Forum Index > Trip Reports > Katsuk + Mesahchie 8/16-18/19
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kloria
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PostTue Aug 20, 2019 12:37 am 
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Dates: August 16-18, 2019
Distance:  15.5 miles
Ascent: 7,400'

Pano of the main attraction to get things started
Pano of the main attraction to get things started

This is a week of firsts ("thirst" - Mike Tyson). My first signed summit register, Katsuk, which has lead me to post my first trip report. Perhaps you've seen my work here before, I was the rookie in geyer's "The Bacon Creek 12-Hour Sleep System™" report who forgot his ski skins, forcing us to drive back to Seattle from Bacon Creek, leaving us with 2.5 hours of sleep before our failed attempt at Bacon Peak this May.

With few hiking/scrambling friends in general, and none available this past weekend, I found myself looking for something I could do solo. I had done Cashmere last weekend and was looking for something a little more involved. My attention was on Ragged Ridge, so I headed that way around 2pm on Friday. The weather forecast had been variable days prior but looked good when I checked on Friday (more importantly, it looked dry). I had ambitions of doing all 4 peaks in one trip... don't we all.

I was hiking by 6p and made it to Easy Pass by 7:30p. I was feeling good and was hoping to make it to the basin camp before it was completely dark. That was silly, and deep down I knew I'd be using my headlamp. Unfortunately, halfway through the traverse, clouds rolled in. With the clouds came rain, and quite a bit of it. Luckily I was on a rib that happened to have a 3'x7' flatspot, someone's been in this predicament before.

I didn't get much sleep that night. I was mostly thinking of how wet the rock would be and how slippery the slopes were getting for the remainder of the traverse in the morning. It's at this point where I mentally deprepared myself for all 4 summits. I woke up at sunrise and moved camp to the basin below Mesahchie with little trouble and no slips.

Fisher Creek below as I neared the basin camp
Fisher Creek below as I neared the basin camp
Lingering clouds
Lingering clouds

Clouds continued to roll through and views of the surrounding area would come in and out. I set up camp slowly, ate some food, and took a nap. I woke up around 11a and to my surprise found the movie Rocky downloaded on my phone... thanks Netflix? So there I sat, watching Rocky until about 2p when I asked myself... "Why are you sitting here watching Rocky?" I quickly got out of my tent and started up the saddle adjacent the basin. As I worked my way up the saddle and to the bench at 7,400', where the scrambling begins, a hawk caught my eye. I watched him/her float around for as long as I could keep track of it. The second picture turned out surprisingly sharp.

Wingspan
Wingspan
Staring directly at me
Staring directly at me

Okay, enough bird watching. I proceeded with the route laid out on Summitpost for Katusk. From the bench I trended climbers left around the buttress that conceals about half the route and followed the gully up. Straightforward and fun!

Before committing to the gully
Before committing to the gully

After not finding the register on Cashmere the week before I was determined to find Katsuk's, it wasn't difficult. In a silver metal canister with John Roper's name and 1968 carved on the outside sat what I was looking for.

Awesome
Awesome
Cool
Cool
It's register... Dammit
It's register... Dammit

The second I sealed the canister and started walking away I questioned whether or not it's register or registry. Whatever, I managed to get a college degree and it wasn't in English.

Me above glaciers, glaciers above Panther Creek
Me above glaciers, glaciers above Panther Creek
Ain't a bad place to be
Ain't a bad place to be
Looking towards Mesahchie
Looking towards Mesahchie
Arches from somewhere on the saddle between Mesahchie and Katsuk
Arches from somewhere on the saddle between Mesahchie and Katsuk

I hadn't seen Mesahchie this whole trip until I was on the summit of Katsuk, it looks substantial. Admittedly, I didn't do much research on Mesachie and, for whatever reason, thought it would be an easy ridge walk from Katsuk. I scrambled what made sense to me, generally following a path of least resistance. There were cairns everywhere you'd want there to be one and the traverse went nicely.

I was on the summit of Mesahchie by 4:15p with clouds all around me. I very much wanted to see across Fisher Creek during sunset hours and contemplated staying high until at least 7pm. However, coming down did not sound fun in fading light and with me being by myself the descent deserved my full attention. I left the summit at 5p, still covered in clouds. I did not return the way I ascended, rather I went down the gully that's immediately in front of you when ascending the bench. This route was cairned and I preferred it over South gully to Katsuk.

Looking towards Goode on my descent
Looking towards Goode on my descent
All together now
All together now

Back on the bench, I felt comfortable sitting back and waiting for the light to change. I put my headphones in, let the music play, and practiced my air guitar for the world below me.

