Forum Index > Trip Reports > Tenas George - Entiat Ridge - Swakane Canyon 3/27
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wildernessed
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PostSun Mar 28, 2010 8:26 am 
Steve had been telling me about a canyon accessible off SR 97 known as Tenas George for some time so we decided to make a car to car trip starting right near the Columbia River and entering the narrow canyon which becomes quite wide and goes West more than a couple miles, we took a ridge at about 1.75 miles which I'll call Tenas George Ridge which gains elevation rather steeply at times hooking to the South and intersecting with Entiat Ridge.
Tenas George- Ridge - Entiat Ridge - Swakane Canyon
Tenas George- Ridge - Entiat Ridge - Swakane Canyon
The day started out cool, but with clear blue skies, and a warm sun. There were quite a few Butter Cups, a few Shooting Stars, and Blue Bells, but not much else the whole day. Balsam Root were still very scarce.
Turtle Rock
Turtle Rock
Swakane Peak 3000' above us.
Swakane Peak 3000' above us.
So we gutted out the gain in the sun only to be greeted by overcast skies, and haze as we hit Entiat Ridge and looped back East towards a highpoint for lunch looking down on Swakane Canyon and across at the Enchantments, Chiwaukum Range, and back towards Glacier Peak and Clark. Currently at 4900' on the ridge there is 3-4' of snow, we weren't expecting that. I didn't take many mountain pics because with the haze I couldn't really pick out the peaks through the view finder or LCD.
Steve on the highpoint lunchspot.
Steve on the highpoint lunchspot.
Looking across Entiat Ridge above Swakane Canyon around 4920'
Looking across Entiat Ridge above Swakane Canyon around 4920'
I think that is Pyramid peak on the left with Sugarloaf to the right.
I think that is Pyramid peak on the left with Sugarloaf to the right.
Three Brothers and Navaho through the considerable haze in the  area obscuring  a lot of peaks on a clear day.
Three Brothers and Navaho through the considerable haze in the area obscuring a lot of peaks on a clear day.
We had a quick lunch and headed East by Swakane Peak then down into Swakane Canyon taking a wrong spur which had us dropping down into the canyon that comes right out in front of the parking lot / TH. Quite a trip, good to get out . As usual nice one Steve ! 9.7 mi., 4500'
Steve working his way to the side of the ridge down into the canyon directly in front of the Swakane TH
Steve working his way to the side of the ridge down into the canyon directly in front of the Swakane TH
Enchantments
Enchantments
Swakane Peak to the left and our ridge in front
Swakane Peak to the left and our ridge in front
Tenas George widens out
Tenas George widens out

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TrailPair
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PostSun Mar 28, 2010 8:51 am 
Love the wide opens spaces up.gif

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Movenhike
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Movenhike
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PostSun Mar 28, 2010 11:06 am 
Nice roaming country. Looks like you guys got a little spring and a bit of winter. That sure is a pea-soupy Enchantments shot! Were they doing prescribed burning in the upper valley or was it just pre (storm) frontal haze, or a combination? Anyway, those sagebrushy wide open rambling shots were making me want to get out bawl.gif

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wildernessed
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PostSun Mar 28, 2010 11:49 am 
I think it was a combination, the Columbia River was totally obscured from our vantage point South of Wenatchee, hazy over the Waterville plateau, up towards Chelan, and to the West. Good training day though.

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wildernessed
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PostWed Mar 31, 2010 7:44 am 
Movenhike, we covered a good cross section of country,to a place rarely visited, are you back around ?

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Movenhike
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PostWed Mar 31, 2010 11:59 am 
Yeah bro, I'm around for awhile. I just had back surgery though. I shouldn't do anything over 4-5 miles. More than a few hundred feet of elevation gain would be a bad idea. Off-trail uneven footing would wear me down quicker. I'm interested in hikes 33, 34, or 36 in the A. Bauer-Desert hikes book. P.M. me if any of those sound interesting.

