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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
Posts: 6550 | TRs
Location: Stuck in the middle
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Mid Fork Rocks
PostFri Oct 25, 2019 5:06 pm 
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After a multi-week trip out of the country followed by some very rainy days when I got back I was itching to get out for another Cascade peak trip. Six friends saw the same weather window and we decided to try for K9, just off the PCT along Highway 2.

Boo's report from October 2006 was with a lot more snow, similar to Ragman's July 2007 report. Because of recent warm rain storms we encountered a lot less snow, but still enough to need snowshoes on the upper half of the route. We took BarbE's advice to take the route they did on the way down - the west ridge. Looking up the slopes as we traversed under the peak confirmed this -- there was not enough snow to cover the cliffy sections. But in summer it might make a nice scramble to head up the SE ridge like they did.

Route. 9.2 miles, 3400' gain, 8:45
Route. 9.2 miles, 3400' gain, 8:45

The road was clear to the Hope Lake / Tunnel Creek trailhead. Carla said later in the winter a big berm blocks the road when the snow plows start clearing Highway 2. We also didn't encounter any blowdown the entire time we were on trail, although the section up to Hope Lake is rooty and slippery this time of year.

K9 from the approach trail near the trailhead
K9 from the approach trail near the trailhead
Hope Lake reflections
Hope Lake reflections
First break at Hope Lake
First break at Hope Lake
We put on snowshoes where the trail crosses the ridge to the south side. Isabel doesn't need them.
We put on snowshoes where the trail crosses the ridge to the south side. Isabel doesn't need them.
Some big trees
Some big trees

We left the PCT at the obvious second big basin and snowshoed up to the ridge line. It got a little steep just below the ridge. From there we attempted to scramble up some big rocks on the crest of the ridge but that route cliffed out. On the south side we found a route requiring pushing through and walking on some thick krumholz for about 100' of gain and then the rest of the ridge was more open, usually staying just south of the crest to avoid trees.

Zig-zagging up the slope to the ridge line
Zig-zagging up the slope to the ridge line
Carla, Elle and a rock
Carla, Elle and a rock
Just below the ridge it got a little steeper and more slippery with a few inches of snoe on top of the heather.
Just below the ridge it got a little steeper and more slippery with a few inches of snoe on top of the heather.
Walking on trees in the section just above where we gained the ridge
Walking on trees in the section just above where we gained the ridge
Once we got through the troublesome tree section we mostly stayed on the south side of the ridge line in more open areas
Once we got through the troublesome tree section we mostly stayed on the south side of the ridge line in more open areas
K9 summit rocks
K9 summit rocks
The party arriving at the top
The party arriving at the top

Snowdog and Isabel chose to stay below the thick tree section which was hard for her (the dog). That's too bad because Isabel was really looking forward to bagging this peak dedicated to canines and could have left a note for some of her departed friends in the register. But the register too wet to sign anyway. A paw print might have worked.

K9 summit register. It was soaking wet so we didn't sign it.
K9 summit register. It was soaking wet so we didn't sign it.

The weather forecast called for "Mostly Sunny" for days, including the morning we left but this never materialized. There was a (possibly thin) layer above us the entire day with just a couple short sun breaks.

View down to highway 2 with a train on the tracks to the left of it
View down to highway 2 with a train on the tracks to the left of it
Trap Lake and pass, and Slippery Slab Tower above it
Trap Lake and pass, and Slippery Slab Tower above it
Descending the steep and slippery section just below the ridge
Descending the steep and slippery section just below the ridge
Walking out on snowshoes on just enough snow to justify needing them
Walking out on snowshoes on just enough snow to justify needing them

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Mid Fork Rocks flickr
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Malachai Constant
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Joined: 13 Jan 2002
Posts: 14176 | TRs
Location: Back Again Like A Bad Penny
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PostFri Oct 25, 2019 5:10 pm 
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Did you do the dog route on K9?

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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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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
Posts: 6550 | TRs
Location: Stuck in the middle
puzzlr
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Mid Fork Rocks
PostFri Oct 25, 2019 5:12 pm 
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We were definitely "doggin' it" the whole way!

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Mid Fork Rocks flickr
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Malachai Constant
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Joined: 13 Jan 2002
Posts: 14176 | TRs
Location: Back Again Like A Bad Penny
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PostFri Oct 25, 2019 5:16 pm 
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up.gif

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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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zephyr
aka friendly hiker



Joined: 21 Jun 2009
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aka friendly hiker
PostFri Oct 25, 2019 6:12 pm 
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puzzlr wrote:
View down to highway 2 with a train on the tracks to the left of it
View down to highway 2 with a train on the tracks to the left of it

So above Hwy 2 down there, I think we are seeing up on that ridge to the right--the Iron Goat Trail (built from the old Great Northern right of way).  N'est-ce pas? ~z
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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
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Location: Welcome Pass
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Sadie's Driver
PostSun Oct 27, 2019 4:05 pm 
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At the end of this trip report is our trip up K-9 in the fall - without snow. We did the SE ridge, too.

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Four-paw buddy lets me tag along!
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
Posts: 6550 | TRs
Location: Stuck in the middle
puzzlr
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Mid Fork Rocks
PostSun Oct 27, 2019 7:13 pm 
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Thanks for that link -- I can see that the slope you went up to the ridge is a reasonable scramble when not covered by patches of 3" snow that were very slipper. You definitely had better views than we did!

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Mid Fork Rocks flickr
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