Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mt Index via Persis Ridgerun: A complement to Hichen's TR
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Mesahchie Mark
A Lerxst



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 700 | TRs | Pics
Location: In Wonderland
Mesahchie Mark
A Lerxst
PostWed Jul 27, 2005 10:25 pm 
Trip Report for Mt Index via Mt Persis Ridge Run Saturday, July 23rd, 2005 Mt Index. I've been gazing at it for literally years, wondering if and how I'll ever reach it's summit. From Highway 2 or Lake Serene, it looks impenetrable, as sheer cliffs rise thousands of feet above you. A southside bushwhack, attempted last year, proved to be equally improbable. It was easily the worse bushwhack I've ever been on, and that's saying something! Two things helped bring Index into recent focus. First: Mt Persis. It has quickly become one of my favorite hikes, given it's close proximity and stupendous views. From the top of Persis, Index looks so close and inviting, just a ridge run away...Second: Joining nwhikers.net and becoming acquainted with Hichen, who held Index with a similar Ahabesque aura. For over a month, we corresponded about teaming up for Index, slowly building up the anticipation. This Saturday, it was time for action. The Hichen/Mesahchie Mark Index Expedition met up in Sultan, and was on the trail by 8:30 AM. The weather forecast called for mostly sunny skies, but the Foothills were still shrouded in foggy, low-hanging clouds. It was nice to gain elevation in the relative cool, but would we be able to see where we needed to go? Would we have any views? By 10:30 AM, we were atop Mt Persis, all 5,464 ft of it. Beyond this point was unknown territory. We were above the clouds, for the time being, and took the opportunity to plan our strategy: Drop down below the cliff line, and traverse south to a gully that should gain us Index's west ridge. The fog returned almost as soon as we descended the initial talus field. We pressed on for another 1.5 hours, crossing stretches of forest and rock, while avoiding cliffs. Eventually, we stumbled onto a gully carved out by a small stream, the first running water we'd encountered on the traverse. Hichen figured this was the spot to head up and east, although I was somewhat dubious. As it turns out, Hichen has an excellent sense of direction. A short climb later, we found a small lake which is clearly at the divide between the Persis ridge and the Index ridge; a natural amphitheatre with awesome reverb! (The Proctor Creek headwaters?) I was so taken with the spot that I believed it was the "perfect place" Hichen had read about. Starry-eyed, we climbed up and to the right, only to discover the true "perfect place"... Two subalpine lakes, one above the other, surrounded by greenery and slabby white granite, with views of peaks to the east. Wow. Who could know such beauty exists so close to urban Puget Sound? Already, this trip was paying off in unexpected ways! After a short break, it was time to trudge eastward toward our ultimate goal - the summit of Mt Index. By now, we had regained the ridge and peered into the Anderson Creek drainage. Simply amazing. Along the ridge, at least three humps separated us from Index proper. I assumed we'd have to stay on the outside (southside) of the ridge, but we stumbled onto a boot path that invariably ran to the inside. No problem -we'll take it! This ridge run provided us with the only wildlife we'd get to witness all day: a huge raptor (hawk? eagle?) that was startled from its perch atop the ridgeline. It flew away from us with big, lazy beats of its wings. We descended a steep, loose section after the second hump, then traversed to the southside of the third hump. A small talus and heather field lined by cliffs was there to greet us. We pushed our way to the top of the talus field, where the exit led to a very unstable but narrow slide area - lots of loose rock and wet dirt. A quick traverse thankfully brought us to more stable talus and slab. It was only at this point did the realization set in - the summit is next! In light of all Hichen and I had been through to get there, the summit push was remarkably gentle. The summit itself is rather long and ridgelke, running southeast for quite some distance (not at all what I was expecting). It took us six hours to get here, and we weren't about to leave soon. The cloud cover was gradually beginning to dissipate. The views to the northeast were simply incredible - Lake Serene lay nearly 3500 ft below us, almost straight down! We spent an hour on top of Mt Index taking pics, eating, drinking, and resting. If there is a summit register, we couldn't find it. With great reluctance, we bid adieu to Mt Index at 3:30 PM and began the slog homeward. By late afternoon, the skies had cleared significantly, and the views east and south were breathtaking. In retrospect. the trip broke down into neat two hour intervals, with Mt Persis, the "Perfect Place", and Mt Index being the main points in between. Although Index only tops out at 5,991 ft, the area it covers is quite large, with ample opportunity for navigational error. Through a mix of good planning, organization and luck, Hichen and I made it to Index and back with very few route finding issues. Overall, our adventure took nearly 13 hours to complete - time well spent. We capped the day with a couple brews at a Startup watering hole (Trap?) and saluted our good fortune. What's next? Stay tuned... smile.gif

