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Moose
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PostFri Feb 05, 2021 9:42 am 
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Hi All!

With avy danger on the rise and the transition into the "still feels like winter but spring is kind of on the horizon" time of year, I'm on the hunt for creative conditioning hikes in the lowlands and thought I'd reach out to this group to see if anyone has trips they're willing to share.

Looking for 12-20 mi, 6-7k gain trips outside of the usual Teneriffe/Blowdown/Dixie/Si, North Bend Triple, string-together-Tiger-Mountain-trails trips.  Nothing wrong with any of those - they're effective and close to home - but they get repetitive and I'm looking for something a little less crowded to reduce the buff-wearing and people fatigue.  At some point you just can't start early enough to avoid everyone.

TIA!
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babylero
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PostSun Feb 07, 2021 10:43 pm 
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If you are willing to snowshoe and drive a little further the Yellow Hill area and Mt. Hex snowshoes are good workouts with normal low avy risk. Yellow hill can be done pretty far towards Jolly. People do shuttles hikes in summer.
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Cyclopath
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PostMon Feb 08, 2021 8:03 am 
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You can ride a bike and walk stairs without having to drive.   smile.gif
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Moose
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PostMon Feb 08, 2021 8:44 am 
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babylero wrote:
If you are willing to snowshoe and drive a little further the Yellow Hill area and Mt. Hex snowshoes are good workouts with normal low avy risk. Yellow hill can be done pretty far towards Jolly. People do shuttles hikes in summer.

Thanks babylero!  I'd forgotten about Yellow Hill...that's a good idea.  If I recall correctly there's another little bump between Yellow Hill and Jolly too.  And snowshoeing is a good way to make any workout feel a little tougher.   smile.gif
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Moose
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PostMon Feb 08, 2021 8:47 am 
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Cyclopath wrote:
You can ride a bike and walk stairs without having to drive.   smile.gif

It's true...but I dislike stairs and if you'd seen me on a mountain bike, you'd know not to suggest that.   wink.gif
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rossb
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PostMon Feb 08, 2021 10:50 am 
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Moose wrote:
And snowshoeing is a good way to make any workout feel a little tougher.

To make it even tougher, ditch the snowshoes. Post holing is exhausting. I would say the only concern is for others. For example, if you walked the Kendall Lakes Road (in shoes) there would be people like me who would be upset  rant.gif. But if you used your snowshoes to get up there, and found a hillside to just march up and glissade down, you likely wouldn't bother anyone, and get a great workout. The same is true for most hillsides -- even those frequented by skiers. As long as there is room to the side to ski, no one minds (a linear approach is the key -- straight up and straight down). Just don't mess with a skin track, or kick steps in a glissade track or glissade over the steps (not everyone wants to maximize their workout  smile.gif).

Unfortunately, Kendall Peak Lakes road is extremely crowded these days. I'm not sure of other options nearby (avalanche danger is also a concern). I would imagine you could walk up one of the ski areas when they are closed, and compete with the backcountry skiers and sledders. The tough part is parking again. The ones mentioned (Yellow Hill and Hex) sound good, but a farther drive.
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RichP
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PostMon Feb 08, 2021 11:09 am 
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I find skiing logging roads is a great way to keep a decent level of fitness. Breaking trail for 10 miles in unconsolidated snow is a butt-kicker. Lots of roads gated down low make for good access too. Some private parcels require recreation access permits others don't. I'm not even a real skier and only took it up a couple of years ago.
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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Feb 08, 2021 11:12 am 
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Going directly up the ridge with snowshoes is far better exercise than the Kendall Road. Even more so with AT skis. Just head up the ridge from the big switchback with a view of gold creek and Chickamin. To add a little spice carry a camp up to the viewpoint.

