username
X
password
register help
GuidesRoutes
 
Photosets
LabelsComments
triplogs photosets comments more
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 11  Next
214 triplogs

Aug 11 2019
skatchkins
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 3,186
 Triplogs 214

41 male
 Joined Dec 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
West Weminuche Wilderness, CO 
West Weminuche Wilderness, CO
 
Backpack avatar Aug 11 2019
skatchkins
Backpack
Backpack6 Days         
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
bigredjeepchick
spacetimeart
My busted knee, too much downfall, and a record winter riverflow took a lot of the gumption out of this trip and turned it more relaxing.

We showed up to our first night's airbnb cabin and it was full of dogs. The host couldn't be reached by phone but a one-legged garage sale lady drove up the road to fetch her. She had forgotten what day it was and her dogs were in heat so she had to keep them inside from the chickens (surely unrelated) so she upgraded us to a big cabin (doublewide).

The plan.
It was an awesome loop- a long loop but a good one. It started breaking down shortly after it begun with Ranger Son-I-think-we're-having-a-completely-different-conversation informing me that the Flint Creek leg of my loop was extremely full of downfall. I get that packing out other people's trash, and not having the resources to maintain trails for said people makes you jaded but this guy did not start out or finish liking me at all. He also said the river I was planning on crossing on my out (was full flow) and the bridge has been out for several years.
"You're not angry about the bridge being out?!?"
"I.. do you want me to be?"
"Yeah you should. You need to write some letters. You guys may be able to make it if you link arms."

So anyway, my painstakingly planned plan was dashed. I had saved an alternate way to do the whole thing but that would take us to Emerald Lake. While definitely being pretty, it's more traveled and you can't really camp within eyesight of either Little Emerald or the big one.

The first night we went past the Lake Creek trail a couple miles to find a quiet spot on the Pine River. Most of the hike along the river doesn't keep you very close to it. In fact the first 3mi are just hiking along barbed wire fenced off ranch land and is mundane. A lot of the later river is fast and rapidly flowing dangerously over the rocks. Our camp was at a slow bend in the river which was perfect for my sister's rod and reel. The hike in until bedtime was pretty rainy. We had just enough break to cook our meal and get a small fire going to cook her caught fish.

Day 2. We hiked back to the Lake Creek Trail and up and up and up to Little Emerald Lake. The trail is also used a good deal for horse tours so there's some poo filled hoof holes to navigate. After the Pine River junction, there's not many camp options. Once we made it to the lake, my knee was hollering and we went about finding a camp. There's plenty of signs decrying camping within a 1/4mi of the lake and there's plenty of fire rings and seats within that boundary. I admit I gray area'd a camp for that evening. We did not eat fish this night. We were all pretty tired and Noel's new thyroid regiment was keeping her slow and thinking about the rest of the trip too.

Day 3. I moved our camp in the morning to a spot just off the outlet creek. This placed us outside the lake signs and over 100ft from the creek water. While it had no lake view, it did have water access unlike the previous night's high steep camp, and also had a little rock oven built. I discussed abandoning the plan up to Rock, then to Sunlight, then back down the Vallecito to where we had parked our second vehicle and everyone was quick to be on board with it. This would be our home for a while. We all split up, Dana to fish, Noel to hike the trail to Emerald and paint, and I off trailed around little poking around, seeing what I could handle. The little oven worked great for more fish. A fawn and her momma would come through the creek next to camp in the morning and another deer would come sniff all around camp in the evening without any fear.

Day 4. More of the same. We all found plenty to do. I enjoyed the offtrail. I recommend goofing around between the two lakes. It's very lush, had the most wildflowers and mushrooms and interesting rusty finds. In the evening I used a little line kit I had brought and worked it onto my hiking pole. It worked pretty well.

Day 5. We decided to head back down the hill towards Pine again. Once we got to the confluence, we still had plenty of energy and the camps there didn't have slow river access. We thought why not go back to camp one since we knew it was a relaxing place and fishable. Plus no rain this time. Once we made it there and dropped packs, I decided to keep going and see about Falls Creek. I passed a couple of the longtime camps used by the horse guides. The river stay away for a little while again but also stays calm and winding. The valley opens up a lot and was more of what I had pictured the Pine River trail to be. I crossed the river at the falls. Did I mention the flies yet? Holy crap. Stop for more than a minute like to pull of your shoes, and you'll have 20 of them on you. Most of them are just regular garden variety and you have to accept their love, but 10% are the biting kind. the 100% deet stopped the mosquitoes in their tracks but none of the flies cared. All that beauty and the whole trip was flies. Playing cards by the water. Stopping for lunch. It was tolerably miserable if you didn't focus on it. The good part was, if you were hiking, or moving while fishing, or swimming, or night timing, they wouldn't touch you. So know that if you want to go here. Anyway, so I made it as close as I could to the falls. It was clear that they were better from a afar. I bushwacked a little up towards them but they fall from so high, there's no point IMO.

I made it back to camp super wiped out and got the girls a fire so they could cook MORE fish. We used the last of our butter and Tony's.

Day 6. We hiked out the way we came in. Those last 3 miles really are unrewarding.

We got our airbnb and found out THE place to get burgers (and breakfast) was the little general store/mexican restaurant. It's misleading I know but they have like 10 specialty burgers and they are amazing. We read all kinds of old Colorado and survivalist books at the cabin the rest of the day.

We didn't see any bear on the trip. We passed a trio of dudes all carrying 45's or maybe 10mm's and they had bells on their shoes. The neighbor's dog at the aribnb had 30 stitched from being bear swiped a couple days before.

Emerald lake and surrounding is about 85-90% dead standing trees due to the beetles. Once the trees start falling, I have no idea how they'll keep up trail maintenance there either.

More info: Emerald Lake is 248 feet deep with 280 surface acres and 12.0 miles of shoreline. The lake is the third largest natural lake in Colorado and only accessible by foot and horseback. The unique Cutthroat Rainbow Trout hybrid exists in the lake. This is one of the few self-sustaining rainbow populations found in Colorado.

