Gnarl Ridge from Elk Meadows trail

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drm
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Gnarl Ridge from Elk Meadows trail

Post by drm » September 7th, 2021, 2:26 pm

I like the southern approach to Gnarl Ridge from the Elk Meadows Trail. It has more variety, starting in a nice forest, then follows the short Gnarl Ridge trail, which really just accesses the lower part of the ridge. Then it ends on the Timberline Trail where you turn right and head up through drier forests. It is longer and more elevation gain from this side.

I like the open forested section of the hike on the Timberline Trail
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Then all of the sudden you pop out on the ridge at about 6500' to this view
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Looking down at Newton Creek, which I crossed way down there a couple hours earlier
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Higher on Gnarl Ridge, with Hood, the remnant Newton Clark Glacier, and it's creek on this relatively warm day
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Then the trail leaves the ridge and a short time later I take a short side trail to this wonderful flat basin for my lunch break - note my orange chair left center
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Some of the alpine vegetation in the basin
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This is the small leap I had to take (looking back at it - I lept towards this view) over Newton Creek on my return - on the way up I was able to hop rocks easily a little downstream - those rocks were under water on my return trip. Who put that rock there anyway? It's a perfect launch point - when descending
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Last edited by drm on September 8th, 2021, 6:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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retired jerry
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Re: Gnarl Ridge from Elk Meadows trail

Post by retired jerry » September 7th, 2021, 2:36 pm

I just went down Gnarl Ridge. Nice place.

I've camped at that meadow area above trail. Nice spot. Few other people. Obvious side trail from the Timberline trail.

I had to wade through Newton Creek, didn't see any logs or boulders to hop.

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Chip Down
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Re: Gnarl Ridge from Elk Meadows trail

Post by Chip Down » September 7th, 2021, 4:05 pm

the remnant Newton-Clark Glacier
I wanted to smack you for calling the glorious Newton Clark (no hyphen) a remnant, but then I realized you probably meant that little lobe visible to the right as it pokes out of its valley. Surely that perennial snow must be an orphan of NC.

Trivia fact: that creek is responsible for the neat three-tier falls seen from NC moraine.

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mjirving
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Re: Gnarl Ridge from Elk Meadows trail

Post by mjirving » September 8th, 2021, 4:37 am

Dang, I missed the party. I was up there with my daughters this weekend too. Started at Meadows and did the lower umbrella falls trail over to Elk Meadows (for the first time) and then went up above that meadow shown in this report to the cool “football field” above the meadow with “spaceship rock”, or as Chip likes to call it, Big Ass Rock. I gambled and lost with the wind on Sunday, but Monday was perfect. Jerry, we crossed Newton on a couple logs up the creek a aways on the Timberline Trail that we took back and rock-hopped Clark. I’ve never seen either of them so muddy! Do they look that way commonly and I’ve just always missed it or is that new? “Cooper Falls” up by the rock looking toward Cooper Spur was dry too which I’ve not seen before. Thanks for the hyphen comment Chip as somehow I had gotten in my mind that it was supposed to be there.

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retired jerry
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Re: Gnarl Ridge from Elk Meadows trail

Post by retired jerry » September 8th, 2021, 6:05 am

as I remember, Newton and Clark are both very muddy

same with White River. I camped one night next to White River.

If you go up the White River from the normal crossing point, about 500 feet (not very far), there's a clear stream that flows into the White River that I got drinking water from

In the evening, the White River was very muddy. No way I'd drink it. The next morning the White River was pretty clear. During the day there must be more snow melt, more stream flow, so more mud is washed into the flow.

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Chip Down
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Re: Gnarl Ridge from Elk Meadows trail

Post by Chip Down » September 8th, 2021, 6:12 am

mjirving wrote:
September 8th, 2021, 4:37 am
as Chip likes to call it, Big Ass Rock.
It's Big-Ass Boulder (not rock). And note the hyphen. Big-Ass is a compound adjective. "Big Ass Boulder" would be an ass boulder that's large. I don't even known what that would be.
mjirving wrote:
September 8th, 2021, 4:37 am
I’ve never seen either of them so muddy! Do they look that way commonly and I’ve just always missed it or is that new?
In the pic above, I noticed it looked unusually muddy.
mjirving wrote:
September 8th, 2021, 4:37 am
“Cooper Falls” up by the rock looking toward Cooper Spur was dry too which I’ve not seen before.
Cooper Falls went dry?! :o Don't think I've ever seen that. I've seen it frozen, which suggests it normally runs through the dry season and into the cool days of autumn.
mjirving wrote:
September 8th, 2021, 4:37 am
Thanks for the hyphen comment Chip as somehow I had gotten in my mind that it was supposed to be there.
It looks like it would be hyphenated. Splintercat explains: https://wyeastblog.org/2020/05/03/who-was-newton-clark/

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retired jerry
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Re: Gnarl Ridge from Elk Meadows trail

Post by retired jerry » September 8th, 2021, 6:17 am

I always thought that the Clark referred to Lewis and Clark : )

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drm
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Re: Gnarl Ridge from Elk Meadows trail

Post by drm » September 8th, 2021, 6:46 am

Yeah, so this guy - Newton Clark - got his first name attached to one canyon, and his last name to the next one? But the glacier above gets the full name? Somebody had too much IPA that day. Hyphen removed in the original.

Btw, there has always been logs fairly close by when ever I have hiked this route, though that isn't nearly as many times as for some of you. The nagging problem is that it isn't trivial to go up and down the creek-side looking for a log. But it was a fairly warm day that-day, so that's why it was probably muddier than-normal.

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retired jerry
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Re: Gnarl Ridge from Elk Meadows trail

Post by retired jerry » September 8th, 2021, 9:03 am

In years past there's always been logs across Newton Creek that were not too bad. I crossed with dry feet.

I didn't see any this year. I probably could have looked more for something to cross on. It was mid day so stream flow was pretty good.

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drm
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Re: Gnarl Ridge from Elk Meadows trail

Post by drm » September 8th, 2021, 9:43 am

There was a large log quite a ways up. Some people didn't want to do the jump that I posted a picture of and were going up there.

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