Archive for May, 2011

Putrid Weather

Posted on May 26th, 2011 by Jo  |  4 Comments »

It was indeed putrid out there tonight
Zeusdaddy photo used with permission, please respect all copyrights

Trail details, NOAA weather, driving directions, maps and past trip reports can be found here: Putrid Pete’s Peak Info

Teneriffic!

Posted on May 19th, 2011 by Jo  |  2 Comments »

Second Group Shot
Zeusdaddy photo used with permission, please respect all copyrights

Special Thanks to Guest Trip Reporter Ewb:

When is a trail Not a Trail? When it’s ajar! Ahahaha! Oh, wait, that’s a door. In this case, it’s Not a Trail when it’s an Adventure, which is what you always get with TNAB on Teneriffe.

It was the second of now two exceptional weather TNABs. W00t!!1! The sunny skies and moderate temps were glorious and most welcome, but may have worked against us a bit by luring away potential TNABers to more exotic and less punishing destinations. Still, it was a solid turn-out with 11 hikers and 5 pooches spread out along 1 mountain.

The lower half of the trail seemed to fly by. Conversations with Weimar Steve and ZeusDaddy helped pass the time on the over-long road walk. We slipped in with the Alti-Gang as we left the road and soon caught up with GQHiker and his companion, Miss C. Occasional encounters with the creek lent the way some real beauty. Before long we arrived at the falls to the spray and roar of fast melting snow crashing on rocks.

No rest for the weary. Without pausing we turned up, even more steeply now, and aimed for the ridge, with Weimar Steve out front. This part of the trail has received some not so welcome attention since our last visit and is now covered in grapefruit sized rocks, making the going a bit precarious (there were even some “Rock!” calls coming down). Before long we gained the ridge, ankles intact. Not quite an hour since leaving the cars.

From here it was a scenic and quiet trudge up Teneriffe’s unique wooded ridge. We encountered snow where the ridge fattens, before the first couple of open areas. The way was deeply covered then with nicely packed snow pocked with plenty of fine steps. There was an occasional step collapse and later a bit of post-holing, but nothing too bad. Gaiters helped keep the snow out.

After leaving the dark trees for the shiny goodness of the open face below the cliffy bit, we learned the answer to “Where’s Josh?” And then just below the summit we caught Dan. One at a time we reached the top, where we added layers and snacks (thanks to Josh for sharing his fine PB crackers!) and hung out, safely below the still very large cornice, gawking in wonder at the blue skies, sinking sun, and long snow-capped views. Nice as it was, the stiff wind was very cold. So after waiting a while we snapped a group shot, packed up, and separately began down.

Before getting far, though, we saw folks returning to the top with AltiBabe and AltiDude in tow. Yay! And just behind them came SeattleHikerToo. Yay! With all of us back on the summit, we waited a bit more and took a new group shot and began packing up and heading down for good. Just below the summit we met WxMan, and just a bit further GQHiker and Miss C. No turning around this time, but it was nice to know that everyone made the top, even if we didn’t all get to enjoy it together.

Back in the woods and out of the wind things warmed up quickly. There were a number of stops to drop layers and add headlamps, the latter of which came on just above the falls. Just below the falls, Weimar Steve, ZeusDaddy, Dan, and I regrouped and began a most incredible descent behind ZeusDaddy who led us down along the creek in narrow beams of dancing light in non-stop zigs and zags over roots and rocks at a dizzying pace that required every bit of everyone’s attention all the way to the bottom. Crashing out onto the road together we took a collective breath as our minds caught up with our feet and we slowly grasped what we’d done. It was an epic rush. Dan, who tapped some curiously strong mojo to do this sans poles, declared it “an old school TNAB descent,” which was about as fine an accolade as one could wish for.

The long slow road walk back to the cars was made less dull with endless games of Astro fetch and conversations ranging from glacier travel training to inappropriate man-taquito relations. We finally reached the cars and made our way to the Pour House where the beer flowed freely and the magiquitos sang sweetly. Folks trickled in slowly as others finished up and left, providing a continuous stream of new faces and stories. Unexpectedly, the last few PH stragglers were treated to a generous gift by SeattleHikerToo (thank you!), before we finally retired to the parking lot, watched Alti-Row pretend to drive for a while (ha!), and then headed our separate ways. A quick sweep of the trailhead to make sure everyone was down, then off to bed to make that descent again, and again, and again.

