Forum Index > Trip Reports > Big Chiwaukum, Lake Grace - 06 sept 2020
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kitya
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PostMon Sep 07, 2020 11:18 am 
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Yesterday me and Cookie made a short day trip to Big Chiwaukum. Usually White Pine trailhead is quite lonely, but this time was the first time it was overflowing at 8 am too! Looks like everyone was backpacking a cars were there from a day (or more) before.

While trailhead was busy with cars, the area is very large and I only met a couple of small groups on the trail and nobody on the summit. Me and Cookie left the Wildhorse trail at the shortcut for Big Chiwaukum and went up the slopes.

Big Chiwaukum is a bit misleading mountain. From the bottom it looks like it would be an easy walk up, but once on the ridge there two false summits presenting a lot of challenge. I made the mistake of scrambling to the both false summits first and had to downclimb nasty slopes on very narrow and exposed ledges. In a couple of places it was very scary for me, but on the way back i found a way to avoid all that, but keeping lower than the ridge at all times. It is much easier this way.

Summit register is tiny and looks like was installed in 1981, almost 40 years ago. Still not full.


On the way back instead of going back to shortcut, me and Cookie dropped to the other side to Grace lakes. They are very pretty. Lots of marmots around and lots of tadpoles in the lakes. Cookie hates water, so she waited while I swim across and back. There was one group camping at the big lake, so I choose the small lake and had it all to myself.

We got back to the car just around sunset, not too long day trip, only 22 miles and great views.  Blueberry bushes started to turn read and it feels like autumn already. Lots of wind made it cooler.

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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostMon Sep 07, 2020 12:08 pm 
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Ooh, some fall colors!  Looks nice.
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Bootpathguy
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PostMon Sep 07, 2020 8:55 pm 
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Sky Hiker wrote:
Hate to see reports on this area with pics. Some things are better left to ones self

I enjoy the report and images but I agree the location could be kept out of the report. A well written report can be a entertaining guessing game

It would be a shame to see the shores of beautiful lake "C" ringed with tents

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fourteen410
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PostMon Sep 07, 2020 9:30 pm 
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Since when have Grace Lakes been a secret?
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Tom
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PostTue Sep 08, 2020 1:52 am 
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If you're concerned about TR exposure whey express sentiments publicly in the TR?  Not only is it out of compliance with our TR comment policy, threadjacking only shines more of a spotlight on the TR. doof.gif
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timberghost
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PostTue Sep 08, 2020 5:46 am 
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maybe you should remove it then
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John Morrow
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PostTue Sep 08, 2020 8:15 am 
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Tom wrote:
If you're concerned about TR exposure whey express sentiments publicly in the TR?  Not only is it out of compliance with our TR comment policy, threadjacking only shines more of a spotlight on the TR. doof.gif

Hi Tom.  This seems like a civil discussion by all posters thus far.  I guess I am not really following your reasoning here.  Fourteen410 is correct that it is no secret.  Even still, Bootpathguy and Skyhiker are just expressing concern for the sanctity of a special place.  I get no sense of anger or condescension toward Kitya.
Perhaps the sheer insanity of this summer is tainting me but I think we all in the NWH community need to start considering the purpose and value of our trip reports against the impact that the posts can create.

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“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”-Mary Oliver

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
― MLK Jr.
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uww
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PostTue Sep 08, 2020 9:13 am 
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I agree with Tom. Hand wringing about TR about an alleged secret spot for special snowflakes does nothing but make others want to go there and see what the big deal is. The outdoors survived maps, and they will survive the internet.

Thanks for the great TR kitya.
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Bootpathguy
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PostTue Sep 08, 2020 9:16 am 
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I've noticed a increase recently, and, several requests on this site from folks asking others for recommendations on less crowded destinations. Unusual activity this year. Seems to me, everyone is looking for less unknown backcountry areas.

