Sunday, September 24, 2017

UPWC Devil's Dome route

On Sep 23 2017 I ran the UPWC Devil's Dome route in 14 hours and 50 mins. The route on my Suunto Movescount software shows 37.5 miles with 12,000 of gain. The UPWC web site shows the route as 45 miles. I did not have my gps on all day so I can not verify any distance.

Let the adventure begin, 4am and I am off toward Devil's park trail. This first part is easy travel. 

Jackita Ridge trail and I am climbing. The trail I used was to the right and below of where my gps showed. It got me to where I wanted to be. I think this might be a newer trail and the track on my gps was taken off old data. Here are some views of what was around me as I got up high and the sun was showing itself. 

As I was approaching this meadow in Devil's park I came upon a structure. You will see I am not alone out here. 

As I was hiking along the trail I found one of the fellows some of this gear belonged to. He and his two buddies were hunting. He commented how light I as traveling. I noted that his gun probably weight more than everything I was carrying. I did not see any deer and only one set of prints as I traveled along. Things are starting to get very nice out here as I am in the higher country. 

Jack mountain would hold its presence throughout the day for me.  I never tired of seeing many facets of it. I climbed Jack many years ago when I thought of trails like this as a means for getting to the real objective, the summit. 

Trail and snow. The snow did not hamper my travel. It added a nice contrast to the scenery. 

The larch trees are starting to turn. 

A view of the trail I descended on my journey. 

I will descend into this valley to ascend to some point on the ridge in the distance. 

Looking back on where I came from. It is very nice out here. 

More nice views. Come and see them for yourself. 

Devil's ridge, here I come. 

Does it get any better. 

I am tracking something? I am guessing it came through last night. 

Down I go, Ross lake sits between the mtns in the background and where I am descending. 

This is a very nice descent to Ross lake. I was able to run most of the trail. The trail was beat up a little where the horses had traveled through. Someone has done some very well done trail maintenance. 

Cruising time now. I remember how nice this trail is from when I did double desolation run. I can run a lot of this trail and all of it is well maintenanced. It is a joy to travel through the wilderness at speeds I choose based on my energy levels. 

Almost there and I will finish in the light! 

If you enjoy spending time in the wilderness in a very beautiful place, I would highly recommend this trip. It will go down as one of my favorite day out running in the mountains. Thanks Ras for posting this trip.  

Sourdough Sufferfest

On Sat Sep 9 - Monday Sep 11 I ran the UPWC Mind/Body Challenge Sourdough Sufferfest. This route travels from Sourdough trailhead to Hannegan pass trailhead summiting Sourdough mt each time as you do a out and back. The route has ~ 26,000 of gain over ~ 100 miles distance. It took me 62 hours to complete this route. That time included 5 hours of sleep over 4 naps during the two nights of travel.

Not wanted to deal with traffic on Friday after work I left early Sat morning for the Sourdough trailhead. I was on the trail at 8am working my way up 5,000 ft in 5 miles to reach the ridge the lookout sits on. On my way up I meet two other hiker from the Methow and was traveling with them on and off. Once at the ridge I turned left to find the Sourdough summit. This is where I made my first of many time errors on this trip. I went to highest point to discover that over there there was a higher point. Well after a bit of wandering toward the summit I finally took up my smartphone with the Gaia app and used it to work my way to the summit.

Ok this done, time to get going on to the rest of this trip. It was raining now lightly and I put my rain pants on for all the brush I was about to work through descending Sourdough to Ross dam trail. This trail is quite brushy and takes paying attention to stay on it.

Sourdough lookout

Ross lake from the ridge

The next trail is quite nice and I was seeing more people now. It was a pleasure to be on well maintained trail. 

Ross lake

River leading to Ross lake

The next trail I was on was Big Beaver trail. This is another well maintained trail. One of the highlights of the trip was the old growth trees along this trail and Little Beaver trail. I did not take any photos of these trees as I could not capture the size of them. It is a rare opportunity for me to roam among old giants like this. These trees were 6 to 8 feet in diameter. 

I pass over Beaver pass and on down to the junction with Little Beaver trail. Once near the bottom of Big Beaver trail I make another time error. My gps show the trail crossing the river at this one point. I remember Jessica and Brad talking about this bushwhack to cross the river. I was on a very good trail that lead up river and descending. I spent a bit of time on this good trail trying to figure what I should do. I went with the gps and my friends trip reports and crossed the river on logs bushwhacking to the other side. While I was doing this I knew something was wrong. I knew the trails around here were used by people riding horses. While making this route go I took my time to understand it so I could have an easier time on the way back. I found the way people had gone and was on the Little Beaver trail. Oh, it is dark now as I am doing all this. 

I cruise along the Little Beaver trail that turns into the Brush Creek trail. I take two one hour naps during the night. During the morning I switch to the Chilliwack River trail. To cross the Chilliwack river you take a cable car if you are a person. 

The Chilliwack River trail leads to Hannegan pass. 

Hannegan pass

Looking back to valley I came up. 

It is a nice downhill here to the parking lot where I will turn around to repeat what I just did.

Back up I go toward Hannegan pass. 

I am going back the way I came. I take one one hour and one two hour nap on the way back. I had two time wasting moments during the night. I came through two different camps losing the trail. It took a bit of wandering using the gps to and Gaia to get myself back on track. Navigation at night in a spaghetti system of camp trails is a hassle. On the way back I ponder the transition from Little Beaver to Big Beaver trail. Luckily for me I pass the point on the Little Beaver trail where I entered and come upon this sign. 

Leading to this very nice bridge. Everyone who does the route, take note!

I  am working my way up toward Beaver pass and I see this sign on a tree. 

I wonder what it could be for. 

Beaver Pass shelter. 

I am at the base of Sourdough now and I would like to be finished by dark. I switch to a faster pace to see what I can do about getting up to Sourdough summit and back to the ridge in the light. 

This photo is for Brad as it is the first water you come to on the accent to Sourdough lookout. There is some standing water from snow melt on the way over to the summit. I ran out in this section for 15 min until I got water on the way down to the trailhead. 

Here some photos from the lookout ridge on Sourdough

My time from the saddle to the summit of Sourdough and back is a little over one hour. Here are a few photos from the summit. 

If you zoom in, you can see the lookout in the center of the photo. 

More  photos from the golden hour from photographer's point of view. A trailrunner with common scenes would be well below this point. 

At this point I am below the saddle and working my way down to my car at the trailhead 5.000 ft and 5 miles below me. . At about halfway down I decide that miles on my gps are too slow. I switch to elevation. It is more satisfying to watch the drop in elevation to show where I am at. 10:00 pm and one last photo to close this trip out. 

If you had common sense and wanted a very nice daytrip, I would suggest hiking up to Hannegan pass. Maybe if you wanted more of a workout, hike up to Sourdough lookout or summit. I nice 50 miler would be to hike from Sourdough to Hannegan. If you are in the same mental state of Brad and I do this starting from Hannegan pass and avoid the 5,000 ft of descent to finish off a 100 mile plus route. 

Ok now for the mind part of this, this route is called mind/body challenge Sourdough sufferfest. For me wandering amongst the sights and sounds of the wildness is not a suffer. That is who I am as a person. Reading poetry is sufferfest for me. I really enjoy a good story to read or listen to. I realize that Gary Snyder is very good at his craft and through his life has suffered and able to bring this to those that read his works. I remember the last line from this poem from elementary school days by Robert Frost that describes my wildness trail running.

."But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep."