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Stefan

Snowking

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Went up Snowking via the West Route. This route is slightly less distance than the Kindy Ridge route and has about 1500 feet less in elevation gain. However, no trails exist.

 

The four of us left from the Slide Lake trailhead at 7:00a.m. and went straight uphill through the brush to the pond at 4800 feet. Some flagging and tree slashes could be found, but they were rare and not much help. We continued on and up following the somewhat bouldery ridgetop to the summit of Ottabot (5897)where the summit of Ottabot had one minor and short class 5 slabby section that could be aided by a tree before a short scramble to the summit.

 

We then dropped to 5200 and continued on the direct ridge to Snowking. The most difficult part of the ridge was between point 6100 and point 6597 where we mostly stayed to the south of the ridge. We continued on staying to the south of point 7015 and traversed to the north of point 7425 before dropping down to the glacier and traversing around point 7400+, and then an easy scramble up to the summit. The snow was in excellent condition the whole day with only about 2 inches of depth with each step I want to point out I was wasted by the time I got to the summit, and yet we were only half way. Views were really nice, but I took a nap.

 

We then reversed the whole scenario but instead of following the ridgeline back we stayed on the snowy north slopes all the way to the 5200+ pass between Snowking and Ottabot--and I recommend the snowy north slopes if you decide to try this route up becuase it is less tedious. We came down the brushy steep slope right back to the cars.

 

I was exhausted by the time the day ended. 12 hours round trip.

 

Stefan 6/8/2003

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A little extra information: with three of us searching and one waiting in the car for a speedy getaway, we could not find the supposed fisherman's trail (as per Beckey and his alternate West Route approach) that starts at 50 yards past the bridge across Illabot Creek and goes up to the small lake at 4,760+ ft. I found one little piece of blue flagging on a tree in the middle of nowhere, but no semblance of trail.

 

Also, the metal pipe register at the summit has no logbook in it, just an ad hoc assortment of loose papers. If anyone should decide to go up there, it would be nice if you took along a new register book. It needs one.

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klenke said:

the metal pipe register at the summit has no logbook in it, just an ad hoc assortment of loose papers. If anyone should decide to go up there, it would be nice if you took along a new register book. It needs one.

 

Or take matches and set that shit on fire...

 

Summit registers are pollution. Friggin' mountaineers...

 

 

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Alpinfox said:

klenke said:

the metal pipe register at the summit has no logbook in it, just an ad hoc assortment of loose papers. If anyone should decide to go up there, it would be nice if you took along a new register book. It needs one.

 

Or take matches and set that shit on fire...

 

Summit registers are pollution. Friggin' mountaineers...

 

In the grand comparative scale of what counts as pollution in the mountains, summit registers are about as inconsequential as you can get. The real pollution (man-made eyesores, et al.) comes from the construction of logging roads, the construction of trails, the clearcutting of hillsides, the exhausts of vehicles driving up said logging roads, the flatulence of climbers hiking up said trails, the creation of soot from the burning of papers that were otherwise not doing any harm inside a metal register, the construction of cairns at a summit or on a trail (these are more visible than any register), the sound of the freeway below peaks of the I-90 corridor, the sound of motorcycles in the Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness, the sound of snowmobiles whining their way up Ingalls Creek--illegally, the sound of airlines flying overhead....

 

Anything more? Registers are not pollution. They are not litter. They are less intrusive than a boot path up to a summit--a boot path that tramples native vegetation.

 

So I call bullshit, Alpinfox.

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Sounds like the "alternative" is the better option. I ran up Snowking following the normal route 3 weekends ago with a couple of my hounds. The road is washed out a mile or two before the end, the "trail" went straight up muddy slopes (it was raining) with lots of bushy vegetation and spider webs, there were no views (maybe there are without the clouds?) for the first several miles, the trail got obscured by snow and I just had to keep walking in the general direction. It was a long uphill walk in the woods for far too long to make it a worthwhile day hike.

