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2010 Off Week, Off Trail, No-notice, HOM


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This is really short notice. I’m planning on hiking in to Bunch Lake to try the fishing tomorrow (Monday). This is a lake in the Colonel Bob Wilderness, northeast of Lake Quinault. The lake sits just north of Elk Lake, near where Ironman has a geocache hide. We came in from the other side when we placed the caches near the ONP border. Because the lake is in the ONP, I don't think you need a fishing license.


The hike in is only about two miles one way, however, there are no trails of which I’m aware. I haven’t been able to find a trip report of anyone else heading in there either. I’m not even sure where I’ll be able to park. I intend to spend the night just down the road at the Fletcher Canyon trailhead, then head over in the morning. If it proves to be a bust, the alternate plan is to explore the Fletcher Canyon Trail, since I’ve never been up that way.


If you’re in, plan on being there at sun-up.


Bunch Lake: 47° 30.244 W 123° 41.137

Well Dang, I'm on vacation this week but I'm in Baltimore/DC doing the tourist thing. Will be back on Thursday though.

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The canyon hike to the lake didn't work. It took an hour and a half to do .15 of the 2 miles. Getting all mathy I figured it would take better than 16 hours at that rate, just to get in. Turned back, did some fishing in the river, killed an hour and a half chatting with a Park Ranger about ham radio, guns, bears, cougars, Jeeps, Starlifters, government employment and more. Then switched over to the back-up plan and hiked the Fletcher Canyon Trail to the end. Stopped for a few minutes at Ironman's house to see the paint job on the drive home. Long day.

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Looks like snow on Saturday, if you get up high enough. There (probably) won't be enough snow on the ground for snow shoes, but the snow should be falling while we're hiking.


I'm looking at either:


Big Quilcene

Mt Ellinor

Mt. Townsend

Tunnel Creek to the ridge top.

Mt Walker (the gate is closed so you have to hike it)


Or this short-&-sweet hike:

Mt. Zion (~4 miles RT)

Edited by Criminal
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Hey, I got some of them! I'm game!

What time can you be in the Silverdale area? If someone else is actually going to go (for a change) I'll set an alarm and get up early.


Early. First boat is at 4:05am. Name a place and a time & I'll be there!

Meet by the Barnes and Noble over on the Northeast side of the Kitsap Mall. 0800 sound good?

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I really wanted to sleep in this morning....REALLY. I'll have the radio and will try to call out on either Northbend or one of the Tiger Mountain repeaters from time to time. The trail head is almost at 3000' elevation, so there may be snow right from the start, but I'm not sure. I figure we'll hike up as far as we can, and as far as looks safe. See you at the Noble bookstore!


I'm poking the cursor around the map on this website to check elevation weather.

Edited by Criminal
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Wow! We had falling snow, sideways blowing snow, blue skies with falling snow…it was a beautiful day!


We did have to remove a blow-down tree across the road with a hand saw and an axe just to get in.

Much like the time I said, “You don’t need a tent in August, it never rains!” or the many times I said, “It’s a three hour hike!” or the several times I said, “We’ll be out before dark easy!” – my plan that we would get at least midway up the trail before we would need snowshoes was WAY off. We hit deep snow in several places miles from the trailhead, and had to stop at the Y in the road to the upper or lower trailheads. We decided not to try to go any further and park there. The Jeep was high centered on its skid-plates and it took some doing to get it pointed downhill again. We snowshoed up and started walking to the trailhead, and after a bit over two miles we arrived, ate lunch, and turned around again. The snow was deep! We arrived back at the car as dusk was falling, and drove out in the dark. We stopped in Silverdale for burgers and beer.


I’ll post up more details and some pictures tomorrow.







Edited by Criminal
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Heres a few more pictures from yesterday, just to rub it in a bit. The TR is posted.


Kevin axes the log if it would kindly move out of the roadway:



It refused, so we went to work on the other end:



Lead change, Kevin moves around to take the lead breaking the trail:



A beautiful day:



Parked in the deep snow:


Edited by Criminal
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Again, nice pics. I am envious, looks like it was a heck of a good time. I am shooting for Feb to be out again playing like usual. Keep the eye candy coming!