Fishing is prohibited in the inlet of Big Emerald Lake and the inlet stream (Lake Creek) for 1/2 mile above Big Emerald Lake from Jan. 1 through July 15. Fishing in Little Emerald and Big Emerald Lake is restricted to the use of artificial flies or artificial lures only. Bait fishing is prohibited. The bag, possession, and size limit for trout is 2 fish, 14 inches or less in length.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
_____________________
May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
Armchair Crisis Design
3 archives
Jul 12 2019
skatchkins
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 3,186
 Triplogs 214

41 male
 Joined Dec 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Gifford Pinchot Waterfalling III, WA 
Gifford Pinchot Waterfalling III, WA
 
Hiking avatar Jul 12 2019
skatchkins
Hiking
Hiking
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners partners
spacetimeart
Day 3

Now that the weekend was upon us, there were more signs of people in the forest. We took at that as our cue to move on and we headed over to the Quartz Trail. The campgrounds and parking areas were filling up but not too long we were again away from all of that nonsense. This trail was a good test for the knee and I learned long uphill steps were good and that downhills were what they were. The trail definitely put you into some beautiful old growth forest; it also kept you way up high off the creek.

We made our way down to Straight Creek to find campers, then headed up to Straight's three part falls and ate lunch on a log over a beautiful swimming hole. Then we got our feet in the water and headed up Quartz to the upper falls. I had originally planned to continue the Quartz trail to Snagtooth creek to find its upper falls. But I took into account that those falls required a heavy bushwacking and while the drop is reported to be impressive, the summer flow is not, plus we were right next to three waterfalls that would look great in the evening lighting compared to the current bright sun, also my knee loved soaking in the Quartz holes. Additionally, we have a small tent and there was a beautiful spot next to the falls just big enough to fit it so, we set up camp and relaxed about.

Washington people seem to not like to get their feetsies wet, as no one ever ventured from the confluence camp/trail upstream to explore or even see the upper falls. This made for some great solitude and no tan lines.

Once the sun settled down a bit, I revisited Straight Creek falls and wound up finding a way down to Lower Quartz Falls. At 30' tall, the narrow double falls really weren't worth the work required to get down to. There is a nice swim hole there though, but anyone near camp that peers down will see you.

Day 4
We decided to nip the rest of Quartz in the bud and head over to another area of interest with the thought that we could probably find a spot near to camp or just head down the Speed Trail to the dispersed river camps.

This was the leg of the trip required the most planning. According to the book and various internettings, two large falls exist that used to have pretty easy access to until the forest service not only decommissioned some roads, but straight up tore them up for nature to reclaim. While here in AZ I'd hear a lot of, "Great, more hiking! Less access!" my intel gave the opposite impression: "Unfortunately despite being one of the most noteworthy waterfalls in the Gifford Pinchot region of Washington, the National Forest Service has not yet seen it fit to construct a trail to the falls." and "the powers that be didn't take the opportunity to make a trail... A secret waterfall without a fan base has little political power when it comes time to shut down access." etc.

So anyway, we drove over to the end of a road that used to continue on. Surprisingly after passing so many full campgrounds and RV's struggling to find space, no one was camped along this rental capable gravel road along the creek. The road end had perfect creek access and a fire ring so we set up our tent and ate lunch. Then we began our offtrail to McClellan Falls downstream. There is some flagging if you look close but also, there's a lot of downfall and while sometimes you can see a faint beatdown path, a lot of times you can't. The path of least resistance sometimes keeps those flags out of sight so it's not easy by any means.

We found the top of the falls and then a goodish way down to the bottom. The devil's club wasn't bad until you get up in the spray zone so we hung out for a little bit taking photos. We started hiking back to camp and Noel returned to the tent to nap while I checked out Upper Curly Falls and did the swim, soak, and air dry. We cooked supper a little earlier this time and played cards next to the fire.

Day 5
The next day we set out to tackle our biggest hurdle. From camp, we crossed the creek and started our journey on the first decommissioned road. Imagine a faint path between young growth trees while the old grown streams by on both sides. I was nice and cleared out all the morning dew with my body and the spiderwebs with my face just for Noel. Before hitting the next defunct road, we set off into the forest to shave a little time off the oxbow on the trail map. It's about 3mi hiking on upturned asphalt between young saplings and it's pretty difficult to get lost.

The challenge is where to turn off into the thick forest and head towards the creek gorge. Notes say things like, just past the country stockpile, head into the woods and bushwack for about .3 miles then drop in. The forest is so thick now you can't see the stockpile but I had it marked on the GPS. I had also seen what looked like an old logging road on Google Earth that from the ground, you could kind of tell used to be there at some point. We hiked that until it ran out and then frustratingly busted brush in the right direction as best we could. There are flags all over in this area from other explorers trying not to get lost and from the logging companies so it's a very misleading adventure. We finally made it to the edge and saw the slippery slope and logs. I'm so glad I didn't save this for the last day. The down was tough.

Once we saw the waterfall we realized we didn't need to or want to get close. It was spraying up pretty far downstream. We slid down a diagonal mossy log a couple stories off the ground, then I walked an perpendicular log to a perch to shoot from. Just after getting a couple shots and already wanting to get to safer ground, bees. At first thought, I churned up a wasp nest with my tripod. My second thought: my fight/flight is going to be the death of me as I spin and swat precariously while balanced on this slippery ass high wad of pick-up-sticks. I managed to hand off my tripodded camera to Noel and then get back over to the bigger log. I saw the swarm was just 5 big curious bumblebees but we had definitely had our fill. I should mention that Rush Creek is really a river. It may be hard to tell from the photo but that water is uncrossable it was fast and deep. Also, the devil's club was bad down here and it took a lot of beating back to get down. It was stupid not to at least leave a note on the car for this hike as to where we'd be.

Once we dug ourselves the 800' back up to the rim, we set about finding a bushwack out. This was the first offtrail waterfall of the trip where we actually encountered people. As I heard them busting (not path of least resistance, straight line busting [which may be better]) I made some noise for them to hear too. They were astounded to see anyone here, especially from AZ and dude was ecstatically proud to know other people were checking out WA's OT waterfalls.

Anyway, we figured out a way back to the "road" then made it safely back to the car and packed up camp. The plan was to spend the last night on the Lewis and I could try to reach Falls Cave by uphiking Big Creek. We drove over towards the Speed Trail drop in, and then we were finally honest with ourselves and each other that we could be done. Our new forest friend had confided with me on how hard the Cave Falls hike could be (full of the club) and really we were just physically and more mentally drained. Once we were on the same page, we decided to check out Big Creek falls (decommissioned/de-signed trail with only 2.5 minutes from the car) nearby then head back into town and figure out some quaint lodging.
Culture
Culture
Camp-fire
_____________________
May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
Armchair Crisis Design
4 archives
Jul 11 2019
skatchkins
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 3,186
 Triplogs 214

41 male
 Joined Dec 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Gifford Pinchot Waterfalling II, WA 
Gifford Pinchot Waterfalling II, WA
 
Hiking avatar Jul 11 2019
skatchkins
Hiking
Hiking
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
spacetimeart
Last leg of base camp 1.

