Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Wed, 4Sep - White Pass and Wall Creek Cliffs on the Fire Detour

Heading out on the Red Shale Fire detour route over White River Pass and up the White River drainage today.  The Indian Creek trail passes a couple nice waterfalls and cascades as you follow the creek up to White Pass.  This is the point where the trail climbs up and over the southern section of the Chinese wall and down the other side of the continental divide so that I could follow the divide on the western side away from the fire.

While this section doesn't have that characteristic continuous wall look it was still very rocky and a very impressive pass across the divide.  A fantastic view on both sides.

As I followed the White River drainage you see the rocky ridge-line of peaks including Cliff Mtn, Salt Mtn, and Larch Hill Pass.  You could see the smoke from the fire on the other side.

While forested there were occasional rocky outlooks with views down into the canyon walls of the white river.  Passed a great campsite at Brushy Park because it was early and wanted to climb over the next section near Bungalow Mtn and around the shoulder of Wall Creek Cliffs.  From there the Wall Creek Trail follows the bank of the river and I hoped had great campsite.

The trail, following along just below the White Cliffs was really impressive.  That is until I realized the trail wasn't heading to the right side of the creek as shown on the map.  Not only was it on the left side it was almost 0.2 miles away with heavy brush and blowdowns between me and the water.  I was planning on that water.  Then I realized it was actually following another drainage parallel to the one on the map.  I back climbed to the trail jct to be sure I had not missed a turn but could not find any sign of another path going down the other stream drainage.  Studying the map I was 90% sure the trail I was on would stay following this stream which would merge with the stream I wanted down hill a couple miles.  It finally did many miles later crossing the stream and eventually ending up exactly where the map said I should be.  The upper portion of the trail must have been relocated or else was incorrectly drawn on the map.

I at least now had water but the trail, while now closing following the creek was thick, overgrown, rocky, rooted, and devoid of even a desperation campsite and the light was fading fast.  I thought I saw a grassy spot that might work but as I wandered around in the fading light I found myself in a deep muddy marshy area.  I gave up and pulled out my headlamp.  Once I had the headlamp on it seemed like all urgency to find a site quickly was gone and I relaxed and hiked into the dark and within a mile found a great camp complete with a huge stack of cut and split firewood along side the stream 


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