Hall Point Meteor Shower Hike 8/11/2017

No track and no pictures from last night.  I met Derek and his brother Ryan and their friend Jimmy last night when Derek got off work, after 9PM, and we drove to the Exit 38 picnic area parking lot to hike up to our view point on Hall Point.

Too dark for pictures, I didn’t record the track since I have done so many times.

Just wanted to note the event.  The viewing was sub-par due to all of the smoke in the air (our area has been under assault from the BC forest fires, the air quality and visibility has been terrible for a couple of weeks) but we all saw at least a few meteors.

But meteors or not, just hiking with these guys, and the awesome music they brought along, in the dark, was more fun than you might think (not everyone, it is true, likes to hike along steep trails in the woods to the light of headlamps) but really, we had a terrific time.

We will head out again next year and hope for better viewing conditions.

Old Growth Forest Tour 8/5/2017

Findlay Lake
Findley Lake

Carl and George and I joined about twenty other tourists yesterday for the Cedar River Watershed Education Center’s Old Growth forest tour.

I did this last year with its guide and guru Clay Antiou and I loved it and wanted to do it again this year. I talked it up and Carl and George were interested and they loved it as well. Every one of the CRWEC tours I have taken has been great and yesterday was no exception.

We visited a second growth stand – a stop that included a great viewpoint – and Clay told us what distinguishes second growth from old growth in great detail. It is the ‘great detail’ that makes these tours so educational and fun.

We then stopped at the Lost Creek Old Growth stand and it is awe-inspiring:

In the Lost Creek Old Growth Stand
In the Lost Creek Old Growth Stand

There were plenty of sights along the way – we bumped along in a couple of big vans – and wound up in the vicinity of Findley Lake. This area used to be the site of a University of Washington research facility, finally closed down around 1989 due to lack of funds. Too bad, it would have been good for science to continue the work.

Wish We Could Give This a Try
Wish We Could Give This a Try

There was a great-looking climb just across from where we parked the vans for the hike up to Findley Lake. Looks like it would be fun to give it a try, but it is in the watershed and therefore off limits.

I took the Garmin along so we could see where we went. Here is the track:

https://adventures.garmin.com/en-US/by/djhiker/old-growth-forest-tour-8-5-2017#.WYcPh1GQypo

And here are screen shots from what our track looks like on Google Earth. The top image is a longer shot of our entire route, the bottom image is a close-up of Findley Lake and the peak in the photo above. Impressive, what nature can do.

The Tour
The Tour
Findlay and Friend
Findley and Friend

Update: George del Campo sent a nice panorama of Findley Lake:

Panorama of Findley
Panorama of Findley

Bouldering on Mount Pilchuck 8/2/2017

The Goal is in Sight
The Goal is in Sight

Great hike today with Ken, Carl and Mike, who is back from his post-retirement vacation to Iceland, Spain and New York City. He was up for a hike and we weren’t disappointed today.

The stats for Mount Pilchuck – about 2,100 feet of elevation gain and a bit less than six miles – sounds like something in the winter on Tiger Mountain. But this is not Tiger Mountain, this is a boulder-fest. Check out the scramble at the end:

The Final Scramble
The Final Scramble

The lookout at the top is awesome and has diagrams on each of the four sides of the mountains visible in that direction:

Mountains visible from one side of the lookout
Mountains visible from one side of the lookout

Unfortunately, the views today were not very good due to the smokey sky. There are large fires north and east of us right now and the sky is hazy with smoke:

Too Smoky to see Everything
Too Smoky to see Everything

There is still some snow up there right now:

Looking Down at Some Snow
Looking Down at Some Snow

Our track:

https://adventures.garmin.com/en-US/by/djhiker/mount-pilchuck-8-2-2017#.WYJqm1GQypo

 

Mount Teneriffe via Kamikaze Trail 7/29/2017

Ken and Carl on Teneriffe Summit
Ken and Carl on Teneriffe Summit

Carl and Ken and I hiked to the summit of Mount Teneriffe via the Kamikazi Trail. I have done this twice with Derek so today was the third time.

