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Author Topic: March 21, 2013 Mission Ridge - The Perimeter Tour  (Read 2194 times)
mikerolfs
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March 21, 2013 Mission Ridge - The Perimeter Tour
« on: 03/21/14, 08:19 PM »

March 21 was the first Friday after the beginning of spring, which marks the second annual Wenatchee Outdoors Day, a faux holiday sponsored by WenOut.org, encouraging us to leave our desks for a day of physical and emotional rejuvination.  Last year there were TWO participants; Me and Andy Dappen.  Here is Andy's write up of our activities from the first annual Wenatchee Outdoors day:   ww.last year.  Participation this year increased by 150%, from two WenOut Day observers, to three.  Tom Janisch, Andy Dappen and I did the perimeter tour in honor of the 2nd edition of this important holiday.

The plan was to leave my house just after dawn and travel west up to Beehive Mountain and on to Mission Peak on the Northwest boundary of Mission Ridge Ski Area.  From there we would traverse the ridge to the top of the ski area and continue East to the Stemilt Basin on the East boundary.  We would ski through the stemilt basin and then follow green dot roads back to Squilchuck State Park which is just a 1/4 mile from my driveway.  A walk down the Squilchuck highway to my house would complete the 15 mile/5000 foot loop.  As an exciting European style diversion, we planned to ski down to the base area for lunch and return to the top via the ski lifts.  Here is a map of the planned adventure:

The perimeter tour, as planned:


Before I left, I made a big fuss about keeping the dogs inside.  Any dog escape could ruin our plans, as dogs are not allowed inside the mission ridge special use permit area during winter operations.  I lectured the kids, I explained to my wife, I closed the basement door, and I LOCKED the front door - as a reminder.  I declared to the whole house that the front door was locked as a reminder that the dogs needed to STAY IN for at least a half hour after we left.

We walked on up the sage hills all the way to the top of Beehive Mountain, former Lookout site, and great view spot about 2500' above my place.

Sunrise on the walk up.  Mission Ridge beyond.


Summer-like approach; not a lot of snow:


decent view from Beehive Mountain;

Stuart Range


Rocky Reach Dam on the Columbia River


I understand that the door was closed until 7:45 when Sara left to take the kids to school.  We left at 6:45, so that leaves an hour for the scent to go cold.  To my shock and irritation, at 8:15AM on Beehive Mtn summit, here comes my current best ski dog, Moxie.  Somehow following our stinky skier scent, she caught us in just a half hour.  She presented herself, shook, and then puked something pink.  Un-believable.  We had a brief discussion about options and decided that Moxie could come along, but that we would have to sacrifice lunch in the lodge, and in addition, we would have to traverse the ski area on the south side of the Ridge, outside of the area boundary.  Tom and Andy had an amazing attitude about this extra hassle.  Thanks to both of them for giving up the veggie bacon cheese burger we could have had at the Hampton Lodge.

We still hadn't found consistent snow and so kept walking until well past Beehive Reservoir when finally we donned skins. 

Mox happy we're finally skiing


Skiing through the recent burn area


Finally at Mission Peak the views were spectacular, but the snow was firm enough that we had to boot the final couple hundred feet.

Approaching Mission Peak



The top of the world


Moxie pondering extreme skiing


We had lunch on Mission Peak in calm winds and clear skies, well planned weather by Andy for the holiday.  Then we skied down and over to the ski area boundary.

Skiing toward Mission Ridge ski area


From the edge of the ski area we stayed just south of the area fence on the Ellensburg side.  I leashed Moxie with some cord from my emergency kit.  My frustration with (1) leashing my dog, (2) skinning through wind lips with a leashed dog, (3) leashes are bullshit, and (4)GAH LEASHES! resulted in no photos from this leg of the trip.

We continued on toward the East boundary of the ski area on the Ellensburg side of the boundary fence.  Moxie's presence complicated this leg of the tour, but maybe only added a half hour to the day.

Headed East


Finally past the Ski Area!



The skiing in Stemilt was sometimes too firm, and sometimes enjoyable.  The run drops around 2000 feet to the northeast.
 








In that last photo you can see Upper Wheeler Reservoir in the background.  We took the road system back to Squilchuck State Park.  There were some walk spots.  I chose to ski many of the grass or "meadow" dry patches.  I think Tom and Andy sweated less, but I got more skiing in.

A dry spot on the road home



The road home



another dry patch.
  I skied it.


On the way up we could see Mission Peak, Mission Ridge, Wenatchee Mountain, and the saddle that would be our deproach.  After reaching Squilchuck State Park, we were treated with a view of our approach ridge across the valley.

Andy pointing to the ridge we walked up earlier in the day.  Beehive Mtn is the high point on the ridge.


A satisfying walk down the Squilchuck Highway back to my driveway where it all began


Home at 4:30PM, it was a fabulous 2nd annual Wenatchee Outdoors Day adventure.  It was also the longest tour I've done from my home and an eye opener as to the ski possibilities above Beehive Reservoir.
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ADappen
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Re: March 21, 2013 Mission Ridge - The Perimeter Tour
« Reply #1 on: 03/22/14, 08:08 PM »

Mike's dog -- which he calls a Pigdog because she's got a stout, robust body powered  by six-inch legs -- was amazing. During the day Mox drank about three laps of water out of a mud puddle and a few bites of my bagel yet traveled half again as far as we did on those little pig legs.  Some of the ground we traversed you would have needed crampons to negotiate without ski edges and Mox scampered across in a controlled skid with her four paws.

No gear, no food, now water, to go much farther, much faster... probably some lessons to be learned there but I'm just a pathetic human.
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mikerolfs
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Re: March 21, 2013 Mission Ridge - The Perimeter Tour
« Reply #2 on: 03/22/14, 08:31 PM »

because she's got a stout, robust body powered  by six-inch legs

Lightbulb just went on.  You know how dogs resemble their owners?
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Joedabaker
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Re: March 21, 2013 Mission Ridge - The Perimeter Tour
« Reply #3 on: 03/22/14, 11:21 PM »

Oh Beehive---Great report!
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ADappen
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Re: March 21, 2013 Mission Ridge - The Perimeter Tour
« Reply #4 on: 03/24/14, 09:00 PM »

Here's the real story of what took place on this trip. Reality is not what Mike thinks it to be.
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jtack
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Re: March 21, 2013 Mission Ridge - The Perimeter Tour
« Reply #5 on: 03/24/14, 09:43 PM »

Nice work, always on the bleeding edge of innovation for backcountry touring!
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