Forum Index > Trip Reports > Sibley Pass with the Wrong Shoes!
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contour5
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contour5
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PostSat Jul 30, 2022 4:56 pm 
Sibley Pass
Sibley Pass
Walked up Sibley Creek and camped on the pass. I stopped at the head of the valley where the trail makes a big U-turn and starts up toward the lookout. Sat down on a rock next to the trail and sipped some water, trying to cool off.
Columbine
Columbine
I was startled by a series of loud thumping noises coming from somewhere above me on the steep heather slope. Bear? Climbers, pounding their way down the hill? I stood, and looked uphill. A rock, exactly the size and shape of a car tire came whizzing past about 2 feet away from my head. I felt the wind from it on my face. It was spinning so fast that it was making a whirring, buzzing sound exactly like a table saw blade. It was probably going about a hundred miles an hour...
Sibley Peak Rocks!
Sibley Peak Rocks!
Mountains don't care. What can you do? I stepped off the trail, and turned directly up the path of the rockfall. It was pretty tough going in trail runners. The steep vegetation was fiendishly slippery. I actually self arrested, face down in the veg, using my hands and feet a couple of times. Considered giving up based on my deeply stupid choice of footwear, but I pushed on and finally made it up to the pass.
Camp
Camp
tent1
tent1
HLP
HLP
North
North
tent2
tent2
Lots of snow North of the Pass. I ended up boot skiing down most of the heather slope in a crouch, steering with my elbows. The trail runners will probably make good gardening shoes, if I ever decide to try it.

neek, Cyclopath, zimmertr, jaysway, ngie, Bramble_Scramble, Randito, awilsondc, SeanSullivan86, Chief Joseph  Tom
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zephyr
aka friendly hiker



Joined: 21 Jun 2009
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Location: West Seattle
zephyr
aka friendly hiker
PostSat Jul 30, 2022 6:06 pm 
contour5 wrote:
A rock, exactly the size and shape of a car tire came whizzing past about 2 feet away from my head. I felt the wind from it on my face. It was spinning so fast that it was making a whirring, buzzing sound exactly like a table saw blade. It was probably going about a hundred miles an hour...
Sibley Peak Rocks!
Sibley Peak Rocks!

Wow... eek.gif Sounds like you were exactly in the right spot at the right time. Otherwise we would be reading an accident report. Such great luck. Of course even better luck to have not have had the close call. What a story to tell. So glad you made it back. I think I would have turned around at that point or maybe headed toward Hidden Lake Peak. ~z

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Randito
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Joined: 27 Jul 2008
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Location: Bellevue at the moment.
Randito
Snarky Member
PostSat Jul 30, 2022 9:34 pm 
Yeah, I was climbing the Southwest face of the Tooth when some climbers on the standard South face knocked some large rocks loose. The buzzing sound is something else.

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HitTheTrail
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Joined: 30 Oct 2007
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HitTheTrail
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PostSun Jul 31, 2022 6:47 am 
contour5 wrote:
A rock, exactly the size and shape of a car tire came whizzing past about 2 feet away from my head. I felt the wind from it on my face.

Wow! As if hiking isn't hazardous enough already. Anyway nice photos.

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ngie
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ngie
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PostMon Aug 01, 2022 8:22 am 
Yikes.. I haven’t had that close of a call, but I ran into similar heading up Black Peak (a watermelon sized boulder missed me by about 10’ doing 50+mph). Glad you are ok — could have been a LOT worse 💚.

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Malachai Constant
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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Aug 01, 2022 10:23 am 
I guess I have been lucky with rocks, on Red (Snoqualmie) someone kicked loose a Orange sized rock the took a crazy course down and hit square on top of my helmet but no injury. In the Palisades in California we were on a Mountain Rescue practice on snow someone put a hand on a Volkswagen sixes rock which went sailing down a gully hit another rock split in two and headed for the party who all managed to abide getting hit. On the DC route on Rainier we made the mistake of climbing in August the park above kicked loose rocks which sailed past our heads and sounded like incoming bullets, nie wieder!

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Eric Hansen
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Eric Hansen
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PostMon Aug 01, 2022 10:48 am 
We were hiking up the Spencer Trail at Lees Ferry, AZ (redrock country where Grand Canyon, and raft parties "begin") several years ago when noise above alerted us to a cloud of rock dust and a couch sized boulder airborne and bouncing down the slope towards us about 200' above us. I was just about to shove my wife behind a sheltering boulder (and jump in after her) when the noise, and slide stopped. It all comes down eventually.

Off trail rambler
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rbuzby
Attention Surplus



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
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rbuzby
Attention Surplus
PostMon Aug 01, 2022 12:33 pm 
If you keep your tent on the west edge of Sibley pass, it's not in the park, so no permit needed, right? The "you have to show up in person" to pick up the permit thing, is really a buzzkill for those of us that like to hit the trail at 6 am. I think my next trip in a couple weeks is going to be one of those "camp 1 yard from the park boundary" trips. I want to be on the trail at 7, not in MM. The loud thumping sounds.......yup. I thought my buzzing rock might be a large elk running toward us. It wasnt. Just a rock that would splatter your face if it hit you.

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