Monday, December 29, 2014

Mason Lake 2014-12-29

5.19 miles and 2,171 feet of elevation gain.

An afternoon hike to the outlet of Mason Lake to get some outdoor time and check out the snow conditions.  Consistent snow on the trail starting about 2,800 feet.  Put on microspikes around 3,500, there was never a need for snowshoes.  Would probably need snowshoes to continue on to Mount Defiance.

Google Maps link

Starting up the trail.

Crossing the creek can be a challenge since they removed the culvert.  Many of the rocks above the water were covered in a clear sheet of ice.  

Mason Lake

My first panorama shot with the new camera.  Some people showed up with a dog and wanted to get to this same spot right when I was taking the picture.   I didn't get to experiment.  I'm disappointed with the pixel height, it's about a third of a normal picture.

Mason Creek

The sun starting to set over McClellan Butte on the drive back to the freeway.

Monday, December 15, 2014

McClellan Butte 2014-12-15

10.87 miles and 3,766 feet of elevation gain.

Lazy start, didn't arrive at the trailhead until after 9:30 AM.  No other cars in the parking lot.  We only saw a couple of people on the way down.  There were a few blow downs, nothing too bad.  Patches of compacted snow/ice on the trail after the first show chute.  It was very winding in spots, especially where you cross over the ridge.  Once we were on the northwest side it looks like winter with a enough snow to cover the ground and the trees.  No more wind until you get to the top.

Google Maps link

Kent's Court area

Small avalanche across the trail covered with a little fresh snow.

Looking uphill you can see the rock face where the avalanche started.
 The backside of the mountain

At the top

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dirty Harry's Museum 2014-11-18

7.4 miles and 2,261 feet of elevation gain.

A nice hike in the woods, only limited views along the way.  Started at the "Exit 42" trailhead we have used several times.  Followed Mason Creek up the hill to the Forest Service road to the Ira Springs trailhead.  At the first big turn in the trail to Mason Lake, keep going straight on a faint trail through the trees.  The first split in the trail goes back down to the freeway.  We took this route on the way back.  At the next split, take the left trail, Dirty Harry's Connector Trail.  Right continues up the hill to Putrid Pete's Peak (P3). The trail traverses the hill side then intersects with the trail to Dirty Harry's Balcony, take a right.  After a short distance, take another right at the main trail/old logging road and continue up the hill for about 0.6 miles.  Just before crossing Museum Creek look for the old steel logging cable on the right, follow this into the bushes and find your way up hill for about 50 feet to a very old logging road.  Follow the road up hill and you will come to the old boom truck.

Google Maps link

Museum Creek

The turn off to the museum just prior to the creek.

The "road" up to the museum.

The old boom truck

Using a stick to try and get both boys to pose by the truck.

It didn't work, but they had fun.

The cairn, in front of the tree, to bushwhack back to the trail.  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Easton Ridge 2014-11-17

6.73 miles and 2,512 feet of elevation gain.

The original goal for today was to head south out of Easton to Tacoma Pass where the Pacific Crest Trail intersects with NF-41.  Looked like a good road on the map.  Unfortunately that didn't work out.

So it was on to Easton Ridge.  The beginning of this trail gives you quite a workout with 1,000 feet of elevation gain per mile for about 1.7 miles.  There is a road that goes up the other end of the ridge and I set that as the goal for the hike.  This was not a day for making goals. 

Google Maps link

Tacoma Pass Attempt
After going through a pond sized pothole, the nice gravel road turned into a trail then back to a nice road for another quarter of a mile.

And then ended at the bridge to no where.
The bridge just sits up in the air.  The creek has moved to the other side of the valley.

 A detour road was built that drops down to a ford.  It didn't look deep and for a second I thought about trying to drive across. 

Easton Ridge
The waterfall near the trail head.

Para Point on Domerie Ridge

Mount Baldy on Domerie Ridge

Mount Rainier just visible

I haven't seen an anthill in a very long time.

The high point along the trail.  According to the map, the high point for the ridge was off to the side.

Glacier Peak in the distance.

End of the trail for us.  If you are sure footed, it looks the trail continues along the these rocks.