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Hike Of The Month 2011


TotemLake
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I probably missed the good weather to go after this one, but rain snow or shine, I'm targeting this short hike to Cache at Lodge Lake on Saturday. I'll be there by 8AM to be on the trail by 8:30. NWTP is required. Trailhead starts at the very end of the Snoqualmie West Summit parking lot. There are other caches to grab while we are there as well.

Snoqualmie (Blue)

Beaver Lake

Snoqualmie (Black)

400 @ 4000

I'm in

We're going.

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Wow! That is a very steep hill for a rope tow. Usually, those are only used on the easy "bunny" slopes. No wonder they got rid of it.

It was awesome! You had to get a run at it or you would just burn your gloves (or mittens). Kids didn't weigh enough to stay on the ground, so we had to put the rope under our armpits during the aerial section. Sometimes the rope was frozen and it became a contest to see who could make it the farthest before the rope inevitably started slipping through our hands. If you look in the trees on the opposite slope you can still see the base of one of the old ski jumps -- the reason the tow was built in the first place.

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Wow! That is a very steep hill for a rope tow. Usually, those are only used on the easy "bunny" slopes. No wonder they got rid of it.

It was awesome! You had to get a run at it or you would just burn your gloves (or mittens). Kids didn't weigh enough to stay on the ground, so we had to put the rope under our armpits during the aerial section. Sometimes the rope was frozen and it became a contest to see who could make it the farthest before the rope inevitably started slipping through our hands. If you look in the trees on the opposite slope you can still see the base of one of the old ski jumps -- the reason the tow was built in the first place.

I saw references to the old ski jump but couldn't accomplish an independent verification. It didn't occur to me to look up hill, but then again, I didn't know what I was looking at in the first place until I started researching.

 

I can't tell if you're pulling our leg though, are you serious about the aerial part?

 

Edited to add: Found a great write up of the history of the area. Based on a photo of a ski jumper on Beaver Lake Hill, I can see how part of the rope tow could have gone aerial with light weight loads.

Edited by TotemLake
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I can't tell if you're pulling our leg though, are you serious about the aerial part?

Now why would I make something like that up?

 

There was a rope tow at the base of the Summit named "Old Betsy" that was pretty tough to hang onto all the way to the top. Not unlike the "you must be this tall" signs at amusement parks, they tried to restrict the ridership.

 

The most formidable rope tow of them all was at Mt. Baker, but not because of the aerials. It was hard to get a grip initially because it was very fast and then the slope had a hump in the middle that caused tremendous down pressure on the rope as you passed over it. The pressure made it very difficult to keep a good grip, especially when the rope was wet, which it always was because the unloaded rope tended to cut a groove into the snow at the hump. After a few rides your gloves were soaked which just made it worse.

 

Those old tows could be pretty dangerous, mostly because the rope twisted and tended to wind up long hair, scarves, hood strings, etc. My little brother almost got hung by his hood strings on the "bunny" tow at Alpental. Fortunately for him, we were able to support him by the legs until he could be cut down.

Edited by B+L
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I can't tell if you're pulling our leg though, are you serious about the aerial part?

Now why would I make something like that up?

Cuz I know ya? :) ...and I know when that jump was in place. You ain't that old.

 

As for the rest of your comments...

That goes to explain why the rope usage was stopped. I found a mountaineering note indicating their mountaineering insurance of $70K would jump to $250K because it would lose the tie-in to the rope tow insurance once they discontinued the rope tow usage.

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I can't tell if you're pulling our leg though, are you serious about the aerial part?

Now why would I make something like that up?

Cuz I know ya? :) ...and I know when that jump was in place. You ain't that old.

Apparently, you don't know me as well as you seem to think you do signalsad.gif I may not be old enough to have jumped on that hill, but my Father is and his nickname was "Olaf" in High School for good reason. I can assure you that I did in fact ride all the lifts mentioned and that I have described them accurately, but I'm sure you can find independent verification.

