Icy Indian Racetrack and Red Mtn add-on: 11-29-13

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Sean Thomas
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Icy Indian Racetrack and Red Mtn add-on: 11-29-13

Post by Sean Thomas » November 29th, 2013, 11:24 pm

My girlfriend Jojo and I planned to do an Observation Peak/Trapper Creek loop but thinking things through a trip up to Red Mountain and the racetrack in Indian Heaven sounded better. On the drive in we were lucky enough to see over 30 elk run across Panther Creek Road and jump over a fence just 30 or 40 feet in front of us:


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Arriving at the TH/horse camp we ran into a different type of legend:


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Who would leave such a totally awesome cassette tape out in the cold like that? Actually there isn't a cd player in the car or anything so ever since I grabbed the tape from home a few months back the smooth sound of the Bolton has been filling the air waves in my car in remote forest locations from Goat Rocks to Mt Jefferson :D Earth shattering hardcore hits like "Soul Provider" and "You Wouldn't Know Love" really get the blood pumping for that patented wilderness experience :roll: :D



Moving on from the TH and we were slipping across a frozen river of ice that was to be the trail for the next few miles:


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There were some beautiful ice formations:


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Nearing the junction with the racetrack and the connector trail over to the PCT was like walking into an ice rink:


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Upon inspection of the ice it was clear someone had just recently skated all over it, cool! Here is me giving it a try :roll: :oops:


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The racetrack is a surreal place to visit knowing groups of Yakima, Cascades, Wasco, and Klickitat Indians(as well as others) raced horses post 1730's and forward until Europeans brought disease/conflict and an end to their way of life. The old and beaten path was glistening with a solid sheet of ice and frozen snow up to 12 inches thick in some places:


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Here is the connector sign:


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And the sign for the continuation of the 171 trail over to Red Mtn:


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The trip up to Red Mountain was view less and very windy so a summit stop was short lived. That lookout is sure cool though:


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We dropped back down to the racetrack through about a foot or so of snow on the trail near red mtn and the road to the lookout. On the way back from the meadow there was more icy trail to contend with ofcourse:


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Back at the creek crossing near the Th there were some more awesome ice formations in the stream bed:


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romann
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Re: Icy Indian Racetrack and Red Mtn add-on: 11-29-13

Post by romann » November 30th, 2013, 12:38 am

I like the "skating rink" with the sign in the middle, and icy trail pictures. There must've been quite a flooding before everything froze. Also cool you saw the elks on the way to the hike.

Be careful on frozen lakes though, if you see air bubbles under the ice or if it's snowed over (snow is excellent insulator) it's best not to walk on it.

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drm
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Re: Icy Indian Racetrack and Red Mtn add-on: 11-29-13

Post by drm » November 30th, 2013, 9:39 am

I went through there in October when it was still a lake. So you didn't do the loop from the south? That trail up the north side of Red Mtn is pretty steep, must have needed some kind of traction there.

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Waffle Stomper
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Re: Icy Indian Racetrack and Red Mtn add-on: 11-29-13

Post by Waffle Stomper » December 1st, 2013, 6:45 am

Cool trip report, not pun intended. Okay, maybe just a little. Thanks for posting.
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." - John Muir

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roadtripmom
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Re: Icy Indian Racetrack and Red Mtn add-on: 11-29-13

Post by roadtripmom » December 1st, 2013, 9:28 am

The icy trail is really, really cool looking !
Filling my bucket, one hike at a time.
Amanda

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Sean Thomas
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Re: Icy Indian Racetrack and Red Mtn add-on: 11-29-13

Post by Sean Thomas » December 1st, 2013, 7:08 pm

Thanks, everyone. It is just surreal up there as fall turns to winter and so forth. I also appreciate the concern and advice about the ice. No air bubbles, cracks or signs of melt and you could see the tops of the grasses frozen under the ice. Also I admit cheating and knowing where the shallow parts were :D


Here is the lake last fall:
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Get Out Backpacking
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Re: Icy Indian Racetrack and Red Mtn add-on: 11-29-13

Post by Get Out Backpacking » December 1st, 2013, 10:20 pm

I had a pretty similar trip, ice wise, up by White Pass last weekend at Pear Lake. The trail was a frozen swamp with wonderful frozen clusters of Bear Grass. It was gorgeous stuff, Sean

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xrp
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Re: Icy Indian Racetrack and Red Mtn add-on: 11-29-13

Post by xrp » December 2nd, 2013, 2:26 am

Great pictures, thanks!

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Icy Indian Racetrack and Red Mtn add-on: 11-29-13

Post by Don Nelsen » December 2nd, 2013, 12:46 pm

Nice photos, Sean. Wow, seeing that herd of elk up so close is amazing - your ice pics are really cool, too. :D

dn
Last edited by Don Nelsen on December 2nd, 2013, 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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Born2BBrad
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Re: Icy Indian Racetrack and Red Mtn add-on: 11-29-13

Post by Born2BBrad » December 2nd, 2013, 1:34 pm

Wow! Seeing all those elk jump the fence right in front of you must have been awesome. Dawn and I had over 100 cross the road in front of us in the northern Blue Mountains. Our dogs were freaking out.

Yeah, Michael Bolton the singer is great, but I like Michael Bolton the programmer better:
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Michael Bolton the programmer does not care much for Michael Bolton the singer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7DdyChR8JU

Looks like some micro-spikes would have helped immensely. Gotta get up there again before the big snow dump.

Brad
Link to all my GPSFly uploaded tracks.

Make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again.
- Jean Luc Picard

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