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FiveNines
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Posts: 517 | TRs | Pics
FiveNines
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PostThu Feb 01, 2024 9:59 pm 
Iíd been searching for Riesenstein since first reading about it on the internet, in the Summit blogs, back in the 60ís. I kept my eyes peeled for all the clues. Visible from the trailhead. Circuitous routing. Pleasant alpine travel. Mostly I just found ants, wandering in ignorance like me. All of us hoping to uncover and discover a useful track.
Ants
Ants
Once, I saw an interesting mountain at one of the better trailheads in the area. It had all the right moves. Riesenstein? I dared to dream. Mental explorations and expeditions were already in formation on the drive home.
uctm? yici!
uctm? yici!
Life ainít easy for a girl named Dale.
Before long I was back at la RiviŤre Blanche trailhead, ready for that action, at the princely hour of noon on a pleasant fall day. Water is mercurial. Sometimes blue and sometimes white. It all depends on the light.
blue
blue
white
white
Forgot the food, but thatís OK, I still have Rainiers. Besides, the mountains are calling, so I have to go. Eat what I can forage and wonder, ďIs this what the kids call Critter Style?Ē Probably not.
I said, Feed Me.
I said, Feed Me.
The plan was to ford Big Rock Creek, head up trail, through the woods paralleling the stream. When the terrain leveled out, Iíd look to reverse ford Big Rock Creek, and then execute an off-trail cutback maneuver to access the high country. Quickly found a makeshift bridge, took a right, and began climbing gentle switchbacks.
Big Rock Creek
Big Rock Creek
makeshift bridge
makeshift bridge
magic carpet ride
magic carpet ride
Vibrant colors induced blurry visions. I felt on the verge of passing out. Whatís going on here?
Vibrant
Vibrant
Pass Out Pass?
Pass Out Pass?
Figuring out where to reverse ford Big Rock Creek unlocks the key to the whole Riesenstein approach. The yellows get more intense and Iím overwhelmed by brush and claustrophobia. Cannot continue to push on off-trail. Give up the dream of Riesenstein.
Brush and claustrophobia
Brush and claustrophobia
Relocate the trail and pushed forward, to and through Chair Peak Basin. The new plan is to camp out at Big Rock Pass, drink some consolation coffee in the morning and head back home. Colors remained vibrant, but do a better job following the rules and staying within the lines. Felt good getting out of the brush and into the great wide open. More organazized. Less congested.
Chair Peak Basin
Chair Peak Basin
Color inside the lines
Color inside the lines
Getting high in the afternoon added perspective. Routing mistakes looked clear in hindsight. Suddenly I see where Iím supposed to be. I feel the words building inside me, I can't stop them, or tell you why I say them. These words come to me in a whisper. I say them as prayer, as regret, as praise: Riesenstein ... Riesenstein Ö Riesenstein. Riesenstein.
Riesenstein ...
Riesenstein ...
Riesenstein ...
Riesenstein ...
Riesenstein ...
Riesenstein ...
Riesenstein.
Riesenstein.
My what nice teeth you have. K9 lives up to the name. Almost to the pass.
K9
K9
Look to set up camp near the summit of Big Rock Pass. Some trees are turning yellow and the opposing ridge reflected the color and the shape of a literal kaleidoscope back at my own lyin' eyes. I tasted the textures. So tired I tried to ignore all this and crush the last Rain cans before bed.
the color and the shape
the color and the shape
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim. Time to put out the lights.
silver and black
silver and black
Socrates wrote:
A man looks into the abyss, and thereís nothing staring back at him. At that moment man finds his character, and that, is what keeps him out of the abyss.
. .
. . My Oh My!
Awakening. Excited. Stiff and erect, in a carnival funhouse forest of preposterous proportions. Lost in the deep dark woods, where 2+2=5, hoping I could find a pathway out, and that it would be wide enuff, at least, for 1 more.
Excited
Excited
preposterous proportions
preposterous proportions
the pathway out
the pathway out
The pathway out leads to a boulder field, where I meet Tony, my spirit guide for this trip. They say I should exit the boulder field, head over the pleasant meadows, through Cascade Falls, and up to Pass Out Pass.
Tony
Tony
A hidden, frozen, snow gully separates the boulder field from the pleasant meadows. Too solid and slick to kick steps and climb. Too steep to arrest a fall. I stand awkwardly in the middle and catch my first view of Pass Out Pass, while also taking pictures of the thinning roof and water flowing underneath. The outdoors is scary and I remind myself to be careful. Accidents can happen to anyone.