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I can't tell if you're pulling our leg though, are you serious about the aerial part?

Now why would I make something like that up?

Cuz I know ya? :) ...and I know when that jump was in place. You ain't that old.

Apparently, you don't know me as well as you seem to think you do signalsad.gif I may not be old enough to have jumped on that hill, but my Father is and his nickname was "Olaf" in High School for good reason. I can assure you that I did in fact ride all the lifts mentioned and that I have described them accurately, but I'm sure you can find independent verification.

 

Hey, I remember those rope-tow days and being lifted off the ground. :blink: What I didn't know was that the Summit had a ski jump. I remember the one at the Hyak end of the ridge but not the Summit's.

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I can't tell if you're pulling our leg though, are you serious about the aerial part?

Now why would I make something like that up?

Cuz I know ya? :) ...and I know when that jump was in place. You ain't that old.

Apparently, you don't know me as well as you seem to think you do signalsad.gif I may not be old enough to have jumped on that hill, but my Father is and his nickname was "Olaf" in High School for good reason. I can assure you that I did in fact ride all the lifts mentioned and that I have described them accurately, but I'm sure you can find independent verification.

Nope. That's good enough for me.

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Hey, I remember those rope-tow days and being lifted off the ground. :blink: What I didn't know was that the Summit had a ski jump. I remember the one at the Hyak end of the ridge but not the Summit's.

Milwaukee Ski Bowl FTW! There was actually two jumps at the Summit. One on Thunderbird Lodge side and one on the opposite slope across Beaver "lake" (the one that is still visible if you look for it).

 

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Those old tows could be pretty dangerous, mostly because the rope twisted and tended to wind up long hair, scarves, hood strings, etc. My little brother almost got hung by his hood strings on the "bunny" tow at Alpental. Fortunately for him, we were able to support him by the legs until he could be cut down.

 

Yep, same thing happened to me.

 

When I was a kid, a rope tow grabbed my hood strings and dragged me about 100 feet up the mountain before the string finally broke.

 

Chair lifts are so much better.

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Thanks, everyone for joining me on this hike. It was easy to tell there were two months of atrophy. :unsure:

 

Those orange sweatshirts really stood out. They glowed in the pictures I took.

 

03ca17a2-4f10-49e9-9eef-7b77835134d5.jpg

 

Hey! Someone's missing from the group photo! Where's Penny?

 

 

She's back there behind MM's leg

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Breakout the snowshoes and micro spikes! I'll be doing another attempt at Halfway to Kendall Katwalk. The trail reports has this trail clear and paassable since the crews worked on clearing the 100's of blowdowns. The Summit at Snoqualmie has a 30" base now making the area snowshoe worthy.

 

Saturday the 26th.

I want to be hitting the trail by 8AM.

Parking will likely be in the West Summit parking lot on the other side of I-90 like before. The parking lot northwest of the trailhead is private property.

Edited by TotemLake
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Breakout the snowshoes and micro spikes! I'll be doing another attempt at Halfway to Kendall Katwalk. The trail reports has this trail clear and paassable since the crews worked on clearing the 100's of blowdowns. The Summit at Snoqualmie has a 30" base now making the area snowshoe worthy.

 

Saturday the 26th.

I want to be hitting the trail by 8AM.

Parking will likely be in the West Summit parking lot on the other side of I-90 like before. The parking lot northwest of the trailhead is private property.

Dang we will be out of town... one of these days we will make one of these hikes.

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Sure hoping to make it. Do you have coordinates for where we're meeting? Are you hitting the TH that early because it's a long hike or otherwise?

Last year we started a little later and ended up quickly reaching our turn back time. This is a long hike as snowshoes go, and we may need to make decisions based on local conditions. Two years back it was an avalanche condition that turned us back, last year, it was hundreds of blowdowns blocking the way. If this third time turns into a bust, the early start may provide time for a backup plan or just general putzing around. And the first snowshoe of the season always tends to have time taken up on adjustments at the start.

