Friday, April 11, 2014

Barlow Ridge Hut Trip 2014



I had been looking at doing a trip to one of the Cascade Huts for a year or two and finally pulled the trigger in the middle of March. My wife was also interested in the trip so we recruited Andrew and Elena to round out the crew. While the hut was only 5 miles in and included everything you'd really need except food, I wanted to try out my ski polk I built a few years ago and see how much weight I could easily pull. This would be a good test for future backcountry skiing adventures. I considered this backcountry glamping so we loaded and pulled 4 growlers in with us and enough food to feed twice as many people.

Andrew and I were going to test out our backcountry rig, while the girls opted for snowshoes. Taking turns hauling the sled, we pretty much stayed the same pace.

Gearing up at the trailhead
All ready to go, but heading in the completely wrong direction. Took us a good hour to find the Mineral Jane trail. Trip almost failed before it even began.
Approaching Barlow Butte

Andrew beginning the long slog
Elena and I

Kerrie taking in the view of Hood
Kerrie very happy to have reach the hut.
Power nap for the Burker
Pretty posh living space.
After settling in, Andrew and I went out for a very very quick tour. Not the best terrain for backcountry skiing. The Barlow Butte hut is supposedly to be better, but it was booked.
We got a few turns in the open glade below the hut.

Cooking and drinking. Not much better.



Quick little walk to the privy.

Heading back down to the car. Thanks to Elena for taking a turn on the sled so Andrew and I could ski back down to the trail intersection. Definitely a lot faster.
Skinning up



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Backpacking Olympic National Park in February: Day 2


Day 2-3 brought on a constant wetness that would last all the way to Vancouver. We awoke at Sand Point camp to a rather persistent drizzle. We ate and packed slowly and in the end, made the call to head back south to Norwegian Beach and explore the area south of it.

Staying dry under the tarp.

 

Wonderful day on the Olympic Coast



Remember those basketball sized rocks. It was much easier when they were dry. "Black death" and snot rock covering everything




Our first other person in one day. Jeans and a floaty. He wasn't much of a talker.
Camera lens was hard to keep dry.


Norwegian Beach



Camped at the Starbucks Mine Camp on the second night. It was a little more tucked into the forest and provided a little more cover.
Here's my camp. Glad I had my bivy sack because it started raining side ways with a heavy mist.





Towards the end of the evening, we had to lower J's tarp and build him a wall so that the rain and mist would blow under his tarp and get his down bag wet.
Definitely didn't have enough whiskey for these kinds of conditions. Hang out under the tarp.

Hunkered down under the lowered tarp.
Ahh, warm food and drink. This thing is a champ.

Rock dam near Starbucks Creek
The next day we explored farther south towards the Chilean Memorial.

Primo campsite on the top of this little headland. Definitely would needs a tent though.
Checking out other campsites. Lots of cool arrangements due to the driftwood.
More rope climbing.



Seal remains