Showing posts with label hurricane ridge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hurricane ridge. Show all posts

Hurricane Ridge Webcam Labeling

  The Hurricane Ridge Webcam is a good modern resource to keep an eye on the Olympic National Park interior.  I often view this on the internet to monitor snowpack, weather patterns or even just to daydream about being out there; during the winter months.  Its amazing how with one click, you can visually transported to your favorite area.  Think we are pretty spoiled this day and age, to have this option.  I don't know how many web visitors these National Park cameras get daily, but I'm sure more hairs than on the head.

  What are you actually looking at?  Most of what you see is actually a section of the Bailey Range.  A series of mountains that run almost the entire length of the Park, from north to south; crecenting Mount Olympus, which sits to the west or behind the range.

Admit it!  How much do you look at this webcam?

hurricane ridge webcam
Labeling the Hurricane Ridge Webcam.  

Sawyer Mini First Impressions while Scouting

  We have been getting hit with back to back rain storms here in the PNW.  The impending gloom of an incoming storm forecasting the drop of the snow level, well as 6" of rain in the Olympic interior.  I was in need to getting into the alpine while it was possible; without getting hammered by winter like conditions.  This would be a scouting adventure, to see how much snow was left by the last cold front.

  I still plan on getting one more trip into the interior of the Park, before the high country season comes to an end, to observe the Olympic Elk while they are under rut.  This next storm will seal the fate of that plan.  I have Plan A, B and C routes in mind, but would like to do the first one; since it increases my chances on the numbers of animals I see.

view from hurricane Ridge
Ruth Peak of the Bailey Range, protects Mount Olympus; which holds a fresh dusting of snow. 

Hiking the Olympic Mountains in Spring

  Finishing up my training for the season.  No more day trips to me, instead lots of sleeping outdoors ahead.  Feels great to get some endurance back into my legs.  Going into the backcountry with my family this week and then start the main section of my summer directly after.

  I'll share a few photos from the Olympic National Park shot in the last few days.

Mount Ferry
Ferry, Childs & Mount Barnes (right to left) 

Climbing Mount Angeles in Spring

  Looking at the weather window, a friend and I decided to get up high for some views.  This would also be in continuance of our Monday morning cardio ritual in the mountains.  Try to spend a few days inside the ONP or I get grumpy.

  Objective of the day was not to use a trail during the approach and not to fall on the snow; since we would not be using any boots, shoes,ice protection, traction aid or modern climbing equipment of any kind.  The route this day would be 70% snow covered, with lots of hidden snow bridges inside the treeline.  To avoid steep gullies, ended up just bushwhacking straight up the mountain and followed game trails.

  Unfortunately I did not copy down the proper path out of the Climbers Guide before heading out the door.  Ended up going up 'Route II' of Mount Angeles, which is a '2.3'.  I was concerned about down climbing the summit block after the final scramble.  The book suggest rope being used and I'm not that skilled in climbing to come down rock faces feet first.  Was happy to get views from just below the summit, so called it a day.

  Plan on going back soon and going up the 'easier' route, now reading the guide more carefully.    Fresh Mountain Goat and Olympic Marmot tracks were seen in the snow; hope to go back for some photos before I leave.

Update:  Ended up climbing back up the moutain 48 hours later (see below).

Ultralight mountaineering
Navigating the snowline. 

Hiking Hurricane Ridge

  Needed a break from farm chores; such as cleaning stalls, pruning fruit trees and feeding the pigs.  I was in need to sneak into the mountains.   With the main goal of catching sunset on Hurricane Ridge.  I grabbed the camera, a few snacks and headed off.

  Had a lovely evening; as the light peeked its way out of the clouds.  The sunset views did not come for me however, but it still was a lovely time in the mountains.  Thought I would share a few photos of the micro adventure.

Hurricane Ridge winter
Light falls through the clouds.

Hiking Hurricane Hill in Witner

  My Gossamer Gear Gorilla was all packed up with what was needed for a few days on the South Olympic Coast.  With 20 minutes left before I would leave the farm and catch the outgoing bus; I received an email invite for a different type of adventure.

  The correspondence was received from an old friend of mine that in my eyes is an Olympic legend.  He had a recent surgery and was looking for some trail time up at Hurricane Ridge.

  Our day would lead us on a 6 mile snow traverse.  Doing this without the need of snowshoes, because of solid snow pack.  The route lead us to the top of Hurricane Hill with views of the Bailey Range, Mt. Angeles and Mt. Baker.  This route also lead us on top of the Pacific Northwest Trail.

