Lake George

Lake George
Lake George - from Tongue Mtn Range - 11/11/2011

Monday, November 30, 2015

Sawtooth #3 (3700') - High Peaks Wilderness - 11/29/15

This trip turned out to be a little frustrating for me, but when bushwhacking, things never go as planned.  I got an early start (6:30) from the Seward with the thought of trying to climb both Sawtooth #3 and #5.  I needed my headlamp for the 1st 10 minutes on the trail.

The weather forecast called for sunshine, but I only saw a little of that, near noon time.  The rest of the day was light snow flurries and overcast.  I made my way down the trail past Blueberry lean-to and out onto the Ward Brook truck trail.  1.5 hours to that point.  The trail was frozen so no issues with mud.  Another 15 minutes brought me to the Ward Brook lean-to.

A newish bridge

The Blueberry lean-to

Ward Brook lean-to

My dog Rev wanted to turn onto the herd path leading to Seymour Mountain, but I told her that we weren't going that way this time.  We were continuing on straight, which was new to me.  After a couple minutes we passed a sign for a spring and after 15 minutes we came to the pair of lean-tos called Number 4.  

Rev wanted to head towards Seymour Mountain

The Number 4 lean-tos are quite nice.  Both are in good repair and are in a nice clearing with water flowing behind them.

One of the Number 4 lean-tos.

The Number 4 lean-to pair.

A sign for the spring.
The truck trail continued to be in good shape although once I got past the herd path for Seymour, you could tell there wasn't much foot traffic here.

Ward Brook truck trail, once beyond the Seymour herd path
After 2.5 hours and a little over 8 miles, I left the truck trail at a small meadow.  This area is probably a mud hole in summer, but now it was mostly frozen, although a broke through twice and I got a little worried crossing it.

A small pond at the back of a meadow.
I was going to head for Sawtooth #3 first, and hopefully continue on to Sawtooth #5.  It was about 9 AM when I began the bushwhack.  At the back of the meadow, I immediately got tangled up in some thick cedars.  As I thrashed my way around I came to a very small clearing and found some odd metal remains.   Perhaps part of an odd wood stove and remains of metal buckets and metal debris!   

This was a surprise find!

... and a wheel

I continued to wind my way around and after a while I found the drainage leading up the slope to the west of Sawtooth #3.  I climbed along the east side of the drainage within earshot of the flowing water.  My progress was slower than I would have liked.  Once I was due west of the summit I climbed east straight up the slope.  I was hoping to reach the summit of #3 by noon and with luck, the summit of #5 by 2 PM.  That would give me 2.5 hours to get back to the Ward Brook truck trail before I had to switch on my headlamp and walk out.  I didn't want to bushwhack by headlamp.

I reached the true summit of #3 at 12:25 PM, 25 minutes after my goal time.  I found the orange ribbon denoting the summit and noted a small footpad clearing there where hikers stop at the summit.      

The summit of Sawtooth #3.
I only stayed a couple minutes, since I still had a small hope of making up time.  Perhaps I could still get to Sawtooth #5 by 2 PM.  Those hopes were immediately dashed as I descended #3.  I was heading west, slightly north of my ascent route and I was still swimming in moderately dense softwoods.  There was no blowdown, and no cliffs to maneuver, but I could get any kind of a decent pass going.

At the western base of #3, I got a little twisted around again on a flat.  Once again I came across the remains of a wood stove, and a short distance away, another one.   

I believe this was Sawtooth #5 that I was looking at as I descended #3.

A clearer look at #5?

Another wood stove.

As I got straightened out, I continued west and went around the north side of an unnamed bump between Saw #3 and #5.  It was now 2 PM.  I was maybe 0.7 miles from the summit of Sawtooth #5, but it was not in the cards.  Without a doubt I would be bushwhacking down #5 in the dark and I didn't want to do that.  I made the decision to turn SW and make my way back to the Ward Brook Truck Trail.

Large glacial erratic

I reached the Ward Brook truck trail at 3:20 and was happy with my decision.  It would have been at least 5:30 if I had continued up #5.

I was able to walk halfway out before I switched on the headlamp at 4:45.  It was 6 PM by the time I fed the dog and drove out of the Seward parking lot.  Sawtooth #5 will get a special visit by itself on another day!

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  21.1 miles
Hike Time:  10.5 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  ~3100' 


The route (and Sawtooth #5 so close!)

More detail of the bushwhack

The route on the Nat Geo map.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Kullaberg Nature Reserve - Skane County - Sweden - 11/13/15

On our way from Gothemberg Sweden to Copenhagen Denmark, we made a delightful stop to the Kullaberg Nature Reserve, in the Municipality of Haganas near the town of Molle.  It had been raining during the drive and we were anxious to get outside.  Just as we got off the E6 to look at the windmill pictured below, the rain ended and the sun started to come out.

Another windmill

We made a spur of the moment decision to head out on the peninsula to Kullen Point and the Kullen Point Lighthouse.  This lighthouse is the most powerful in Scandinavia and it was built in 1900.  Prior to reaching the point, there is a whole network of hiking trails. 

Nick and Lindsay weathering rain and a fierce wind squall. 

Another brief storm coming in.

Kullen Lighthouse.
Kullen point is a rocky picturesque point well worth a visit.  Just as we started out to the point, an impressive wind/rain storm passed through that lasted less than 5 minutes, then the sun came out again.

In addition to the powerful Kullen light on the cliff, there is a small lighthouse on the extremity of the point.  It provided a great backdrop for the pictures and provided a great buffer location to escape the wind.

We rambled and scrambled until we had had explored a good amount of the point, when we jumped back in the car to finish our journey to Copenhagen.

Perhaps the lightkeepers house.

This was a picture of a sign showing a nice aerial view of the peninsula.

Fantastic location.

Northern Archipelago of Gothenburg (Ockero Kommun) - Sweden - 11/12/15

After spending Wednesday 11/11 exploring the downtown heart of Gothenburg, we spent Thursday 11/12 at the Volvo Museum in the morning then headed for the islands of the Northern Archipelago of Gothenburg.

Over 12,000 people live on the 10 islands of the Northern Archipelago.  Cars can be taken on the islands and ferries run on a regular basis to shuttle people and cars.  We first headed to the southern most island (Hono).  

I climbed to the high point of the island for a scenic 360 degree view.  The 11 pictures below are mostly taken from this location. 

There was strong wind here at the southwestern tip of Hono.

Beautiful houses (both year round and summer houses).

Very picturesque.

Next we traveled to the northern most island (Roro) to trek around on the largest nature reserve in the northern archipelago.  We were blessed with a sunny afternoon and it was gorgeous. 

An assortment of lost and found shoes.

We passed rolling hills, rocky crags and pebbly beaches.  What was not to like?  Nothing!  We spent the afternoon roaming around and taking it all in.  

A network of trail are woven through the Reserve.  We followed portions of the blue trail and the orange trail.  We didn't see a single person while on the trails.  While we were hiking I was pondering how busy these islands must get in the summertime.  I can only imagine that there are throngs of people.  I'd be kayaking if I were here in the summer.   

It wouldn't be hard to boat and hike and wander these 10 islands for a week.  Darkness came to soon on our afternoon and we made our way back to the car glad we got to see this spot, but wishing we had more time.

Lindsay's classic pose.

She was waiting for me to take the picture so she could move and get warm again. 

An aerial view of the northern archipelago