Friday, August 30, 2013

In the Cascade mountains mapping for GreenTrails

This posting is still being written and edited, but I've posted it early so that Yessi and Fran, and any others interested parties, can see the magnificent views surrounding Glacier Peak that I've been witnessing the last 2 weeks as I've hiked several hundred miles.

BMW and an Osprey Pack, everything I need, except Yessi!

 I have been charged with hiking all the trails on GT map #111 and #112, which include Glacier National Park as well as the trails immediately surrounding Glacier Peak, and many of the smaller trails to the west.
The Cascades.
Let this picture speak for itself, but it's just awesome up here.

I gave up  many of the shorter trails that were assigned.  They can easily be done as day hikers which seems to be the preference of most of the other mappers.  I've chosen to focus on the long trails and areas hard to reach, utilizing my thru hiking skills well developed during my 5000 miles of hiking last year.

Glacier Peak and it's surrounding area designated as National Park, is an outstanding portion of the Cascades.  In my opinion, it easily rivals the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and holds it's own against the trails around Mt. Rainier.

Suiattle river only a mile or two from the Chocolate glacier, it's head waters.
Even crossing this little stream was tough.  The trail was pretty much non existent and will be marked not as a trail but as an old route on the new Green Trails maps.  This particular spot is about 35 miles from where you park.

Though Glacier Peak is a mere 10,541 feet tall as compared to Mt. Rainier at 14,411, what it lacks in shear magnitude, it makes up for in it's remoteness.

Not only is Glacier Peak far from any parking lot, requiring much longer hikes to approach the mountain, but it's as if it's hidden by the peaks and ridges surrounding it.

Yessi has a thing for old VW vans.  We had many dreams of working for TuTwo traveling China and promoting wilderness activities and skills out of our little mobile adventure center just like this.

It is elusive to say the least and even when hiking the PCT, there are only a few short glimpse of the mountain and one stretch about 2 miles long following Red Pass where the mountain can be viewed.

It is hard to get to, hidden by surrounding topography, and just a stunning mountain with rock bands and ridges escaping the grasp of glaciers hanging on to their hold on the mountain.

The rivers around it are a raging stormy gray, full of silt as the water washes away anything in it's path.   One walks along long river valleys to approach the mountain.

In and around Glacier Peak Wilderness, somewhere above the White Chuck river.

The Suiattle river, for instance, included 12 miles of road walk as the road is closed at mile 12 and the Suiattle trail head is at mile 24.  Once I reached the trail head, I hiked 10 miles to get to the PCT.  The
lands surrounding it are steep

Freestyle along the PCT, three years in a row.

dbBrad is Freestyle is is on the PCT again, 3 years in a row.

Two new trails will be added to the GreenTrails map #112, a nice little loop of both the climbing routes for Glacier starting at the Foam Creek trail, midpoint at the White Chuck Glacier and down the valley and back up to Red Pass.  It's part trail, part route, but not to be missed.  Stunning views of that hard to see Glacier Peak.

My head in the clouds again!

Yessi, wish you were here.  Love Brad

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