Trail details, NOAA weather, driving directions, maps and past trip reports can be found here: Mt Teneriffe Info

Sunset Found

Posted on May 9th, 2011 by Jo  |  10 Comments »

West Bandera Summit Shot
Zeusdaddy photo used with permission, please respect all copyrights

Special Thanks to Guest Trip Reporter GQ Hiker Boy:

Where else would one rather be on one of the first glorious sunny Thursday evenings in recent memory? If you a TNABer, then there would be no better place to soak in the sun, sunset, and snowcapped peak views than on the summit of West Bandera.

The first bit of luck was the warm and sunny weather. The second was a clear and unobstructed driving trek to the Ira Spring trailhead. No road washouts this year ensured that we would have plenty of time to reach the snow laden summit 3.3 miles away with an elevation gain of 3,000 ft.

The usual group of TNAB’ers set out on a dry trail and passed the roar of Mason Creek swollen with the day’s snowmelt. We hit the snow pack at the fork in the trail at 2,800 ft where the trek gets notably steeper. Some of the group donned snowshoes once through the switchbacks and after clearing the trees while others held out until nearing the ridge so that they could kick boot steps and follow the stairway up the west slope. One TNABer made it to the summit without snowshoes following the compact trail of those in front of him.

The summit was every bit inspirational with blue skies, a golden sunset, and clear views of the Cascade backbone and Mt Rainer. We snapped photos, ate snacks, and drank plenty of fluids while enjoying the sun and great company. Although we had plenty of time to enjoy the sun, we only felt compelled to leave when the temperature began to drop rapidly at sunset.

One the way down, we only deviated slightly from the newly packed upward trail to punch boot prints in the thinly ice-crusted snowpack on the way down off of the ridge.

With such a warm day, the third bit of luck was that the snowpack was firm enough that we encountered no avalanche danger. A few of the gang did the classic TNAB butt luge (aka, the GQ “rump-n-bump”) making a shallow, snowy flow down the west slope.

Another TNAB adventure, another spectacular evening mountain summit experience!

Trail details, NOAA weather, driving directions, maps and past trip reports can be found here: West Bandera Info

Code Red(2)

Posted on May 5th, 2011 by Jo  |  3 Comments »

TNAB Goes Code Red 2
Yukon430sw photo used with permission, please respect all copyrights

“Emergency, Stat – we can’t seem to locate a sunset view”

Special Thanks to Guest Trip Reporter Schmidt Alti-Dude:

A heroic group of TNABers set out on a pilgrimage to the temple of Tusk O’Granite – which is reported to be a splendid altar to nature with breathtaking views and inspiring surroundings. The path to enlightenment is never easy; therefore we were immediately faced with a soul sucking half-mile road walk. However, all ways lead to The Way and we were able to strengthen our spirits and managed to make the trailhead without incident.

The combination of mud, slush, and occasional hard snow had us follow the way of the Drunken Monkey as we slipped and slid our way up the trail. The first few miles went by quickly and soon we were at the Talapus Lake junction. At this point a few of the pilgrims became lost on their journey and proceeded to the lake. Luckily some of the more devout fanatics were able to redirect us onto the right path. We followed the way of the Scampering Mouse as we crossed extremely narrow snow covered logs over two branches of the creek to reach the deep, soft snow on the other side.

After struggling through the snow for a brief period by way of the Crashing Rhinoceros, we stopped to don our magic sandals that lifted our souls so we could walk on top of the snow. We then followed the way of the Hungry Snake and wound around trees, through brush, and over creeks until we found the path that connects Ollalie Lake to the Pratt Lake trail. At the Pratt Lake-Ollalie Lake trail junction we headed uphill in the direction of the sun’s awakening. Soon we were following the way of the Plodding Mule, methodically putting one foot in front of the other while staring at the ass in front of us.

The bone chilling wind at the top of Red 2 Ridge convinced us that we’d all received enough illumination for this day. As we headed down we tried to follow the way of the Gently Falling Feather but more succeeded in the way of the Careening Boulder (otherwise know as the way of Screw-these-damn-snowshoes/crap-fell-in-a-tree-well/calf-cramp/#%&!) until we reached more level ground. From there it was the way of Waddling Penguins, even occasionally sliding forward on our bellies in the icy parts, back to our vehicles. We then proceeded to the Pour House where the adept Kim the bartender led us to achieve the nirvana that only comes from bellies full of cold beer and hot food.

Trail details, NOAA weather, driving directions, maps and past trip reports can be found here: Tusk O’Granite Info