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Railroad Creek--North Cascades

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Railroad Creek--North Cascades

Postby oldranger » Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:58 am

I spent last week running a chainsaw up at Holden Village in the North Cascades of Washington. On my single day off I opted not to fish and instead walked 61/2 miles up railroad creek to check out the waterfalls.It was a gray misty day but still beautiful
Above Hart.jpg
Falls from basin below Bonanza Peak
Falls.jpg
Railroad Creek


On this hike I learned why the mokelumnekid kayaks--you are going to get wet doing anything outdoors in Washington!

Mike
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Re: Railroad Creek--North Cascades

Postby maverick » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:55 pm

Would love to see these falls in the first photo at peak run-off. How much taller is
Bonanza Peak compared to the top of the falls?
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Re: Railroad Creek--North Cascades

Postby oldranger » Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:40 pm

Maverick

Except for rain events this is probably pretty close to peak runoff. (Did I mention it rains in Washington?) The map shows just two water courses. The top of the falls to the left is about 5800 feet. Bonanza tops off at 9511 and has glaciers on the s, e, and n slopes. Isella to the s. bottoms out at about 7600 ft, Mary Green to the E. bottoms out at about 7400 ft. Company Glacier to the n. extends down to about 6200 ft.

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Re: Railroad Creek--North Cascades

Postby maverick » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:00 pm

Which glacier is the biggest of these (use Sierra glacier as a comparison)?
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Re: Railroad Creek--North Cascades

Postby oldranger » Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:08 pm

Using the HST Map and scrolling up to Washington it appears that the Company Glacier is about 3/4 mile wide and about 1/4 mile long. The Mary Green Glacier is normally visible from the mine tailings at Holden but that area is now closed to the public as part of the ongoing mine remediation project.
A five mile, 2000 ft. hike via maintained trail gets to Holden Lake where the view of Mary Green Glacier is outstanding. First time up there about 15 years ago Kathy and I saw a huge house size hunk of ice calve off the glacier and slide down the rock slabs.

As I understand it Washington has more area covered by glaciers than all the other lower 48 combined.

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Re: Railroad Creek--North Cascades

Postby maverick » Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:34 pm

Mike wrote:
A five mile, 2000 ft. hike via maintained trail gets to Holden Lake where the view
of Mary Green Glacier is outstanding. First time up there about 15 years ago Kathy
and I saw a huge house size hunk of ice carved off the glacier and slide down the rock
slabs.


That would be pretty cool to see. Are any in the area large enough to have ice caves
like the ones at Mendenhall in Alaska but on a smaller scale?
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Re: Railroad Creek--North Cascades

Postby mokelumnekid » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:30 pm

This is about peak run-off now. We had a normal+ rain year unlike Calif. There are a few ice caves and in fact a person was killed not long ago in one from falling ice. Most folks don't know a lot about the North Cascades, I didn't until I moved to Washington. Glacier skills (and a high bushwhacking tolerance) are absolutely essential in the NC and I mean steep too, with serious crevasses (esp on the volcanoes). I regard the glaciers as the most serious objective hazard (along with poor rock quality) and they scare the crap out of me when we (used) to do more mountaineering up here. My wife took a serious fall on one coming off of Mt. Stuart, and that pretty much nipped that in the bud. That's one reason we moved to almost exclusively to doing that in Calif.

BTW, John Dittli, an HST member was once a climbing ranger in the North Cascades and has some great pics.
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Re: Railroad Creek--North Cascades

Postby maverick » Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:18 pm

Thanks MK for the info. Saw some ice cave photo's from the Mendenhall Glacier area
a while back that looked really cool.
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