Cheers, Mesahchie Mark
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Mesahchie Mark
A Lerxst



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 700 | TRs | Pics
Location: In Wonderland
Mesahchie Mark
A Lerxst
PostWed Jul 27, 2005 10:27 pm 
Pics
Unlike Hichen, I brought my digital camera along and have many pics to post, as soon as Flickr is available! Stay tuned!

Cheers, Mesahchie Mark
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Jeff R
Closet hiker.



Joined: 10 Apr 2005
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Jeff R
Closet hiker.
PostWed Jul 27, 2005 10:32 pm 
yah, yah rub it in got real pictures instead!

Ebrace life!
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Tom
Admin



Joined: 15 Dec 2001
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Tom
Admin
PostWed Jul 27, 2005 10:41 pm 
Flickr is having a massage tonight (server upgrade).

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Mesahchie Mark
A Lerxst



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 700 | TRs | Pics
Location: In Wonderland
Mesahchie Mark
A Lerxst
PostThu Jul 28, 2005 8:59 am 
PICS!!!!
Here we go...
THE Perfect Place
THE Perfect Place
Somewhere Along the Way
Somewhere Along the Way
Persis Pool
Persis Pool
Hichens Inverted Salute
Hichens Inverted Salute
Index from Persis
Index from Persis
Lk Serene from 6k
Lk Serene from 6k
Enjoy!

Cheers, Mesahchie Mark
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Tazz
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Tazz
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PostThu Jul 28, 2005 11:07 am 
thanks MM been waiting to see the pic. nice ones too up.gif #1 is quite nice great hand stand Hichen looks like you will flip over backwards and take a dive off the cliff. cool pic

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Don
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Joined: 25 Apr 2005
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Don
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PostThu Jul 28, 2005 11:16 am 
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wildernessed
viewbagger



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
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Location: Wenatchee
wildernessed
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PostThu Jul 28, 2005 6:29 pm 
I think that pic is just turned upside down, just like the rest of the world, Good TR / Pics. H is up.gif . hockeygrin.gif

Living in the Anthropocene
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Jeff R
Closet hiker.



Joined: 10 Apr 2005
Posts: 972 | TRs | Pics
Location: Everret
Jeff R
Closet hiker.
PostFri Jul 29, 2005 12:40 pm 
Very nice read Mark, I should have had more patience. Do you have any more great pictures you would like to share? hmmm? ( my real pictures turned out real crappy.)

Ebrace life!
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Mesahchie Mark
A Lerxst



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 700 | TRs | Pics
Location: In Wonderland
Mesahchie Mark
A Lerxst
PostFri Jul 29, 2005 3:49 pm 
RE: Pics I might be able to dig up a couple more...too bad the old tech failed you.

Cheers, Mesahchie Mark
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jimmymac
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Joined: 14 Nov 2003
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jimmymac
Zip Lock Bagger
PostSat Jul 30, 2005 11:54 am 
Nice! #3 seems to have the flavor of the Lakes Taht T'nahs Eb Deman.

"Profound serenity is the product of unfaltering Trust and heightened vulnerability."
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mt Index via Persis Ridgerun: A complement to Hichen's TR
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