Pass Out Pass
Pass Out Pass
steep, slickery
steep, slickery
thin
thin
Lush green meadows are followed by firm, compact snowfields. Travel is scenic in mixed conditions. Itís easy to get hypnotized. I attempt to remember to turn around sometimes, enjoy the view, and smell the flowers and all that.
pleasant meadows
pleasant meadows
peeking through look back time
peeking through look back time
Captain Vancouver never got off the boat, but still accurately named the Cascade Range. He just knew. Looking down past Cascade Falls I can see the entire high route. I yodel. Over the woods and through the boulders across the meadows we go ♪
Cascade Falls
Cascade Falls
Above Cascade Falls I pause and admire Big Rock Pass and Chair Peak Basin. One last push to Pass Out Pass.
Pass Out Pass
Pass Out Pass
When I look to the west thereís a feeling I get. The possibilities seem limitless, but every summer a few more expire.
Big Y Junction
Big Y Junction
It's all good, man.
It's all good, man.
When I look to the east things feel dark. A disturbance in the force? I opt to head down and to the right, aiming for a flat spot to set up shelter before night.
Dry Ice Hose
Dry Ice Hose
down and to the right
down and to the right
Looking back at Pass Out Pass in the golden hour. Finishing shelter after sunset. Try to fall asleep, counting satellites inside my tent, and wondering what will happen once I do drift off. If this is an Inception type situation, or what? I resolve to let it go.
Pass Out Pass
Pass Out Pass
after sunset
after sunset
0
0
Wake up next morning to a golden shower of sunshine. The mountain is calling again and I must plan. Direct ridge probably cliffs out, but thereís a potential weakness on the flanks.
sunny delight
sunny delight
weakness
weakness
Terrain is casual. Wooded hillsides and soft meadows are followed by mixed conditions over rock and ice.
wooded hillsides
wooded hillsides
soft meadows
soft meadows
rock and ice
rock and ice
A clean, solid scramble leads to the ridgetop. Alternatively thereís a dirty, loose gully full of phablet to phone booth sized rocks. Most ready to fall, some for no reason at all.
clean, solid
clean, solid
dirty, loose
dirty, loose
Iím greeted by the Middle Finger of Success, before looking ahead to assess the final assent.
Middle Finger of Success
Middle Finger of Success
final ascent
final ascent
Racing the terminator to the sky. Maintaining shade is worth the pace. Climbing up meadow staircases and looking down toward the TH, contemplating shorter routing.
terminator
terminator
direttissima?
direttissima?
One last look down to Pass Out Pass before I conquer the summit. Notice the Dry Ice Hose again in the background and feel an awkward phase distortion.
Pass Out Pass, Dry Ice Hose
Pass Out Pass, Dry Ice Hose
Stoked to find a small film canister on the summit. Hoping to prove my Riesenstein ascent in the Summit logs. The canister contains only a single sheet of paper, with only a few names, written in a bygone millennia. No location documentation. But itís the internet, so Iíll claim the ascent and check off the excel.
cannister
cannister
ancient writing from bygone millennia
ancient writing from bygone millennia
Not a good enuff photographer to take crisp summit photos. They provide an interesting survey nonetheless.
Indian
Indian
White
White
Boulder
Boulder
east side
east side
Some mountains almost climbed, others never attempted. Daydreaming for years of high routes Iíve seen only for minutes. Some things deserve closer attention when you get the opportunity.
Thunderstruck!
Thunderstruck!
Of course thereís a lake. Thereís always a lake. Shimmering and reflecting. Color changing on a whim. I christen it Chameleon. Tony invites me down to explore on the shore.
Chameleon Lake
Chameleon Lake
shimmering and reflecting
shimmering and reflecting
Tony
Tony
The surface shore of Chameleon Lake lives up to the hype. I could spend all afternoon here.
north shore
north shore
blue
blue
Chameleon
Chameleon
A small, messy, pile of rocks, and some hidden structure underneath, cleaves the outlet into two equal flows. The left fork falls and slides about thirty feet, before taking a 90į turn, pooling and undercutting a large rock, then cascading down a pitch of classic class3 Cascade splitter. Interesting.
cleave, I cleave
cleave, I cleave
30' slide, 90į undercut
30' slide, 90į undercut
classic crack
classic crack
Look across the plateau. From one falls to another? The Dry Ice Hose has been sticking in my craw all expedition and now requires further research. I scout a route , navigating a level traverse along the tree / meadow line.
wet falls, dry falls
wet falls, dry falls
routing to Dry Ice Hose
routing to Dry Ice Hose
Mark time in transit watching Black Hole Couloir open up and say ah, slowly exposing their secrets. I reminisce to a long ago time, when the internet was great again, and heroes like Philfort (+ many, many, many other fine athletes) posted unbelievable content practically every week. Gapers like me gobbled it up in cube farms, pretending to work, straight check cashin'. It was a glorious era.
slowly at first
slowly at first
open up
open up
ah
ah
There is no trace of water, or historic water flow, (drainage, erosion etcÖ) either above or below the Dry Ice Hose. The arc of the Hose is painted on rock, perfectly following gravityís rainbow and obviously displaying a heritage of intelligent design. A glitch in the Matrix conceived a falls but forgot the water The programmers goofed the codes. Further proof of the simulation.
