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~*CutebutChossy69*~
bluebagprincess



Joined: 08 Jul 2019
Posts: 51 | TRs | Pics
Location: Seattle
~*CutebutChossy69*~
bluebagprincess
PostMon Sep 26, 2022 10:52 am 
~*Hardy & Azurite 9/17-9/18*~ With the Davids! David and David have known each other for about 56 years and their families have known each other for about 5 generations! You will recognize David from the Dark peak and Pasayten Swim Trip TRs but I met David for the first time this trip. And no, I will not differentiate between Davids for the TR bc I think it is funnier that way. wink.gif Our plan was to take the Hardy shoulder approach to get to Methow Pass (tag Hardy if time permitted), drop down to the PCT to get to Horse Heaven camp on Saturday, and then climb Azurite and go back to the cars on Sunday. D1: Hardy shoulder approach > Hardy summit > Horse Heaven camp We left Seattle early Saturday morning and made it to the "trailhead" (a pulloff on hwy 20) around 10a or so. We headed up the beautiful forested approach and were in awe of the moss and lichens. I have taken this approach before but something about the way the light was hitting all the greenery this time made it seem extra pretty. David commented that descending this approach would likely flare up an old knee injury for him, so he thought about descending via Rainy pass instead.
We got to about 7400' elevation, just below Hardy and hummed and hawed about wether or not we wanted to climb Hardy. We ultimately decided to go for it smile.gif It is a T200 after all! (but not a smoot). We dropped our overnight packs before the final summit scramble and headed up, and I noticed the tiniest yellow larch in the distance! The time is coming... All in all Hardy is a fun lil scramble. The views were great and we excitedly looked out at Azurite.
it is steep
it is steep
below Hardy
below Hardy
looking at the scramble
looking at the scramble
my first golden larch sighting of the year!
my first golden larch sighting of the year!
summit selfie time
summit selfie time
you must mount the mountain
you must mount the mountain
We descended back to our packs and headed for our traverse and drop down to Methow Pass. This part has some steep sidehilling through dirt, scree, talus but really isn't too bad.
tower as seen btwn 2 larches
tower as seen btwn 2 larches
The travel along the PCT yielded sweet sweet late season berries and we took our time munching. We even got to sample a few thimble berries closer to camp! Those are my fave wub.gif
We did not find Horse Heaven camp despite a lot of wandering around, apparently it was the camp before reaching the trail jxn with the abandoned mill creek trail, but on my map it was marked as due south of the jxn. We made due and camped at the jxn for the evening. It looked like prime bear country and we did see plenty of bear poop but no bear sightings nopity.gif At dinner I did a huge goof that resulted in me spilling the entire contents of my dinner into the grass- should have seen the look on my face for that one frown.gif but thankfully David usually carries an extra dinner, and this time his extra backpacker's pantry was actually delicious! Thanks David for the Phad Thai! D2: Camp > Azurite summit> back to car I had what I thought might be my last cowboy camp of the year (it wouldn't be smile.gif ) and woke up with a very dewy sleeping bag. The morning was chilly, and the sky threatened rain. We headed up the old abandoned trail, it was easy enough to follow (esp if you have a track smile.gif ) a little brushy in spots but nothing heinous. We made it up to Azurite Pass and David decided he would stop around here and go back to camp and hike out via Rainy Pass to spare his knee any trouble. Usually I don't like to split up a group and leave someone solo but David was confident about it and is an experienced outdoorsy person. He also had an InReach with him and we exchanged info so we could message each other on our InReaches. The plan was for David and I to descend the way we came and then drive over to the Rainy Pass TH to pick up David.
on the mill creek
on the mill creek
David and I headed up towards Azurite, and picked a way that best avoided the trees on the first stretch. We found the summit post beta to be helpful for this part of the approach. We traversed over some smol ribs to find a good spot to start heading up. I found the SP beta to be kind of confusing for the main scramble part tho. SP says not to go past the major rib, and maybe we have different definitions of what a major rib is, but we gained the major rib and picked what looked like the best way up, and eventually, you do cross this rib up higher... Maybe SP meant the other rib? (which looked impassable to me...) or perhaps there are many ways up! The latter may be the most likely. We did find a few cairns from time to time, and did find a short narrow gully (although I could not touch both sides with my arms outreached, David could!) 2 arm gully for tall ppl, but not a 2 arm gully for shorties like me. Or maybe it was a different narrow gully? Not sure. We just went up and towards the final gully, following the path of least resistance. And we found it! And the sun had started to come out and all threats of rain had dissipated, how glorious!
traversing ribs and such
traversing ribs and such
looking down the gully
looking down the gully
towards the top of the final gully
towards the top of the final gully
looking back at the final scramble bit
looking back at the final scramble bit
None of the gullies on Azurite were as bad as what someone once tried to tell me they were while I was sketched out in Hard Mox's gully- after I announced that this "was the worst gully I had ever been in," they said that Azurite's gully was worse confused.gif huh.gif Well now that I've been to both Azurite and Hard Mox I can tell you with utmost certainty that Azurite consists of easy class 3 gullies (if you're on route), and Hard Mox's gully is class 5... seems pretty undebatable to me, but maybe they were off route on Azurite when they went- who knows! I was just happy to not be in any bad gullies on Azurite smile.gif Yes, Azurite is loose, but the gullies felt pretty run-of-the-mill-cascade-loose-gully to me, and I thought it was a fun peak. The final bit of scrambling to the summit is fun and airy. We enjoyed the views and snacked for a bit before heading down.
stellar views
stellar views
Azurite summit selfie
Azurite summit selfie
When we were just off the airy bit of scrambling down, I stepped on a small patch of greenery and did a classic banana peel wipe out. I landed pretty hard on my ass, and didn't realize at first how badly I had also cut my hand until I saw blood dripping everywhere. Huh?! Where is that coming from??? My first avulsion! (Which would later need 6 stitches) It didn't hurt, and I wondered if I severed a nerve bc of the lack of pain bc I'm usually pretty sensitive. The bleeding didn't stop with compression for a few minutes, and we had eaten up a lot of time stopping and tending to my wound already, so I just wrapped it tightly with tape and put a glove on over it. We descended the way we came, uneventfully the remainder of the trip (yay!). Before we got to Azurite Pass I had to change my dressing as I had bled through my glove already.
descending the final gully
descending the final gully
looking back up at the final gully we took
looking back up at the final gully we took
showing off the kiss I got from Azurite
showing off the kiss I got from Azurite
salad fingers' tape job as seen back home later that night
salad fingers' tape job as seen back home later that night
brushy section
brushy section
At camp we lounged a bit in the sun and then packed up. The butterflies were feasting on my sweaty socks I laid out to dry in the sun. Turns out butterflies are pretty metal. They were "mud-puddling" and "Most puddlers are males. Scientists believe that for most butterflies, the sodium goes straight to the sperm, which is then given as a “nuptial gift” to the female, giving the future offspring a better chance of surviving." Ah yes so glad my socks can support future generations of butterflies to come... no pun intended.
David said something about feeling kind of tired and offered to let me take the front on the way out. I was pantsless bc it was hot and I forgot shorts so I opted to stick in back, and besides his "tired" pace was a cool 17 min mile with full pack on lol.gif .
Hardy in sight again on the way back up to the pass
Hardy in sight again on the way back up to the pass
He beat me up to Methow Pass, where we lounged a bit again, and where I put on pants. After scaring all the PCT hikers on the trail (wearing underwear, a fanny pack which made it look like I was completely nude, a shirt, and 1 glove lol), and nearing more abrasive terrain I figured it was time to put pants back on. We knew we'd be racing daylight (waaahhhh summer is closing out, and fall is nearing) on the descent, but man did we have amazing sunset views as we dropped into the final steep forest section. It went fine in the dark (esp with my nice new bright headlamp) and we wondered if David was already waiting for us at the Rainy Pass TH.
We were so happy to hit hwy 20 finally! We jetted over to Rainy Pass TH to pick up David and found him hiding in the forest munching on treats. He had a lovely hike out, and his knee was doing well- hooray! We exchanged stories on the drive home and took turns napping. The crux was the late night drive home! The next morning I went to urgent care and got my first stitches ever- felt like an exciting life milestone thing. The body is so fascinating to me. The doctor said, "you are so juicy!" bc I kept bleeding with the stitches and she asked if I was on blood thinners. When I told her no she said "oh you are just well hydrated then!" I don't think anyone's ever called me juicy before but I'll take it, high end compliment right there. The watch said: 27.5 miles 11,800' gain

