Washington

Pasayten Wilderness – horse issues

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By: Bob Woods
July 18th, 2014

North of Rainy Pass the trail gets rough and the snow lingers on the north facing slopes into late-August/early-September. There are two rockslides that took place in the summer of 2013 that you’ll have to deal with.

The first is between Glacier Pass and Tatie Peak and the second is between Rock Pass and Woody Pass. You can dismount andwalk through the first rockslides with some caution. The second rockslides are impassible for stock and require a detour. From Holman Pass, head down Trail #427A to Trail #427 to the Pasayten Airport. Take the Boundary Trail #533 west to Castle Pass back to the PCT.

Snow report from a southbounder 6/31-7/8

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By: Jes Shap
July 11th, 2014

7/8/14 Stevens Pass
Everything within about 8 miles of the pass is snow free. Mosquitoes abound. Lake Janus thawed, trout are biting. Peach and Pear Lakes still snowed in. Trail easier to follow here.
7/7/14 Grizzly Peak area
Mostly snow, some sections very steep and difficult to cross in slick afternoon slush. Would recommend crossing in the morning with traction devices. That applies to most of this section. GPS required for navigation. Experienced my first fall-through since leaving Canada: fell six feet into a cavern made by a stream running under the snowfield that could not be seen from the surface. Not fun. I was not injured and none of my gear got wet, but that was just luck.
7/6 Red Pass to Pear Lake
Almost entirely under snow, steep and rocky. GPS and ice ax very helpful.
7/5/14 Kennedy Ridge to Red Pass
Snow free trail below 4,000′.
The climb up is long and all on snow. Tricky stream crossings where steep snow banks give way to wide streams. Staying on the trail is not really necessary once you’re above treeline if you can understand where the trail is taking you but otherwise will require good map reading skills or just GPS to follow.
The camp, toilet and bridge at Kennedy Hot Spring has been decimated. I was told today that it was wiped out by an avalanche. Additionally, the hot spring is small, mucky, and just lukewarm (maybe 90°F) so in essence it is unsoakable. Don’t go down here for a soak. The White Chuck Road is the better of the two routes if you do go, although the switchbacks at the bottom have fallen into the river. Look for the new route marked with pink flagging tape. The Kennedy Ridge Trail, north of here, also leads down to the Spring, but it’s rife with down trees.
7/4/14 Mica Lake/Kennedy Ridge Area. Fully on snow. Trail difficult to follow through sparse trees, GPS will greatly speed vegetation here.
7/3/14 Suiattle River to Dolly Vista Camp. Dry and well maintained trail until the last few miles before Dolly Vista. Stream crossings high, expect wet feet multiple times. Up to three miles between water sources
7/2/14 Sitting Bull to Suiattle River
Almost all snow. Keep your ice ax in hand. Traction devices helpful in the morning, gaiters in the afternoon when your steps will occasionally punch through the thinning snow or slush may fly up into your boots if you like to slide down the steeps like me.
7/2/14 Suiattle River
Vista Creek bridge is out, log crossing upstream. Watch out for rusty cable running through the bushes at waist height on the east side of Vista Creek if you cross the log to take the Old PCT shortcut.
The “Old PCT” near the Suiattle River is in decent condition with quite a few down trees. Will be passable for a couple more years at least. Log over Suiattle River is there but no trail for half a mile on either side.
7/1/14 High Bridge to Sitting Bull Basin
Snow starts at 4,000 before reaching the Basin. Basin snow is thinning and provides a fall-through hazard. GPS required when crossing broad open areas like these in order to find the trail on the other side.
6/31/14 Stehekin River and Agnes Creek
These river valleys are deep, low, drier and filled with mosquitoes. Up to three miles between water sources. Good trail, no snow, more people. Eat Koochen at the Stehekin Bakery, you will not regret it, and Friday is all you can eat bbq at The Ranch.

Snow report from a southbounder 6/26-6/14

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By: Jes Shap
July 11th, 2014

