Forum Index > Trip Reports > Old Snowy Mountain, 07/25/09
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Yet
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Yet
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PostTue Jul 28, 2009 5:38 pm 
Old Snowy Mountain, 07/25/09

With my big, bad, board exam scheduled last Thursday, I begged Mark to abscond me to the mountains for the weekend so that I could forget all about it. Good husband that he is, he agreed. He suggested Old Snowy Mountain and Ives Peak. I wanted to be ambitious and do Curtis-Gilbert as well. We had a plan!

Friday morning came and I had a long list of things to do to get ready for our weekend. What do I do? I plopped myself in front of the computer checking the results from my exam. "Give it more than a day," a wise friend said. Still I sat there hitting refresh with the tenacity of a spider weaving an elaborate cobweb on a windy and rainy day while the cat was trying to eat it. Sometime after 11 am, I hit refresh again, and the page said I passed. I could not believe it ... it had to be a mistake! But just then one of my classmates messaged me with a big "hint, hint, wink, wink." He saw it too! OMG I PASSED! After telling Mark and posting it on Facebook (gotta have my priorities straight), I continued to sit there dazed and in shock, but with a huge grin plastered on my face. Kind of like this biggrin.gif, but bigger.

I only waited 13 years for this day.

Eventually, I made myself get up, make sandwiches, put everything together, etc. I met Mark at his folks' house so we could drop Rufus off. Poor doggie will have to miss out on this adventure. But Mark's folks were happy to see their grand-dog.

The drive to the trailhead was a happy one, as one can only imagine. With occasional outbursts of "OMG I PASSED!" Good thing Mark was driving though because I don't know how we got there, still in disbelief. "If I'm dreaming, please don't wake me up."

The route we planned would start at Snowgrass Flat Trail, but as we turned into FR 21, the gate was closed! Whaaat??? Closed from July 20 - Sept 20, the sign said. We sat there and discussed our options. "If we turned around now, we could be home by midnight," Mark says. I look at him suspiciously and stated, "We're not going home!" We had to think on our feet ... err butts ... quickly, since we did not have a plan B prepared. Mark remembered something about the North Fork Tieton Trail. We looked at the map and saw where we thought (hoped) that it would connect with the PCT somewhere and we could still at least get to Old Snowy and Ives. We drove another hour and and a half to the North Fork Tieton Trail, where we were welcomed by a swarm of bugs. Thanks guys! We found a lovely campsite where we set up camp quickly, then we ate in the car in our efforts to avoid the eager welcoming committee. By 11 pm, we were in our sleeping bags. It was comfortable despite the warm night. I slept well, perhaps lulled by the rushing of the nearby river, perhaps it was because a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders with passing the boards.

Saturday, 072509: Good morning sunshine! Mark and I were ready to set out on our adventure at 8 am. We met some runners at the TH, and they confirmed for us that the North Fork Tieton Trail does indeed connect with the PCT at 5 miles. Perfect! At least we now know that piece. With hopeful hearts and full packs, we started hiking along Trail #1118. A couple of hours later, we met up with the PCT trail. I now know that this is called Tieton Pass.

Pacific Crest Trail
Pacific Crest Trail

Continuing onto the PCT, Mark and I were delighted to get a glimpse of the Goat Rocks!

Mt Curtis-Gilbert in the distance.
Mt Curtis-Gilbert in the distance.
First glimpse of our objective.
First glimpse of our objective.

We couldn't be happier!


The next two hours would be prettiest stretch of this hike, as we were greeted by beautiful, fragrant, colorful meadows.

Mark, Mountains, and Meadows
Mark, Mountains, and Meadows
Mark, Mountains, and Snow
Mark, Mountains, and Snow

It was here that I spotted the perfect rock to rest, and as I sat, snacked, and looked around, I declared that "this moment is perfection." We would come back here later (much, much later) to camp for the evening.

Slice of Heaven
Slice of Heaven
Tiny Waterfall
Tiny Waterfall

After 45 minutes of slacking, we decided to get going. We thought that Old Snowy was not that far away, but we really had no idea since the maps we brought showed Old Snowy from the opposite direction. But we had everything we need in our packs, we had strong legs, and we had each other, so we kept going.


At some point, we rounded a corner where we were unexpectedly treated to the expansive, and massive view of Johnson Peak, which filled our senses. It was quite a heady experience!