It doesn’t get any easier.

This was Ken and Carl’s first time on Teneriffe and they loved the awesome views at the summit. It is a very challenging hike since you gain about 2,000 feet in elevation in a bit less than a mile – though when you are doing it, you are certain it is much more than 5,280 feet. But I measured the start of the Kamikaze at 3.1 miles and 2,700 feet of elevation, and the summit was 4 miles and just under 4,800 feet high.

Anyway, we took the long way down and it is a long way, about 7 miles, or just under that. Plus, you lose elevation as you leave the Teneriffe summit but then gain some of it back as you hike by the summit of West Teneriffe.

About 4K elevation gain, 6 hours for the loop on a gorgeous July day. The views at the top could not have been more wonderful.

Northeast View
Northeast View
Northwest View
Northwest View
Rainier
Rainier

Here is the track – note the elevation profile on the lower right.

https://adventures.garmin.com/en-US/by/djhiker/tenerriffe-via-kamikaze-trail-7-29-2017#.WX0A81GQypo

Change Peak 7/26/2017

Rainier from Change Peak
Rainier from Change Peak

I did a solo hike up to Change Peak today, via the standard route: Mt. Washington trail to Great Wall connector, to the Great Wall, and up the unofficial Change Peak trail to the summit of Change Peak.

Sadly, I screwed up saving the track somehow – it isn’t on my Garmin – but by good chance I took mileage readings today at key points.

I parked in the Exit 38 Mt. Washington lot. From there to the Mt. Washington trail was .3 miles. 1.65 miles to the former Sallal View trail; 1.9 miles to Owl View; 2.3 miles to Great Wall connector; 3.5 miles to the Great Wall (that is, 1.2 miles on the connector trail); 4.8 miles to the Change Peak Trail; and the Change Peak trail is .3 miles, but highly unofficial and involving a scramble up and over some boulders.

So about 10 miles round trip. Nice hike, I saw no one all the way up and only 3 people on the way down, and that was after I hooked back up with the Mt. WA main trail. Sweet.

Great, sunny and warm day but I left my car to go up the trail at 5:25 am so most of the elevation gain was before it got hot.

Perfect views, and the Great Wall connector trail is still one of my favorite forest trails.

5.5 hours all told.

Little View Point
Little View Point
Looking West
Looking East
Part of the Mountain
Part of the Mountain

We are going to hike somewhere Saturday, not sure where.

McClellan Butte/Salmon Lake 7/22/2017

Misty at the Summit
Misty at the Summit

I hiked today with Carl and we had a great time.  We drove up the service road that the McClellan Butte trail crosses about 1.5 miles from the trail head and hiked from there.

Sadly, my Garmin misfired again so the hike looks like a 41-miler from my house to the summit and back to the car. But that’s OK, I know we did about 8 miles and 3,200 feet of elevation gain.

The trail is in great shape. There are a few little piles of snow here and there but nothing that bothered us at all.

On the way down we explored the area just south of Salmon Lake and I hung a strip of pink flagging tape as a guide to when we bushwhack up from the west.

Lots of people on the trail today, it truly is a great hike. Lots of views, lots of workout.

Northeast view
Northeast view
Chester Morse
Chester Morse
Flowers
Flowers
Old Growth 3700 feet
Old Growth 3700 feet

I am not going to link the track since it is bogus.

Looking forward to my next hike!

Little Si With Finley and her Girl Scout Troop 7/14/2017

Little Si Summit
Little Si Summit

There must be something more fun than hiking with your granddaughter and her Girl Scout Troop on a beautiful July afternoon but whatever it is escapes me.

I had the distinct privilege of hiking all the way to the top of Little Si with Finley and several of her Girl Scout Troop.  We did not set any speed records – it was about five hours start to finish.

But they all made it and it was fun the whole time.

One of these days we might go up Little Si’s big sister next door:

Big Si Next Door
Big Si Next Door

I hope I get to do another hike with these terrific kids (and their moms).

