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Sawtooth #1

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  • Sawtooth #1

    Well the plan was for 1 and 2 but S... happens ya know.

    We drove up the Pine Pond Trail to our point of entry into the rough and started a long 4 mile one way bushwhack to the summit of #1. We quickly picked up a faint herd path that got us close to the shore of the major brook. The crossing was a little tricky along the top of an old beaver
    dam(n). Accross we found ourselves in a semi-open woods forest that lead us to the valley East of Alford mtn.. we had to climb steeply out of the brook area to obtain it however. The woods through the valley were pretty decent. Although open there was alot of dead stuff scattered that had to stepped over.

    On the map it shows the valley as pretty flat, we there are a few hidden ups and downs in there, as there are alot of hidden ups and downds along this entire hike in and out. Not to far out of the valley we came to an old woods road that we believed hooked back to an intersection on the Pine Pond Trail-more on that to come. We followed this road to the right in hopes that it would lead us into the area. it lasted about a half mile before it ended on a side hill and .3 miles from the next brook crossing.

    The woods from there ended up being again open but littered with dead fall. The brook was an easy cross, just up stream from a beaver dam. From here again the woods were more of the same right up to the fork in the brook, North of #1 and #2.

    This brook is smooth sailing, follow it in the brook as much as you can. Rock hopping it for 80% of the time was the way to go. At about 2900' there is a 50-60 foot waterfall that is absolutly gorgeous, gotta see it. From the base of the falls we headed straight up the embankment at a 75 degree slope holding onto every living piece of vegitation.

    From here we were around .6 miles from the summit through open black spruce forest, with occassional sections of harwoods. Not long out of the brook we came to a few bands of cliffs to skirt, but a realy cool cave/balanced rocks. We also found that when thing got really thick or troublesome head to the east and it opens up some what. But the going was never really thick, only a couple small sections that were only a 100 feet long or so. Now we were at 300' and .1 miles below the summit, you know what that means don't you. A relentless steep section. Damn probobly one of the steepest sections I've ever been on. If 90 degrees is straight up than we were at some points again at 75 degrees. The steep was very mossy, and very unstable, but the views were sweeeeeeeet.

    The summit was right there at the top of the embankment, and agiain the views were outstanding, possibly the best views of the summer. It was now 2:30 and 6 hours later. I know it took us a long time, but my motivation was down after 1.5 miles of climbing over crap. I'm sure I slowed the gang down. I think I had a moment of One Hundred Highest burn out. I'm some what better now. Minus the cuts, the sunburn, the twisted ankle, and the brused hip. These peaks really are 50% mental.

    Anyhow back to the trip. On the summit the Seward were right there as well as the Santanonis, and Ampersand. Algonguin was off in the distance and those surrounding peaks. But the best view was of the woods of the other Sawtooths, the Southern approach would have been thick for this one. But the Southern approach for #5 and #2 might not be too bad. So that's our plan. But when ever I think of going back in I think of Alan. He said a couple of times "I don't know if I should thank you or kick you in the ass with my size 11's for planning this"-Do you think that means something?? Just remember who got you those size 11's.

    On our descent we headed a little further more to the East because the going was a little nicer over there on the way up. We ended up hitting the Easstern branch of the brook an kept that somewhat close to either our right or left, depending on the path of the least resistance. Which I think is going to become a life motto of mine. We eventually hooked back up with the intersection in the brook and followed our path out.

    When we hit the old woods road we took a shot in the dark (because it's not on the map) that it would lead us to the intersection on the Pine Pond Trail. IT DID. The old road is very easy to follow, just remember to go left on the way out at any intersection on it. The intersection was about .3 miles from the Jeep. Brian and Claudia made that trek while Alan and I had a snack and a live show with Neal and his happy flute. He even played a request of Jethro Tull.

    The old woods road would be the ideal approach, it gets the party to with in .3 miles of the second brook crossing. It's really not maintained so there is some mud, and some trees down. There is also a tricked beaver dam crossing. Other wise it could make for a nice mountain bike ride.

    Thank you to Claudia for joining us on this adventure, she's one heck of a hiker and a sport-not cathing us on our best day. Of course thank you to the rest of the gang for the great company-Brian, Alan, Neal and of course Sunny. 11 Hours round trip. Could be done in 9 with the use of the old woods road both ways. Any less would really be a fast trip, and to get 1 mile an hour in this mountain range would be very tough.
    "Woods are not like other spaces.Their trees surround you, loom over you, press in from all sides.Woods choke off views and leave you muddled and without bearings.They make you feel small a confused and vulnerable.Stand in a desert or prairie and you know you are in a big place.Stand in a woods and you only sense it.They are a vast, featureless nowhere.And they are alive."Bill Bryson"
    Cheers
    Spence

  • #2
    I made it home safely.
    That sure was one long bushwhack. The views were so awesome that I'll remember them long after my cuts and bruises have faded. Thanks for letting me tag along and learn a few things Brian about the fine art of gps'ing.
    It was great to meet you, finally, in the flesh, Alan and to hike another HH with Spence and Brian. Claudia (and her compass) is an awesome bushwhacking force. She floats like a butterfly and... smiles a lot.
    The only regret I had was that Doug didn't make it. Doug, you are now a hiker with a car problem!

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    • #3
      I'm bummed. Wish I could've been there.

      Glad you got #1. I was kinda thinking all along that #1 and #2 seemed like a huge project, given the war stories. Didn't sound like this one was too bad.
      "The forest is the poor man's overcoat. " Old Northeastern Proverb

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      • #4
        Way to go guys! (and gal) Thought of you several times while I was lying in the sun on top of Knob Lock!
        This post is for entertainment purposes only.

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        • #5
          Spence and Brian send me your e-mail addies in an e-mail and I'll send the tracklog as a jpeg, the .tpo file and a screen shot jpeg of the elevation profile as attachements. Anyone who wants the entire tracklog just let me know. I'll copy you Tim, Doug and Rik as well.

          The ATV trail was a bit of a detour for us but for someone leaving their car at the mail parking lot and going in on mtn bikes it would be the best route by far.

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          • #6
            My car is ready to go yet again, and I'm going up tomorrow afternoon. I plan on hiking tuesday and wednesday. If Jen comes, it will be working on her 46, if not, I'd like to get Moose-Mckenzie, or morgan and next day hurricane. I wouldn't mind getting TR though. I'm open.
            set the gear shift for the high gear of your soul...T.A.

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