Indian Heaven (Lemei Rock) 29-Sept-2010

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VanMarmot
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Indian Heaven (Lemei Rock) 29-Sept-2010

Post by VanMarmot » September 29th, 2010, 7:24 pm

I had another chance to visit Indian Heaven and decided to hike from the Placid Lake TH to Lemei Rock and back. Last week it was mixed sun and clouds – today was crisp, sunny, and cloud free. I took the 29 trail past Placid Lake,

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to the PCT, then south on it to the 33 trail past Clear Lake.

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I got my first look at Lemei Rock from Clear Lake. At Cultus Lake, I took the 34 trail E toward the Rock.

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I followed the directions in SummitPost and ascended via the NW Ridge. There was a pretty evident use trail from the 34 trail all the way to the summit ridge. I then traversed the ridge from the N to the S (higher) summit. Unlike what was described in the Post, I only found 2 or 3 3rd class moves along the ridge. These moves were at a keyhole with a view of the use trail on the E side of the Rock.

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From the S summit, there were great views of Rainier, with the summit ridge in the foreground,

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Adams, with the N summit of Lemei on the left,

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Hood,

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and St. Helens.

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I descended via the chute on the E side – which is described as 3rd class but is mostly just loose dirt and rocks. Looking down, it didn’t look too inviting.

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Once down, I could see the keyhole (gold arrow) and the chute (white arrow) - the S summit is on the far left. The chute is messy but not technical. The NW ridge wasn’t technical either and was a whole lot less messy & frustrating than the chute.

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On the way back, I swung by Cultus Lake,

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caught one of the meadows in full Fall colors,

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and found this little (1/2” long) toad hopping across the trail. At first, I couldn’t understand how a small clump of dirt could hop.

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Indian Heaven is definitely a special place on a clear, sunny Fall day. The bugs are dead and there were even some huckleberries left too.

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weathercrazy
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Re: Indian Heaven (Lemei Rock) 29-Sept-2010

Post by weathercrazy » September 29th, 2010, 8:01 pm

Wow! Gorgeous photos! Look how blue those skies are! Seems they have been few and far between!

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roadtripmom
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Re: Indian Heaven (Lemei Rock) 29-Sept-2010

Post by roadtripmom » September 29th, 2010, 8:06 pm

That photo of Mt Hood is incredible. It looks like it's floating on a cloud. Beautiful report !
Filling my bucket, one hike at a time.
Amanda

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romann
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Re: Indian Heaven (Lemei Rock) 29-Sept-2010

Post by romann » September 30th, 2010, 9:05 am

Wow, it's so beautiful views from the top of Lemei Rock! I once hiked to its base, now its summit is also on my (ever growing) list. Hopefully Indian Summer this year will be long enough to make up the shortened summer season.


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adamschneider
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Re: Indian Heaven (Lemei Rock) 29-Sept-2010

Post by adamschneider » September 30th, 2010, 3:45 pm

How does this route compare to heading south from Cultus Campground or west from the "Road 24 Trailhead"? (I've never been to Indian Heaven at all.)

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Roy
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Re: Indian Heaven (Lemei Rock) 29-Sept-2010

Post by Roy » September 30th, 2010, 5:49 pm

Nice report and photos as always! What a beautiful day you had I was out and about Monday and Tuesday with mixed weather.

I Notice you hike a lot on weekdays I have Mondays off and Tuesdays I can take off with little notice. It is nice isn't it !

-Tom
The downhill of the mind is harder than the uphill of the body. - Yuichiro Miura

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VanMarmot
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Re: Indian Heaven (Lemei Rock) 29-Sept-2010

Post by VanMarmot » October 1st, 2010, 5:21 am

adamschneider wrote:How does this route compare to heading south from Cultus Campground or west from the "Road 24 Trailhead"? (I've never been to Indian Heaven at all.)
I haven't started at Cultus Campground but the trail from there to the junction with the 34 trail is about 2 mi shorter than starting at Placid Lake. But then getting to the Placid Lake TH involves less driving on gravel roads. Coming from the E on the 24 trail is about the same hiking distance as starting at Cultus campground, but there's yet more driving on gravel to get to the Road 24 TH. I was pleased with how the Placid Lake TH gave me quick access to the northern part of the wilderness area.

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VanMarmot
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Re: Indian Heaven (Lemei Rock) 29-Sept-2010

Post by VanMarmot » October 1st, 2010, 5:26 am

Roy wrote:Nice report and photos as always! What a beautiful day you had I was out and about Monday and Tuesday with mixed weather.

I Notice you hike a lot on weekdays I have Mondays off and Tuesdays I can take off with little notice. It is nice isn't it !

-Tom
Thanks! I usually work a 4/10 schedule with Fridays off but can - sometimes - grab an additional weekday as well. This last year, thanks(?) to the economy, I've also been the lucky recipient of some unpaid days off too. It would be great if I could just convert trail miles into mortgage payments...

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adamschneider
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Re: Indian Heaven (Lemei Rock) 29-Sept-2010

Post by adamschneider » October 1st, 2010, 7:32 am

VanMarmot wrote:
adamschneider wrote:How does this route compare to heading south from Cultus Campground or west from the "Road 24 Trailhead"? (I've never been to Indian Heaven at all.)
I haven't started at Cultus Campground but the trail from there to the junction with the 34 trail is about 2 mi shorter than starting at Placid Lake. But then getting to the Placid Lake TH involves less driving on gravel roads. Coming from the E on the 24 trail is about the same hiking distance as starting at Cultus campground, but there's yet more driving on gravel to get to the Road 24 TH. I was pleased with how the Placid Lake TH gave me quick access to the northern part of the wilderness area.
Thanks for the info. I think I can deal with 4 miles of gravel in my car if it means I get 4 extra miles of wandering on foot. I might head up tomorrow.

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