Hurricane Ridge Hiker
Headed out - views of the Bailey Range - wearing the new VFF EL-X and Gossamer Gear Minimalist. 

Elwha to Hurricane Hill Trial

  In part of the Wilderness is my Gym trail series; gathered some friends together for some leg training.  The group asked me to suggest a route for the afternoon.

  I suggested that we start our trail run from the Elwha Ranger Station that sits 400' on the valley floor.  Then we venture up to the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center.  This route has the high point of 5,650' with  views of the Bailey Range and Port Angeles.

  There is currently no fresh snow in the Olympic National Park.  We have the back to back warm fronts pushing thru this area to thank for that.

  The window of autumn is rapidly closing in the Pacific Northwest; as winter tightens its hold on the mountains.  I was anxious to get into the alpine to get the views.

  Other parties involved excitingly agreed to my suggestion, but none of them had ever climbed that much trail ascent.  We were all in store for a real treat on the legs.

Olympic footwear
Trail Footwear - VFF Treksport and Luna Sandals Leadville Pacer

2011 - The Year of the Barefoot

Edit:  After a New Years Eve Trail Run it brought my mileage up to 671.  

  Video/Slideshow of various trips I did this year in the Olympic National Park.  I was blessed to travel past my goal of 600 Trail Miles with 671 miles all in the Park.  All my miles are done with Vibram Five Fingers or Bare.  Since a lot of miles were on sharp rock, rubber was used to protect my feet most of the time.

  I want to say how blessed I feel to be living my dream on getting into the Park so much.  The connection that you experience while traveling when you can feel every rock, root, water, snow, cold and Hot is in-explainable.  I would classify it as a Spiritual Experience.
  I would also like to say a big Thank You to all the various Trail Partners I had this year.  I also got to meet a lot of new people while Hitch Hiking and on the Trail.  I am Stoked to get out for some Epic Adventuring in 2012 with you all.
  With the New Year look for a Summit of Mt. Olympus, lots of Trips into the Bailey Range, the Wonderland Trail and lots of other various Trips.

Disclaimer:  Train your feet for several Months/Years before attempting anything seen on this Site.  For tips on how to Train or Stretch your feet properly.  Feel free to email me

Snowshoe Hurricane Hill Road - Olympic

  I was itching to try another Snowshoe Binding.  Since earlier this week I had issue with my toes getting crammed into a plastic type binding.  I'm on the hunt to find a comfortable fit for my foot so that I can do greater distances this winter.  So I thought I would try out more of a rubber strap binding.

minimal footwear snowshoe

  A few days ago I noticed a small group getting together and going back up to Hurricane Ridge.  I was jumping at the chance to get back outdoors and try these Snowshoes.  The weather was forecasted to be warm for a December day and Sunny.  My body was in desperate need for some Sun.

hurricane ridge group snowshoe

  Route consisted of a road that is open in the Summer and closed in the Winter when the snow begins to fall.  Once you reach the summer time parking lot.  You mostly follow the ridge all the way over to Hurricane Hill where there is views deeper into the Olympics and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

snowshoe hurricane hill

snowshoe hurricane hill

  Along the route there was old dead trees sticking out of the snow, which was my favorite part of the day.  I also enjoyed looking down the Elwha Valley and into the Bailey Range again.  Its like a kid when he sees a playground.  The first thing he thinks about is going to play.

snowshoe hurricane hill

Overview/Disclaimer:  The rubber type bindings were a lot more comfortably, but still not a cozy as i would like.  Im going to try one more model.  If that dont work, I just may have to make my own.  Again, walking on snow for hours shouldnt be attempted in Vibram Five Fingers until you have built a tolerance up with your feet.  Keeping your core temperature up is key.

Snowshoe Hurricane Ridge - Olympic

 Received an email a few nights ago consisting of an invite to go Snowshoeing up at Hurricane Ridge.  Of coarse I jumped on the chance to spend time in the Olympic National Park.  Its been a few weeks since I've done anything eventful in the park and I was going nuts.  I also wanted to try out my new 'Barefoot' Snowshoe set up and only one way to find out if your gear works, is to get some Trail Time in.

obstruction road

  Putting a shell over the top my Vibram Five Fingers and then inserting feet into Snowshoes.  This would depend on successfully having strong feet and ankles.  Also having a high tolerance to the cold with the feet is extremely important.  Since there is minimal protection to the feet with spending hours on the ice and snow.