I could care less where someone went. I enjoy the stories of adventure and the pretty pictures. Kitya's images are always enjoyable. I personally, prefer the location to be left out of the reports. I like the mystery

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Tom
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PostTue Sep 08, 2020 12:48 pm 
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To clarify, the rules are "If you have an issue with something in a Trip Report, send a PM or take it to another part of the forum and start a generic discussion."  If you don't want to draw undue attention to a place I think feedback by PM would better accomplish that goal than responding publicly in a TR.  The latter seems counter productive, unless the goal is to exert public pressure on the TR author, which would break the rules no matter how civil.  In the end, these type of discussions shouldn't take place in a TR.
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Damian
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PostTue Sep 08, 2020 9:15 pm 
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Furthermore, your chances of getting the OP to adjust or even delete their report are greater if done politely by PM.  I've done this a few times and have been successful every time.  There have been some fantastic trip reports recently.  We have some great report writers and photographers.  Let's keep the online feedback positive so they keep at it.
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timberghost
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PostWed Sep 09, 2020 6:16 am 
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Bootpathguy wrote:
I could care less where someone went. I enjoy the stories of adventure and the pretty pictures. Kitya's images are always enjoyable. I personally, prefer the location to be left out of the reports. I like the mystery

up.gif  up.gif
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neek
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PostWed Sep 09, 2020 6:30 am 
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Uh.  Anyway.  Nice "short" trip.  Definitely potential for exposure up there.  Last time I was there I came back with a bunch of blueberries.  Too lazy to go all the way to the lakes.
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rbuzby
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PostWed Sep 09, 2020 6:45 am 
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What was the blowdown situation on the Whitepine and Whitehorse trails? Does that ever get logged?  A few years ago there were at least 25 areas of blowdown on those trails.
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kitya
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PostWed Sep 09, 2020 8:04 am 
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neek wrote:
Uh.  Anyway.  Nice "short" trip.  Definitely potential for exposure up there.  Last time I was there I came back with a bunch of blueberries.  Too lazy to go all the way to the lakes.

It was short compared to Gamma and I didn't even need to wake up too early or use headlamp on the way back smile.gif There were many blueberries and Cookie definitely ate some. But looks like less than in previous years and many berries are very small and dry. The end of summer is way too dry and I see less berries and sadly less mushrooms than previous years so far.

rbuzby wrote:
What was the blowdown situation on the Whitepine and Whitehorse trails? Does that ever get logged?  A few years ago there were at least 25 areas of blowdown on those trails.

Both trails are completely obstacle free (at least to the whitepine/whitehorse intersection and to grace lakes). Every log has been cut. I don't know who did it, but maybe one advantage of more people going outdoors this year is that more trails get maintained. I was certainly pleasantly surprised by how improved several trails are this year. Whitepine and whitehorse trails are used by horsemen too, they need logs cut to pass, because sometimes it is not possible for horses to go otherwise.

P.S. Chiwaukum Mountains are not a secret spot to anyone. There is a lot of very official well maintained trails and people do go everywhere. Chiwaukums are close to hwy and Seattle, but they are still less popular than nearby Icicle Creek area and even Teanaway area. I don't really know why, but it always seems so. Even in the middle of Labor Day weekend, lower lake Grace had only one (two tent) group camping near to it and with so many lakes around none of other lakes, including lake "C", had tents around it. It was easy to find solitude, it was really not bad at all, even though parking was busy with cars. When you travel, try to minimize your impact. Me and Cookie for example never camped this year at all, never made camp fires (in our life), etc. Stick to the trails where they exist, do not leave trash and clean up when you see someone left something. Pack your poop out or don't poop, etc. It is really that easy. Each visit can make the place you visit better, not worse if you make some reasonable efforts. The purpose of trip reports is to share places so that others can visit it too. None of us were first to discover any place. I feel humble, I learned from others, from other people trip reports for the places i go and enjoy. I learned about Big Chiwaukum for the first time from this very forum. The *least* I can do is provide information and updates to others too. It is our public land, we all have to share.
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