I snuck away for a little run up Dumbell Mtn in the Central Cascades.
Described in Beckey as a "ponderous gendarme in regal isolation and reaching a dizzing height." This kind of writing gets me all tingley but the truth is it looks more like a saddle then a dumbell from my S. approach.
Since it was the work week for many I figured parking at the ever popular Phelps Creek/Spider Meadow trailhead would be a breeze, please now add 1 mile to actual trail length to reach trailhead jammed with every year Subaru ever made.In an earlier tripover Spider Gap I noticed a small tower off the ridge I thought I might have a go at, I suppose every climber who has eaten a Washington State apple has topped out on it but it looked fresh to me. Normally I research these things but when the spousal unit said go I went, I mean I seem to remember it being a few hundred yards of class 4 and you know it probably was.
My first little surprise after wading through the sea of humanity in Spider Meadows was the only decent campsite to be had in the Phelps basin was had so I added another touch of vertical and wrestled my Gossamer One in the wind, crinks this material sure is slippery, oops look it's all the way back to those nice folks camp snagging itself on some gorse flora.
I sure do like rehiking down what I just came up but the tent was well so it was time to brew up, hmm, self ignitor isn't working and when I sent someone for the matches to light the BBQ Sunday I am now remembering where they must of been from....
In retrospect I should have known letting my daughter play with my pad on the hammock was a bad idea because I now had 2 mils of nylon for a sleeping pad [and no patch kit] but by that time I was getting seriously smoked and would have slept on a bed of sailboat anchors to prove what big bad mountain man I was. I settled with a nice cup of cold grape juice...no problem waking early to my sumptious repast of cold muesli that's for sure. So off I went.
I'm going to take a brief detour, if I read about the false summit I would not of climb it and wouldn't have found myself on some desperate ledge the consistency of a celery stalk trying to get across to the real enchilada.
Time passes, curses are muttered quite loudly, but clean living and old age perservere. A small snowfield is reached and at least I did return my crampons to my pack after aerating the lawn with them.
I have no idea if that "tower" will go, I have no idea what the other summit of Dumbell looks like [Greenwood Mtn]because I've been up here most of the day and I now realize there is only one dumbell in the vicinity.
The high country is just shifting their color spectrum, the bugs are gone, as are most of the Subarus when I do finally get back to my car[ a Subaru].