Indian Heaven (East Crater XC Loop) 11-Oct-2013

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VanMarmot
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Indian Heaven (East Crater XC Loop) 11-Oct-2013

Post by VanMarmot » October 12th, 2013, 6:54 am

After the big snow dump we had week before last, it looked like the non-snow hiking season in Indian Heaven had come to a close. But wait! :) Conditions warmed, the freezing level rose, and “summer” hiking in Heaven was granted a reprieve. So I planned a short (for reasons that will become apparent later), partially XC visit to two unnamed lakes, followed by a loop around East Crater. The weather was (as usual for this time of year) questionable, but Friday morning found me at Goose Lake in what looked like clearing conditions (but very soon it would become apparent that the cloud was coming, not going).

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There was even sun, but no snow, at the TH at 4,100’.

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From the TH, I walked back down Rd 6035 to its junction with a side “road” at 3,800’. This road was used to clear-cut the area between Rd 6035 and the wilderness boundary back in the day and has been long abandoned. At its start, I should have turned harder to the right but didn’t. As result, a walk on an old road was replaced with a thrash thru new brush. However, once I crossed into the uncut forest at the wilderness boundary, the undergrowth thinned considerably and the walking grew easy. I continued XC toward two unnamed lakes at 4,560’– one small and round,

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the other larger and kidney-shaped,

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and both bordered with carpets of tiny plants. By this time, the promise of a sunny day had been replaced by overcast and gloom.

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These lakes fill a one-time crater of a volcano that erupted through the Sahalee Tyee lava flow about 125,000 years ago. Continuing W past them, I connected with the old Cascade Crest Trail (Indian Heaven CCT 2011) at around 4,400’ and followed it N to Tombstone Lake,

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and then to Blue Lake.

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From Blue Lake, I went N on the PCT and finally encountered a few patches of snow on the trail.

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I was planning to visit a small lake on the W side of East Crater (formerly a side vent of the main crater) which I’d missed on an earlier hike (East Crater) but realized my XC quota for the day was full. Continuing N on the PCT, I passed some festive “winter” mushrooms,

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before reaching Junction Lake, whose usual luster and sparkle had been damped by the gloom.

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However the overcast added a certain “glow” to some butterscotch-colored mushrooms.

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From Junction Lake, I took the East Crater trail (48) back to the TH and my car. Thru the gloom and mist, I could see some snow still clinging to the upper reaches of Lemei Rock but lower down where I was, the biggest issues was water and mud on the trail.

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A short, easy hike (8 mi, 900’ EG) in keeping with my desire to not mess-up my new cast.

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While the cast is handy for pushing thru brush, it discourages long, sweaty hikes or any involving rain. We’ll never know why the local supermarket decided to mop the floor during peak business hours or why safety cones were deployed then moved aside (something about "in the way" - of what, quality time in radiology?). But I now know that if you slip on a wet floor and land on your instinctively outstretched left hand, you’ll spend 4 weeks in a brace waiting for the swelling to subside and then at least 2 more weeks in a cast waiting for the bones to set. :cry: Obviously safer to go hiking than shopping! ;)

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Last edited by VanMarmot on February 8th, 2014, 8:38 am, edited 2 times in total.

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drm
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Re: Indian Heaven (East Crater XC Loop) 11-Oct-2013

Post by drm » October 12th, 2013, 7:28 am

Gosh - all the cross-country and rough terrain you hike all times of the year, and to be done in by a wet supermarket floor. I suppose it is a case of being incautious when we think we don't need to be careful.

I'm heading up there tomorrow - not sure where exactly since in Oct. I'm not really in the mood to be hiking in much snow. Will probably decide as a I see what conditions are but it appears that snow will not be much of an issue unless I go to Lemei (as opposed to Lemhi :) Rocks.

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VanMarmot
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Re: Indian Heaven (East Crater XC Loop) 11-Oct-2013

Post by VanMarmot » October 12th, 2013, 8:16 am

drm wrote:Gosh - all the cross-country and rough terrain you hike all times of the year, and to be done in by a wet supermarket floor. I suppose it is a case of being incautious when we think we don't need to be careful.

I'm heading up there tomorrow - not sure where exactly since in Oct. I'm not really in the mood to be hiking in much snow. Will probably decide as a I see what conditions are but it appears that snow will not be much of an issue unless I go to Lemei (as opposed to Lemhi :) Rocks.
They do say accidents happen close to home and that supermarket (at which I will no longer shop) is within a mile. I don't think snow will be much of an issue below 5,000', if even then - I was having more problems with mud/water pooling on the trail.

Thanks for pointing out my need to fix "Lemei" here (and elsewhere).
Last edited by VanMarmot on February 8th, 2014, 8:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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drm
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Re: Indian Heaven (East Crater XC Loop) 11-Oct-2013

Post by drm » October 12th, 2013, 9:34 am

That's the lesson: take your traction devices to the Supermarket. They should have offered you free shopping for a year.

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adamschneider
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Re: Indian Heaven (East Crater XC Loop) 11-Oct-2013

Post by adamschneider » October 12th, 2013, 11:00 pm

Is it possible to go to the top of East Crater?

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VanMarmot
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Re: Indian Heaven (East Crater XC Loop) 11-Oct-2013

Post by VanMarmot » October 13th, 2013, 5:48 am

adamschneider wrote:Is it possible to go to the top of East Crater?
Yes, it's pretty easy XC from the N and I doubt there's enough snow up there now to be an issue for travel.

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Re: Indian Heaven (East Crater XC Loop) 11-Oct-2013

Post by raftingdog » October 13th, 2013, 8:11 pm

how is driving with arm caste?....year ago I broke fibula in right leg and wore caste for over 4 months.....few times I drove short distances but was illegal and wore out clutch...dumb idea....what was bad was not getting showers all that time ....

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VanMarmot
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Re: Indian Heaven (East Crater XC Loop) 11-Oct-2013

Post by VanMarmot » October 14th, 2013, 1:31 pm

raftingdog wrote:how is driving with arm caste?....year ago I broke fibula in right leg and wore caste for over 4 months.....few times I drove short distances but was illegal and wore out clutch...dumb idea....what was bad was not getting showers all that time ....
The cast is short enough for me to work the wheel - hopefully in not some illegal way. :? Years ago I messed-up a knee, couldn't walk well or drive at all for 3 months - had to depend on kindness of other drivers. But it was in a removeable brace, so I could still shower!

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