Hall Creek Gorge Circumnavigation 7/08/2017

Flowers along the trail
Flowers along the trail

Fabulous hike today with Carl.

We went up Change Creek to J’s Landing, took the trail that connects J’s with the service road at 3,400 feet (not much of a road at that point, actually) then went all the way around the Hall Creek Gorge, descending via Zig Zag.

A few sections were pretty brushy but it could have been worse. Someone had trimmed back some of the worst sections since Derek and I were up there a few weeks ago. However, the bushes have grown energetically since then as well.

About 7 miles, 2,700 feet of gain (most in the first 2 miles), almost 4.5 hours, a terrific hike and workout with Carl, who had not done this hike before and enjoyed it immensely.

The track:

https://adventures.garmin.com/en-US/by/djhiker/change-creek-up-zig-zag-down-07-08-17#.WWFHW1GQypo

NF110 Fourth of July 2017

Looking West
Looking West

My plan today was to hike past the lakes Derek and I saw in early June, the day we hit Truck Summit from the south and east, and take what appears on Google Earth to be a service road that snakes up south and east to the vicinity of the western stretch of the McClellan Butte trail.

Sadly, moron that I am, I failed to bring my rain pants along and when I got to a longish stretch of total wet brush I had to choose between turning around and getting completely soaked.

I turned around because the last time I got soaked I had my rain pants to change into but this time, not so much.

So I got up to about 3500 feet, just nearing the point where the Mine Creek gorge starts to turn west, 3 miles from the car (parked at IHT and Garcia) and I could see that the only way forward was to bushwhack through wet brush. Cursing my lack of foresight I turned around, acknowledging my pathetic failure to carry through on my plan.

This is near where I turned around, before it turned into total brush:

Just Short of Where I Turned Back
Just Short of Where I Turned Back

The views up there are nice:

In The Clouds
In The Clouds
Northern Peaks
Northern Peaks

About the only useful thing I can say is that there is still some snow up there.  Clearly, the west side of the McClellan Butte trail is still covered in snow, and the route up there looks fairly rugged – but hopefully, doable.

The track:

https://adventures.garmin.com/en-US/by/djhiker/nf110#.WVvwwlGQypo

6.2 miles, just short of 2K elevation.

Great Wall to Little Mountain 6/24/2017

Rainier looking awesome
Rainier looking awesome

We were surprised to look at the Garmin when we (finally) got back to the car to learn we had only hiked 12.5 miles. It felt more like 20.

We left the car at 4:20 pm and went up the Mt. Washington main trail. It was definitely hot, pushing 90, and we did encounter a few hikers coming down.

We took a left at the Great Wall and from that point forward saw no one (except, on the IHT just before we got back to the car there was a couple in a hammock strung on the Change Creek Bridge – how romantic!).

We took the Great Wall to the southern-most service road that is outside the forbidden Watershed boundary and, at the intersection of several old service roads just east of Greenway, we headed left towards the peak that Google Earth tags as Little Mountain and that local lore tags as Chester Mountain.

Whatever you call it, the fact that we were pushing a time limit – we didn’t want to be route-finding in the dark – precluded figuring out how to summit.

What we did was follow the service road that runs around the perimeter of the Hall Creek gorge, until the service road disappeared and it was very rugged bushwhacking until we finally hit the trail (or mountain goat path) south of Truck Summit.

We were pumped to get to Truck Summit, dark as it was getting, since we had a trail to follow the rest of the way. It is fun hiking with the headlamps, that’s for sure.

Mount Si
Mount Si

Along the way we noticed a trail heading towards a local summit, something we want to check out when we get a chance:

Other Trails
Other Trails

Here is the track:

https://adventures.garmin.com/en-US/by/djhiker/great-wall-to-little-mountain#.WU–y1GQypo

12.5 miles, almost 7 and a half hours, 3,800 feet of elevation gain and morning soreness.

UPDATE: 6/26/2017 – Checking maps I realized the trail we saw is actually Mailbox Peak.  Great view of Mailbox, you can see how steep it is.