Monday, September 17, 2012

Wagon Wheel Ridge, Helicopter Day

"no lake at the top"

Silver Snag Peak

There were a bunch of rough skinned newts floating on the surface of the lake.  I guess that's how they sun.  I saw a goat at 1,600 feet.  The goat ran away from me as fast as it could.  The lake had a filthy layer of scum on it but I went ahead and took a dip on the way up. I did not swim on the way down though because the wind was blowing a bunch more scum towards the lake shore.

They were helicoptering supplies for the new bridge at Staircase until about 2:30 so it was a little noisy but not too bad.  I could see the helicopter making trips from the ridge above wagon wheel.  Waaaaaay down below me.

I saw Ranger Bruce again today and we had a nice chat.  He said He also said the culverts are repaired all the way up to  snow lake and the cause way bridge will open to the public on Wednesday.  That gives me two weeks to get up to snow lake before the wild life gate is shut!

I'm very tired, I hope I did not overdo it for tomorrow's lichen foray.

I started my hike at 9:45, made it to the lake in 3 hours, headed down at 3:00 made it back to the lake and headed for my car at 3:30.  By 5pm I was back down to my car.  Only 1.5 hours to get down from the lake, not bad!

My hike went well but my back hurts a little from slipping on the way down.  This has happened before and is usually resolved by morning. I struggled a bit dropping the last 1,000 feet.  I slipped a lot because I was tired. I never fell down  though.  The only fungi I saw were dried up and had been picked.  If it does not rain soon we might not have much of a mushroom season.

It felt good to be back in shape to do wagonwheel.  Next I want to do the Brothers, but I need someone to go with me.

7.5 miles with 3,800 feet elevation gain

Rough skinned newts floating on the surface, perhaps they are sunning

Mount Cruiser

Helicopter at Staircase bringing in supplies for the new bridge

The helicopter is way down there

Hydration system

Nice to have Ice on the hot ridge

The ridge

Mucky lake shore


Crossing the outlet creek it was hard to tell what direction to turn

Pano of the sawtooths

Three trips up and down Rose and I figured I was ready to take on Wagon wheel.. but Rose is such a nice trail. I forgot that Wagon Wheel is a bit rough. I went to the ridge above the lake and got a good view of the helicopter bringing in supplies to build the new loop trail bridge with.

I saw a goat at 1,600 feet and it ran like hell. I've never seen a goat that scared of me before, I've also never seen a goat that low before. Rough skinned newts were floating just on the surface of the lake. I took a dip before I hit the hot ridge but the lake and a surface layer of scum on it. I skipped swimming on the way down.

I took my platypus for this dry hike, I normally don't carry water in the Olympics but this is one hike where I have to take water. I froze my platypus over night and I still had ice water to drink all the way to the end of my hike. The ice water helped keep me cooler.

I only took 1.5 hours to get from the lake to the car. Took nearly 3 hours to get to the lake. 7.5 miles with 3,800 feet elevation gain. I feel that I am ready to climb the Brothers now as a back pack to base camp and then an day hike up and down the Brothers from base camp. I wish I had someone to do it with me though.

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