The sun came out. Bad for photog'ing, good for swimming. Well, we came to see waterfalls so let's go find them anyway.
First offtrail drop in - Steamboat Falls. A lot of the instructions for this forest's waterfalls are park around MP Xx (most of the MP's are gone or unreadable), head into the woods until you hear the falls, then head down below that sound. Sometimes there's a pink flag here and there, but the loggers also use flags. Sometimes there are faint paths intermixed with misleading game trails. Sometimes there is spikey devil's club to wade through (After AZ catclaw though, I was pretty unimpressed with the club until the crazy Rush Creek hike).

We made it downstream of the roar, then worked our way back up in the cold Lewis River (not too far from it's Mount Adam's glacier beginning). The sun was bright so we just hung out for a while exploring and stuff.

We scouted one more waterfall down the road then decided to head back to camp to wait until the sun was lower to return and also hit the other falls we had scheduled. I goofed around the Twin Falls then hung the hammock and chilled.

Later we resumed our exploration and checked out Pin Creek. After very carefully peering over the edge, I realized today was not the day to find a way to the bottom of the Upper Falls so we went to Upper upper (Pin head) and then back down to Lower (relatively easy OT hikes).

We were excited to go back to the falls on Big Spring Creek now that the lighting was great. Such an easy right off the road spot that just looks wonderful. With little defused daylight provided this day and #bodyissues, I opted out of a longer off trail falls search I had mapped out.

Last night at this camp.
Named place
Named place
Big Spring Creek Pin Creek
_____________________
May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
Armchair Crisis Design
Jul 10 2019
skatchkins
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 3,186
 Triplogs 214

41 male
 Joined Dec 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Gifford Pinchot Waterfalling I, WA 
Gifford Pinchot Waterfalling I, WA
 
Hiking avatar Jul 10 2019
skatchkins
Hiking
Hiking
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
spacetimeart
This was our second trip up around the Gorge mostly armed with Scott Cook's book "Curious Gorge." We bought it in the library a while back, ignoring all the full color glossy books, in favor of the unique layout (and campy descriptions) with an "Obscurometer" for each location. There are plenty of off the grid locations that go into detail on things like free entry points, take the secret trail just past the curved tree, and even where safe nakes can take place. We started with the book, then utilized the amazing waterfallsnorthwest.com site, then researched further until I could no more.

People and organizations like this amaze me because of the freeness of location help. Most people won't or can't do all the work of the offtrail bread crumb stuff anyway, but it's still a different experience than other "clubs" (I'm looking at you cavers, offroaders, and even urban explorers) where everything has to be hidden, unshared, unnamed, leave the pink ribbon at home and stay on the trails attitude. I'm a member of most of those groups so I get some of the reasons, I just really find the offtrail waterfall people so refreshing and so darn likable. Anyway, here's part one of the trip.

We flew into Eugene (Allegiant) and drove up to a cheap Airbnb tiny house in the old growth woods. Frogs singing all night, moss on the shingles, the whole tiny thing. We finished the drive to the Gorge and into Washington the next morning. Against all that I'm about, we headed to a campground- But one that is listed as defunct, free, unsigned and abandoned by the forest service. There was a sign back up at the entrance but everything else checked out. We got a small spot down the hill and on the water across from Twin Falls. This was a base camp so it was good that it was easy to access and just a couple 100yds from the vehicle. There is a harder to get to camp across the creek if you cross the fallen tree, but again, I was going for easy base with waterfall view. We set up camp then headed back to the rental- which even though we paid for subcompact, got a big ol' Impala.

Given that it was awesomely overcast this day, We decided to do the bigger falls today and do the smaller ones around camp ones the next day. So the roads up in the Gifford are pretty bad- even the paved ones. We took one route (32) and even though I'm fine with mudding a white Chevy, it got to where the possibility of turtling it between two mudpuddles was getting to be too high, so I had to turn around. Back at the main road to try a little reach around, we found that the good double-lined, yellow-filled, paved road (88) on the map was washed totally out. Well all right.

I do love my maps. Map told me there was another 'nother way around (8810/8860). We reached it, found some gravel, dips and hills, and kept moving until we connected back up with the other end of paved washout road. At the big tire in the middle of the road that marked the junction, we continued on to another paved road (8851). And the vegetation did groweth over- We're slapping both mirrors now. And the road did slide awayeth- I got out 3 times to plan the rental's diagonal descent over the uneven cracks. It made it without grind or gas stomp. And we finally made it to the start of destination 1 - Little Niagara Falls.

This was an overly hard day. First we downclimbed to find we had over shot the falls. Then we started over and downclimbed to find we had under shot the falls. This was awesome because we got to find bonus falls. This was bad because the fertile Earth opened up and swallowed my leg causing my other leg to go awry and finish tearing my meniscus, and getting a good stigmata hand stab in the process. Well all right, add a thing to the list. I do the weird bendy thing to clear most of the cartilage from the joint and we continue on. We shoot the lower 2 falls, then make our own path up them and over to the real show stopper.

Little Niagara is a girthy falls. 85' tall but a max width of 150'. Lots of spray. Huge downed tree logs help show the scale.

After heading back to the car I sadly abandoned the idea of hitting the 227' falls down the washed out street until I come back with some 4wd and clearance. Note: There is a great truck camp between the bridge and LN Falls.

We passed back the way we came, stopping at Langfield Falls (low flow during the summer, easy signed trail down, walk-in camp available near parking).

The sun had come out but was starting to go down so I hiked over to Little Goose Creek Falls to shoot it (unsigned, footpath, offtrail to bottom).

We then did the full return to camp and got dinner and the fire going.
We saw no one that day aside from the handful at the campground.
Culture
Culture
Camp-fire
_____________________
May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
Armchair Crisis Design
May 24 2019
skatchkins
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 3,186
 Triplogs 214

41 male
 Joined Dec 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Turkey and Salome Club, AZ 
Turkey and Salome Club, AZ
 
Backpack avatar May 24 2019
skatchkins
Backpack
Backpack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This trip was technically a Plan B too. I've never heard so many first-world-problemmers complain this past couple of weeks that the weather was messing up their vacation because it was still too nice at home thus too cold where they wanted to go.
We were headed out around the same area no matter, but with Young predicting snow flurries the day before, I did opt us out of water hiking only time. Noel had requested solitude but with water and trees which is no easy task on Memorial weekend. tHANKs to a couple people for LETTYng us in on this rugged area.
No traffic (or tow trucks) at all on the way home Sunday late afternoon.
Only brought back a little bit of poison ivy so far.
Culture
Culture
Camp-fire Campsite
Named place
Named place
Indian Camp Canyon J R Canyon
_____________________
May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
Armchair Crisis Design
1 archive
May 17 2019
skatchkins
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 3,186
 Triplogs 214

