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D,N,C,B, Sawteeth 8/16/13

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  • D,N,C,B, Sawteeth 8/16/13

    The background: My first ever trip to Colvin was also my first ever winter high peak. I had read so many accounts of tragedies that I was going to make sure I didnít add to the list. So for that hike I carried my external frame backpack with doubles and triples of everything imaginable. I skied up the Lake Rd. and at the Gil Brook trail changed into my boots and donned the snow shoes. I didnít know people just left their skis, so my skis and boots went on/in my pack too. They joined the 2000 gram ice fishing boots and all the other redundant supplies that were along for the ride. Pretty sure that everybody that saw me had a pretty good laugh as I belly crawled along to keep the skis from hooking on every branch. So I only had time for Colvin that day. Ever since then it has been Colvin & Blake, but Blake is always one behind.

    Fast forward: I have never been over the Pinnacle Ridge so I decided to enjoy a nice leisurely hike from Elk Lake up to Blake. Just an out and back on a nice day to even up my list and get my wobbling world back to spinning true on its axis. Then I came back to my senses! I said to myself who in the world heads out into the mountains to enjoy a nice leisurely hike, what a ridiculous thought. I need to bag peaks and torture myself. So the plan changed to a loop starting with Dial, to Nippletop, Colvin, Blake, and Sawteeth.

    I signed in at 6:00 and was on Blake at noon. I was feeling pretty good but I knew Sawteeth would be tough. At the bottom of the col on the way back toward Colvin it was decision time. I could cut it short and retreat back over Colvin or go for it. I knew if I headed down there was no turning back. So down it was. Made it to the Wardenís camp at the end of the Upper Lake and saw a sign for Sawteeth & Haystack but I didnít see a trail. So I just went the way the sign pointed. Followed a road to some storage sheds and then it just petered out. It was either back track and regroup or bushwhack in the general direction and hope to connect to the trail. I chose the latter. After about 100 yards I came to a trail and shortly thereafter to the signs at the Haystack Sawteeth jct. I definitely accomplished my goal of torturing myself as I was dragging on the final stretch up Sawteeth. My first time on this trail so the views of Haystack, Basin, and Saddleback were dramatic and imposing. Made the top at 3:00 and signed out 4:45. GPS said 22.3 miles and 8804í total ascent. Blake is still one behind.

  • #2
    Sounds great, but now you still need to go to Pinnacle!

    Nice outing!
    offonadventure.com

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    • #3
      Now, that's what I like to see--a young man improving himself by studying the classics. Your time was a little slow but I'm sure you will improve as you get more experience. I know, I know, the important thing was that you made it home in time for dinner.

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      • #4
        Wow! Congratulations, Doug! You completed the loop with Sawteeth in the same amount of time it took me to do C-B-N-D this winter. Nicely done!!

        I hope that makes you feel a little better about being called slow in the previous reply!
        Limped thru the Northeast 115...

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        • #5
          That is fairly impressive to say the least. We just did D N C and B on Thursday. There was a fleeting thought of going over to Indian Head but the trek out to Blake and back was more than enough for us for one day. !2 hours start to finish. Beautiful day and surprising number of folks out doing some potion or all four of these. These were 24-27 for us, over halfway now, so might as well keep at it.
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Telemarkmike View Post
            Sounds great, but now you still need to go to Pinnacle!
            Thanks Mike, Pinnacle is still on the short list!

            Originally posted by JoeCedar View Post
            Your time was a little slow but I'm sure you will improve as you get more experience. I know, I know, the important thing was that you made it home in time for dinner.
            I felt like I was trying to walk up a down escalator on the way up Sawteeth, but I made up some time on the way down the road.

            Originally posted by Pathgrinder View Post
            Wow! Congratulations, Doug! You completed the loop with Sawteeth in the same amount of time it took me to do C-B-N-D this winter. Nicely done!!
            I hope that makes you feel a little better about being called slow in the previous reply!
            Thanks Brian, he never gives me a break! I thought it would be about 20 miles. I was hoping to maintain a 2 mph avg. which would get me home just in time for dinner!

