Sunday, June 03, 2007

Mt Garfield, round and round

We spent the weekend in the mountains near Snoqualmie Pass and running around the Alpine Lakes region. There is still plenty of snow above 3600 feet, especially on the North facing slopes.

Two years ago I ran an out and back that consisted of the first 6 miles of the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River trail followed up by 3 miles of the Dingford Creek trail. The entire run we had the awe inspiring Mt. Garfield to our East and North. After studying my Green Trails map for a while I brainstormed up the idea that we could circumnavigate Garfield and connect the Dingford Creek trail to the Taylor Creek trail with a small 2 mile bush whack and a little billy goating.

With the right timing and conditions we finally made it happen. Four weeks ago we ran the Midle Middle and got a mile or two up the Dingford creek portion before we called it a day due to the amount of snow accumulation. This time we came more prepared with gaitors, 10 essentials and a light weight ice axe. We were going to pick up where we left off and try and do the rest of the loop.

Our crew consisted of JVG, Rinn and Matzke. The first 5.5 miles of the trail took us to Myrtle lake for some well deserved photos, big sandwiches and snowball fights. From there we climbed another 1000 feet up to Little Myrtle lake and the trail was lost beneath the snow. JVG and Matzke headed back to the car and Rinn and I forged onward to connect the trails. Once we hit the high point (4300 ft) the views opened up and we had shots out into some sreiously remote wilderness. No tracks, nothing to follow but our bearings and we were loving it.

We did come accross a series of cliffs but navigated our way around the hazards and worked our way down to Bear Lake. Next we hit Deer Lake and then Snoqualmie lake where we picked up the trail which would eventually turn into our ticket out of the wilderness. This was a truely awesome day in the hills and I felt like we were without boundaries. I imagine that the terrain we were in is very similar to what we will be in soon at Raid the North Extreme and this was a great pre-race training to get Rinn and I primed to get after it in Prince Rupert.

It's nice to know you have the skills to get where you want to while we did not do the circumnavigation in one fell swoop we did finally link the trails and now know it is easily done. We did 18 miles, the whole thing would be somewhere between 23-25 miles with the middle middle trail thrown in on the end. Good times.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wowie dude, that is awesome bushwacking cross country