 

Maybe I screwed up though - the guidebooks show the trail on the right side of the stream but I couldn't find one and stayed to the left.... and I forgot my GPS on the roof of my truck. My compass stopped working (every direction is now East), and a map in the woods without a compass, a view, a trail, or a GPS is somewhat limited.

 

Also, the trail is too dry for a St. Bernard.

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K,

Summit registers are a source of pollution that we as climbers can exercise some control over. We can't do much about the roads, trails, boot tracks, etc, but we CAN do something about summit registers. Besides, they are totally unneccesary for the climbing experience whereas all those other sources of pollution (roads, flatulence, etc) are required to get out there. Aren't summit registers some lame form of chestbeating anyway? Oh boy, I got my name on the list at the top of Peak X, now everyone will know.....

 

Also, summit registers encourage The Man to keep tabs on us freedom-loving climbers. I'm pretty sure the FBI takes fingerprints and DNA samples off those things.

 

JUST SAY NO to summit registers.

 

bigdrink.gif

Edited by Alpinfox

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Alpinfox, quit being anal. I've never cared much about summit registers (I'll sometimes sign them if they are there, but it's no obsession), but if some people find them interesting, who cares. It's often interesting seeing the names of people you know or have heard of in the registered. The summit register is about the least offensive form of pollution I can think of. And yes we can do something about the roads, etc. Vote george W shithead out of office for starters.

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I like summit registers. The summit registers on peaks like Fury and Buckindy are history and great reading. Other summit registers on popular, hiker-accessible peaks have less value but other people enjoy them just the same. AlpinFox just has a poor attitude - but that is his problem. While we're slamming the Mountie's, what has AlpinFox done lately to benefit the climbing community?

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Let's see:

 

I know that all those climbing students have to spend one day performing trail maintenance, so that's 200+ man-days of trail maintenance a year. I'm too lazy for that, so I just donate money to the WTA.

 

I believe that two or three alpine look-outs are maintained by the Mountaineers.

 

They organize and train groups of inexperienced hikers and climbers that might otherwise get into even more trouble on their own. All those Mountaineers have 30 hours of first aid training and those heavy packs are usually stuffed with first-aid gear.

 

Also they lobby on behalf of hikers and climbers - we can use all the lobbying we can get with George W in office.

 

It's true that the Mountaineers impact popular climbs, and many Mountaineers groups are slow and full of inexperienced people (nothing worse to an alpine climber than being stuck behind a slow group). I check their climb schedule at www.mountaineers.org to avoid their groups. Truthfully, the Mountaineers mostly climb easy stuff so you can avoid them by doing harder stuff.

 

All that being said, what has AlpinFox done lately? People who chop bolts but don't set or re-bolt routes are lame. People who whine about the Mountaineers need to climb harder stuff and post good TR's.

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I did my bit for the environment on Sunday by hauling a trashed rope off of Prusik that countless other climbers passed by. Carried it over High Priest and all the way out.

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catbirdseat said:

I did my bit for the environment on Sunday by hauling a trashed rope off of Prusik that countless other climbers passed by. Carried it over High Priest and all the way out.

What a guy.

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Realize this thread is probably old and dead, but thought I'd offer some beta on the fisherman's trail to the lake around 5000 ft. Bailing off a traverse from Hurricane to Snowking, my partner and I managed to (by total and complete luck) locate the trail just below the lake, simplifying our descent. The tread is very faint and occaisionally blocked by large deadfall, but we were able to follow it to within ~1/2 mile of Illabot Road where we lost it at a huge washout. Good times walking down Illabot Creek to get back to the road. At one point the trail looks to have been quite well maintained - there are some massive trunks across the trail that looked to have been cleared with cross-cut saws in bygone days. I'm not sure where the "trailhead" actually hits Illabot Road. We found flagging on both sides of Illabot Creek. I would definitely not recommend our descent route to the creek from the washout - nasty, dense, brush. It's possible that the start of the trail is pretty much gone. Which is too bad, would make for a nicer start to the west shoulder route on Snowking.

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