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Author Topic: April 23, 2017, Eightmile Stupidity  (Read 2090 times)
ADappen
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April 23, 2017, Eightmile Stupidity
« on: 04/24/17, 05:22 PM »

Surely everyone has the occasional brush with stupidity. In my own case I only need to look to the weekend for an example...

I've scheduled what is likely to be a dawn-to-dusk ski tour up Eightmile Mountain when my wife and I get a dinner invitation for the same day we don't want to miss. My ski companions, Eric Smith and Joel McDonald, canít switch days, and donít want to make our 6 a.m. meeting time in Wenatchee any earlier. ďLetís just go fast,Ē Joel says.

So Sunday, when we leave the car at the bottom of the Eightmile Road near Leavenworth, itís game on. We quickly carry the skis three miles up the road and another three-quarter mile up the Eightmile Trail before hitting permanent snow. Then comes the tedium of skinning the Eightmile Trail as it winds, undulates, and climbs around meadows loaded with deadfall. It takes 90 agonizingly slow minutes to dispatch this short trail.

At Eightmile Lake, the pace quickens as we ski its frozen surface and skin an additional half-mile up Eightmile Creek. Now we are legitimately eight miles into the day, but we've only gained half our elevation. Here the slopes finally stop lollygagging around and climb directly to the summit.

To stay on schedule, we have a little under two hours to climb the remaining 3,000 vertical feet, transition, and start the descent. For an hour, all three of us are on pace. In the final hour, however, Joel starts suffering from a muscle tweak and my skins start collecting snow like magnets collect nails. We unleash our rabbit (Eric) so at least one of us might summit and claim a victory for Team Wenatchee. While Joel limps and I drag pounds of powder nails uphill, Eric pulls ahead, reaches the final steeps where he boots onward. Joel and I reach the southwest ridge 400 vertical feet shy of the top, transition into downhill mode, and then actually enjoy the decadence of a five-minute rest while Eric tags the summit and returns.

By 1 pm, the three of us are together again heading downhill. We make short work of the gloppy descent to Eightmile Lake where we don skins for the mile-long stride to its opposite end. Given the undulations and deadfall on the trail below the lake, we opt to keep skins on for the entire remainder of the descent. How hideous it is to ski downhill with skins; yet it proves easier than navigating the undulating trail with bare boards. Eventually we have the distinctly unpleasant task of plodding several miles down the snow-free Eightmile Road that could be spanned in minutes if it were coated with snow. Weíre back at the car 9.5 hours after we started. I do the math for the drive home and smile over the day's main bright spot -- I'll be just late enough to be forgiven rather than gutted.
 
On the return to Wenatchee, I spin on the stupidity of putting so much effort into a day where two of us missed the goal by so little. But the summit will be there for another day -- the same cannot bet be said of me had I returned home at an unforgivable time.

+++++



Note: The last photo in the cluster below was taken on a 2009 descent of Eightmile Mountain when there was time for the luxury of photography.


* EightmileSki-417-1.JPG (107.61 KB, 800x533 - viewed 1379 times.)

* EightmileSki-417-002.JPG (132.83 KB, 800x584 - viewed 1377 times.)

* Eightmile-09A-17.JPG (113.54 KB, 800x539 - viewed 1373 times.)
« Last Edit: 04/27/17, 09:21 AM by ADappen » Logged
ADappen
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Re: April 23, 2017, Eightmile Stupidity
« Reply #1 on: 04/27/17, 09:17 AM »

I thought a few people would weigh-in with their own anecdotes of racing the clock, or being beholden to some other stricture that made for a day of stoopidity.  Anyone? 
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toddball
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Re: April 23, 2017, Eightmile Stupidity
« Reply #2 on: 04/27/17, 09:45 AM »

I thought a few people would weigh-in with their own anecdotes of racing the clock, or being beholden to some other stricture that made for a day of stoopidity.† Anyone?†

For some reason I decided it was a good idea to dawn patrol Hyak on March 8th.† It dumped overnight and dumped all morning up there, so I figured I'd get some hippy pow laps in and then head back to the UW for my important meeting at 11.

Lesson 1: 110mm is not enough underfoot for 3+ ft of low-angle fresh.
Lesson 2: there's a difference between high-clearance 4WD and AWD; just because the trucks are parked on the unplowed side of the parking lot doesn't mean you won't get high-centered parking there.
Lesson 3: I-90 is not fast during a winter storm warning.

Still made my meeting.
« Last Edit: 04/27/17, 12:12 PM by toddball » Logged
cumulus
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Re: April 23, 2017, Eightmile Stupidity
« Reply #3 on: 04/27/17, 03:26 PM »

I think what toddball may be trying to say is thanks Andy for making Snoqualmie look so good!  There is no eight mile road. You just drive up. Occasionally it snows too much. What a drag.

You do realize you make us west-siders look like a bunch o' wimps. This renders us almost completely speechless. The nerve!

Well, it was a good read as always, thank you. Hope the dinner was good if not on time.
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Stefan
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Re: April 23, 2017, Eightmile Stupidity
« Reply #4 on: 04/27/17, 05:21 PM »

The last photo in the cluster below was taken on a 2009 descent of Eightmile Mountain when there was time for the luxury of photography

I thought that was Tom Janisch in that last photo! 

Well done!
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toddball
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Re: April 23, 2017, Eightmile Stupidity
« Reply #5 on: 04/27/17, 05:40 PM »

I think what toddball may be trying to say is thanks Andy for making Snoqualmie look so good!† There is no eight mile road. You just drive up. Occasionally it snows too much. What a drag.

You do realize you make us west-siders look like a bunch o' wimps. This renders us almost completely speechless. The nerve!

Well, it was a good read as always, thank you. Hope the dinner was good if not on time.

Yup.  I carried skis down Eightmile road two Sundays ago; pretty glad I didn't have a deadline to meet then!
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ADappen
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Re: April 23, 2017, Eightmile Stupidity
« Reply #6 on: 04/28/17, 01:41 PM »

I think what toddball may be trying to say is thanks for making Snoqualmie look so good!† There is no eight mile road. You just drive up. Occasionally it snows too much. What a drag.
Funny.

The dinner turned out to be worth the rush. Fresh morels over fru-fru toast on a bed of sauce with ingredients I didn't know existed. That was just the appetizers. And lots of wine. Which wasn't necessarily a good idea given all the exercise, but one does need to hydrate.
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