Are you sure you won't be better by Friday? I'm shooting for one last hike before the end of the year, or maybe a first for 2011, if I can reach the trailhead. The feds have Friday off (for some reason) so either Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.


Mt. Zion is pretty short at under 2 miles, but it's pretty steep.

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Even though I'm Off on Friday I can't make it.

The Belfair CM is Sunday and Andrew and I will be heading over that way on Saturday to try and knock off some of Ironman's caches though. I'm going to be bringing bikes for at least the Vista House cache. Not sure how feasible they would be for Psycho Vertigo...Doin' it Ironman Style! & The Lost Railroad though, not sure I want to be pushing / carrying bikes over abandoned RR trestles.

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Even though I'm Off on Friday I can't make it.

The Belfair CM is Sunday and Andrew and I will be heading over that way on Saturday to try and knock off some of Ironman's caches though. I'm going to be bringing bikes for at least the Vista House cache. Not sure how feasible they would be for Psycho Vertigo...Doin' it Ironman Style! & The Lost Railroad though, not sure I want to be pushing / carrying bikes over abandoned RR trestles.


Bikes work for Vista house. although you may have to push them uphill for a major part it is all downhill going back.


They will work for part of Psycho as it is an old RR grade, but two culverts have been removed and the one closest to the cache would be impossible to take a bike through. I would lock the bikes if only taken part way.


Ironman style isn't a long walk. Lost RR depends on which way you approach.


Have fun.

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The girlfriend and I talked about this and decided neither of our cars could easily make the conditions that are probably up on those forest roads. Maybe next time :)

We just need another 4x4 to get you in. Since we're meeting in Silverdale, we can leave the low clearance cars there and 4x4-pool to the trailhead (assuming we can get that far).

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Just in case we get some last minute joiners, and for everyone else, we're meeting at the Kitsap Mall near the Barnes & Noble bookstore (west side of the mall) at 0800. If you're coming from the south (thru Bremerton) take exit 45A and turn right towards the Kitsap Mall. If you're running late, give one of us a call so we'll wait.


Be watchful for black ice! :unsure:

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probably to late to ask but what 2 M freq will you be using. The SPOT is working fine. Dick

I had pretty good luck on Bremerton 146.620 last time. I don't remember the PL tone though. I'll be calling you this afternoon Dick. We'll probably all push VHF common 146.520 while we're walking.

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All I can say is....WOW! This turned out to be a fantastic hike! We barely made the trailhead due to deep snow, and I was glad Ironman had his higher clearance truck along. Oddly, the lower part of the trail itself was almost bare, but it got deeper as we went up. It turned out we didn't need snowshoes at all, and we made the summit in two hours. My radio battery was dead, but TL was able to raise Dick on the Bremerton repeater, although the signal was poor. The cache is deep under the snow so we spent very little time on that. The summit is forested so we only had good views to the north, and peek-a-boo views to the east. We had lunch and coffee and started down, making the trailhead in only an hour.


Trip Report posted.












Edited by Criminal
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Can't wait to see the pics. The reason for my lack of outdoors is that I tore my cartilage in my knee and had surgery about two weeks ago. The knee is immobilized until the end of January. But the good Doc tells me I will be in full hiking mode come spring hiking. Can't wait, until then I am living vicariously through you all. Keep it up!

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It was a great hike. I was really pleased to see the turnout. Good laughs on the way up with great views at the break in the trees as well as at the summit. It was a balmy 23 degrees out and the only time we really felt it was when the wind broke through.


Thanks, Criminal, for setting this one up. It was sure good to see you again after a long spell.


Dick, I was finally able to start picking you up over the static by positioning my antennae a real specific way. I guess I need to speak with a slightly softer voice eh? :)

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I had a lot of trouble with the pictures of the snowman at the trailhead- it's tough to see due to the lack of contrast. Here's a couple shots. Someone spent a lot of time making it!




And a crop of one of the summit group shots (I took three):





Edited by Criminal
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What a great day and a great way to end the year. I got to try my new tires in deep snow, make a good hike and had sunshine all day with some good summit views.





Late afternoon sunlit trail


What more could you ask for than good friends and good health. I had those on this trip too! My new valve seems to be working fine. Seat belts still bug me on the incision but pack straps don't.



Dueling JetBoil stoves making hot lunch and some hot coffee.

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