Saturday, April 4, 2015

Mad River-Sugarloaf Peak loop, southern Entiat Mountains

It is that difficult shoulder season that usually doesn't come until May: stay low and out of the snow, or go for something mid-altitude and deal with some slush and mud.

Choosing the latter, we put together a route in the southern Entiat: parking at Deer Camp we went up to Maverick Saddle, down the Mad River canyon to Pine Flats, took Mad River-Tillicum-Indian Creek roads and a steep cross-country climb up to Gold Ridge, up the ridge to Sugarloaf Peak, then Entiat Summit Road back to Maverick Saddle and down to the car.


Running almost the entirety of the Mad River Canyon was the highlight and the lower portion I hadn't done was very cool; a lot of cougar activity through there as well.

Cashmere, the tip of Stuart, Enchantment Peaks
Dropping down to the Mad River from Maverick Saddle
Mad River crossing
Ben's animation
Upper Mad River
A tree has outgrown its signs
Upper Mad River
Tyee Ridge Trail; "don't go that way!" Ben's photo
Fresh male cougar scrapes and scat
Miner's Ridge from Mad River
Cougar tracks; midway down Mad River
Balsamroot
Climb away from the river where it's a gorge...
...and dropping back down
Lower Mad River canyon
Balsamroot in Indian Creek canyon
Indian Creek FS road
Cross-country climb from Indian Creek to Gold Ridge
Pausing on an old fire road bed, halfway up the climb
Aspen grove on the old fire road bed
Second half of the climb to Gold Ridge
Sugarloaf Peak looks too far away
Reaching Gold Ridge
Where I was last weekend: Baldy Mountain center-right; Stormy (center), Four Mile Ridge and Tyee (far left)
Grouse
Shortcut toward Sugarloaf as the weather moved in
Snowing as we near Sugarloaf summit
He's just kidding...I hope...
Buddy photo at the Sugarloaf Peak lookout
Entiat Summit Road
Entiat Summit Road; Ben's photo
Looking back south toward the Chiwaukum, Cashmere-Stuart and Enchantment Peaks in the afternoon


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Baldy Mountain, Chelan Range

Dabbling in the southern portion of the Chelan Mountains provided a good mountain fix in a mostly-melted-out area that I'm keen to get back to later in the year (though further north up the Entiat River Rd).

We parked at the bottom of Potato Creek Road, ran up to 3700', went cross country up an easy ridge to meet the Mud Creek Rd at 5000', followed it to the SE base of Baldy, went up to the summit, postholed in deep snow on the north ridge, then got blasted by very strong winds as we headed out toward Stormy Mountain; turned around as the snow was too unconsolidated and ran the Mud Creek and Potato Creek roads all the way back down.

Thanks to fellow Pearl Izumi ambassador Kevin Douglas for joining. 

Potato Creek Rd


Starting the cross country climb
Upper half of the XC climb; nice and easy
Former fauna
Looking up at Baldy Mountain
Baldy Spring
Taking a break from the wind below Baldy summit
Headed to Baldy Mountain summit
Chelan Sawtooth range, Stormy Mountain, Four Mile Ridge, Klone Peak, Kelly Mountain, Tyee Ridge, Chiwaukum and Stuart ranges way back there
Descending north ridge of Baldy
A little deep..
Central Entiat range: Garland Peak, Devil's Smokestack, Fifth of July Mountain?
"Yeah, that wind is COLD"
Chiwaukum Range, Cashmere Mountain, Mt. Stuart, Enchantment Peaks
Eeek. Stay hibernating...


Monday, March 23, 2015

Sweeping Chuckanut 50k - v2

The Chuckanut 50k was my first ultra, so I guess I have a soft spot for being a part of the event. For the second year in a row I joined the old-timer sweep team led by Big Steve and cohort Andy. Kevin was able to join in and Michael from West Seattle rounded out the group.

A final few hours in sunny 60-degree weather helped forget the morning's rain and mud.

Unfortunately, there was way more garbage to be picked up this year than last...especially ripped-off gel tops.