Sheep Mountain hike 7/27/2013

  • The trail was pretty wet in a few spots. BRING EXTRA SOCKS!!!
  • We stayed off the snow, but it was still up there.
  • The bugs weren’t too bad if you kept moving, but the flies were ad when you stopped.
  • Very little bear sign. So many Marmots!!!! Holly cow! And a few Ptarmigans.

 MapMy Hike time and info

So, we were attempting to do the ‘three peaks’ (Sheep, Roberts, Gastineau and come down the Tram). It was cloudy when we started, but it was supposed to clear up by noon. Well, it didn’t actually rain on us, but the shrubs were totally soaked, so we were as well. I put on my rain pants and used my trekking pole to hit off the water so everyone behind could stay at least a little drier. Plus, I was going to get a beer at the Tram for taking it for the team! 🙂

Well, by the time we got up to Camp 6, the clouds hadn’t lifted. We were really hopeful, but as we left Camp 6 and headed up, we were having a hard time seeing. There isn’t actually a real trail past Camp 6, so it was kind of a scramble through incredibly wet low ground cover. By the time we got to the top, we are pretty sure the clouds were worse. We waited about half an hour, and we actually LOST visibility, so when we turned around, we couldn’t see 30 feet. There is no trail up there, so you have to be able to see the ridge and where you are going. There is still snow, so the white snow and the white clouds everything literally just disappears. Cool, but creepy. When Ferrell went off scouting (she has done this hike before) she walked not far and we couldn’t see her anymore. We used our GPS’ to make sure we went the same way down.

But once we got back to Camp 6, we were just under the ceiling, and the views were actually better on the way down. We were pissed, but as we hiked down, the ceiling was lifting. We passed a few groups heading up (we started at 9, and turned around in the pm) that had never done it and they were planning on going through the clouds. We warned them not to try crossing if they 1) haven’t done it before and 2) if the clouds don’t clear as there are cliffs. I don’t know what they decided, but we played it safe.

After talking to my uncle later that night, back in the 70’s the clouds came in and he got stuck up there at Camp 6 for 2 DAYS! Granted, that was before GPS’, but Jack is pretty amazing and so back-woods smart, I can’t believe he got stuck up there for that long. But, we saw how bad the visibility was, so I understand. And while I was at their house for family dinner and card night (every Saturday), the clouds lifted and by the time I went home for bed, it was totally clear out. O well. In the end, we weren’t that group you hear about in the SAR (Search and Rescue) training that should have turned back, or worse, lost a member due to a slip and fall.

Play it safe people. There will always be another day to hike.

 

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The last time this part of the trail was a rive.

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The first part. There were a lot of salmon berry bushes along this part. 🙂

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We don’t understand why this little bit of fencing was here. But there were a few sections like it.

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We will be following the power lines up the ridge.

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A bridge.

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Old bear poo.

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There was a lot of ‘butt shots’ along the way. It was pretty steep.

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The trail was very overgrown.

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See the marmot?

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Camp 6 on the way up.

 

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See the orange flags? Not the right trail. Not sure what this was marking.

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Marmot poo.

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Matt had flower petals on his leg.

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There was probably a cool view over here….

 

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and here…….

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and here. But it was way too cloudy to see anything.

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Camp 6 on the way back down. The roof made it a little hard to see in the clouds.

 

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See the marmot in the wood pile? This was just a little guy.

 

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See the marmot? Are you starting to get the feeling that there were a lot of marmots? Well, if so, you are correct.

 

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Sherrie is pointing at a ptarmigan right off the trail.

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The ptarmigan that was right off the trail. There were a few of these guys up there, but not nearly as many as the marmots. And they were a little harder to photograph.

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About Courtney

Juneau, Alaska local.
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