Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Misadventures on Upper Lebar Creek (snow lake)

View looking up from the meadow

I‘ve been wanting to reach a lake that I can see on Google earth.  I thought the route would be up past Staircase, but then I realized the lake is just north of Mount Tebo.  So today I had a go at getting to the lake by heading up the Lebar creek drainage.  I had a good GPS route in hand but instead of following my GPS I confidently headed up the wrong branch of Lebar creek, or something like that.  But I did not realize my mistake until I got home and could see my track on my computer.

After leaving the road I headed up the hill following Lebar creek.  The undergrowth was not too bad and the going was fairly easy for an off trail route.  Before long I reached a beautiful meadow.  The meadow had lush growth and I could hear water everywhere.  There was a very strong smelling plant in the meadow that I think was in the mint family.  I crossed the meadow on a meandering route and eventually started walking up a dry creek bed.   Eventually I decided it was time to cut up the hill to the right and head into the timber.  I turned way too soon. 

Where I hoped to top the ridge

The woods were pretty but very steep.  There were many signs of a fire going through there in the past.  At one point I realized I was too far to the right so I went to the left and had to go down into and back up a small ravine and then back into the woods.  Eventually I began to hit large rocks and the terrain was getting steep.  I was still in the timber and it was hard to see where to go next.  I was only ¼ of a mile from the saddle and only had 300 feet left to gain but the route began to get too precarious for me.   I also had begun to get eerie feelings near the start of my hike.  I decided to go back home. 

  It's been a long time since I've had such an eerie feeling in the woods.  Before I left for my hike I told a friend that I was a bit scared but he was able to encourage me to keep going by telling me to frame it as a scouting mission.  I don't have a lot of experience going off trail and this entire route was off trail so I think that is what was bothering me.
Now at home I can see that I went way off course.  I might go back up there again with a better track log.  I would love to have someone to do it with me.
3 miles of bush wacking with 1,000 feet elevation gain.  I got a good all body workout.  This was probably worth hiking  6-8  miles on a good trail.

My intended route is in pink
my actual route is in purple


Devils club that I had to walk through

Watering the dog not far from where I turned back

The view heading back down the dry creeek bed

Strange growth on a blueberry

Lebar Creek

Beautiful Patches

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