Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tue, 3Sep - Red Shale Fire and the Chinese Wall

Hiked three miles to Indian Point and then Indian Creek which is the start of the recommended Red Shale Fire detour around the Chinese Wall.  I was very disappointed to miss the Chinese Wall due to the fire and was debating doing a day hike up to the pass as far as the trail was open to at least look down at the wall.  Talked to two young weekend hikers who had done that yesterday and they were raving about the view.  That clinched it and I knew I had to see it myself.  

Met Tim, a week long hiker my age camping at the jct, and he offered me a coffee and we talked for two hours.  I then strung my extra food and gear on a bear rope and made the 18 mile there and back day hike to Wall Pass and Cliff Mountain.

Along the way I was startled by a bear dropping down out of a tree just ten feet away and running up the hill away from me.  Up near Cliff Mountain I saw elk roaming along the base of the cliffs.

Light rain for a little while but it cleared as I broke out onto Wall Pass.  Climbing to the shoulder of Cliff Mountain gave a great view down parts of the Chinese Wall and the cliff faces and peaks ahead and behind.  This is about where the trail is closed and you could see smoke from the fire ahead.

Turning around I stopped at a camp with two women I met on the way up and we talked for a while before I realized the day had slipped through my fingers.  I dropped down to my bear rope and it was too late to bother hiking farther.  Tim was still there camping so I joined him at this riverside camping spot.  Only three miles of forward progress but I got to see the wall!

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