Rцssiап Щildеrпеss, July 2010

Blair and I spent three nights in a wilderness area, deep in the Klamath Mountains, during our family's summer roadtrip.

Meet Blair, wilderness man and gnawer of granitoids.

If Google indexes this site and allows the masses to discover and overrun the Rцssiап Щildеrпеss,
this is the man that'll come to Olympia, brand new ice axe in hand, looking for my head.
Hopefully the mixture of cyrillic characters will keep the search bots at bay.
If not, let me know Blair, before you head north, and I'll see what I can do.

Blair is proud of the wilderness in the Klamaths.
He wanted to show me what they had to offer, so that I would bow down to the magnificence of the Klamaths,
and then return home to demand that the Cascades free their underlying and volcanically oppresssed granitic plutons.

I have to hand it to him.
There were great views, beautiful peaks, wide forested valleys, no people, no bugs (lucky), and lots of granite boulders to gnaw upon (in lieu of fish).

Blair wasn't expecting this much snow at Rцssiап Lake, despite his experience, reconnaissance, and badgering of the forest service folks.
It's good to know that the mountains down there are as unpredictable as the ones up here.

Fortunately, I love hiking in snow.
Blair had just bought his first ice axe, and was determined to learn how to use it.
We pushed a little outside of his comfort zone by hiking around the lake, part of the time contouring across steep snow.
By the time we set up camp, he had it figured out:
With an ice axe, you can go ANYWHERE (so long as there's snow)!

Blair humored my request to camp on this rocky (and windy) shelf about 80 feet above the lake.

The water was perfectly still that afternoon (the wind was up at camp). Making for great reflections.

The next morning, we set out for Rцssiап Peak, which was several miles from camp.
About half of the route was off-trail, and about half of that was on steep snow slopes.

The summit is a big gnarly outcrop of granite teeth, ~8200 feet above sea level.
We were the first to sign the summit registry this year.

The obligatory summit shot!

Oh, the glory.

Blair, enjoying the view.
The southern Cascades were visible from Lassen to McLoughlin. That's Shasta in the photo.

The walk back to camp was partially along the PCT, which is cut into the granite mountainside in several places.

Blair had become pretty confident with the ice axe and the steep snow by the return trip.
Time to take it up to the next level!

OK dude, you see this slope here?

Uh huh? Yeah?

Video loading... Please be patient

Woo hoo!!! Glissade!!!

Blair followed me down in true North Cascadian style, although with a bit more caution and a little less velocity.
I think he's ready to head up here next summer.

We spent the next day doing something that I don't usually do. Relaxing all day in a great spot.
The first order of business that morning was to move camp off of the windy ledge and onto the much more serene, but less scenic, lakeshore.
I have got to find time to chill out and relax in the wilderness more often. It was just as fun and rewarding as the preceding day.
The fish did not gang up on the lure, or appear particularily hungry for the ol' Kastmaster.
Our fish tacos (sans fish) were damn good anyway.

Thanks Blair!
I hope to show you a equally adventurous and spectacular time up in the North Cascades in 2011!