6/26/14 Rainy Pass to Castle Pass
Trail is 90% buried in snow, mostly too soft for crampons. Western aspects above treeline are usually the snow free part, good dry camping on the trail itself. Saw no one on this section until Rainy Pass.
6/14/14 East Bank TH to Castle Pass
North Cascades National Park
Boundary Trail: mostly under snow still, lots of down trees and slide debris. The switchbacks climbing out of Little Fish are largely covered with down trees and grown back in so don’t expect to follow them all the way to the ridge.
Three Fools Trail: a good way to practice following a faint trail. It took me 2 hours to walk the 3 miles from Deerlick to Little Fish on a sunny afternoon. The first mile (up to the wilderness boundary) is a normal trail, then it became severely overgrown in numerous places, with the last quarter mile being barely identifiable. Where it is not obscured by deadfall and overgrowth the tread is flat and makes for easy walking. No severe washouts. With the trees removed this would make an amazing trail into some amazing wilderness. The Little Fish shelter is gone but there is a sign to tell you when you’re there. Best to do this in the afternoon when as much dew as possible has dried from the trees, but expect to get wet anyway. Its only about 600′ of net elevation gain but some sections are steep and it feels like more.
Desolation Trail: 4 small blowdowns, water available at 3 creek crossings, patchy snow for the last quarter mile, lookout closed.
East Bank: Clear between East Bank TH and Desolation. 3 big blowdowns between the Desolation Trail junction and Deerlick Cabin.

Glacier Peak Wilderness – horse issues

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By: Bob Woods
July 11th, 2014

From Stevens Pass, it is still recommended to trailer stock north to the Buck Creek Trailhead thus avoiding the Glacier Peak Wilderness. The area hasn’t seen maintenance in over a decade due to flooding and access issues. This will be a major focus area for maintenance in 2015 once access is restored.

Buck Creek Trail #1513 (9.5 miles) to Buck Creek Pass (where it becomes Buck Creek Pass Trail #789). The trail is in decent condition. Respect private property at Trinity by staying on the trail as you pass through.

Buck Creek Pass Trail #789 (5 miles) to the PCT. The trail is rough in places.

Alpine Lakes Wilderness – horse issues

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By: Bob Woods
July 11th, 2014

North of Snoqualmie Pass the trail becomes very difficult even for expert riders. There are some steep drop offs with very narrow trail tread. The first detour you’ll encounter is in the middle of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness at Lemah Creek where the bridge is washed out and is impassable for stock. Riders can detour via the Pete Lake Trail #1323 to the Lemah Meadows Trail #1323.2 to reconnect to the PCT. The next one is near Cathedral Rock and Deception Pass. Riders can detour via Cathedral Pass Trail #1345 to the trailhead and back up the Deception Pass Trail #1376. Both of these are short detours to avoid dangerous stream crossings.

Work Closes Suiattle Road to Foot and Vehicle Traffic

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August 26th, 2013

Everett, Wash., Aug. 26, 2013—Heavy construction will close Suiattle River Road 11.5 miles east of Highway 530 Sept. 6 through Oct. 10 to pedestrians, equestrians, bicyclists and vehicles on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.  After Oct. 10 the road will reopen to foot traffic, but remain closed to vehicles.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/mbs

This closure blocks access to the Pacific Crest Trail from the Suiattle River Trail, Miners Ridge Trail to Image Lake and Downey Creek Trail. Check road and trail conditions or call Darrington Ranger District for more information at 360-436-1155.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/mbs/alerts-notices/?cid=stelprdb5150570

 

Section J Southbound Stevens Pass to Snoqualamie Pass July 13-18

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By: Angie aka Social Hermit
July 22nd, 2013

Snow:Totally doable but there is snow pack. After Icicle Creek turnoff there was a section of snowpack that looked like a crossroads,it was a little difficult to find the trail again here…followed treeline and was able to find it. Hardly any snow after that until 10 miles or so north of the Kendall Katwalk where several large snow drifts filled the trail so it was a long slide to the bottom. I had to kick steps/microspikes for some. I was more than a little nervous crossing these. Doable but not the time to cross this if u are scared of heights. I met some freaked out people at the point of no return in the middle of this wearing sneakers and without poles.
Some snow after the Katwalk ..look at your contours and u will find the trail.
Water: Rivers generally pretty low and the described difficult ford at 2453 was fine. Lower Lemah was pretty fast and deep too ..mid thigh on me.
Bugs: Lots of them but not so viscious as u would expect..but then I soaked my clothes in premetherin and was wearing 100% Deet 20% time. Met a southbounder who had 20+ bites visible just in passing.
Blow Down: Lots of blow down throughout the trail…I am 5’4 and was able to get around most and had a tight slide on my back under one log and threw my pack over and roped it so it wouldn’t go down the hill.
Erosion: Lots of areas where trail is very narrow from winter/snowmelt water but all passable and visible to you as u approach them.
People: Met very few. One through hiker heading north, a section hiker heading north and one southbound kiwi.
Its as good a time as any to hike this section. have fun!

Mt. Adams area logged out

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By: Dean R.
July 18th, 2013

After weeks of work, the PCT is logged out through the Cascade Creek Fire area. Expect hazard trees along the trail and pay particularly  close attention during high wind events. There are some small  portions of the tread that have either washed or burnt away, but the trail is easy to follow and not really in that bad of shape considering.