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Shortcut to the APE cache (is it feasible)

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I'm looking for some information from anyone here who might know the trails and terrain around the APE cache area well. I see there's several trails and in my research I'm wondering if a shortcut is possible.


I am not from that area and have absolutely no knowledge of the terrain and woods of those trails so I am hoping someone here who has done the APE cache before can answer this for me.


In looking at some maps of the APE cache area, I see there's a trail called the Curtis Nature trail which looks to be a loop with a cache in the loop. Using the "Northwest Trails" Garmin map, I also see that the distance from the most eastern portion of this trail, to the John Wayne Pioneer trail is only about 250-300M long. Based on the recommended hike, they have you going all the way south to the intersection, and then coming back in a northern direction to eventually heading east towards the APE cache.


My question is, is it possible to cut through the woods from the tip of the Curtis trail and head directly to the JWP trail, bypassing the southern hike? Is the terrain really hard or even accessible?


From a pure distance perspective, going from the tip of Curtis directly to the JWP is a MUCH shorter hike than going all the way around (cutting the hike by more than half I think) so that's why I am wondering if it's possible or even safe.


Just wondering if anyone knows. Any info is appreciated.

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Was just wondering since it seemed so close to get to the other trail. But if the elevation diff is enough that it's bad, I'd stay clear anyway.


Plus, I do imagine the hike will fun with all the folks from the APE event.


Thanks for the feedback.

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Was just wondering since it seemed so close to get to the other trail.

Those are famous last words in the Pacific Northwest mountains and jungles forests. As Prying Pandora likes to say: "How hard can that be?" Well, pretty nigh impossible, sometimes. :lol: More than once, I've been 200 ft from a cache and just can't get there from here.


As I said in the GW forum: It's steep, thickly vegetated terrain. That "shortcut" would be straight up 700 ft through dense vegetation, and would take you more time and energy to bushwhack than hiking the well-maintained trail that gains elevation more moderately. If you're injured, nobody may hear you call for help. Plus, the rangers would NOT be happy with the bushwhack approach. With 100s of people headed to the APE cache within a few days, we need to consider the impact and stay on the good side of the land managers, who will be watching. (Nobody wants to be responsible for getting the APE cache archived!)


And, for pete's sake, the hike is only two miles long! With a couple other caches you can get on the way (like Avalanche Shed).

Edited by hydnsek
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The problem with not being familiar with the area is the lack of respect for the terrain until you're face to face with it. This pass has caught the unwary offguard many times. I have accomplished this kind of bushwhack on another mountain and I can safely say unless you're a mountaineer, you're probably not ready for it. If you are, you wouldn't waste your time on the bushwhack involved with this particular slope. There's a lot of dunnage in the way both natural and manmade and this makes it not so enjoyable. Let's keep safe and sane and please stay on the trails.

Edited by TotemLake
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I looked at a couple of maps and I could see the elevation change so I have a better idea of what you're referring to now anyway.


That's why I asked folks who I figured knew the area. Thanks for the help folks.

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