Bunker Hill

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Chip Down
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Bunker Hill

Post by Chip Down » December 24th, 2019, 6:37 pm

A couple weekends ago, I walked past Bunker Hill on PCT as I hiked from Panther Creek to Trout Creek. I decided not to take the trail up. I was soggy and didn't want to commit to any more than I already had. When I reached Whistle Punk Trailhead, I started on the loop, CCW as recommended. It started getting steep, and I knew I must have taken a wrong turn. Back at the TH, I came to realize Whistle Punk is a lollipop loop. But it got me wondering...where did that road go? Was it a good way to start a backdoor hike up Bunker Hill?

Brrr! The drive up to Whistle Punk Trailhead was frosty. I didn't mind. I figured I'd be doing some bushwhacking, and cold brush is dry brush.

Walking up the abandoned road, I found it pleasantly scenic. Nothing special, but better than most abandoned forest roads. It ended abruptly when it reached the crest of the NW ridge.

I headed up the ridge, and found it to be pretty clear and well defined. Wind River valley was hosting a river of clouds this morning. Through the trees, it looked like it could have been Columbia, but I knew it wasn't that close (and, I now realize, not even in that direction). Just below 2200' the ridge abruptly ended, forcing me to ascend a boring broad slope. It went fast though. I didn't know the top of the slope was the north end of the summit ridge, just 200' above me.

On the summit ridge, I was amazed how fast and easy my ascent had been. I think it was about 8:00. Following the summit ridge southbound, I was pleased to find a tree decorated with Christmas ornaments! A few had blown down; I restored them. Then I found the lookout footings and tiedowns. Clearly they've been moved. Can't imagine why. A lot of work for nothing.

On the way down, I eschewed the trail and stayed east on the steep rocky ridgecrest. Eventually it became brushy and boring, and I was a little relieved when I came upon the trail, which I followed to PCT, and then northbound.

At Whistle Punk, I went looking for the old crane, which I think maybe part of is still standing. Didn't find it, but ran into a few other curiosities in the labyrinth of dead-end trails in the Wind River research area. Not quite sure if this is permitted. Signs are ambiguous. I didn't touch a thing though. Nobody will know I was there.

Not wanting to retrace my steps, I compassed my way to Trout Creek, and returned to my car on the PCT.
Some of the seasonal decorations on Bunker Hill summit.
I wanted to get to that spot where the lens flare is, but frost was heavy, and exposure was extreme.
Just because.
My sole source of nutrition and hydration.

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Re: Bunker Hill

Post by drm » December 27th, 2019, 7:43 am

Not the season for IPA apparently.

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Re: Bunker Hill

Post by BigBear » December 27th, 2019, 9:00 am

So, after having your spiked egg nog, did little green men jump out of that space craft you had in your "?" picture?

PS - It's never (as in ever) the season for IPA. Hops = yuck. Give me a wheat bear, a lager, a stout, a porter, a bourbon barrel beer, but don't ever pour one of those rabbit beers in my stein. Beer should taste good.

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