Sunday, December 30, 2012

Yearly Totals 2012

I've been very sick since the 18th of December so I have not been hiking much these last two weeks of 2012. I still had my best hiking year yet. I'm going back to class for one more quarter in January so I can really only hope to hike once a week at most until about March. Here are my stat's for the year.

I climbed Mount Everest about 3.1 times this year...

This year I gained 27,694 meters in elevation and hiked 661 Kilometers
Also known as 90,160 feet and 400 miles

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Vincent Hill Dumpster Diving

The holidays are coming and I’m getting wound up as usual.  I needed to go hiking today to calm my nerves.  Today was the last full day of school for the kids, so I took advantage and got out on one last hike.
I wanted to hike in the National Forest today but the snow level was too low and I had to settle for Green Diamond land.  I never quite got away from the sounds of logging noise all day long.  I did however get some exercise and some sunlight.  I was only able to drive this far because Simpson had plowed the 23 line to Camp Govey where they are logging.  I’ve never seen them logging in the snow before.  Lumber prices are up and the mill is not going to break up for the winter.
I spent some time playing in the snow on the summit since this was such a short hike and I was not ready to go home so early.  My wedding tin stove worked great in the snow.  It burns really slow, so it does not melt holes in the snow causing the pot to tip over.  The stove is also very efficient albeit quite slow.  It’s a trade off.
4 miles round trip with 1,000 feet elevation gain.

High Steel Bridge

Time for a haircut


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dicranum ID

I'm working on trying to ID a Dicranum moss from Shelton Springs. We are doing an unpaid moss survey out there in hopes of getting a check list published. Here is part of a leaf cross section from my mystery Dicranum:

Dicranum moss leaf cross section 400X magnification

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Around Lena Lake

The weather guessers claimed that the chance of rain was only 30% and any rain up at Lena Lake would be snow, so I decided to go hiking.  30% was the lowest chance of rain this week.  They guessed wrong, it rained for most of my hike and there was no show at all.  I drove to the trail head in the rain and arrived at about 9:45.  I saw that members of the Oly meet up hiking group were at the trailhead.  I got off to a quick start so I could avoid having anyone be annoyed with Patches and because I wanted solitude for this hike. 

As I headed up the trail I saw the others hikers a few times and then I seemed to have left them in the dust.   They must have been going pretty slow because I’m not fast at all in the morning.  I was going as fast as I could go though.  I reached the lake at 11:10 having completed 3 miles in one hour and 25 minutes.  The only stop I made was to fill my water bottle at my favorite little waterfall on the trail.  The last time I hiked up here that waterfall was dry, but it’s running high now.

best tasting water anywhere

  I did not need to put my new rain coat on until after I left lunch rock.  I did not pause for lunch on the rock; instead I headed for the privy.   The composting toilet is still out of order but two exposed wooden seats have been placed in the forest above the composting toilets.   Why no privacy screens?  No TP was provided.  I figure that $55 parking ticket I got when the rangers could not see my parking pass clearly displayed on my dash might have covered the cost of a little TP.  Oh well, I always pack my own.

I walked around the lake and had a nice lunch on some rocks opposite from lunch rock.  Lunch was a small sandwich made form a wheat tortilla with pepperoni and provolone cheese.  I also warmed up a power bar on top of my Mug while I was heating the water.  This time I used my wedding tin stove.  My wedding tin stove will burn for 20 minutes on one fill up; it takes 11 minutes to boil a cup of water.  It is a bit slow, but it is very efficient keeps the handles of my mug cool enough to touch. I brought along all my goodies from Sistema and I really enjoyed using them.  They are light weight and sturdy.  It was nice to stir my chocolate with a lightweight plastic spoon instead of a dirty stick. 

Looking over at Lunch rock from my lunch spot
I saw some members of the Oly meet up group on the far shore, they were not loud, but they made enough noise to let me know they were there. They were calling to each other and whistling at each other. I could not tell if they noticed me my dog on the opposite shore since we were quiet and I was not moving much.

It was raining hard enough that I almost did not stop for lunch in such an open area, but I was glad I stopped when the rain stopped and a rainbow came out on the inlet end of the lake.  I was hoping to get a nice picture of the snow covered mountains with my DSLR but it was not to be today.  I got a good picture there once with my bridge camera and I’ve wanted to go back and reshoot it in raw with a DSLR.

After I left the rock, I picked my way through the moss covered rocks and the forest until I found my way around the lake.  The area at the outlet end of the lake is very pretty but a bit difficult to traverse.  The way is littered with huge moss covered rocks and piles of old moss covered driftwood.  They say that many years ago a rock slide came down off a nearby hill and dammed up Lena Creek thus creating Lena Lake.  You can find these boulders at the far end and there is a seemingly corresponding rock slide area on the hill above.  But these are boulders, not rocks, and they have been there for a long time.  Perhaps the giant subduction zone earthquake caused this landslide.
Land slide

I wore my new ½ price REI Kimtah Event jacket for half the hike.  I’m so impressed with this new jacket!  It kept the rain off, it felt great to wear and it did not sog out.  I’ve been wearing bad rain jackets ever since I started hiking; I had no idea how good a good rain jacket could be!  By the time I got home my jacket was completely dry.  I always had to put my precip jackets in the dryer when I got home.  The eVent is heavier than precip when it is dry, but it lighter when it is wet since it does not sog out as much.
On the way out I spent about 5 minutes looking for the geocache that I can never find.

I made it back to my car at about 3:15 and was happy to see that I did not have a parking ticket.  I got into my car and quickly drove home and make it back to my kids just before dark.  I felt pretty good after my hike even enough I had just hiked two days before.

My SPOT messenger was pretty much a failure on this hike, it only sent 2 of the 5 messages I launched.  I’m going to look into getting a different brand.  SPOT turned me down for their brand ambassador program and the service is very Spotty, so it’s time for me look for me to look for something new when my subscription expires in March.

When I got home my new GPS malfunctioned again.
My refurbished GPS will not communicate with my computer unless it is at room temperature, so I'm sending it back.  The Garmen claimed they had never heard of such a fault before.  I think the Garmen tech lied or was ignorant.  He should have apologized for sending me a defective GPS to replace my perfectly good GPS that only needed a new case.  I wish they would have just refurbished my unit and sent it back to me instead of sending me someone else's defective refurbished unit.

7.5 miles with 2,000 feet elevation gain. (12 Kilometers,  with 610 meters elevation gain)

First view of lake from lunch rock

Spring at inlet end of Lake

Forest at the outlet end

moss and scapania liverwort

Patches sneaks into the picture and gets blinded

Lake in summer and in winter, same vantage point

witches butter

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sistema Goodie Package

Sistema recently sent a package full of goodies to test out for backpacking. 

Mount Ellinor Attempt II

A local hiker said that he was going to try a solo attempt on Ellinor and then invited some folks to join him. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

All packed

  I'm all packed for tomorrow's adventure.  Just getting to the trailhead will be a bit of an adventure.  This is my old  pack.

Thursday, December 6, 2012