2011-08-29 Eliot Glacier – Langille Crags Loop with Wildfire

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Peder
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2011-08-29 Eliot Glacier – Langille Crags Loop with Wildfire

Post by Peder » August 30th, 2011, 12:13 am

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Chip - did you bring the marshmallows?
My hike plans were half-baked: The vague idea was to go from the Cloud Cap Inn up along the Eliot Glacier moraines, cross over the Langille Crags and descent past the Mooney site for a return over the Timberline trail. Given the vagueness of the plans, I did pack a bottle of red wine to appease Chip in case of complete failure. Unknown to us, nature was making far firmer (i.e. fully baked) plans for a grand show: When we arrived at Cloud Cap Inn there were large columns of smoke in the sky. There were two sets of campers around and we checked with them that there were no orders to evacuate or other instructions.
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The fires seen from the moraine close to Cloud Cap Inn
We followed the eastern Eliot Moraine up and eventually descended onto the glacier (it is covered with a thick layer of rock and soil).
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Chip coming down the moraine - we later found that there was a trail further up!
We walked up the glacier a while and the ascended the western moraine - again without a trail - so again a "half-baked" itinerary at best!
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We followed the western moraine up - had lunch and then crossed over to the Langille ridge above the cresent shaped snowfield on the right.
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The lunch spot was good - though there was a smell of fire in the air.
After lunch we ascended onto the Langille ridge at about 7,500'. From here we could see our descent to the lake in the left of the photo below. We also had a grand view of the wildfire.
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The view from 7,500'
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We could even see gigantic flames at times and we could occasionally hear the roar of the fire.
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The Langille Glacier (more like a snowfield) with the Barrett Spur in the background.
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The Mooney site
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The alpine meadows
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The fire seen as we descended to the Timberline Trail
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Going into the Eliot Gorge (west side)
The Eliot Creek was possible to cross - but it was quite big and you had to choose the crossing spot carefully or be good at long jump!
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The terrain is quite complex on the east side of the stream.
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Coming out on the east side.
Our car was the only one in the parking lot when we came back and a note on the windshield asked us to evacuate immediately. We naturally did this and reported in as requested by phone once we were down. The way down was spectacular as there was a fire not far north of the road.
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The Cloud Cap Inn road
So a fun little loop and a great day in the mountains!
Some people are really fit at eighty; thankfully I still have many years to get into shape…

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Guy
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Re: 2011-08-29 Eliot Glacier – Langille Crags Loop with Wild

Post by Guy » August 30th, 2011, 4:59 am

Great adventure hike Peder, that little tarn above the Mooney crash site is one of my favorite spots on the mountain.

I hope they get the fire under control soon, we waited a long time to get up on the mountain this year, I hope large sections of it aren't going to be closed off now until the snow comes :^(....
hiking log & photos.
Ad monte summa aut mors

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Waffle Stomper
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Re: 2011-08-29 Eliot Glacier – Langille Crags Loop with Wild

Post by Waffle Stomper » August 30th, 2011, 7:04 am

A fine adventure, good thing you brought wine :)

Guy wrote: I hope they get the fire under control soon, we waited a long time to get up on the mountain this year, I hope large sections of it aren't going to be closed off now until the snow comes :^(....
I hope not, I think the same thing happened in 2009 and 2008.
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." - John Muir

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Splintercat
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Re: 2011-08-29 Eliot Glacier – Langille Crags Loop with Wild

Post by Splintercat » August 30th, 2011, 7:09 am

Woohoo!! Would I have liked to seen that, Peder! Excellent pics -- that shot of the Mooney crash with the smoke column behind is outstanding!

Looking at your shots pointed down Compass Creek, it looks like this fire just missed the two waterfalls featured in Koda's recent trip report. Hope you don't mind, but I Maddenized one of your photos:

Image

Hopefully, the falls won't get roasted, but at least we've got a "before" set of photos, thanks to Koda's good efforts..!

Tom :shock:

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Peder
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Re: 2011-08-29 Eliot Glacier – Langille Crags Loop with Wild

Post by Peder » August 30th, 2011, 8:32 pm

Thanks Tom - during our hike I realized that I had no clue what was down where the fire was burning (other than wilderness). Now thanks to your labeled photo and Koda's trip report I know that there are some waterfalls hidden down there in some very wild terrain. Yet another area to explore.
Some people are really fit at eighty; thankfully I still have many years to get into shape…

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chipg
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Re: 2011-08-29 Eliot Glacier – Langille Crags Loop with Wild

Post by chipg » August 31st, 2011, 6:54 am

Peter, looks like another trip to add to the list. I love finding hidden waterfalls!

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Peder
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Re: 2011-08-29 Eliot Glacier – Langille Crags Loop with Wild

Post by Peder » September 2nd, 2011, 10:48 am

chipg wrote:Peter, looks like another trip to add to the list. I love finding hidden waterfalls!
Chip - thanks for joining me on the hike. My apologies that the whole thing was so "half-baked" that we had to break out the emergency red wine (and then the wine even had a bouquet of wood fire!). Sounds like some fun exploring and now the waterfalls should be easier to find, as there is less vegetation after the fire.
Some people are really fit at eighty; thankfully I still have many years to get into shape…

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