Havasupai Falls 3 of 3
Exploring the northern end of the canyon, ascending back up Mooney Falls, Old Navajo and Little Navajo Falls
Havasupai Falls 2 of 3
Havasupai Falls, descending through cave tunnels and a quite precarious chain and ladder system to the foot of Mooney Falls, Mooney Falls and surrounding water and stuff…
Havasupai Falls 1 of 3
I’ve come to find out that if I wanted to go camping in the Grand Canyon sometime this winter, I needed to send off for a permit on my third birthday… A fella at REI recommended going through Havasupai Indian Reservation and that it was a way to avoid the Natl Park red tape and still get into the canyon so I thought WORD!
I sat on the phone for EIGHT DAYS trying to get through. I called every 5-10 mins and only got ringing… I had literally given up and on the Friday before leaving, I thought, “ok, one last attempt.” And they answered on the first ring!?! haha so suffice it to say, after that I pretty much hopped to with the gear and necessaries and bombed out there! :D
The hike in was 10 miles with an initial descent of about 2200’ in a mile and a half. But really not all that bad as far as what I had heard regarding desert hiking! Starting early in the morning is DEFINITELY the way to go. Once that mid-day sun hits you, it’s a killer…
I really cannot begin to describe how amazingly beautiful this place was. The desert entry was neat and cool and a beautiful place in all the normal wonderful ways, but coming up upon a turquoise river cascading down and down with a backdrop of bright orange canyon walls and surrounding trees in full autumn glory was almost too much to handle. I had a hard time convincing myself that this place really exists! haha
North Cascades Natl Park
Not a whole week after having been on Rainier, I had a couple days to go with a new bud here in town to the North Cascades Natl Park. What a breathtakingly beautiful place it is! I could not believe I had not yet gone up there and attempted SO many more trips while being here!!!
Our plan was pretty simple. Paddle in on Ross arm up and through Ross lake to Cougar Island, camp over night and bushwhack up the bank day 2 and meet up with the Pacific Northwest trail and take it back to the car… that was the plan anyways haha. I wouldn’t say things went wrong? but to quote the great Yvon Chouinard “…when everything goes wrong, that’s when adventure starts.” And for us that was the case as we set in on Ruby creek. My intention and understanding, even after speaking with the Ranger as we got our permit, was that we paddle down Ruby creek into Ross Arm and paddle paddle paddle to the Island. We were suddenly met with half of a dozen class I -III white water rapids! For about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile we two never been on rapids before shmucks bore down and rode those bad larrys all the way through! Soaked to the bone, adrenaline jacked we hopped out afterward to drain the boats and thump our chests at getting through that! It could have very easily turned into a very bad day for either one or the both of us but MAN! Getting through those was probably one of the most exciting backcounty experiences I’ve ever had! :D Our Alpacka boats held up like champs! The one loss, though, was that I’d unknowingly left the camera in the pocket of my shorts >:\ The remaining paddle out was without issue and we soon arrived onto our little island for the night.
Day 2, up and at it, we made our way to the opposite bank. Using a prominent creek as a bearing we scrambled up about 300ft on a quick recon before humping all the gear. The estimated 200-300ft bushwhack carried on for MUCH longer than originally anticipated and after finding the trail eventually, surmised that with an additional 20lbs up that hill sounded slightly worse than the 5 mile paddle to the Ross dam and out on the portage trail… so we opted for the latter.
With one hell of a start and rounded out with some of the most beautiful scenery Washington ceases to impress with, the trip was a considerable success :)
After the first failed attempt to spend the night on Rainier, it seems the weather gods were in favor! Beautiful crystal clear and sunny skies for two days! Well worth the second guessing last time… The meadows around Paradise VC were awesome as ever and my spirits were very high through the 2 mile trudge to Pebble Creek/where the snowfield started. The
hike slog up was by far the toughest 2 mile hike I have ever done! I’d never been so smoked before haha. The experience and the views were unparalleled to any other I have ever experienced. And made all the effort so well worth it! Due to late season snow and glacial melt, however, the crevasses on the glacier had opened up wider than the ladder bridges could span. The rangers instructed that a summit require an alternate route and without having a guide or any idea of said alternate route, we were contented with just making it to the camp.
The accommodations at the camp were not at all what I’d expected! The late season offered us, to our surprise/delight, an all but empty Camp Muir! We had the 50 person bunk house essentially all to ourselves!
For what took just about 6 hours to ascend, only took two to get back down haha. Glissading is the TOPS!
I can see Rainier from the driveway to the apartment complex I live in. Seeing it for the first time upon arrival in Washington and being so impressed with it, to then wanting so badly to climb up, and now after ascending to Camp Muir, it’s a crazy feeling inside. An experience I’m going to cherish for a long time.
Enchanted Valley - Olympic Natl Park
27 miles in 29 hours haha. Longest slog I’ve ever done for an overnight backpacking trip. As well, in the passed few weeks, battling a tweaked IT band! The bastard crapped out on me at about mile 8! haha >:( BUT I knew what lie ahead and dug deep to get there. And what an amazing valley it was! A flowing river cutting in between towering, nearly shear mountain walls with cascades and stunning peaks! While my body was soar and my knee was telling me where I could go F myself, this hike was TOTALLY worth it! :D
Goat Lake via Elliot Creek - Mt Baker Natl Forest
Get Outside Campaign 11, Ozette Lake to Sand Point - Olympic Natl Park
Steph’s brother came to visit all the way from Baton Rouge, LA! It was his first time anywhere other than OH and LA haha. Suffice it to say he loved WA and getting to hike and paddle and see the Pacific ocean! It was a really awesome getting to watch him experience all of those things!
Mowich Lake - Mt Rainier Natl Park
Paddling the Puyallup River to Tacoma
Rachel Lake via Box Canyon - Central Cascades
Narada Falls to Reflection Lake - Mt Rainier Natl Park
Hoh Rainforest - Olympic Natl Park
Elwah River - Olympic Natl Park