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Z
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PostFri Aug 27, 2010 12:18 pm 
After the fire and flood, the canyon looks considerably different now. In one spot, it looks like the flow was close to 18 feet high. Although I'd always assumed that Tenas George was a native, I found the following in a 1904 Ferry Co. mining history: " It would be a serious omission were we to close this chapter on the mining properties of the Eureka District without reference ot George W. RUNNELS, of Camp Keller, Washington, or "Tenas George" as he is generally recognized throughout Eastern Washington and British Columbia. He is a native of the state of Maine, and was a sailor in early life, and in following this vocation landed on the Pacific coast forty-three years ago. Drifting into the mining country, he participated in all the famous stampedes, and invariably managed to secure some of the best properties. He has taken out $300 daily from placer claims, and if he now had only a part of the dust he has unearthed, he would not be troubled concerning finances during the remainder of his days. "Tenas George" is a typical miner and frontiersman, and his generosity and kindness so predominates over his rugged and adventurous nature that he has spent his money with a lavish hand. Any case of hard luck or want coming to his knowledge impelled him naturally to share his store with the less fortunate of his fellow creatures. He is a man of indomitable energy and enterprise, and for many years operated pack trains and trading posts throughout the Indian country. Revered and respected is "Tenas George" among the Indians and not without good reason. One of his earliest experiences with natives was a fierce duel with knives in which a lusty young buck of the Sans Poil tribe was the aggressor. This Indian still lives in the Sans Poil valley, and carries long scars on his body in testimony of the prowess of the young "Boston man". The character of this sketch appears to have borne a charmed life. On several occasions he has faced other desperate men in mortal combat with pistol or gun, and in every case his antagonist came out second best. It is said that two of his assailants fell in their tracks, being overtaken by the unerring aim of the redoubtable and fearless prospector. Mr. RUNNELS is intelligent and singularly well read in a variety of subjects, besides being an advanced thinker. He is a careful reader of the daily press and the author of several poems and ballads of considerable merit. For a life partner he chose the flower of the Sans Poil tribe, though he might have selected one of the beauties of his own race, had he so desired. His married life has always been happy and he has never found reason to regret his choice. Sufficient hidden treasure has been discovered by this man to build a city or a railroad. Among the many quartz mines he staked are the "Triune" in Okanogan; the "Golden Eagle" at Fairview, in British Columbia; the "TRAILER", "TENDERFOOT", "MOUNTAIN LION" and "LAST CHANCE" in Republic Camp; the "Iron Mask" in Kootenay, and the famous "ICONOCLAST" on the Toloman Mountain in the "South Half" of the Colville reservation. The combined value of these properties would furnish wealth enough to make this man the J. Pierpont Morgan of the Pacific coast. Mr. RUNNELS says: "The ICONOCLAST is, I believe, the greatest mine I have ever staked. I discovered this thirty-one years ago, and there, on that stunted pine tree, are the marks I made with a hatchet at the time I staked it. I took samples of the rock to Walla Walla, and old Dr. Day assayed it and pronounced it good copper ore. I have held that ground ever since, and about the time the reservation was thrown open, at the peril of my life, for other men were there to seize the claim, I secured it, and put up my stakes. I was determined no one should get it without killing me first, and I told my wife that if, perchance, I lost my life defending the ICONOCLAST against the intruders, to bury me on the claim." For months preceding the opening of the "South Half" to mineral entry, "Tenas George" stood guard with his Winchester over the ICONOCLAST, and though the temptation was great, none ventured to dispossess the rightful claimant."

"Einstein stating that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, is as a blind man stating that nothing can travel faster than the speed of sound" 1979 They don't make years like they used to.
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wildernessed
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PostFri Aug 27, 2010 2:21 pm 
up.gif Very interesting, thanks for adding to the report.

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Movenhike
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PostSat Aug 28, 2010 8:38 pm 
WOW eek.gif Thnx for the history lesson Z!

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Sharmagne
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PostWed Feb 16, 2011 11:10 pm 
Z wrote:
After the fire and flood, the canyon looks considerably different now. In one spot, it looks like the flow was close to 18 feet high. Although I'd always assumed that Tenas George was a native, I found the following in a 1904 Ferry Co. mining history:
"Tenas" George was my great grandfather. In our language "Tenas" means "Little". He was called "Little" George to differentiate between his wife's brother Nespelem George and many of the other Georges in our family. Several of the trails and landmarked areas bear the names of my ancestors or were named in some way to honour them, such as Teroda Trail, (my great grand uncle) Tonasket, (he was my great great grandfather's half brother) . Spirit ridge is named for my great great grandmother's grave site where she was buried after being murdered by US army soldiers. Her nephew Timen Twa led them to the mine. My great grandmother Skookum Analyx was cousin to Chief Spokane's boys. Everywhere I turn there are memories of my forebears. I am writing a book of short stories which include the stories about the Iconoclast and the claim jumpers mentioned in your quote as well as a story about Quel Pecha's murder. How Nespelem George became chief after his father went to ive in the spirit world, etc. It is nice to know people are still hiking those mountains and trails.

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HitTheTrail
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PostWed Feb 16, 2011 11:17 pm 
As I remember, the "BIG" Tenas George fire occurred back in the 1960's. That sticks in my mind because my father almost died fighting it.

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puzzlr
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PostWed Feb 16, 2011 11:48 pm 
Thanks for posting Sharmagne. I've not see such a valuable contribution in a first post before. Please share more any time you want. I'm all ears. Rob, you meant 3-4 inches, not feet, right?

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wildernessed
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PostThu Feb 17, 2011 10:48 am 
Thanks for adding to the report, there is a lot of important information in TR's and through words and pictures they can give a historical snapshot of an area. Puzzlr yes, there was 3-4' of snow in places we had to detour around the deepest, and make the best of postholing through up to all most waist high at times.

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Sharmagne
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PostThu Feb 17, 2011 9:57 pm 
puzzlr wrote:
Thanks for posting Sharmagne. I've not see such a valuable contribution in a first post before. Please share more any time you want. I'm all ears.
Thank you too, for the reply. I am very happy to have discovered this site. I have to admit though the only hiking I do is to hike in to a trout stream or a river in search of the elusive Atlantic salmon or steelhead. If there are any fly fishermen/women on here check out Brown Hackle Lodge on Face Book. We are right on the Stillaguamish River over in Arlington. I am going to attempt Mount Si in North Bend, WA in April. ALittleHawk

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Sharmagne
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PostSun Mar 31, 2024 8:58 am 
I just found some more info online from the Okanogan Historicsl Society about “Tenas” George. https://okanoganhistory.pastperfectonline.com/byperson?keyword=Runnels%2C%20George%20W.%20%28Tenas%29

Brown Hackle Lodge on the Stillaguamish River Google Us!
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