41 male
 Joined Dec 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Plan B, AZ 
Plan B, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 17 2019
skatchkins
Hiking
Hiking
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I had a creek loop all planned out, we had the mountain bikes with us to use for the shuttle; we were all set.
Due to something seeming to be missing off of my brother's Tacoma's lift, some odd front end angle caused one of his front CV axles to let go 90% up the long big hill. It took 25 minutes to back him down safely. We limped back to a ranch and with some almost right tools, were able to pull his axle to keep it from spin flopping around in there. Not wanting to call the trip so early they asked me to come up with a plan B and they were willing to 2wd it to wherever. Even though we were 15 miles as the crow flies to Young, we had to go all the way around now through Payson. As memory served me [ photoset ] , as long as it isn't raining, 2wd would work for Plan B. The trip was a little less Manmpingy now that we didn't have to keep moving in a creek all weekend but they still enjoyed it.
One thing that was a new experience to me was that a inlet creek fall I passed the first day was bone dry, then the next day, it was running with a pool underneath it, then bone dry/no pool when we passed it later that day.
Bear prints found around camp this time instead of past the falls.
Lot of fish downstream. Have to eat some next time.
One black rattler on the creek.
1.5-2' less water flowing from 2017, but falls hole is bigger.
Ended the trip on a tow truck anyway after the unit bearing/wheel let go just before the good grade down to the river. We got to use the bikes after all to ride down to get cell signal.
_____________________
May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
Armchair Crisis Design
4 archives
Feb 08 2019
skatchkins
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 3,186
 Triplogs 214

41 male
 Joined Dec 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Snowbabe AZ, AZ 
Snowbabe AZ, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 08 2019
skatchkins
Hiking
Hiking
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Noel wanted to snowshoe for her birthday but also whenever there was snow and a clear schedule. This weekend worked well.
Thanks to Chumley for intel.
We weren't expecting so much snow on the ascent. With a lunch break it took 4hrs hiking in the powder to get to the FR300. That was about all the daylight and knees we had to make it back down too. I got Noel to break trail for a minute for a photo, then she went right back to caboosing. No tracks out there besides the animals.
Those little kickstands on the rented MSR snowshoes were great for the ups. We had to engage snowshoes at about halfway up the hill. It was between 1'-28". I lost a pole snow basket and had to dig around shoulder deep to retrieve it.
_____________________
May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
Armchair Crisis Design
Nov 23 2018
skatchkins
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 3,186
 Triplogs 214

41 male
 Joined Dec 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Fish Creek Lower CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 23 2018
skatchkins
Backpack8.00 Miles 800 AEG
Backpack8.00 Miles
800 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Noel asked for a couple nights out after Thanksgiving people day. I figured something flatish would be good; We both forgot this trail requires brush busting. Noel took most of the heftier stuff in her pack.
All the "mining" stuff is still out there. Moved a little but most likely not used since my last trip.
It took 4hrs in to camp and 3.5 out. Saturday we hiked down to the lake. I think nipple-deep is the correct term used to designate where the creek stops and the lake starts.
We hiked to the climber's trash camp but there was no water and it wasn't great, so we backtracked 5min to something we liked better. I also marked on the gps route another good camp not as far in.
There was some water under the Fish Creek bridge as we passed it. There was no water for a long time in on the hike.
Wasn't nearly as cold as I thought. My hike at the end of December another year had more yellow leaf color.
Not another soul seen in the canyon after the parking lot.
_____________________
May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
Armchair Crisis Design
Nov 01 2018
skatchkins
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 3,186
 Triplogs 214

41 male
 Joined Dec 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Icehouse Sixshooter Small Loop, AZ 
Icehouse Sixshooter Small Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 01 2018
skatchkins
Hiking7.10 Miles 2,014 AEG
Hiking7.10 Miles   4 Hrs   50 Mns   1.47 mph
2,014 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Almost out of the 3 month back surgery surgery window. Time to see if it still works.
Noel requested something not too exerting for me. Joe/Eagle/Bob's posting of the color on the "light" loop looked good (thanks).
I figured making a small packless loop would be fine.
Nary another vehicle seen on the road up or down the mountain.
Came across 15+ healthy coatis on Icehouse. Saw them well before they looked up from whatever they were rooting for. Closest I've ever been. One finally climbed a tree, grunted a bunch, then the others took notice and followed suit.
Saw a couple deer towards the hike's end.
Color was pretty but mostly on the ground. Perfect for feet shuffling.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
_____________________
May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
Armchair Crisis Design
1 archive
May 20 2018
skatchkins
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 3,186
 Triplogs 214

41 male
 Joined Dec 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Garden Valley LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 20 2018
skatchkins
Hiking5.25 Miles 660 AEG
Hiking5.25 Miles
660 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
Armchair Crisis Design
Apr 06 2018
skatchkins
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 3,186
 Triplogs 214

41 male
 Joined Dec 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Big Dipper - Castle Creek WildernessPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 06 2018
skatchkins
Hiking3.70 Miles 1,200 AEG
Hiking3.70 Miles
1,200 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Good time. Plenty of water. Waterfall still falling, just less. Rope is gone. Explored the next day.
Culture
Culture
Campsite HAZ PicMimic
_____________________
May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
Armchair Crisis Design
Feb 17 2018
skatchkins
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 3,186
 Triplogs 214

41 male
 Joined Dec 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
The ruinous path of the one they called Letty, AZ 
The ruinous path of the one they called Letty, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 17 2018
skatchkins
Hiking
Hiking
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I won't act like we haven't all had the dream calling us to follow her ( [ photoset ] )- That obsession to pilgrimage, to trace her steps to the furthest barrens or darkest voids. The story of Her is burned into us all, like a map of relief found only behind darkened, shut lids even after the distant flashes fell silent. This is the plight of the nothing left, trapped still behind our own built, now toppled walls.
We cling to the possibility of the beyond, yet petrify ourselves in place, fearing that hope too could last fall twisted among the others if desolation's borders are just thin fabrications carried on these scorching desert winds.
So we follow. We follow the one they called Letty, she who came after yet before, if only to find where her steps annul. Perhaps at this terminus her great lens on our dim fractured world could be torn aside and the truths of what is left become unfiltered.
_____________________
May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
Armchair Crisis Design
3 archives
Feb 11 2018
skatchkins
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 3,186
 Triplogs 214

41 male
 Joined Dec 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Christopher Creek GorgePayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Feb 11 2018
skatchkins
Canyoneering1.00 Miles 200 AEG
Canyoneering1.00 Miles
200 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Just a lil' hike on the way to stuffs.
_____________________
May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
Armchair Crisis Design
Nov 04 2017
skatchkins
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 3,186
 Triplogs 214

41 male
 Joined Dec 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Devil's Minerals, AZ 
Devil's Minerals, AZ
 
4x4 Trip avatar Nov 04 2017
skatchkins
4x4 Trip
4x4 Trip
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The plan was to get a well rounded trip together. Something for everyone. Some AZ wheeling, middle of nowhere, rarely traveled, mine camp relic explores, a simple vehicle camp with shade and water, and even a canyon with some narrows.

