DaKobed Range Traverse - Clark Mtn to Tenpeak Mtn, August 2013
(re-posted from Tom's nwhikers report, photos by Tom S. & Sergio V.) Originally this trip was supposed to end at Trinity via High Pass and Buck Creek Pass, but intense electrical storms had us changing our itinerary. This is essentially a repeat of a trip Tom and Geoff did in August of 2011, but this time we kept on the N side of the range instead of the S. We wound up traversing the Richardson, Pilz, Butterfly and Moth Glaciers. The descent down Thunder Creek was made more pleasant thanks to very recent work by a trail crew w/ horses. Those must be some cowboys to get horses up there! Our hats are off.
We started from and ended at White River TH. We ascended Clark via the Klenke/Sjolseth cross-country Y-Basin route, passing within 400' of the summit. We then continued on traversing the N side of the crest, climbing Luahna and Chalangin Peak along the way. We had one particularly sweet high camp at ~7900' on the Napeequa/Thunder divide above the Butterfly Glacier. Lightning was intense here, and we nearly got struck with several bolts cracking right on top of us. We dropped back onto the S side via a key ramp from the upper Moth, before climbing Tenpeak, then setting up another camp in upper Thunder Basin (gorgeous). We dropped back down to the White River trail via the climber's path in Thunder Creek. Good routefinding required here to keep the trail!
-30+ goats in one herd (pictured somewhere below)
-Perseid Meteor Shower
-ISS sighting and likely also the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle-4 (HTV-4)
chasing down the ISS in preparation for capture and birthing with
Harmony node on 8/9/13.
-Almost getting hit by lightning (more than once)
-Two all-night thunderstorms w/ hail, high winds, and lots-o-lightning
-Saw nobody the entire trip
Friday, November 6, 2013
North Hozomeen Mountain - NNW Ridge, July 2013
(re-posted from Monte's nwhikers report, photos by Monte V. & Sergio V.) After much inquiring and emailing in search of a partner for this trip, I finally succeeded in securing Monte Vís company on an ascent of North Hozomeen. Next decision was trail or swath (as in border). We decided on the trail given the recent trail maintenance reported by Eric J. here. He's right; the trail is in good shape, ALL THE ENDLESS NO-GAIN SWITCHBACKS ARE IN GREAT SHAPE. We nevertheless made good time, stopping for camp at Point 6350 with a primo view of the peak.
We got going at 7:30am with some morning mists hanging around the summits. The clouds provided shade as we made our way through the basin and toward the mountain. We both like rock scrambling and chose to stay on rock most of the way up. Contrary to my fears, the rock was solid -- hand and foot holds were secure and there wasn't much danger of party-induced rock fall beyond some pebbles. Where water flowed down the rocks it was slippery even when not steep, so we stuck to the dry rock. We ran into one short 20' 4th class step between the snowfields, but the holds were good. Other than that I can't say it's more than semi-exposed 3rd the rest of the way up. There are lots of ledges to rest on, but I'd advise gloves -- the rock is sharp. Hozomeen supposedly means "sharp rock", but others have suggested that it's Fraser Indian dialect for "twin peaks with a rocky depression between". I guess we've applied "twin peaks" to more than enough mountains to share vague naming practices with the Fraser Indians.
Our descent route was mostly the same way, diverting to the remaining snow for a bit. I had to re-climb 300' to retrieve poles I temporarily forgot I left -- did that in 20 minutes up and down while Monte ate lunch. Then it was the many miles of trail back out. How many? Too many. And yeah, ALL THE ENDLESS NO-LOSS SWITCHBACKS ARE IN GREAT SHAPE. While we were camped and climbing the Fat Dog 100 race was conducted on the Skyline II Trail. My ankles and knees hurt just thinking about it. No thanks!
Monday, October 14, 2013
San Juans kayaking, July/August 2013
Spend any amount of time kayaking Ďround these parts and youíll soon find yourself contemplating the waterways of the San Juan Islands. The attraction is obvious considering the numerous protected passages and inlets not to mention the Cascadia Marine Trail campsites scattered throughout Puget Sound and especially in the San Juans. And so, it occurred to us that the time had come to partake of this world-class sea water kayaking haven found right here in our own backyard.
We embarked on our first of several overnight kayak trips this summer with a tour up and down the north and southeast shores of Shaw Island, with camps at both Jones and tiny Blind Island. We returned to the islands in August for another kayak camping adventure this time in the waters off of San Juan Island. From a base camp on Posey Island located in the channel between San Juan and Spieden Islands, we explored the passages and bays around Rouche Harbor and beyond. With a perfect mix of sunny warm weather this summer, the humbling forces of the tides, and the breathtaking sunsets looking out towards Haro Strait and Vancouver Island; we discovered ďIsland TimeĒ Northwest style!
Jones & Shaw Islands:
San Juan Island (Rouche Harbor etc):
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Torment-Forbidden Traverse, July 2013
Tod and I climbed the classic Torment-Forbidden traverse on what was forecasted to be a marginal weekend in early July. Yet despite some cloudiness, we were fortunate not to experience any precipitation and enjoyed great climbing conditions in somewhat cooler temperatures. The unavailability of camping permits in the Boston Basin alpine zone caused us to get a jump on the route with plans for overnighting somewhere in the Torment zone instead. Having made good progress up Torment, we decided to continue past the first camp opportunity high on Forbidden Glacier confident that we could make it to the next camp before dark. Thanks to the long days and continued speedy progress, we reached an incredible bivy at the routeís midpoint by dusk on our first day out. All that remained the following day was the remaining scramble to the West Ridge Notch and climb of Forbidden Peak.
Beta on the TFT abounds, so Iíll simply point out that we avoided the infamous snow/ice traverse by making a single rappel down the south-side and climbing a gully back up to the crest. From here some exposed scrambling or a short bit of down-climbing on snow leads to the saddle on the east end of the aforementioned snow traverse. Lastly, the rappel line down the rib just (skierís) right of the West Ridge Couloir makes for a much safer and worry-free alternative to rappelling and down-climbing the couloir itself. All told, I found the TFT a thoroughly enjoyable outing in a superb setting with what amounted to long sections of scrambling and some steep snow traversing bookended with short pitches of technical climbing on Torment and Forbidden proper.
Monday, September 16, 2013
Harbor & Jetty Islands kayaking, June/July 2013
We had a couple sunny Sunday afternoons in late June and July to burn and came up with these two island circumnavigations to pass the time. The artificial island at the mouth of the Duwamish Waterway known as Harbor Island makes for a short, but fun loop through the heart of the bustling Port of Seattle. Paddling along the islandís east-side was easily the highlight of the trip thanks to the enormous container cranes towering overhead on both sides of the channel Ė a place we dubbed "Valley of the Giraffes".
Our next paddle around Jetty Island in Everett however wasnít nearly as pleasant. While the water was calm where we put in at the marina just opposite the islandís east shore, it was quite a different scene on the other side. Lo and behold, the kiters were out in full force, doing circles around us while we struggled through the chop. It was quite a sight, though not so fun for a kayaker; with miscalculated tides and winds, this turned out to be our first portage ever. Wonít do that again!