Romancing the Cone, Chapter Three, - times three - Oct 25th,

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Don Nelsen
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Romancing the Cone, Chapter Three, - times three - Oct 25th,

Post by Don Nelsen » October 26th, 2015, 4:19 pm

Jamito and I headed out Sunday morning to check out the crater meadow of Bare Mountain and hopefully beat the forecasted rain to West Crater and maybe even the crater meadow between West Crater and Twin Rocks.

The several craters in Skamania County have proved most interesting so far and I thought these would bear some inspection and exploration.

The day started out dry and pleasant with the temperature about 46 as we arrived at the base of Bare Mountain and started up a game trail to the low point on the crater rim. Here's Jamie starting up a game trail:
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Once over the rim and starting down the other side, the way was surprisingly easy:
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As we approached the crater floor, the game trail was very well used:
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The crater floor:
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Since we stumbled on to a geocache on our last crater trek, we searched for another here but were thwarted. (After returning home I checked the geocache website and found none existed in any of the craters we went to today.)
Jamie on the way back out:
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View of the summit of Bare Mountain from the crater rim:
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We went on out and as we approached our next TH, a few raindrops started to fall. We donned the appropriate gear and started up. Here's Jamie at one of the few trees we had to climb under or over on this route:
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The West Crater crater meadow is unique in my explorations to date: It is riven with huge and deep contraction fissures in the lava flows that make about half of the crater bottom a maze. (And, what is it about these green rocks in the craters?! We set this one on a ledge but didn’t go back the same way so it is still there.)

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The remainder of the crater is lightly forested meadows and bear grass and grass-carpeted rolling terrain.
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Quickly getting very soaked, we exited over the nearest rim and my erroneous navigation due to a misinterpreted waypoint led us into a horrible thicket of brush. Realizing my error, we thrashed our way back to where we needed to be under an inviting canopy of old-growth and easily hiked down into the third crater floor for the day. I explored this one and even camped in it last July but it was new to Jamie and convenient for our exit route so we took a look around and, soaked to the skin, made our exit and hiked back to the car.
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The temperature had dropped to 40 degrees in heavy rain as we arrived back at the car. Only 3.1 miles for the day and 1,400’ vertical but this one should count triple for exertion!

-dn
Last edited by Don Nelsen on June 5th, 2021, 4:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Everything works in the planning stage".

Limey
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Re: Romancing the Cone, Chapter Three, - times three - Oct 2

Post by Limey » October 26th, 2015, 5:28 pm

OOOH, this is the best chapter yet. West crater is definitely high on my to do list now. Those green rocks look a lot like Helenite which is man made by heating volcanic ash. So, maybe some kind of event happened which heated up the ash in the crater? Turns it into a type of obsidian I think. Certainly would be interesting to know the real story. Great job guys.

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-Q-
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Re: Romancing the Cone, Chapter Three, - times three - Oct 2

Post by -Q- » October 26th, 2015, 7:56 pm

Well done guys.

Now I gotta add this to my adventures wish list, so I can get one of those super cool green rocks for my collection.

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-Q-
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Re: Romancing the Cone, Chapter Three, - times three - Oct 2

Post by -Q- » October 26th, 2015, 8:06 pm

Limey wrote:OOOH, this is the best chapter yet. West crater is definitely high on my to do list now. Those green rocks look a lot like Helenite which is man made by heating volcanic ash. So, maybe some kind of event happened which heated up the ash in the crater? Turns it into a type of obsidian I think. Certainly would be interesting to know the real story. Great job guys.
Certainly looks like helenite from don's pictures. Like you hinted at, the rock being there opens up even more questions. From what I read, the ash is typically heated to like 2700 degrees in order for the transformation to occur. Somehow dating the helenite verse the lava could offer a (far fetched) but possible guess. Very intriguing.

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adamschneider
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Re: Romancing the Cone, Chapter Three, - times three - Oct 2

Post by adamschneider » October 26th, 2015, 9:38 pm

Helenite is ONLY a man-made mineral; lava flows aren't hot enough.

So if it IS indeed helenite, the question would be: why did someone make some and then put it in the lava bed??

Chazz
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Re: Romancing the Cone, Chapter Three, - times three - Oct 2

Post by Chazz » October 27th, 2015, 8:42 am

That looks to be green obsidian but also an extremely clear example of it. That's worth some money by new-age crystal dealers.

http://www.crystalsrocksandgems.com/Hea ... idian.html

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bobcat
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Re: Romancing the Cone, Chapter Three, - times three - Oct 2

Post by bobcat » October 30th, 2015, 6:41 am

Great adventure! West Crater has been on my list for some time now. I think the answer about the rock is, as Chazz states, green obsidian.

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