The plan was to end up at the same camp Noel and I had used the year before for our anniversary weekend. [ photoset ] .

The route in from Devil's Canyon to Mineral Creek is pretty much the definition of an Arizona Jeep trail. There's a few tough sections, some good off camber tippy sections, cool geology, route finding and of course much pinstriping from rare use. The goal was keeping our tires and radiators in-tact. We really worked over our suspensions and clear coats and it was a long day behind the steering wheels.

Also, maybe my vehicle caught fire as soon as we turned off on to dirt, but that's why I have an extinguisher right?

We made it to camp and hiked the narrows that evening and again in the morning.

The second day we explored the old mining camps far down another overgrown road and then did some 10pt turnarounds on a big hill after crossing 3 long-way-down washouts. It became too much of a eat the hill-side, gun it and pray scenario for everyone involved and we still had higher to go. We headed out a safer way.
Culture
Culture
Camp-fire
_____________________
May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
Armchair Crisis Design
Oct 14 2017
skatchkins
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 3,186
 Triplogs 214

41 male
 Joined Dec 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Chumley's Fall in the Forest, AZ 
Chumley's Fall in the Forest, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Oct 14 2017
skatchkins
Backpack15.00 Miles
Backpack15.00 Miles
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
spacetimeart
Keeping up the tradition of finding some Fall color to camp in and Noel's request for a 3 day backpack meshed well time-wise this year. She had taken Monday off so we left Saturday morn for the Mogollon Rim to hike mostly around the Beaver/Turkey wildlife closure area.

I'm not really in it just for the f̶a̶t̶ ̶q̶u̶a̶d̶s hiking lots of miles but I downloaded my internet friend's 11mi loop that he did in a day and just figured we'd go at it until we found a camp spot we liked and then stop and chill.
Day 1 was just 3mi. Day 2, 8mi. And Day 3 was 4mi back to the car.

Night 1 was animal amateur night. Elk were bugling, coyotes were scheming, and little feet were having way too much fun frolicking in the deep crunchy autumn ground carpeting.
At some point we heard something medium big come through camp. It had a non-malicious stride to it so I figured it just didn't know we were there so I let out a mighty "HEY HEY HEY," and it wandered off.
To be honest, the night howlers got a little too close for comfort.

We woke before daybreak to a couple elk, antler fighting behind the tent (I found the tracks only 40' away from us later in the light). When we awoke for good later, we watched a elk cow eat in the park in our front yard for a long time. She kept calling out to friends and looking around but they never showed.
During breakfast, Noel pointed out the tree next to camp that not too long ago had had some deep bear claws at it for a while.
We broke camp and moved on to find some more colors.

Sunday was a long fun look-around as we shuffled our feet through the leaves and explored every which way. We scared up 4-5 more elk as we went. We got water in Turkey Creek but the filter was getting tired of siltiness out there. When we decided on that night's camp, I decided to gather some more water at Beaver tank. I met a Grandpa, Dad, Son trio up for a youth hunt. The leader, Grandpa, wasn't worried about finding an elk this far in since he knew they would have a lot of trouble dragging it out (vehicle closure area). He wanted to check out the tank too so we went together.

It turns out the area is pretty water starved and it was dry as a bone. I went further in to another water source marked on my map and found a small silty holding hole. A squirrel joined me as I tried to pump some clean water for us but the filter just wasn't having anymore of the muddy solution. I filled a Nalgene bottle with the raw water for us to use for supper and headed back to Noel (that search added a mile and half to my track).

With the water boiled, we poured it through a shirt to take out any of the larger dirties and then used it for our Mountain House meals. All our food was brown but it had no odd taste and was of course badie free from the boil.
We had enough water for a breakfast and coffee and then some left for the short hike out.

That night was pleasantly quiet and after a small fire, we resigned to the tent to play more card games.

We took our time in the morning and bypassed a little of the downloaded route, opting to take a more rugged drainage back into Turkey Creek. I'm bad with distance but Noel says the big elk we came up on in that narrow drainage was less than 30' from us. All I saw was something huge and brown looking at us behind a tiny bush. It didn't even register with me yet what it was before I instinctively said "Hello!", knowing whatever it was was going to have to move for us to get by. She moseyed on, and by her fur and size I could tell she was an older lady. We finally reached the big creek and walked up it a bit. All the Fall color was great but I really enjoyed my time hiking along the deep wooded creek both days. There wasn't any color down there but it was older, more secluded and more animally.

We got stuck a couple whiles spending too much time in the maple aspen mix on the way back to the car. I've never really seen them playing well together and on the same schedule.

Driving the road out, we got to Civicly pass a few trucks going too slow. I don't know if people realize that vehicle suspensions aren't made of glass.

We hit the diner on the way home for Liver and Onions (me), Reuben (her) and a of course a Chocolate malt to share.
Good times.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Extreme
Mostly carpet but some nice stuff in the trees. I'd hit it a week or two earlier next time.
_____________________
May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
Armchair Crisis Design
2 archives
Oct 07 2017
skatchkins
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 3,186
 Triplogs 214

41 male
 Joined Dec 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Impromptu GTA Alaska, AK 
Impromptu GTA Alaska, AK
 
4x4 Trip avatar Oct 07 2017
skatchkins
4x4 Trip
4x4 Trip3 Days         
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My buddy and I were talking about bucket list things since he's turning 40 and I'm not far behind. He's a staunch non-birthday celebrater but had recently seen that you could drive to the Arctic Circle and mused that he gave it a thought since RT tickets to Fairbanks could be had for $300. One thing led to another after finding out he already had already taken time off for his birthday (in 2wks) to be alone. I made the complimentary wife call and three sentences in she said, "Go to Alaska!"

