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meck
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PostMon Mar 23, 2020 9:39 am 
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Buck Mtn via Elbo Creek trail, 22 March 2020 (eastern Olys)

It was nice to get in a hike before the weather turned less agreeable to "views".  Buck Mtn and Elbo Creek are nice options when snow prevents access to higher stuff.  The trail has seen some recent maintenance and appeared to be in good condition for as far as I went.  This time around I checked out a spur of the trail that I've passed a half-dozen times to see where it went.

TH sign
TH sign
Looking up from the trail.  The official trail ends just above this blowdown section.
Looking up from the trail.  The official trail ends just above this blowdown section.
Here is the spur I've been eyeing for a couple of years now.
Here is the spur I've been eyeing for a couple of years now.
the spur continues for a few hundred yards
the spur continues for a few hundred yards

The spur connected up to some old overgrown FS roads all over the north side of the ridge.  Generally these were OK to travel aside from a few locations weaving through Devil's Club patches.  I followed these for a mile or so, zig-zagging up the side of the ridge, before heading due south up to the ridge line above.

much of the abandoned logging road(s) looked like this
much of the abandoned logging road(s) looked like this
a few patches of Devil's Club to carefully maneuver through
a few patches of Devil's Club to carefully maneuver through
began running into snow (these roads are on the north shady side of the ridge)
began running into snow (these roads are on the north shady side of the ridge)
Reached the end of one spur and headed straight up the hillside through stringy rhodie brush
Reached the end of one spur and headed straight up the hillside through stringy rhodie brush
reached the ridge line at the transitions between two different clearcuts
reached the ridge line at the transitions between two different clearcuts

I proceeded west along the ridge line through a lot of unpleasant thick second growth brush (tight packed lower dead branches on young doug-fir and rhodie jungles), before beginning to hear the mechanical hum of the generator on Buck Mtn).  I was able to pop-out on the upper hairpin turn just below the summit of Buck Mtn.

If I was three feet tall the ridge traverse would have been much easier... this is actually some of the easier brush to push through
If I was three feet tall the ridge traverse would have been much easier... this is actually some of the easier brush to push through
reached the hairpin turn, generator building on the left.
reached the hairpin turn, generator building on the left.

Lots of visitors have been up here recently given the packed down tracks in the snow.  I followed one set of tracks past the lookout point, over to the true summit, and down along the ridge on the spur road over to another highpoint among second growth (though I didn't feel like brush-bashing all the way to the point where they had turned around).  I head down the spur road, enjoying the excellent views of the eastern Olys, and then hiked back down Rockybrook Road to the TH by flashlight for the last hour or so.  A pleasant day in the mountains and peaceful way to spend an afternoon.

Warrior Peak center, Constance behind the tree on the left, Cloudy Peak behind the tree on the left.
Warrior Peak center, Constance behind the tree on the left, Cloudy Peak behind the tree on the left.
Bleached snags at the lookout point
Bleached snags at the lookout point
true summit clearing, the old TEU container shack thing and fuel tank have been removed
true summit clearing, the old TEU container shack thing and fuel tank have been removed
bootshot on the summit stump... if only I had a speech to give
bootshot on the summit stump... if only I had a speech to give
proceeding along the ridge spur road following another set of tracks
proceeding along the ridge spur road following another set of tracks
a pawed critter's tracks
a pawed critter's tracks
My mini snowman to celebrate a sunny afternoon in the mountains
My mini snowman to celebrate a sunny afternoon in the mountains
Mt Constance in the distance
Mt Constance in the distance
late afternoon light
late afternoon light
Mt Constance again, Warrior Peak on the right
Mt Constance again, Warrior Peak on the right

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*Just say NO to Rent-Seeking, don't give up the concept of "ownership"*
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Hoosierdaddy
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Joined: 29 May 2003
Posts: 425 | TRs
Location: Little Norway
Hoosierdaddy
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PostMon Mar 23, 2020 10:45 am 
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I've hiked this trail when nearby Mt. Walker is too busy, but I've never taken the old trail that you did. Good job on the bushwhack! Is the now removed container shack the thing that is/was next to the fencing and tower that advises of death if you get too close?

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God, I am going to regret this someday!
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meck
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PostTue Mar 24, 2020 7:52 pm 
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Hi Hoosierdaddy.  I seem to remember a sign that said something to that effect but I don't remember on which of the four structures up there it was affixed (generator building, two green shacks w/ antennas on the false summit, green shack built around the TEU box near the true summit).  Here's a pic from this trip back in Feb 2016.

the old shack around the TEU container back in Feb 2016
the old shack around the TEU container back in Feb 2016

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*Just say NO to Rent-Seeking, don't give up the concept of "ownership"*
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Buck Mtn via Elbo Creek, ONF, 22-Mar-2020
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