Sunday, October 21, 2007

Snow Day Norse Peak 17 Miles

UPDATED: Added four pictures that Steve took with his phone. One is on the road up to Corral Pass and the other three are at the top of Noble Knob. Note that my legs are actually darker than the snow.





I'm guessing Steve, Jamal, Jamie, and I will be the last to run to the top of Noble Knob in 2007. The forest service road was closed so our run started 5 miles from Corral Pass our original trailhead. We climbed from 3200 ft up to 5700 ft on the road. We hit snow about two miles up the road and it quickly got up to about 1 ft. deep. I tried to get a picture of the first good snowy overlook we came to and I dropped my camera onto some rocks. I think I scrambled its electronic brain. I was only able to get a few good shots and one entertaining video which is on this post. A hunter had driven his quad up the road earlier that morning and we hiked and ran up the tire tracks instead of trudging through the snow.


As we climbed in the snow we started noticing all sorts of animal tracks including deer, elk, fox, rabbit, bobcat, and I'm guessing mice. As we neared Corral Pass Steve and I looked down and saw the hunters tracks along side the road. We started talking about how it looked like the hunter had walked along this area when I just about stepped on the guy sitting in full camo along side the road looking over the valley. He heard us talking about the tracks and though we were kidding until he saw our surprise when we focused in on him. He was hunting deer. It was the last day of the season and he could see two large bucks across the valley but felt they were too far away to get a shot off. The bucks were in rut and fighting each other. He said he also could see several bull elk and cows moving around in the valley. We had seen two cow elk along side the Highway we came in on just before our turn up the forest service road.


When we got to Corral Pass we looked at our maps and decided to see how far we could make it around the Norse Peak Loop. We started down the same trail that is used for the White River 50 miler. The snow was deep and we took turns leading the group because it was tiring busting a trail. As we ran on the trail that runs along the side of Mutton Mountain we came across very fresh elk tracks. I came up on a big depression in the snow on the trail where an elk had been laying just min. before. We continued on hitting deep drifts and then some wooded areas that only had about 4 inches of snow on the ground. We had some unexpected clearing in the weather and were able to see the base of Mt. Rainier up to about the 11,000 ft level. As we neared Knoble Knob we lost the trail a couple of times but were able to pick it up again eventually. We ended up scrambling up the side of Knoble until we intersected the switchback trail and worked our way up. Knoble Knob is exposed and at the peak is 6011 ft. tall. The wind was blowing but was tolerable for the brief time we spent at the top. By the time we left my feet were getting pretty cold so it felt good to get moving again. Working our way down Knoble was slippery and probably the toughest part of the run due to rocks, ice, and logs.


My camera seemed to work using the video mode so I tried filming Jamal as he ran on the trail. As you can see things got going OK but I tripped and made some snow angels on the side of the trail.


We stuck together back to Corral Pass and then Jamal and I ran ahead down the road toward the car. We ran into the hunter again who decided to take a three shots at one of the bucks he had been watching but it proved to be too long of a shot. We talked for a while and Steve and Jamie caught up to us. We headed out again and Jamal and I didn't stop until we reached the car. We changed into some warm clothes and dry shoes. Steve and Jamie were not too far behind and we were soon off to the Greenwater Nachees Inn for an ice cold beer. They had the Seahawk football game on and a roaring fire in an old rock fireplace.


We can't wait till next summer to plan a run on the Norse Peak Wilderness Loop. Snow came early this year and foiled our attempt.




Cheers!


Eric

20 comments:

Darrell said...

You've got snow while we have near 100 degree temps, high winds and the place is burning all around. Crazy!

scott keeps running said...

i think i would have rather been running through the snow (in my shorts with no gaiters) with you guys instead of at home with hot, spiked cider and a couch. eh, maybe not.

that video's a keeper, though. :)

Dave said...

Awesome! That looks like it was a lot of fun!

PNW Runner said...

Good thing you mentioned in your previous post that you don't make fun of the ones who trip and fall! :) The snow looks so beautiful, no wonder it seems like every store has their Xmas stuff out already!

King Arthur said...

Thanks for the laugh! That video was great, a total surprise ending.

robtherunner said...

My favorite kind of weather to run in. I am sorry that I had to miss the fun.

Meghan said...

Hah! Funny video! I couldn't figure out what happened until I read on in your blog entry! Hah!

There was lots of snow up there, I'm so surprised! The video and photos are beautiful, though!

Sarah said...

Luv the video! That looks like one incredible run!

Donald said...

SNOW?! You've got to be kidding. This is exactly why I couldn't live up there.

Great video!

Bob Gentile said...

WOW as I just took a shower after running in 91 degrees....ok off to another blog this one is colddddddddddddd BURRRRR

Luv the video clip too...great pics!

Stay warm!!

wendy said...

wow, it looks cold!

I guess you didn't need an ice bath after that run. =)

Annette said...

Looks like you weren't dressed for the weather! Brrr! Sounds like a fun trip anyway. Nothing like a little snow to make you feel like you have a great tan, huh? ;)

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

looks like fun! NICE video. My son walked in at a particularly choice moment, good thing he has not yet learned such vocabulary:)
Glad a fun time was had by all!
Jenny

olga said...

Man, that is COLD! Don't even start me with "you're from Russia" thing, I hate cold:)

runliarun said...

Sometimes you make me wonder if you are living some sort of eerie life in a parallel universe. This is the arctic version, brrr!

shawn said...

Hey Lonely Boy - are you sure that video wasn't staged? That is way too funny.

It cut off at the end though. So, you were okay except for your ...??

Gotta Run said...

Now that is hard core! Look at those legs. I just love it!!!

E-Speed said...

oh man I am not ready for snow runs yet! I am just getting used to the cooler autumn temperatures and beautiful leave covered trails :)

Gretchen said...

Sheesh, you are too hardcore for me, lok at all that snow! It does look like fun, but I'm sure the company of friends is what makes a snowy slog into a fun adventure. Beautiful pics!

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