Dry Ice Hose
Dry Ice Hose
where's water?
where's water?
I ponder the implications, subdued by the soft roar of the Napeequa far below. Canít imagine what youíd have to be on to dream of portaging a kayak over Little Giantís Pass, down the river, and out through the gap. More modern action heroes are writing cheques my body canít cash.
Napeequa
Napeequa
Wake up, pack up, and resolve to gtfo. Negotiate another hidden ice field and admire the last views of Riesenstein while ascending back to Pass Out Pass.
pack in, pack out
pack in, pack out
hidden ice field
hidden ice field
final sendoff to Riesenstein
final sendoff to Riesenstein
Trying to enjoy Glacier Peak when the low altitude plane attacks with scanners. Yankiní and bankiní above the Napeequa. I always feel like somebodyís watching me. Iíve got no privacy, even here. All because I diagnosed the glitch in
Glacier
Glacier
aerial scanners
aerial scanners
. . Suddenly wake up, trailside, in a pile of emptys and a puddle of puke. I look up for salvation and pray. Started out pretty strong and fast. But it's beginning to get to me. When does it end? What do You got in mind for me? What do I do now? Right! All right. On my knees, asking. The only responses are taunts from deranged tree huggers.
not again
not again
tree huggers
tree huggers
. . Dreaming is free
Slowly wake up, on top of Big Rock Pass, in cloud of mental haze and literal fog. Less than 24h away from the car, but my body feels like itís been backpacking for days. Multiple trips even? I hoped it was just a bad headache and begin again to pack up and get down.
mental haze
mental haze
literal fog
literal fog
The world is black and white for a time. Washed the sleep up out of my eye and color and clarity slowly return. Consolation coffee is refreshing and helps with pondering the views.
black and white
black and white
coffee w/a view
coffee w/a view
Beneath the fog and the colors rush back with blistering intensity. Calmly meditate to manifest them away chanting positive affirmations. Thereís no place like home. There's no place like home.
still more color
still more color
There's no place like home.
There's no place like home.
Rest of the hike out was uneventful. The reality of thoughtless slogging slowly erased bizarre memories about last night; as dreams are want to do. After all, it was just a dream. Right?
gate keeper
gate keeper
Stats: flags 2 cairns 0 ttl 29

JimK, Get Out and Go, RichP, HitTheTrail  KascadeFlat
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HitTheTrail
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HitTheTrail
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PostFri Feb 02, 2024 5:21 pm 
Interesting TR! A rugged area of the cascades. I was even able to identify some of the route, having camped just below your so called 'Big Rock Pass' myself once. Thanks for posting. up.gif At least one other person has shot the Napeequa since Chris Korbulic did it. He lives right here in Wenatchee. My son-in-law helped him carry the kayak up Little Giant Pass. I know him from meeting on local trails over the years. I even saw him at a social event not long ago. That subject didn't come up, but at least I know he made it back alive.

FiveNines
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FiveNines
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Posts: 517 | TRs | Pics
FiveNines
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PostFri Feb 02, 2024 8:40 pm 
HitTheTrail wrote:
My son-in-law helped him carry the kayak up Little Giant Pass. I know him from meeting on local trails over the years.
I never learned to paddle. Can't even eskimo roll. Can at least pretend to ski a little bit though. That's a neat story / opportunity. My Dad used to paddle whitewater slalom kayaks in southern CA in the 70s. In the late 80s / early 90s World Cup White Water Slalom racers would come to race in the midwest. South Bend IN and Wausau WI. Kathy Hearn? and Jon Lugbill? were competitive Americans but the field was dominated by Europeans. I never understood why the best in the world flew across the ocean, to backwater USA for 2 legs of their World Cup series? But it was rad to watch them navigate down these contrived man-made ditches in front of a small crowd of disinterested locals. Twitch 2000 is good collection of WA river porn. There's kayaking too. @ 12:00 they run Dingford Creek. Lots of Skykomish near Deception Falls Park, Middle Fork Snoqualmie, Entiat... Trying to map these runs on my WA Gazetteer atlas, before I had a car or an internet connection, are some of my first back country experiences.

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