obstruction road

  It was so nice to feel the cold air in my Beard and stretch the legs.  Since the snow was mostly firm, made good time to our destination.  All was good with my set up until I tried to side hill traverse around 'Steeple Rock'.  The hard plastic binding began to dig into my toes.  It was rather unpleasing at that point.  I need to either modify the bindings or  try another manufacturer with a different binding.

obstruction road steeple rock

  Wasn't much a view once we got toward the top.  Clouds had us pretty socked in for the view.  So we decided to head back.  In the winter it seems to get dark way to early.

obstruction road

snowshoe hurricane ridge

  On the way back I spent much of my time reflecting and doing Photography.  Seen Birds, female Grouse, Squirrel and lots of Rabbit tracks.  The closer we got back to the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, the more it started to clear up.

snowshoe hurricane ridge

  Rising out of the Tree Line we caught the tail end of the sun dropping behind the Carrie Glacier and Mt. Olympus.  20 minutes or so was spend doing photography in completely crisp Twilight Mountain Bliss.  My Mind and Soul needed the feeling that one receives when looking at breathtaking views that the Olympics provides in the Winter.

snowshoe hurricane ridge

snowshoe hurricane ridge

snowshoe hurricane ridge

FootwearCamera and Hiking Guide used.

Overview/Disclaimer:  I am a professional Barefoot Athlete.  I would not suggest anyone go Snowshoeing without Boots.  Unless you would like major Foot and Ankle injures.  It is also very possible to give yourself Frostbit without insulating your feet and failing to keep your Core Temperature up.   I love getting out Snowshoeing, but quite honestly I've never gone out with some type of pain to my feet.  I've wore work type boots, ski boots, Running Shoes and this time VFF's.  I am on a quest to devise a system to be pain and hot spot free.  I will come up with someone or just start skiing more :-)

Hurricane Ridge Winter Camping

  While you slaves were all working ;-) I looked at the Weather Forecast and decided that I wanted to get out. Since it was late in the afternoon, it had to be somewhere close to Port Angeles. I asked a old buddy if he would like to join. So he agreed and probably later regretted it lol. NOAA called for a 30 degree night at that elevation. I thought that would be good practice for Snow Camping. Little did we know that it would reach a LOT colder that night.

autumn olympic national park
Frost on Fall Color
  I wanted to go to one of my favorite places close to Port Angeles to watch the Sunrise on top Klahhane Ridge.  I figured it would be one of the last times that we could get up in the High Country without walking on deep snow.  Klahhane Ridge is the predominate landmark that Tourist see from Port Angeles when visiting the Park or possibly on a passing Cruise Ship in the Summer.  The easiest way to access the area is via the 'Switchback Trail' on the way to the Hurricane Ridge Visitors Center.  

port angeles waterfront

  Arriving around an hour before Dark just in time to set up Camp.  Clouds protected views of Mt. Olympus and the Bailey Range that night.  As the sun went behind the Mountains,  the temperature and windchill quickly fell.  My Suunto registered lows of 17F degrees (not including windchill) that night.  After dinner we decided to  lounge out of the Wind in my buddies Shelter.  The condensation from the Heat of our bodies quickly froze in the internal walls.  

frozen tent
Frozen Shelter Walls 
suunto core
Suunto Reading

  After a cold, windy and heavy frost night we arose an hour before Sunrise to Worship the Sun.  A heavy frost fell over the Mountain tops like the Gods poured Powder Sugar over everything.  All the water in the ground got pulled to the surface and froze to form Needle Ice over the whole ridge.  Walking on this surface was a trip.  I found depths of 2" of Needle Ice over the Dirt and Heather Meadows.  

hurricane ridge campsite
Frost over Camp

frost gear
Frost on Pack Cover

frost tree

frozen dirt
Needle Ice and Dirt
  Sunrise was a blessing from the Gods.  We warmed our body's with its Rays and started thawing out or Gear.  Right before Sunrise I noticed a thin sliver Crescent Moon that almost appeared like an Eclipse of some kind.  I wish i had a camera with zoom lens to capture it.

hurricane ridge sunrise
Sunrise 10/25/11

  After a warm breakfast we began the trek back to the Car.  It was defiantly a unique experience traveling on the Trail in such conditions.  Mix of fields of Permafrost, Needle Ice and Clear Ice.  A nice long warm shower felt good followed by a cup of Hot Coffee.

vibram ice trail
Needle Ice

FootwearCamera and Hiking Guide used.

Disclaimer:  Being in these Conditions with Vibram Five Fingers is NOT suggested.  I am Barefoot year around and have my feet trained for such Temperatures.