Johnson Peak
Johnson Peak
More of Johnson Peak
More of Johnson Peak
And More Johnson...
And More Johnson...
Johnson Peak in the backdrop.
Johnson Peak in the backdrop.

Our objective continues to mesmerize us and we continued to head towards it. It seemed so close!

Old Snowy Mountain
Old Snowy Mountain
Old Snowy Mountain
Old Snowy Mountain
Pretty rocks await us.
Pretty rocks await us.
Ridge run to Old Snowy.
Ridge run to Old Snowy.
Trail.
Trail.
Ridge run to Old Snowy.
Ridge run to Old Snowy.
Mt. Curtis-GIlbert.
Mt. Curtis-GIlbert.

100 miles of interesting trail later, it really was close, even though I did not believe Mark. Sorry babe. Getting to the base of Old Snowy was exciting, and the rest of it was pure fun!

Getting closer to our goal.
Getting closer to our goal.
I can almost taste it ... !
I can almost taste it ... !
Looking back from where we came from.
Looking back from where we came from.
Reaching for it.
Reaching for it.

It was beautiful up there!

On top!
On top!
Woohoo!
Woohoo!
Ives Peak
Ives Peak
Curtis-Gilbert, Goat Citadel, Big Horn and Lil Horn
Curtis-Gilbert, Goat Citadel, Big Horn and Lil Horn
Tieton Peak
Tieton Peak
North Fork Tieton Valley
North Fork Tieton Valley

Sadly, we only stayed long enough to tag the peak and take a few photos; suspicious-looking clouds were forming overhead!

Time to head down.
Time to head down.
Fun rock!
Fun rock!
Mt. St. Helens
Mt. St. Helens
Bye-bye Old Snowy.
Bye-bye Old Snowy.

We waved at Ives Peak, glanced longingly at Curtis-Gilbert, and called it a day. We headed back to our campsite, hoping to beat any downpour that was on its way.

Looking back at Old Snowy.
Looking back at Old Snowy.
Heading back to Elk Pass.
Heading back to Elk Pass.
Goat Rocks - Curtis Gilbert, Goat Citadel, Lil and Big Horns
Goat Rocks - Curtis Gilbert, Goat Citadel, Lil and Big Horns
Cool stuff.
Cool stuff.
Taste the rainbow.
Taste the rainbow.
Rays illuminating our path.
Rays illuminating our path.
Thunder clouds and trail.
Thunder clouds and trail.
More thunder clouds and trail.
More thunder clouds and trail.

I will skip all the whiny details; we made it back to camp in one piece. biggrin.gif

It was a spectacular campsite on a flat meadowy area surrounded by fragrant flowers. Across the snow was the tiny waterfall we spotted earlier, which became our personal faucet during our stay. Mark and I were in awe the whole time. All this for us? Wow.

Campsite!
Campsite!
Faucet across the snow field.
Faucet across the snow field.

Sunday, 072609: The downpour happened somewhere else and we stayed dry. Beautiful sunrise as we peeked through the window of our cozy tent. Went back to dozing immediately.

Good morning, Rainier.
Good morning, Rainier.
Good morning, Yet.
Good morning, Yet.
All packed and ready to go.
All packed and ready to go.

Did not want to leave. frown.gif

Bye-bye campsite :(
Bye-bye campsite frown.gif

But I put my big girl pants on and prepared for the hike out. Blissed out on the lovely stretch out once again. Such a beautiful place!


As predicted, we reached Tieton Pass in 2 hours, and from there it was just a matter of hiking out to the trailhead. It was a long last stretch, but eventually we made it. I could have kissed the car! Mark and I raced to take our boots off (he won), we unloaded our packs, and happily attacked the cooler. We devoured our delicious sandwiches and refreshed with cold pops, and topped off with a snickerdoodle.

T'was a blissful weekend. Absconding successful. wink.gif



Approximate stats: 22 miles RT, 5500' gain

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goats gone wild
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goats gone wild
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PostTue Jul 28, 2009 6:34 pm 
Tis a lot of joy for one weekend Ms. Yet.  Handsome feller, gorgeous mountain meadows and PASSING YOUR BOARDS!!!!

Congrats Congrats Congrats.   hockeygrin.gif  hockeygrin.gif  hockeygrin.gif

--------------
.....leaving me wanting to return over and over in what ever capacity that may be, even if one day my knees are too old and I can only see the mountains from my porch.

