Indian Heaven - One Last Track 06-Sep-2014

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VanMarmot
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Indian Heaven - One Last Track 06-Sep-2014

Post by VanMarmot » September 6th, 2014, 4:15 pm

After assembling all of my Indian Heaven gps tracks, I realized one was missing - the segment of the old PCT S of Junction Lake. Needing to remedy this shortfall, I cajoled the loved one into a short hike in Indian Heaven on what was a totally bluebird day. I picked the Thomas Lake TH because it's close to where I needed to go and it's a pretty mellow way into the backcountry.

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Figuring it would be crowded on a Saturday, we got my usual early start, which provoked the loved one to honor me with her cute "If you don't stop taking my picture and give me back my coffee, YOU ARE A DEAD MAN!" smile.

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After suitable (and life saving) caffeination, we pressed on to the start of the old PCT just SE of Lake Umtux and headed N toward Junction Lake.

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This bit of trail wanders past some small ponds,

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through patches of forest,

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to reconnect with the current PCT at Junction Lake, which looked like this over Labor Day weekend,

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but was now shining in sun-dappled splendor.

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After a snack, we took the old 29A trail W to its junction with the CCT and headed S on the CCT, following along past the old yellow painted posts (arrows) that marked its alignment through the meadows back in the day. We passed two backpackers who asked if we "were doing the loop" - so maybe the old CCT still has some life left in it?

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We got back to the Thomas Lake trail at Rock Lake and took it back to the TH, past quiet a throng of dayhikers and backpackers (and two llamas!). A short hike (8 mi RT, 500' EG), which I survived, and which got me my last track.

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So, my on trail and XC adventures in the N part of the wilderness,

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and those in the S part.

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Indian Heaven is a very special place and it's been my privilege to hike there over the last 20+ years.

Aimless
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Re: Indian Heaven - One Last Track 06-Sep-2014

Post by Aimless » September 6th, 2014, 7:34 pm

Now that you've collected the whole set you can build a display case! But you'll need to think of new excuses to visit Indian Heaven on a bluebird day in September.

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Crusak
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Re: Indian Heaven - One Last Track 06-Sep-2014

Post by Crusak » September 6th, 2014, 8:14 pm

Aimless wrote:Now that you've collected the whole set you can build a display case! But you'll need to think of new excuses to visit Indian Heaven on a bluebird day in September.
Good point! :)

That's a great accomplishment. I've done three backpack trips in Indian Heaven and a couple of day hikes, but I haven't been through the entire wilderness. Thanks for the inspiration. I'll have to work on getting to Indian Heaven locations I haven't been to.
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Peder
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Re: Indian Heaven - One Last Track 06-Sep-2014

Post by Peder » September 6th, 2014, 9:11 pm

Bruce - beautiful day out with the loved one; it does not matter whether you hike 3 or 30 miles... :D
VanMarmot wrote:After assembling all of my Indian Heaven gps tracks, I realized one was missing - the segment of the old PCT S of Junction Lake. Needing to remedy this shortfall, I cajoled the loved one into a short hike in Indian Heaven on what was a totally bluebird day.
Now you need to pull a Don Nelsen and find every single steam donkey, house foundation, car wreck, bucket of golf balls, etc. within Indian Heaven! That should keep you enjoying the "Heaven" for a while more!
Some people are really fit at eighty; thankfully I still have many years to get into shape…

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Grannyhiker
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Re: Indian Heaven - One Last Track 06-Sep-2014

Post by Grannyhiker » September 6th, 2014, 9:47 pm

Looks as though the huckleberry leaves are starting to turn! Give them another week or two….
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.--E.Abbey

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VanMarmot
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Re: Indian Heaven - One Last Track 06-Sep-2014

Post by VanMarmot » September 8th, 2014, 8:08 am

Peder wrote:Bruce - beautiful day out with the loved one; it does not matter whether you hike 3 or 30 miles... :D
VanMarmot wrote:After assembling all of my Indian Heaven gps tracks, I realized one was missing - the segment of the old PCT S of Junction Lake. Needing to remedy this shortfall, I cajoled the loved one into a short hike in Indian Heaven on what was a totally bluebird day.
Now you need to pull a Don Nelsen and find every single steam donkey, house foundation, car wreck, bucket of golf balls, etc. within Indian Heaven! That should keep you enjoying the "Heaven" for a while more!
That's true - the secret with the loved one is proper caffeination before hitting the trail. Fortunately, Indian Heaven did not suffer all of the industrial detritus that the Gorge did, so we weren't tripping over old car parts, etc. But many of us are hoping that Don will someday commit his knowledge of the Gorge (and other places) to a book with maps, descriptions, history, etc.
Last edited by VanMarmot on September 10th, 2014, 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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drm
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Re: Indian Heaven - One Last Track 06-Sep-2014

Post by drm » September 8th, 2014, 9:49 am

So a couple of years ago I did a loop whose trip report here I entitled something about the CCT. But according to your map, I did a loop of the new PCT and the 29A - which I assume continues north to Chenamus Lake? I continue to be amazed by how good condition these old trails are in.

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VanMarmot
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Re: Indian Heaven - One Last Track 06-Sep-2014

Post by VanMarmot » September 8th, 2014, 12:14 pm

drm wrote:So a couple of years ago I did a loop whose trip report here I entitled something about the CCT. But according to your map, I did a loop of the new PCT and the 29A - which I assume continues north to Chenamus Lake? I continue to be amazed by how good condition these old trails are in.
Yes, the 29A continues on to Chenamus Lake. The "old" portion of the 29A from Chenamus E to Junction Lake seems to be getting more recent use in that parts of it are easier to find now than when I first did it a few years ago. Not surprising since it's a logical direct route to Junction Lake.

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K.Wagner
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Re: Indian Heaven - One Last Track 06-Sep-2014

Post by K.Wagner » September 10th, 2014, 7:13 am

A great TR! Was unaware of that old piece of trail.

In looking at your maps, noticed that you have been on the NW ridge of Bird Mtn, as well as the W flank. Is the ridge as open and clean as the flank?
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VanMarmot
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Re: Indian Heaven - One Last Track 06-Sep-2014

Post by VanMarmot » September 10th, 2014, 2:28 pm

K.Wagner wrote:A great TR! Was unaware of that old piece of trail.

In looking at your maps, noticed that you have been on the NW ridge of Bird Mtn, as well as the W flank. Is the ridge as open and clean as the flank?
Thanks! The NW ridge is mostly open and clean too, but it helps to stay of the ridge N for about 0.25 mi before turning W down the ridge. I did it once in early season when there was still snow between the summit and the PCT, which made going down the NW way both easy & fun.

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