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Camping, Hiking, and Climbing Talk They don't call it the "Great Outdoors" for nothing - trail talk, camping tips, mountaineering, etc.

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Old 06-21-2007, 02:17 AM   #1
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Default Juniper Ridge, Washington - backpacking

so me and Jeanie (spacevirgin) and couple other friends are going backingpacking this weekend near Mt St Helens. it will be my first backpacking trip this year. i'm sooo excited . even though it will be a short little trip, i can't wait to get up into the mountains and kick back under the stars after a day of hiking. i'll also get to try out my new tent. woot!

i've been reading through a couple hiking books for washington in order to get an idea of where to go for this trip, and it is just amazing all the trails that run through this area. lots of little 10 - 14 day hikes through some amazing wilderness. for those of you that don't know me very well, i aspire to hike distance trails for about 6 to 7 months sometime in the next few years. these little trails out here could give me a feel for them. to say the least, i'm totally excited about it. i don't have a car, but PNW has such an amazing bus system that i can bus out near most of these trail heads. there is so much potential.

anywho, i'll post pictures early next week and recap the hike for those interested.
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:58 AM   #2
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Have fun both of you!!! and yeah, take tone of pics.

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Old 06-21-2007, 12:44 PM   #3
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Old 06-25-2007, 01:54 AM   #4
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what a great trip. i'll do a write up on the hike, but here are some photos in the mean time.

yeah, that's right, jeanie will take on ANY road ANY time



starting up the trail (Me, Jeanie & Angel)



View from the saddle of Juniper Ridge, where we camped for the night.



view from the ridge in the morning



it was a such a beautiful hike and great backpacking trip. write-up to follow.
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:59 PM   #5
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That looks fantastic, how long did it take you? were you on trails, or did you go off the path?
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:15 PM   #6
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Wow, that looks amazing. You gals sure picked a beauty!
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Old 06-25-2007, 07:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rozza View Post
That looks fantastic, how long did it take you? were you on trails, or did you go off the path?
It was a trail, although the Gifford Pinchot National Forest is rated as "mostly unprotected"-- meaning that motorbikes and ATVs tend to abound. The trail was ok in parts but the gouge created by motorbikes was enormous in a lot of places. You either had to put one foot directly in front of the other like a field sobriety test, or try to walk on one side or the other (tougher than it sounds) or at times straddle both sides.

It was a great trip, even though we had to break down camp in fairly heavy rain. My gear is still drying out in the yard.
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:49 PM   #8
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Sounds like you had a great trip, pity it rained though...

Those are some awesome pictures, looking forward to the full report :D
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:07 PM   #9
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here's a bit of the write up from my blog about the trip:

We left out of Seattle on Saturday morning and enjoyed some good roadtrippin' tunes and conversation on our way down to the trail head near Randle, WA. We hit a little town outside Randle for some eats. I had a classy moment here when we were getting into the car in a busy parking lot where Jeanie was making some corny jokes. i said..almost too loud, "it's okay to be as cheesy as we want out here. we can totally act like retards!" (meaning the wilderness where we were heading, but i think i caught every locals ear and angel and jeanie all but peeled out of the parking lot, LOL). jesus, what a Seattle City asshole i must have seemed wearing my "Ani Fucking Difranco" t-shirt, nose ring and ear gauges seemingly talking shit about the locals. doh!

we got lost on some of the worst pothole ridden, fallen tree ridden backroads before we hit the trailhead. Jeanie's poor shocks. we started up the trail just after 4p and hiked uphill with our packs for a good 2 1/2 hours before we hit the saddle of Juniper Peak. I hiked ahead to see if there were better places to camp before we decided that the saddle was our best option for the night. All day, the sky had been threatening rain, but we were able to make camp, make a fire and cook our dinner before the sky opened and dumped on us. We all scrunched into Jeanie's tent with a good bottle of red wine and our dinner and spent the rest of the evening talking.

The view from the saddle was amazing! Panarama views of all the surrounding valleies and mountain ranges including the snowy Mt Adams Peak in the distances. It was breath-taking and really gave me that peace and sense of rightness with the world that hiking always gives me.

We all slept in in the morning while it rained. It was really beautiful. This was the first test run of my new tent and sleeping bag. I didn't get a single drop of rain and was snug as a bug all night. The amount of quiet and peace up there was awesome. I savored every moment of that morning. We all emerged from our tents at about 11a during a break in the rain storms. The valleys where covered in clouds moving this way and that, uncovering distance views for moments before becoming cloudy again. We all had a quick breakfast before heading up the mountain to Juniper Peak and Juniper Ridge, which connect Sunset Peak to Juniper Peak. After a bit of picture taking and looking around we headed back down to break camp and head back down the trail. It was snowing on the Ridge, but raining when we got back down to the saddle to break camp. We were all wet and cold but in amazingly good spirits. How could you not be surrounded by so much beauty. The steep trail down was pretty slick and we took our time getting back to the car.

All and all, an amazing little getaway from Seattle.
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