Selfie
Selfie
Selfie x2
Selfie x2
Light rays on the valley
Light rays on the valley
From the bench
From the bench
Goode
Goode
Back at camp
Back at camp

I woke up at sunrise to take one photo, then back to bed until 7:45a.

Here is said morning photo
Here is said morning photo

Perhaps it was the cloudy/rainy traverse in but I didn't care much for the sidehilling so I made plans to descend the hillside straight down from the basin camp to Fisher Creek trail. I packed up and went to the basin outlet stream where I started my descent. Overall, this decision served me well and probably shaved an 1 hour, maybe more, off for me. There were patches of slaby rock and dirt in a zig-zag pattern down the hillside. Some patches were connected via bushwhack in avalanche debris, but nothing too terrible. I stayed away from the creek.

Basin Outlet Creek
Basin Outlet Creek
Halfway down the hillside
Halfway down the hillside
Heading back up Easy Pass
Heading back up Easy Pass
Looking back
Looking back
Bye
Bye

With the comfort of a trail I mindlessly walk-ran back to car... and eventually ended up at Marblemount Diner.

Full album here: https://kyleloria.smugmug.com/Outdoor/Adventures/Katsuk-Peak-Mesahchie-Peak/
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awilsondc
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PostTue Aug 20, 2019 7:40 am 
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Rad trip Kyle!  And Welcome!  That's a heck of a first register signing.  I loved those peaks.  Nice photos!  up.gif  up.gif
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kloria
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PostTue Aug 20, 2019 8:08 pm 
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Rad trip Kyle!  And Welcome!  That's a heck of a first register signing.  I loved those peaks.  Nice photos!  up.gif  up.gif

Thanks, It was an incredible spot... More to come!
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Brushbuffalo
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PostWed Aug 21, 2019 2:44 pm 
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Fine report. Thanks for posting and 'joining the club.' I am looking forward to more good stuff from you.

Pretty funny about watching 'Rocky'  while on that rocky ridge. smile.gif
kloria wrote:
Staring directly at me
Staring directly at me

Even better than a hawk...juvenile golden eagle, probably cruising for marmots. angel.gif

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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cfm
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PostThu Aug 22, 2019 1:14 pm 
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Hi Kloria,

Thanks for your trip report, getting excited about a trip that I have planned to head up there next week. We got rained out last year.

I was wondering is there water available at the high camp area, or did you melt the snows?
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kloria
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PostThu Aug 22, 2019 3:35 pm 
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I was wondering is there water available at the high camp area, or did you melt the snows?

The outlet stream from the basin is still running fairly strong. There's also a small tarn directly next to the camp that a lingering snow patch is melting in to. This was the last water source before the scramble.

If you're talking about the high bivvy camp right under Mesahchie... No water or snow
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geyer
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PostMon Aug 26, 2019 9:44 am 
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Sweet trip dude

They just grow up so quickly (wipes tears)  cheers.gif
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General ****
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PostSat Sep 14, 2019 8:02 am 
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Awesome report, and your photos are fantastic!

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The General

The General primarily backpack solo, I may be interested in hiking with a partner.
I am retired and am in good physical condition.  I mostly backpack WA State, however, I am open to other States as well.
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puzzlr
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PostSat Sep 14, 2019 10:12 am 
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Great trip report. You are more persistent with the weather than I would have been.

kloria wrote:
Back at camp
Back at camp

I really like this one -- could easily be used as a full page marketing photo for the tent!

In your smugmug album I noticed the Meschachie register is a Mountaineers style book. Was in in one of their brass cylinders?

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Mid Fork Rocksflickr
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kloria
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PostSat Sep 14, 2019 7:20 pm 
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geyer wrote:
Sweet trip dude

They just grow up so quickly (wipes tears)  cheers.gif

You know what they say... Ya teach a man to fish, he buys a bunch of fishing gear and goes every once in awhile. Or something like that...
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kloria
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PostSat Sep 14, 2019 7:23 pm 
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General **** wrote:
Awesome report, and your photos are fantastic!

Thank you, your words are kind!
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kloria
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PostSat Sep 14, 2019 7:28 pm 
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puzzlr wrote:
I really like this one -- could easily be used as a full page marketing photo for the tent!

In your smugmug album I noticed the Meschachie register is a Mountaineers style book. Was in in one of their brass cylinders?

Thank you! Unfortunately I think the tent would get cut off by the spine of the magazine. If Marmot wants to send me the latest version of the tent, I'll retake it left or right weighted for the full spread  wink.gif .

As for the register, I recall it being PVC.
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