            Originally posted by WBB View Post
            That is fairly impressive to say the least. We just did D N C and B on Thursday. There was a fleeting thought of going over to Indian Head but the trek out to Blake and back was more than enough for us for one day. !2 hours start to finish. Beautiful day and surprising number of folks out doing some potion or all four of these. These were 24-27 for us, over halfway now, so might as well keep at it.
            Congrats on getting the four and passing the half way mark, it's a definitely a full day. If you haven't been to Fish Hawk Cliffs and Indian Head you need to get there, it's a worthy trip on its own. Three young ladies made it to the top of Colvin just as I was leaving and I saw quite a few people on the trails, but otherwise I was fortunate to have all 5 peaks to my self.

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            • #7
              I love the part about being overprepared in winter and carrying your skis!
              Ready to join AlpineLamb's flock...

              46W +1W
              AlpineAce: 46/46
              AlpineNinja: 46/46


              http://adkwannabe.wordpress.com/about/

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              • #8
                WBB, I was one of those masochists but I did the loop in reverse starting with Indian Head. I think I passed you on Colvin? 12 hrs is a nice time. DougV, your time with Sawteeth is sick! It was a 13 1/2 hr for me, the last leg from Dial to Lake Road was a total and literal pain in my feet.

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                • #9
                  How was the trail condition up the S side of Sawteeth? Never heard anyone mentioning going down to the lake from the C/B col. Would love to see some pics
                  "Now he walks in quiet solitude the forest and the streams
                  Seeking grace in every step he takes
                  His sight has turned inside himself to try and understand
                  The serenity of a clear blue mountain lake" -John Denver

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by WannabeALjr View Post
                    I love the part about being overprepared in winter and carrying your skis!
                    I was carrying so much crap I was probably more apt get hurt than if I went unprepared!

                    Originally posted by eddie View Post
                    DougV, your time with Sawteeth is sick!
                    Thanks, apparently everyone doesn't share that opinion!.

                    Originally posted by JoeCedar View Post
                    Your time was a little slow but I'm sure you will improve as you get more experience.
                    Originally posted by Bucknut View Post
                    How was the trail condition up the S side of Sawteeth? Never heard anyone mentioning going down to the lake from the C/B col. Would love to see some pics
                    The trail down from the col between Colvin & Blake is called the "Elevator Shaft" and it lives up to the name. The south trail up Sawteeth is pretty smooth down low, but steep enough higher up that there is expected erosion. But both trails are obviously less used. The Carry Trail is amazing.

                    Some pics

                    https://dougvspictures.shutterfly.com/pictures/749
                    Last edited by DougV; 08-20-2013, 05:19 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Some of you don't understand. DougV is elite---far above average!!! More is expected of him, beyond the ability of ordinary hikers.

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                      • #12
                        Eddie:
                        Nice visiting with you on Colvin. We did not linger once you told us what was waiting for us on the way to Blake. With that much fun in front of us we just had to get moving
                        We were an hour out and an hour back with very little time spent enjoying the panaoamic views offered by the summit of Blake. I'm glad to put that one behind us. I enjoy all the peaks, just some more than others.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks Joe for the kind words. I am not even in the conversation with what some of the people on this forum have done. Including yourself, with monster hikes back to back to back and multiple single season things in the same single season! Nancy (HOL) with her mega hikes, and Cory, and I remember reading a report last year from Rik where I believe he did DNCB and then finished off with a great range traverse! Just to name a few! I can't list all the people that can & have done truly amazing things! You know who you are. I'm not even close to that level!

                          I like reading all kinds of trip reports, from the first timers grabbing a peak, to the veterans doing the big tough multi-peak hi-mileage ones. I like to push myself and see how I stack up. I like it when people list their times & mileages, etc. I try to provide some times and miles in my reports because if I am the reader I would want to know. Generally I don't read that stuff as bravado or egotism, just people feeling good about something they have done and sharing it with like minded people. I hope that's the way my reports come across.

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