I found out the plane ticket price and the 200mi distance up to the Circle sign were the only info he had at the time so we got in gear figuring out where to stay and what rental companies even let you drive their vehicle on the long haul road up. It turns out there's only one or two keen with their vehicles on the Dalton Highway and they want $250+ a day. On a whim, Bob called an Anchorage 4x4 company and asked if they happened to have any vehicles left up in Fairbanks at the time and not only did they (a Jeep Grand Cherokee), but it was only $75/day. We got a cheap Air BnB cabin in the woods outside of Faibanks and a small cabin in Wiseman (63mi N of the circle) since the drive up is supposed to take 8hrs.

Anyway, we got into FB at 1:00am and went to the parking lot to search for our rental. Since the company doesn't operate out of FB, they said they left the vehicle in long term parking and oh, it's not a Cherokee anymore, there was a problem with it so we got a free upgrade to a newer 4wd Suburban. So we're looking around the lot now for a newer suburban but with no info on color or plate #, only that the keys are stashed in the gas hatch. It takes a while walking around the lot until we finally see a Burb, and oh look, there's a number on the side, a sticker that says GAS ONLY on the hatch and a CB like we're supposed to have. We pop the hatch and yep, phew there's the key (and a spare just in case), let's get out of the 2am cold now. We pay the parking ticket (that's funny, it's for 4 days - I guess we'll ask for reimbursement - but again, they don't rent in this town so maybe someone got their brother to drop it off, I mean, they already switched the vehicle on us and left us little info) and head off 20mi out to a motel to crash out.

Well Bob gets to admitting that something doesn't feel right. He loves the vehicle, it has already got some Dalton dirt on it so he doesn't feel bad for the road that's in store for it, but he starts remembering "they may have said 2017 suburban, this could be a little older. Check the glove box for any info." There's a couple work papers in there but again, those could left by anyone - but here's the manual and it says 2013. I assure him it's fine, "the girl on the phone first told us the keys would be under the hood until you reminded her that wouldn't work on a Chevy. It's just a small operation they're just happy someone's using the vehicle while it's up here." He stops just before the hotel and says, he can't shake it, "we need to go back and check that parking lot again."

So we do. It's now 2:30am. Plenty of trucks, some Yukons. Bob finds a piece of paper from the company with no plate or color still, but a VIN number. Our Suburban doesn't match up. We still find no other Burb and we're about to call it quits. I walk the long way back and wait, here's another one hidden way back here. I flashlight the VIN and I get a match. I pop the gas cap and wow, keys. We totally stole someone's vehicle. I write a note "Sorry, wrong Suburban with keys in the gas hatch. We paid your parking." I didn't know what else made sense to put at almost 3 in the morn so I added, "Rock on."

Arrive 1am Friday night
Day 1 - Drive to Arctic Circle and up to Wiseman (town of maybe 10) cabin
Day 2 - Old cabin man convinces us to drive 100 more miles north (best decision of the trip). We turn around there in the ice and drive back to Fairbanks and cabin
Day 3 - Explore old abandoned mining camps all day while it's snowing
Depart 1am Monday night
_____________________
May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
Armchair Crisis Design
1 archive
Aug 08 2017
skatchkins
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 3,186
 Triplogs 214

41 male
 Joined Dec 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Sawtooth Wilderness, ID 
Sawtooth Wilderness, ID
 
Backpack avatar Aug 08 2017
skatchkins
Backpack30.70 Miles 9,820 AEG
Backpack30.70 Miles6 Days         
9,820 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
spacetimeart
This trip took a lot of prep. You could say it had a year and half of prep since we had the Sawtooths planned for last summer. But we found out Noel needed to donate her thyroid to science so things got interrupted. Before returning to the planning, I had forgotten how much we had already plotted out.

Noel secured us some cheap plane tickets, car rental, and researched lightweight food options. This was personally our most-days-out trip. She got food down to 1 lb/day/person. I left my First Need water purifier home in favor of Katadyn Micropur tablets (we worked out a system with me carrying the Camelpak and her with a Nalgene). And I left my big boy tripod at home after making a lightweight mount system.
Subtracting water and our 6lbs of food each, we were at 24lbs each. I call this budget lightweight...


Day 1
Fly into Idaho Falls and finally get someone to turn the carousel on for checked bags.
Grab some stove fuel at Idaho Mountain Trading Co and some fast food.
Drive the rental the 3.5hrs to Redfish Lake Lodge.
Put on rain gear (didn't need it long) and take the boat shuttle across the lake (saves 5 boring miles, costs $17/person RT - on demand with 2 or more people) to the Redfish inlet trailhead.
We begin our hike at 5:10pm and leave the main trail around 6:45.
After log crossing the creek, we go into route finding mode, mostly staying along the east cliff bottom. This whole part is steep and sometimes we know we are on a trail while other times we are playing it by ear. We finally reach the first Saddleback lake and pick out our camp right at sundown, 8:54pm. We only saw one other person up there, who happened to be our friendly shuttle-boat co-passenger. Happy to have made it before it got too dark, we went about setting up a camp and taking some photos.

Day 2
It was just too pretty up there to get going early. Another day up here would have been awesome. I woke with the sun and hiked around the lake to the upper Saddleback where I was treated to some otter-play, on and around the logs at the outlet. I thought they were all 3 the same age but once they finally spotted me, it was clear that one was mom. She kept snorting at me while the 2 others (equal to her in size) kept trying to climb and ride on her back which made it hard for her to stay a float to keep an eye on me as they slowly retreated. I started back to camp and found Noel awake and moving. We took our time and started down at 11am.

We took a better way down that had also been used before. It wasn't less steep, just a little easier to follow and closer to the creek cascades. It took a half hour less on the way down, and once we crossed the creek on an amalgamation of log jams, we continued back on the real trail up to Alpine lake.

My original plan was to get to Alpine and then continue over and down to Baron Lake for camp. I had heard Alpine can get a lot of traffic (even equine) and wanted to keep solitude on the trip at a max. The con to this plan was of course extra mileage and then the next day we'd just have to hike back over towards Alpine again for our off trail ascent (for giggles, you could also off trail ascend the pass from the Baron side with some creative route-finding in the boulders). Alpine was big and quiet, we were tired, and I could see the pass we'd have to conquer tomorrow, so we found an awesome camp on the south side, hung up the hammock and took the rest of the day, from 2:50 on, as leisure. After the 6 day hikers left, there was only a small family across the lake, and a small group on the far NW side camping. You could barely see them when they came down to the water and they were too far to hear and too far to distinguish what was swimsuit and what was skin.

