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Mon, Jul 20 2009 - Mt. Helen (View Original Event Details)

Coordinator(s): Frank Talley

Write Up:
Appistoki Mountain - July 20, 2009 Coordinator: Frank Talley Our scheduled climb was to have been Mount Helen, but the morning of our outing the north shore trail of Two Medicine Lake, (the customary hiking route to Dawson Pass and Mount Helen), was closed because of bear activity. Not wishing to take the longer south shore trail, which would also have entailed an unknown traverse through a fresh slide underneath Sinopah Mountain, and not wishing to have a deadline for catching the boat, we instead opted for another Class 2 climb. With Bonnie and me were our daughter, Eve Talley; new GMS member Steve Paull, Claudia Synowzik (all the way from Germany), and "Iron Man" (or is it "Titanium Man") Bill Hedglin. We took the Scenic Point Trail for a mile or so, heading cross country by the large dead whitebark pine that so many folks use for picture-taking. We headed gradually downhill on a game trail so as to be near the creek; a great place to dip one's handkerchief in to cool off. This is a beautiful hike, with two waterfalls to be circumvented on their left, eventually leading to a "tropical" pool near the saddle between Henry and Appistoki. Many outings have learning experiences. Our daughter knew that the hike to Mount Helen was largely on trail, so she only brought hiking sandals which offer little support. At the saddle, she felt uncomfortable on the large, sloping rocks that one must climb to reach the summit. So Bill offered to wait with her at the saddle. The lesson of course: bring more than one kind of footwear just in case there is a change of plans. And speaking of feet, I think one can ascertain a great deal about a new member's abilities by observing how they place their feet when climbing in scree and talus. Within five minutes, I could see that this was not Steve Paull's first outing in the mountains. He is a seasoned mountaineer. So Bonnie and I, who had been to the summit once before, led the way, all the while experiencing Claudia's joy at being higher than Scenic Point. We returned via the same route with Bill and Steve hiking out ahead so Steve could join his family at the campstore, as they had only hiked to Scenic Point. It was amazing watching the speed of his and Bill's descent. It was as if they had sprouted wings. The rest of us may have set a new GMS record, however, about 11 hours on the climb. Climbers were: Frank Talley, Steve Paull and Claudia Synowzik.

Have some photos from this event that you'd like to share in our photo album? Please forward them to Tim Anderson at Please note that we prefer to receive the photos in approximately 640x480 or 750x500 pixels - do NOT send original high-res photos. If you have a LOT of photos, please submit up to twenty of your favorites (only) for a day event, or up to forty of your favourites for a multi-day event. Thank you.

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