier is a fantastic area and Camp Pan has such a great view.

I did a bunch of research for my last story on the Olympics, a trip from Sol Duc hot springs to the Quinault via some of the route you took here. If you are interested, you can see more here: https://www.jasonhummelphotography.com/2019/07/22/the-olympic-traverse-west/

There's also a report on circumnavigating Mt. Olympus from the year before...to tag the more remote glaciers. It was a very wild area and one of my fav trips, too: https://www.jasonhummelphotography.com/2018/06/10/mount-olympus-tour-of-the-gods/

Anyhow, thanks for the report. As I said, I really need to go in the summer sometime!

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Photography: Alpine State Of Mind! | Trip Reports: Cascade Crusades! | FACEBOOK
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badknees
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PostTue Aug 13, 2019 9:55 pm 
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Thanks Fatrick for this report. In 1977, nine of us, Robert Wood included, got to Queets Basin by way of the Blue, Hoh & Humes Glaciers, spending time at Camp Pan. According to Wood, we got to Queets Basin by descending a snowfield beyond Icarus Pass.

We returned via the snout of the Humes, finding parts of the jets still there. My brother brought back small pieces of them from a 1959 hike to the area.

Your account brought back memories.
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