Jason Hummel
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Tazz
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PostTue Jul 28, 2009 6:36 pm 
hey good shot of ives. i traversed that ridge between the two.  not that fun on the loose chossy stuff of the goats.


good stuff lady. I love to see you two out playing in the hills.

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kbatku
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kbatku
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PostTue Jul 28, 2009 6:36 pm 
cool
Just missed you I guess. We were up Saturday - Sunday as well. The parking lot sure was full when we got there & empty when we left. Ditto on the bugs & flowers.  smile.gif

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Canuck
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PostTue Jul 28, 2009 6:55 pm 
That ridge run has been on my short list for too many years.  I love that area.  Looks like you guys had it all to yourselves, too!  Nice job!  And congrats on passing your boards!

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mhutch
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PostTue Jul 28, 2009 7:04 pm 
hey, nice, I ran into you guys heading up on the PCT there saturday wink.gif

I just went up near that turn where Johnson Pk comes into view, thought of doing old snowy but had a bum leg, full pack and was supposed to meet some family over in Morton in the afternoon so I decided to wait and do it in the next few weeks.  thinking I'd rather try from the snowgrass flats side as well.  the sign said rd. 21 was closed for 2 months?  the gifford pinchot NF website says approx. 30 days and gives an alternate route...but I dunno how good/bad the other road is :\ .

posted a report a couple days ago, the flowers and meadows up there were indeed amazing...

nice work up.gif

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Huron
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Huron
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PostTue Jul 28, 2009 7:08 pm 
Great exam passing celebration Yet. Congratulations!

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Magellan
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome
PostTue Jul 28, 2009 7:23 pm 
Yet wrote:
But we had everything we need in our packs, we had strong legs, and we had each other, so we kept going.

Closest I have come to boo-hoo during a TR.  up.gif

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Layback
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Layback
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PostTue Jul 28, 2009 7:30 pm 
Good stuff you guys.  I've always wanted to go check those out.  Your camp looks first class.   up.gif

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silence
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PostTue Jul 28, 2009 7:41 pm 
nice trip guys ... great tr yet .. and awesome pix ... thx for the memories ... "I kinda like the Goat Rocks .. "   winksmile.gif

--------------
PHOTOS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/33792231@N00/sets
FILMMAKING: http://www.crestpictures.com/

Keep a good head and always carry a light bulb. Bob Dylan
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the Zachster
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PostTue Jul 28, 2009 10:28 pm 
Beautiful trip, beautiful pics, beautiful story! up.gif  I love happy endings! winksmile.gif  Looking forward to the sequel hockeygrin.gif

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"May I always be the kind of person my dog thinks I am"
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gone
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PostWed Jul 29, 2009 8:10 am 
Congrats, Yet!   up.gif

Great trip report, wonderful pics!  I wasn't familiar with this area, but love it now.  A really beautiful piece of PCT, and that ridge run to Old Snowy is really cool!  Plus meadows and flowers - fantastic!  cool.gif  smile.gif

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Scrooge
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Scrooge
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PostWed Jul 29, 2009 9:19 am 
ditto.gif

Hey! I was gonna say all the things those other people did: fun TR, great pics, neat place, congratulations Mark      wink.gif

....... and well done, on all counts, Yet.           humpy.gif

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Something lost behind the ranges. Lost and waiting for you....... Go and find it. Go!
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Yet
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Yet
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PostWed Jul 29, 2009 12:56 pm 
Wow, your responses are almost as overwhelming as our trip!

Dear GGW, tazz, kbatku, GeoTom, Canuck, mhutch, Magnum, Magellan, Layback, silence, the Zachster, ewb, and Scrooge,

Thank you, good people, for all your fun and kind comments. I enjoyed reading each and everyone of them.   agree.gif smile.gif

xo,
Yet

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Yet
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PostWed Jul 29, 2009 12:59 pm 
Re: cool
kbatku wrote:
Just missed you I guess. We were up Saturday - Sunday as well. The parking lot sure was full when we got there & empty when we left. Ditto on the bugs & flowers. smile.gif

kbatku, there were 3 cars in the parking lot when we arrived Friday night. I guess it was a good thing we got there when we did! There were about 2, maybe 3, other cars when we got back Sunday around 12:30 pm. Would have been fun to run into you! Hope you enjoyed your trip as much as we did. smile.gif

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