WTA Dishpan Gap (Aug 24 - Sep 3, 1999)

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dishpan_gap_coverConditions: weeklong, WTA Work party
Gear: backpacking gear + trail maintenance tools
Map: USGS Benchmark Mountain, USGS Poe Mountain
Area: Glacier Peak Wilderness
Reference: Day Hiking Central Cascades
Stats: unknown (roughly 30mi, 9000' gain)

It was time to try a weeklong work party with WTA. A good way to have some fun I thought. We only needed to hike in with normal backpacking gear, the trail maintenance equipment and was arriving by pack horse and camp would likely be set up already by the time we arrived. Four of us started in as a mini group, Kim, Laura, Bill, myself. We hiked in via Skykomish River Trail on Saturday. Up the river trail we'd go leaving most of he elevation gain to camp in the last bit.

The week started out well. It's been too long to remember all the specifics. the week started out well with lots of the work being spent on the Bald Eagle Trail (part of the PCT). Lots of hard work. Restoring the slumping trail back up the hillside, cutting back lots of trees encroaching on the trail, bowling for bears...(removing large rocks from the trail which would roll downhill). Early in the week (Monday?) the bad news came...snow was coming. What? It's the end of August. Snow??? Really??? At some point during the night I remember heading tent being shaken. Laura had gotten up early to shake the heavy snow (6") off the tents. Well what do this day. Can't work on frozen and snow covered trails... Looks like an unscheduled day off. A group of us hiked over to Kodak Peak.

The next day a good bit of the snow had melted...back to work.

On the scheduled day off we headed over to Indian Head Peak. Beautiful country up here. I love the high country. Always have.

Our campsite at Sauk Pass never really did melt out. It wasn't from snow earlier in the week. The site just held snow late into the summer. It was interesting finding water for camp. Even more interesting trying to stay clean...the water running of the snow patch was so cold I thought my scalp was going to peel off. Gary wandered on in search of pitch...looking for something to help start a fire at night, on snow, to help keep the cold at bay.

Back to work later in the week and then on Saturday the hike back out via the Skykomish...

More information on the lookout: Kodak Peak was established as a lookout in 1934 though it was nothing more than a camp. It was abandoned 1941.
WTA Dishpan Gap Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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