(A painting I did, watercolor, of the Brothers. Aspect ratio exaggerated)
Don and I, July 9th, headed up to Lower Lena Lake and bypassed it without stopping. We left the masses of hikers at the lake and proceeded up the Valley of the Silent men. This valley never ceases to amaze me with its spectacular trees, moss, ferns and waterfalls. The people who never get past the lake miss the best part of the area there. Good! We met Cheryl, Geno, Steffie, and Ronda on their way out. Having returned to high camp from the climb early they had decided to bail. We found Bob Doremeyer, John Williams, Willie, Eric, and Bruce at Brothers Camp and had dinner with them and spent the night there. No campfire due to the snow on the ground, but lively conversations and climbing stories followed dinner. Some of which can be believed. I had my Therm-0-Rest pad which I found very comfortable. We were up at the crack of 7 Am, left camp just after 8 and got back down just after 11 am as I recall.
Monday, July 11, 2011
A simply beautiful alpine climb that isn't nearly so popular as most peaks in the Olympics is Mt. Tyler. It is difficult to describe how to get there, perhaps that discourages most people. Suffice to say that it is Between the Dungeness and Gray Wolf Rivers just outside the National Park boundary. We often have done a traverse to Mt. Baldy but did not this time due to snow conditions, marginal weather forecasts and laziness. Don, Douwe, Bruce and I did the climb.
The trail and the rock scramble to the false summit was snow free. The summit ridge had snow, but it could be easily avoided. The views atop were nothing less than spectacular, even with passing clouds.
Don, Douwe, Bruce and I took of of the usual Mt. Zion Trail and contoured over to the massive rock faces on Mt. Zion June 19th. It made for a bit of up and down bushwhacking, but we got there and found a wonderful little meadow above one of the highest rock faces. It was sunny and the views were spectacular. We then went straight up, maybe 250 feet, to the true summit. We quickly passed day hikers on the summit and went out the knife edge ridge to the north as far as we could, then back on the ridge where I found a line back, straight down, to the trail. For little old Mt. Zion, it made a great adventure of it. We had more than one long relaxing break in the sun.
I didn't take a camera, but he best way to get a picture of the massive rock faces on Mt. Zion is to take it from the road on the way up to the Little Quilcene trailhead, looking back. However, I included here a Google Earth picture of the cliffs. The bottom of the cliffs are at about 3650' and the top at bout 4030. The summit of Zion is 4274. Our path is in red and it takes off from the standard trail (white).
And on another completely different note: Sorry I haven't been keeping up here. It is a bit more awkward, I have found, to get on the computer, on line, find the blog, write, download pictures. That is, more awkward than I had thought.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
On a day with a forecast of rain. On a road I have never been on. I met Bob and Joyce at the Belfair State Park and we rode past Tahuya to the end of the road on SR 300 (North Shore Drive). At the end there is a county park and we walked the beach to a get below a bank to block the wind for lunch. The hills going out and back are never long or steep so it was good for my first distance ride this year. According to my odometer we covered 31.55 miles. It tracked well with the milage signs on the road so I believe it to be accurate. I wore two thin base layers under my yellow bike rain jacket and tights. I was warm enough while riding, but not too warm except on those extremely rare occasions when the sun came out. On the way back a small squall passed and we got light rain and wind for only a couple of miles. we averaged 10.4 mph over the course. It is a lovely ride along the beach covered with beach houses and cabins. I recommended it.
Bruce, Don and I drove up to the Forest Service road #060 just beyond the bridge (123 deg. 59.0') and I parked the Rav4 at a very wide spot. We walked back across the bridge and kept walking until we found a spot where the bank up looked fairly reasonable. There even appeared to be an old abandon road grade at that point, but we went over that and straight up the bank and climbed 160' of elevation to the Lower Big Quil Trail where we proceed to Bark Shanty and I renewed my geocache. We then walked over the precarious falling-down bridge and then over the slide to the Notch Trail which we took up, all the way to the Notch. Lunched and returned the same route. We did have raingear on at one point, but only for a very short while. We enjoyed finding a new route that cut a mile or so of trail off. Bushwhacking up the steep bank wasn't bad at all.
Our goal was Marmot pass. Don drove and we met Cheryl, Darrick, Glen, Geno and Jerry at the Park and Ride. We drove to withing minutes of the trail and hiked to about noon for lunch. We went on (all in snowshoes at that point) a half hour to perhaps 3 miles, maybe 4400 feet of elevation, and turned around at that point. The snow was deep enough it was a lot of work. And... it was even softer on the way out. Almost all of the trail was snow covered. We were all very tired puppies at the end of the trip. This is an unusual year because the snow came late and heavy. Last year at this time we were able to get to Marmot Pass without difficulties.
April 30th 2011
I went with Jeff (he drove) to the ice and snow training for the OC Mountaineering class. We found the snow at Hurricane Ridge at record depths, over 12 feet of snow. It was a bit soft for glissading and ice axe practice, but we managed. It was ripe for avalanche, a heavy layer over a rather firm icy layer. The day was clear and sunny and the views were great.