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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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neek
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PostMon Feb 08, 2021 11:15 am 
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Moose wrote:
Looking for 12-20 mi, 6-7k gain trips outside of the usual Teneriffe/Blowdown/Dixie/Si, North Bend Triple, string-together-Tiger-Mountain-trails trips.  Nothing wrong with any of those - they're effective and close to home - but they get repetitive and I'm looking for something a little less crowded to reduce the buff-wearing and people fatigue.  At some point you just can't start early enough to avoid everyone.

umtanum ridge plus yakima rim.  about 30 miles 9000' gain round trip but of course you can turn around any time.  barely any snow right now.
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rossb
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PostMon Feb 08, 2021 1:53 pm 
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Malachai Constant wrote:
Just head up the ridge from the big switchback

Which ridge and which switchback? You mean the shortcut to the knob? If so, then is that taken from way down below (like so: https://caltopo.com/m/EKFQ) or higher up? I've always wondered, as I've seen people do that (always on skis) and wondered how they got there (or how they planned on getting back). I've always taken the easy way up (and back), although I have skied the lakes to the road (following Coal Creek for a while).
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rossb
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PostMon Feb 08, 2021 2:03 pm 
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RichP wrote:
I find skiing logging roads is a great way to keep a decent level of fitness. Breaking trail for 10 miles in unconsolidated snow is a butt-kicker.

I agree.

I think the challenge is finding a good logging road. You want to avoid avalanche danger, be relatively accessible (so you aren't just walking a logging road carrying your skis most of the day) but not too crowded. Highway 2 is out because of the traffic. Some areas are mobbed with snowmobiles. It can be challenging finding the right roads. Suggestions are appreciated -- it has been a while since I've explored something different.
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RichP
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PostMon Feb 08, 2021 2:14 pm 
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rossb wrote:
Suggestions are appreciated -- it has been a while since I've explored something different.

I'm over in Idaho these days where there are literally 10's of thousands of miles of logging roads so can't offer any Cascades recommendations. No doubt there are some though.
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rossb
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PostMon Feb 08, 2021 6:17 pm 
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RichP wrote:
I'm over in Idaho these days where there are literally 10's of thousands of miles of logging roads so can't offer any Cascades recommendations. No doubt there are some though.

Yeah, of course there are. But I'm pretty sure the author was asking about trips out of Seattle (more or less). So the idea is ones that aren't a big drive from there. Otherwise you could just drive to Paradise and just walk up to Camp Muir. That would be one heck of a workout with snowshoes or skis.

So the idea are logging roads that are relatively close to Seattle, don't have a lot of snowmobiles, aren't on Highway 2, have easy access (not closed off in the winter, no blow downs blocking the road), low avalanche danger -- there aren't that many. Most of them are in the book(s) is my guess. If you aren't skiing, or you don't mind carrying your skis, there are probably a few more.

The road up Corral Pass is probably a good workout. At first you would be would be walking the road, but eventually you are kicking steps or post holing (both are tiring).
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babylero
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PostTue Feb 09, 2021 6:37 pm 
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neek wrote:
umtanum ridge plus yakima rim.  about 30 miles 9000' gain round trip but of course you can turn around any time.  barely any snow right now.

With how rocky that trail is it might be more pleasant with snow.
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Cyclopath
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PostTue Feb 09, 2021 10:08 pm 
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rossb wrote:
I agree.

I think the challenge is finding a good logging road. You want to avoid avalanche danger, be relatively accessible (so you aren't just walking a logging road carrying your skis most of the day) but not too crowded. Highway 2 is out because of the traffic. Some areas are mobbed with snowmobiles. It can be challenging finding the right roads. Suggestions are appreciated -- it has been a while since I've explored something different.

I second all of this and I'd love suggestions too.

Kachess is decent.  It's for snowmobiles, so the snow winds up being choppy, especially down by the lake.  But it's scenic, and it's something different without a long drive.  You can go up to the Rachael Lake TH, or up the ridge;  if you can arrange two cars* you can ski from Kachess to Gold Creek.  I had the good luck of coming down the fun hill right after the groomer, so it's was a blast.   smile.gif  Also the avy potential should be very low, the groomer doesn't want to get buried either.  Here's a map.

* I'd like to do this.
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