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11/17/17, 10:30 PM

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Author Topic: Sept 8-9,2017, Spider Gap  (Read 1296 times)
mikerolfs
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Sept 8-9,2017, Spider Gap
« on: 09/09/17, 05:42 PM »

If you are looking for someplace to ski this month, Spider Gap is a pretty good alternative. The road has been graded to mile 18 (of 23 if you set your odometer at the "23m to Trinity" sign). What an improvement! The USFS has cut out the trail and now there are only three logs left to step over. Bugs are down. Still lots of water. It's really a pretty friendly trip.

The "glacier" is no longer a permanent continuous snow field, but right now you can still ski to the top of the waterfall, where I like to camp. You can't quite ski from the actual skyline at Spider Gap, but the side hill is still snow covered and gets you just as much vert. Top to bottom of the snowfield is 704 feet. One lap is plenty. I stopped more than once and said to myself "good thing this is only 700 feet!".  and Deja vu - I'm sure I've said that before on this same slope.

Comments are disabled or I'd say something about MW88888888's wolf. My dog didn't get mistaken for a wolf, but I did hear a cub scout troop leader tell his kids about my dog; "look, there's a coyote!".

It's a 2-1/2hr drive from Wenatchee to the trail head, and it takes me about 3 hours to walk to the bottom of the glacier (where there is a fabulous campsite at the top of a waterfall, under more waterfalls, at the base of a glacier, on a big flat rock, and surrounded by low sub-alpine grass, flowers, heather, and trees. This campsite features a busy pika, big fat marmots, and periodic deer).  I left work early on Friday and was on the road at 4pm. TH at 6:30, and camp by 930pm. Rain was forcast, but the moon came out bright yellow, with not a cloud in the sky. (This was a treat since both the moon and sun have been red due to fire smoke for weeks).  I rigged a tarp due to the forecast, and at 3am I felt pretty smug dry beneath my tarp wondering "what is that sound?" ...The sound was rain on my tarp.

I did not take skins or crampons. I just walked up the snow. It was fine. I was really frugal with packing since this was just an afternoon in, morning out. My pack weighed 16 pounds without skis, and my skis plus bindings are about 4 pounds, so total was 20 pounds for an overnight with ski gear. (LOL overnight camping with 40 pound packs with no technical gear!) No stove. (no coffee. I survived).

The good news! Road graded to mile 18!


Camp views:

Clara watches a busy pika:


Snow just a stone's throw away:


Water right here!


Fancy tarp cover. Pretty happy with how this worked out.


Yellow, not red! moon-rise


The state of the snow surface:


Spider Gap is the low point. Snow doesn't quiet go to the horizon anymore.


I didn't ski down toward Upper Lyman Lakes, but if you wanted to, here is what you'd find:


After reading GregLange's recent post at Baker, and seeing that he is at 239 MONTHS!, I was thinking on this trip about goals with my TAY streak. I'll be at 100 months in Feb of2018. I think 100 months is a pretty cool marker. I also think 10 years, a decade, is a worthy goal. I wasn't super inspired to ski this month. My wife suggested I should ski yesterday (perhaps inspired by a grouchy disposition?).  I'm glad I did. I still feel satisfaction in the streak.
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jtack
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Re: Sept 8-9,2017, Spider Gap
« Reply #1 on: 09/15/17, 09:53 PM »

I know it seems cruel to suggest, but are you obsessevly goal oriented? HA! Ashamed I was too lazy o make the trip!
« Last Edit: 09/15/17, 09:58 PM by jtack » Logged
Don Heath
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Re: Sept 8-9,2017, Spider Gap
« Reply #2 on: 09/17/17, 10:04 AM »

 Thanks for the report,  Mike.  Having the dog in the pictures is great for perspective on the sun cup  size.   For me the streak is a means to an end... staying in shape and staving off old age :-)  i tell my kids "someday I'll be too old to do this...BUT THIS IS NOT THAT DAY!"  And off i go...
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The best part of summer skiing is napping on a warm rock.
MW88888888
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Re: Sept 8-9,2017, Spider Gap
« Reply #3 on: 09/17/17, 02:16 PM »

I'm glad a dog owner saw the humor in my post- your pup looks like a shambling monster coming down the trail would not phase her.  Probably look at you and ask "for real?" 

It's a funny thing about streaking.  I know my family will also support mine, if just to get me out of the house.

A decade is an unreal thing when you really get down to it.  You survived traveling, sickness, partner less trips (well, some of us without hounds!) and unpleasant skiing in the doldrums.  A proud accomplish.  I look forward to hearing you break the barrier.
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telemack
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Re: Sept 8-9,2017, Spider Gap
« Reply #4 on: 09/21/17, 10:38 PM »

Excellent TR as usual.  Where is Moxie?   That doggie could haul ass on snow for wearing such short "sticks"  Cheesy  I hope your new pal is an addition, not a replacement.
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There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.
George Santayana
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