Choss is a girl's best friend

raising3hikers, Downhill, Frodo Barefoot, rstoddard24, RichP, freddyfredpants, Gimpilator, dave allyn  ngie, Alden Ryno, RossJames
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Gimpilator
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Gimpilator
infinity/21M
PostMon Sep 26, 2022 2:36 pm 
Pad Thai saves the day. One of my faves. I like the David Firth reference, if that's what it was. You managed a total of 3 Davids.

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RossJames
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Joined: 27 Apr 2020
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Location: Kennewick, WA
RossJames
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PostMon Sep 26, 2022 10:55 pm 
Informational and entertaining post Maybe take 2 fanny packs then you could take the lead and/or the rear bart.gif lol.gif Figuring out how many ribs to cross was the part I had to feel out, but Ira's track made it easy enough

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~*CutebutChossy69*~
bluebagprincess



Joined: 08 Jul 2019
Posts: 51 | TRs | Pics
Location: Seattle
~*CutebutChossy69*~
bluebagprincess
PostTue Sep 27, 2022 8:47 pm 
Gimpilator wrote:
Pad Thai saves the day. One of my faves. I like the David Firth reference, if that's what it was. You managed a total of 3 Davids.
It was! Haha I didn't know his name was also David

Choss is a girl's best friend
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~*CutebutChossy69*~
bluebagprincess



Joined: 08 Jul 2019
Posts: 51 | TRs | Pics
Location: Seattle
~*CutebutChossy69*~
bluebagprincess
PostTue Sep 27, 2022 8:49 pm 
RossJames wrote:
Informational and entertaining post Maybe take 2 fanny packs then you could take the lead and/or the rear bart.gif lol.gif Figuring out how many ribs to cross was the part I had to feel out, but Ira's track made it easy enough
the only major rib I know lol double fanny pack would be quite the sight

Choss is a girl's best friend
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