 

Park at the West Snoqualmie Summit lower lot

N47° 25.5621'

W121° 24.9833'

 

We will then cross under I-90 to get to the trailhead which last year was located here

N47° 25.7054'

W121° 24.9241'

Edited by TotemLake
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I'd like to join, but get back from Michigan late the night before and don't have snowshoes (yet). So, I may be there.

They're easy to rent from REI or Sports Authority. Costco usually has a good price on a beginner set you can buy and try the sport before you decide on an expensive set of shoes.

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Yeah, Costco has a pretty good deal right now on a set of beginner snowshoes and trekking poles together. I think it's something like $70 for the two snowshoes and two trekking poles package.

 

They also now sell gaiters (highly recommended with snowshoes) for $17--also a pretty good deal.

Edited by GrnXnham
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Thanks for the tips on the snowshoes! Since I'm flying to Michigan tomorrow morning and then back late Friday, getting something around here will be difficult or impossible for the hike. I may search for something while in Michigan, time permitting. If not, I'll have to skip this month.

 

I took a short hike on Birdhouse Trail to find GC37HFF yesterday. Snow there was only about 4 inches deep at the maximum, but it's a good distance from the pass still and the altitude isn't very high. Looking forward to getting out in the snow some more.

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The snow on top of the sign is from the past week. The snow has reached the bottom level of the trailhead sign. The snowshoe/ski trail in was packed pretty good from previous traffic. LandRover and I managed to boot in until we got about 1/2 mile past the first switchback. Snow was getting noticeably softer the closer we approached the avalanche turn back location. There were obvious air pockets we were stepping onto that even the big boat snowshoes couldn't overcome. Once we we were past the avalanche location, the snow became incredibly soft and we ended up descending below the trail following a ski track. Jester broke trail to get us back up the 50 feet to where the trail was at. The Switchback trails played an amazing role at this point and kept us on track. It took an additional 45 minutes to go about 800 feet which put us at our turn around time and at the basin trail junction, about 1 mile to our goal, knowing we were going to encounter blowdowns on the ridge. So, we headed back down the basin trail for some interesting trekking, including;

+stepping into spots where the snow was so soft, snowshoes had minimal affect and

+a creek crossing where the snow collapsed under me after the other three had managed to crest it on the otherside and I had to pull myself up by LandRover's and Jester's snowshoes.

 

It was rainy part of the day, misty most of the day, and held at 30 deg all day.

 

All-in-all, it was a great day to be out on the snowshoes and really really learn some soft snow pitfalla techniques.

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So I'm thinking Stevens Pass. There's a couple of caches that were set up specifically for winter caching, but it looks like you have to hike through the ski area to get to them. Are there trails not on the ski slopes we can take advantage of?

 

Snow Dog

uneautrefille's frontside

 

Then there's Wellington which some of us have done and appears missing again, but then there's another one deeper in the avalanche shed we didn't go after...

 

1712

 

... or we could go after Old Cascade Tunnel - East Portal

 

Or we can go after the Skyline view series. It is unlikely we'll find them, but it is a fun hike location overlooking Stevens Pass ski area from the opposite side and one I'd like to conquer since twisting my back on it one fateful day.

 

Then there's the old standby caches, Hollow Tree and Strung up.

 

I'm really undecided as long as it is on snowshoes and will go with the majority on this hike.

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Ok, it looks like the Skyline will be the target. I'm going to be parking as close to the following coordinates as possible.

N47° 44.8371'

W121° 5.3014'

 

It is the opposite end to the village drive through and I hope to avoid all the dog poop we had to walk through last time. I'll be there by 8:30AM with a start time of 9AM.

 

I have a headcount of 7 so far.

SudsyMaggie

Love

LandRover

SKS

GrievousAngel

SquareBear

TotemLake

 

Criminal mentioned he might be able to join us if his work schedule allowed for it. Anybody else?

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