Cyclocross race I – Krugers.
Archive for August, 2010
I stopped at all the cool barns and broken down buildings on the way out east. Someday I plan on finding out who own them and if they’d be willing to part with the wood for a small fee, but I’m still not sure what to do with them.
On the way to the Steens I stopped at two small ponds to look at some birds hanging out. This pond turned out to be Malheur Lake and Mud Lake, much smaller this time of year. After harrassing the birds with my camera I saw on the map there was a back road that goes through the middle of the refuge and took it.
In the Steens I went out to the Riddle Brothers Ranch. They weren’t joking when it said it is remote, it was about an hour off the highway. I thought our new 4Runner was doing awesome until I saw a Nissan sedan coming the other way over the rocks.
The Alvord Desert is a dried up lake bed on the East side of the Steen mountains that gets around 4 inches of rain a year. It looks like a miniature version of the Atacama Desert in Chile. I tried camping out in the middle in a tent but the wind was blowing around 30mph and the tent was quite loud. I moved back to the edge of the lake and slept in the back of the 4Runner. The moon was super bright and you could see the whole lake at night. In the morning I went over to the hot springs and took a dip in the perfect temperature waters. It was really cool to be out there with only the birds chirping and water dripping. Here is a video from the springs and another just hanging out.
I seem to have a thing for taking photos of roads and I relegated this task to my new phone.
Road photos from my phone along the way
I went up to Sara’s cabin to show those heathens how to burn corn on a grill and later to shove chocolate into bananas on the grill. In their defense they showed that peanut butter is a great addition. Score 1 Washington. I spent a lot of time trying to take artsy photos of moon light on water. Time would have been better spent learning the way of the corn grilling.
We hiked up Mt. Elanor to work up an appetite for dinner.
photos here (picture of sweat wrung from my tshirt)
Dan and I climbed the South Side route of Mt. Adams. We left Cold Creek Campground at noon and headed up the dusty trail. I had aspirations of camping at Pikers Peak (11300′) or the actual Summit (12200) instead of the traditional Lunch Counter (9500′). It was fairly slow going as I didn’t feel uber strong and didn’t drink enough water (who knew) on the way up. We took breaks wherever we could find shade, tiny trees or the old lava flows. We still had quite a few hours of sunlight left when we got to Lunch Counter but decided to camp there for the night because the wind was picking up and the spots there looked very enticing.
We settled into the wind break and Dan set up his tent and I boiled water for our gourmet dehydrated dinners and dessert. We each carried a beer up, Guinness for Dan and Rainier for me (no Olympia beer at the store). I was hoping to take a picture of the Rainier with Mt. Rainier behind us, but Mt. Adams got in the way. I didn’t feel great so Dan took over beer drinking duties and finished mine. After taking out our dinner we sat around watching the sun set and wait for the stars to come out. It was most likely the best campsite I’ve stayed at just because of the views and location.
In the morning we got up a few hours after the go getters who were moving up the mountain in the dark. We had to melt snow for water as the runoff was frozen from the night. The new MSR Reactor was very impressive and melted and boiled the snow in no time. I drank a few liters of water as I had headaches during the night from being dehydrated/stupid and that made all the difference for the rest of the day. We made up some milk and granola and packed up for the rest of the climb. We decided to carry crampons but ended up not using them (it might have been a little more secure but the snow was fairly soft by the time we were on it.)
We made good time up the initial slog to Pikers Peak, catching up to a party that was way ahead of us. We got a look at the huge glissade chutes going down the mountain – they looked scary when the snow was hard. On top of the peak we added another layer and marched over to the true summit. The walk over was very cool with the wide expanse of mountain and gentle slope down and up. I could definitely feel the altitude after Pikers Peak, not a wonder as we were above Mt. Hood by then. I threw rocks at Dan to have him slow down but he was too far away to hit. Once on the top summit field we had a 10 yard jog/race, which is not advised as we had to double over from lack of air. I did at any rate, I blacked out and couldn’t see Dan but I assume he was hurting too.
Up top we took photos and kept going on and on about how cool the summit was. It really was awesome, great views and a huge snow field every directions you looked. It was a bit hazy so we couldn’t see further North than Mt. Rainier or South than Mt. Jefferson. We ate some rice krispie treats, drank some of the 3 liters I humped up and headed back down.
I put on my rain pants for the renowned glissading. I thought it might be over hyped this glissade, but it was if anything underrated. We floated down the summit peak in no time, cruising down the banked chutes and jumps. The photos don’t do it justice but it was very very cool. After walking back to Pikers Peak we got a view of the real glissade tracks and didn’t chicken out. This part was even faster and cooler than the first track, the walls at the beginning were 2 to 3 feet deep and banked for the turns down. Dan went first to get some pictures of me coming down. We hollared and screamed like little kids as we flew down the hill, much more fun than any mountain bike trail I’ve done. It took a little under 2 hours to hike up and about 15 minutes to float down.
We slid almost to the camp and grudgingly walked over pumice and rock to the tent to pack up. Once we grabbed our bags and broke out the new plastic sleds, we headed back to the snow fields. The new sleds must’ve been coated in teflon and oil for how fast they took us down the hill. We cruised past the suckers plunge stepping down the hill. We hit a few more fields and chutes and were back down at the trail in minutes.
Trying to learn from past mistakes I tried to carry only the minimum necessary for an overnight on the mountain; bringing a bivy sack, sleeping bag, stove, food, filter, 2 light jackets, rain pants, crampons, axe, poles and many packs of GU and only a few liters of water. I should have drunk more water more often but I’m pretty bad about heeding plans and drinking when hiking. Equipment wise we did well and didn’t bring anything we didn’t need and didn’t want for anything – perhaps more powerade.
This was both mine and Dan’s first time using blue bags for our waste. Next time I will bring an air freshner, more kitty litter and many more ziplock bags. It’s a little disconcerting carrying your poo in your backpack as you slide down the hill with an axe in your hands.
This was definetly a Type I climb. The views, location, ease of climbing, awesome weather and super glissading (5000′ of sliding) made it a great trip.
Day 1 photos
Day 2 photos
View Mt. Adams climb in a larger map
My parents got Ingrid and I a night camping in the trees with Pacific Tree Climbing Institute (PTCI), outside of Eugene. We met up with the guides Rob and Jason around 5 to get a tour of the tree where we’d be staying. The tree was quite large and over 240 feet tall with lots of moss, like a normal tree. Another couple was there and seemed as psyched as we were. The PTCI manager and chef Debbie made us awesome dinner and dessert (marionberry pie) before we headed up the ropes.
We jumared up the static lines to the ‘tree boats’ where we’d sleep at 100 feet. After looking around a bit the guides took us up to near the top of the tree at 220 feet to watch the sunset. It was super cool to hang out in the tree top with the breeze and the birds. As the sun was going down we rappelled down to the boats and settled in for the night in our sleeping bags in the beds. As we went to sleep the wind picked up and moved the tree around quite a bit – we were very lucky, it normally doesn’t happen.
After listening to the creatures break branches on the ground in the night, Rob and Jason made us coffee and tea in the morning. We had hot scented towels to rinse off the pitch from our faces (though butter or mayo works better apparently). We said goodbye to the limbs and rappelled down to earth to a kickass breakfast by Debbie.