Sunday, July 6, 2014

Three 7000' Peaks in One Day

It's a good thing that I trained a bit for this hike that has been on my bucket list for quite awhile! I did this with the Inland NW Hikers and it was a fun, full day of strenuous hiking and making new friends. We first switch-backed out of the forest into sub-alpine splendor then climbed through rocks to the top of Abercrombie mountain. At 7,308 feet it is the second highest peak in Eastern ONE FOOT! We took in the view on this sunny day as we ate our lunches. Then it was back down the trail a bit to a juncture that headed east towards our second peak. The trail gradually petered out and then we bush-whacked along a ridge then down a steep and rocky area. Gradually we made it to Hooknose Mountain at 7210' which places it comfortably at fourth place on the same list. We enjoyed a short respite then we retraced our steps. We found our way back up the east slope of Abercrombie to the trail juncture which placed us up above 7000' feet again. It really was quite a drop down then a climb back up each direction from Hooknose. One of the leaders had been skunked twice before in attempts to climb Hooknose whereas the other leader had been there many times. A beer at the parking lot, good conversation on the drive and Mexican food in Colville capped off the long day. I got home around 10pm. I am typing this the day after and I really am not looking forward to standing back up out of this chair! We hiked 12.1 miles and gained 3,218' of elevation for Abercrombie alone so I am guessing another 3000' more in addition to that. The following are some additional photos that my friend, Jim Rueckel, took on our hike. They are fantastic compared to mine!

Training Hike up Mt. Kit Carson

I woke up at 5am and hit the trail (Mt. Spokane State Park Trail # 110) in a light rain by 7am. I am very thankful for my Marmot light raincoat and my rain resistant pants from REI. My feet got wet near the top of the saddle between Mt. Spokane and Mt. Kit Carson because the trail was nearly covered by soaked bear grass and huckleberry bushes. At the top of Kit Carson there was a bit of a cold wind blowing the misty clouds over the top. These photos are from my brief stop at the crest. I turned back down and made the nine miles in about 3.25 hours. I scared up a fawn and later spotted a doe before she saw me. The wet, dripping woods were filled with the liquid sounds of veerys in the lower and middle sections. Near the trail junctions I heard what must have been the King of the Corvids; a raven with the deepest voice that I have ever heard..."GRONK ..... GRONK". It later switched to that fluid musical note that ravens make. I saw no insects or worms on the trail but I did pass through some strands of spider webs. I was certainly the only one on the trail until I passed a young couple starting out as I neared my car. At least on a day like today I had no chance of being run over by one of my mountain biking friends screaming around a bend in the woods.