This is the day that I almost pumpkined up. Because this lake was on-trail and popular, the chipmunks knew people=food, and they were quite relentless. Finally tired of their bravery, I tossed a rock at one. I missed of course, but I did hit my only pot (of the titanium variety). Shouldn't be a big deal... oh, crap. I had dented the mess out of the thing. The lip forever caved in and cracked and other areas all dented up. Low and behold though, the lower damage spots somehow did not go all the way through so she'd still hold and boil. Point one, chipmunks.

Shortly after dinner and sundown, a powerful rain came through and we fell asleep to it.

Day 3
At 9:30 we started hiking up the couple switchbacks to where we left the trail for good.
This was the first part of the trip that really felt off trail. Every once in a while you could make out a game path but not much else, then you'd get into the boulders and just keep plodding upward with a point picked out on the horizon. When we started nearing the ridge, we saw three guys coming down. We finally met up and they were surprised at our plan. His biggest qualm was regarding the boulder field down from Blue Lake. It seemed like he didn't even think we'd make it past that because there was no mention of the final climb out, just that horrible rock garden.

Well we finished the ascent to the ridge and now we were staring at the "climbers trail" up around the peak and over to the true saddle. It was intense and I honestly needed a moment. Once we were on it and moving, it was ok and the scree stayed mostly put. There was an amazing view behind us down to the Baron Lakes (dubbed the butt cheek lakes). We made it to the saddle and the amazing views doubled. Of course we were now looking down a mostly dirt slope to the Warbonnet Lakes. I wouldn't wish this down-climb on my worst enemy without hiking poles. There were a few tiny switchbacks to help the 800' slide down. We made it dustily down between the two lakes and had lunch and soaked our feet (1:30pm).

We talked about the plan next. Now that we were on the other side, we could play it all by ear. I had read that people used Blue Rock Lake as a base camp especially when just one-nighting it over here, but I wanted two nights for more sightseeing. We took our time and hung out a bit around the Feather Lakes, then hiked up and looked down into the Bead Lakes. I had thought on paper they may make a good camp (climbers will camp there), but ultimately, that second Feather was a beaut and we were leaning towards camping there. Somewhere around our return to them, we met the only two people we'd meet on this side of the cirque and they were thoroughly surprised to have seen anyone at all. We talked a little bit and they were definitely headed to camp at Blue Lake. They were good people and a good meet. He wasn't sure about my idea for the way out. He had been to the beautiful lake (his favorite) on the other side, just not from this way, and had heard that it was super tough. My plan to just hike down the mountain once at that lake to rejoin the main trail instead of heading up, down, up, down back to Alpine was too much for him too. Idahoians seem to like off-trail and ridge climbing, but not boulders and bushwacking. I think the latter is what Arizona mostly is, with a some cacti and snake sprinkled in. Anyway, Feather Lake #2 won out unanimously for our camp at 4:50pm. There were a lot of trout here. One red striped beauty in particular just hung out at camp all evening and morning after we fed it a few oats.

Day 4
9:15am we began to head further down. At first we went up high where it looked like our friends had descended. That caused a little backtrack back to the drainage and following the creek ended up being the best choice prettiness and footing-wise. We met our friends again at their camp on Blue. We talked some more about routes and such then continued on.

From here, we had to hoof it just about straight up the hill that separated Blue Rock from the Goat Creek Drainage. The up had plenty of footholds but the side down was another dirt ski (Noel's least favorite) to the dreaded boulder field. Honestly, the rocks just felt like a day in Fish Creek and weren't that bad. The distance from the hill down to McWillards Lakes did look intimidating to me though.

It started sprinkling as we went past McWillards but stopped once we got to Oreamnos. Online photos had told me this was a pretty lake and it was. There's plenty of places to tent down too. We considered it but I thought it may be nice to finish the day with Packrat Lake so that our biggest obstacle of the trip would be ready to start fresh in the morning. That stretch between lakes is superb. The creek even widens, fields run alongside it and there are a lot of wildflowers. Packrat is beautiful too. We chose the east side to line up with our next day but I think you could start on either side. There's pretty much only one spot on the east side for camping though (not that you'll see anyone here).
From camp, we could see the mountain ridge above and the small green ramp we'd be shooting for tomorrow. It was 3:45 when we set up the tent hurriedly in lieu of the dark storm clouds converging in every direction. I think we had 2hrs of on/off rain. We napped, noted, and played cards to the pitter patter. It was always crazy to think we had until 9pm until the sun finally went away.

Day 5
All clear, let's do this! 9:45 moving.
I liked the route on the east side of the lake. Pretty much you're hiking up steps in a lightly flowing wildflower covered drainage until you get to the meadow above. Then it's your choice on how you want to broach the boulder field up. I was able to find online 2 rough routes that had been taken over the pass before (best guess is that it gets a handful of people a year). I like the one we did as much as I can. We did in fact shoot for the green ramp as seen from below. The mountain goats seem to like this route too. This was the, remember-we've-got-all-day-talk hike.

However you find purchase, just keep doing it. Sometimes the scree took 3 steps to move a 1/4 step. Sometimes the poles helped. At least twice I went to my hands and literally dug my way up. Rocks that stayed still were a blessing but a rarity. I was able to make it alongside a side ledge towards the top where my left had could use it to pull while I used my collapsed hiking pole in my right to dig. Then that awesome ledge turned into pullaway rock and I was left with nothing stable so I made a quick jump to where bushes had finally started growing. Noel fell and slid once but there was nothing I could do for her but I knew she wouldn't slide far. Our centers of gravity very different, she figured out how to take her own path to meet back up with me. We used the now growing bushes and trees to finish our ascent and caught our breath and snacked like we meant it at the top. It was a little after 12 noon.

Annd the down climb is a lot of boulders and some snow. It looked straight forward enough so I stopped incessantly looking at the GPS. From up here, we could not only see our next lake, but even the boat ride lake. So down we go, avoid the snow, hoppity hop hop, etc, and now we're hiking another awesome creek with flowers along it. Sweet! And now the lake is coming into sight and that must be the island and wait this can't be an island, and oh, we're at the wrong lake. We somehow skipped Lake Kathryn and are now standing between the Upper Redfish Lakes which we aren't supposed to see until tomorrow (I blame being spoiled on Route Scout and trying to remember how to use my old Garmin instead [battery life]). More snacks, and definitely a feet dip. Wow this is still a really nice lake. Noel reminds me that the only two people we passed said Kathryn was THE pumpkin. After affirming she was sure she was up for it, I decided to take us my Option 2 way to Kathryn since we had essentially already done Option 1. It is the quicker option with less elevation but more route finding but I recommend it. Towards the end (beginning?) you get to do the creek/wildflower thing again up to Kathryn's outlet. We picked our exceptional camp spot at about 4pm and got in the water. Kathryn looks to be a super deep lake. You get a ledge to stand on and then only deep blue darkness.

