Sunday, October 2, 2016
Windy Peak and loop
Here is the link for the route info.
Last fall I went to a Ultra Pederestion Wilderness Challange 2015 wrap up party. At this event I signed up for the 2016 challenges. The PNW had a good snowfall this spring leaving snow to linger long into the summer months. With life, weather and trail conditions I was waiting for the right conditions before attempting these events.
Everything fell into the moment I was waiting for in the end of Sep. My calendar was free, I was in shape from an event I had run one month earlier, the weather forecast showed clear skies and most important for me was that the trails were clear of snow. It was a go to leave for the six hour drive to the trail head. The drive was easy. The only hazards were a couple potholes and some washboard on the last part of the drive into the trail head. This was easy enough in my low clearance car.
Being the fall, the sun does not show itself until respectable hours here in the PNW. Being a longer run I need to be up long before that.
Leaving from Windy Peak trail head I am off into the dark. Moving along under the beam of my headlamp the trail miles slowly roll by. In time I start to notice this white stuff coming down. Snow? my car windows were frosted this morning. Here comes the sun, yea.Yea there is fresh snow here.
This is a photo of Windy peak. I walked up this side. If you want the easier way you walk around on the trail to the sign.
The way I went was easy enough. There were carns leading the way. Once on the summit you will see a container with a log for you to sign. This is one of the 100 highest peaks in Washington state.
Take a right turn here.
I meet two guys camping out there at my next turn. I got caught up in the conversation, the beauty of the area and the joy of running on the nice trail that I neglected to take the left turn. I went down Clutch trail for about 25 min. I knew something was wrong but I went a little further to make sure. It was easy running and I really enjoyed the area. I did not mind putting in extra miles. Back I went to the trail to trail 375 at Sunny pass. This really is beautiful country to room around in. Long this next part I encountered these two.
We had a nice chat and then we were both on our way. At the next junction I turn right on 341. There is a bit of blow in here. The fall colors are amazing.
This is windy peak. At the end of 341 turn right (north) for 100 ft to find the next trail. It will lead you into terrain like this. Yea, there is a bit of climbing. You have to give back for all that down hill you did on 375.
From here you hook back up with 342 to get back to the car. There is a bit of blow down here also, but this time it is light out unlike this morning. It is also warm out.
Sweet site, food and drink are very close.
Windy peak climbed and loop completed.