At supper time I got everything out and thus occurred my 2nd pumpkin-up of the trip. I always bring two sources of fire. A crappy lighter and waterproof matches. I was really trying to be weight-cutful on this trip so I went with matches only. The matches were totes fine - the box striker was done for. The roughness wasn't enough to start the matches. I ripped holes in that thing trying, then prayed a match to light and we went on about cooking, knowing they few matches left and shredded box wasn't going to get us hot coffee in the morning.

Day 6
Sweet fancy downhill! 8:30ish start time. Cold coffee is my jam anyway.
Down the drainage and back around the hill, then over towards a track I had saved from some other numbskull downhillers online. They had made a diagonal down the mountain to Redfish Lake Creek. We took it with a grain of salt and picked the paths of least resistance. Unless I'm missing something on the topo, you really just could hike alongside the Upper Redfish Lake outlet. The topo lines are pretty far apart and that was the nicest looking part on the way down. We actually hiked along the next creek just north (not on map) for a good deal of the time. Picture if Flagstaff was on a slant and there were no people, and there was rushing water sounds everywhere. That was the extent of most of the bushwacking. It was cake. We crossed the creek (10:45) and chilled on a log over the water then continued. This next part was not cake. The west side of the creek up to the main trail is a true bushwack and it's also very moist. It took a while to do this, but much of it had to do with morale, knowing the main trail had to be close, I was told there was no more uphill, etc. I'd still do it all this way- maybe shoot more north along the creek first to get out of all the bogginess and downfall?

Anyway, hey a real trail (11:15)! So we're back on the official Craters of the Moon Trail and now it's just sailing back down (5mi left of the 7.5mi) all the way to the boat shuttle. We made it to the dock around 2pm and were able to fit on the next boat (you have to pretell them a time for insurance purposes and we guessed 3pm). We made it back to the lodge (and the 100's of people trying so hard to pretend they are at a California beach) and had a burger because it was there. We chose not to stay there shell-shocked long and hurried back the .5mi to the free backpackers' parking lot to our rental and drove a different way back to Idaho Falls. Noel had planned it where we would have an little over-garage Air BbB to stay at to recuperate the next two nights before flying home. It was a good plan.

----------------------------------------------------------------

If for some reason you should want to attempt this route, please reach out and speak to me for more information. I think these are the kind of routes people hesitate to post up because they are remote, can change each season, and heck sometimes there is just a better way once you are on the ground.

----------------------------------------------------------------

MUSTS

Deet - Not optional. Noel decided to be organic for a minute on this trip by bringing her fancy natural stuff. It will not do a thing. Because of the horror stories I read online, I brought the Repel 100 - 98.11% Deet, 4 fl oz, and between the two of us we used all but a few drops. This will not be a fun trip without it. I would probably have turned around.

Trekking poles - I would not have been able to do this route without them. Bring the rubber tips too since you'll be on rock a good few times. Look at the map and how the topo lines really want to love on each other- They're practically all piled up there in at least two places. How else do you think you're going to dirt and scree ski down those things?

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notes:
I drank from a few of the creeks and a spring. You could probably do this the whole time...

Temps were not as cold as expected. I expected a 80/35 split. Even at 12am, it was probably over 50. It wasn't even cold (per se) in the morning. The only time I added a shell was once when a storm was sitting over and it was windy and wet out.

Wildlife: Chipmunks ruthless at Alpine. Just regular munks everywhere else. Almost no bear skat. Saw plenty of tracks but just one deer. Saw tons of mountain goat evidence including tracks, skat, and trails, but sadly no sightings.
Trout are everywhere. Recommend: Feather, Oreamnos, Packrat and Upper Redfish.

One camera battery made it.
2 AA's made it in the GPS even though I brought 3 extra sets.

Noel requests some little box wines or beer. I want those little root beer packets.

I did, and didn't miss fires. There are a lot of spots that you just plain can't have one and others you must use a fire blanket/container. It wasn't worth it figuring out all the specifics and bringing extra materials. Sunrise is at 6:30 and sunset is at 9, and it's not cold enough.

You can definitely do this trip in less time. There is plenty of daylight to keep moving. We're just not those people. More leisure time would have actually been welcomed.

I have to believe the Sawtooths is one of those areas where if someone came across you naked, they'd be like, "I get it," and just move on.

As soon as you cross over into Warbonnet, an overwhelming urge to have rented a sat phone/location device washes over you.

Do hike up to Saddleback and Alpine during the weekdays for fewer people.

Add Three Lake or Cramer Lakes in for easy additions.

There were a good deal of people (25?) coming in on Sunday heading towards Alpine including climbers, fishers, and campers. People will ask you as you are coming out, and they are heading in, where you are coming from. Definitely list all 19 lakes in a row really fast so they look at you in awe and let you continue on your way. Pregrow your hair and beard for added effect.
Culture
Culture
Campsite
_____________________
May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
Armchair Crisis Design
1 archive
Jul 24 2017
skatchkins
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 3,186
 Triplogs 214

41 male
 Joined Dec 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
From Above, AZ 
From Above, AZ
 
Storm Chasing avatar Jul 24 2017
skatchkins
Storm Chasing
Storm Chasing
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The desert at night ain't so bad.
_____________________
May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
Armchair Crisis Design
Jul 21 2017
skatchkins
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 3,186
 Triplogs 214

41 male
 Joined Dec 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Babe Haught from FR300 - Knoll Lake LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 21 2017
skatchkins
Hiking
Hiking
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Noel wanted to get her sister, husband, and their baby out away from the concrete. My brother-in-law was a late edition too with his couple of dogs.

We suffered through 2hrs of hide your wife rain/lightning Friday afternoon, then just light no-hood-needed-around-the-fire-misty-sprinkles for a couple hours after. Nothing else fell the rest of the weekend. Caught a nice trout before the storm, then nothing else.

Good times.
_____________________
May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
Armchair Crisis Design
Jun 24 2017
skatchkins
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 3,186
 Triplogs 214

41 male
 Joined Dec 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Van Trump Park TrailVolcano, WA
Volcano, WA
Hiking avatar Jun 24 2017
skatchkins
Hiking5.12 Miles 2,012 AEG
Hiking5.12 Miles
2,012 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Noel's friend needed a leg up on places not too far from her house so we took her and her youngsters up Rainier for some sampleage.
_____________________
May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
Armchair Crisis Design
1 archive
average hiking speed 1.47 mph
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 11  Next

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

help comment issue

end of page marker