I met John about 10 years ago and have
been on 27 outings with him, some multiple day but most have been
one day. Our first was a Mountaineers outing to Crosby Mtn (4/10/94)
led by Kal, and the last was Mt Anderson-West peak last Fourth-of-July
2003. I would say no outing really stands out, which means I kept
up (it's those outings I can't keep up that I remember). I learned
the hard way with John in selecting a destination. If one joins
his outing, accept the fact that John picks the trip destination
99% of the time. I have also learned, John does not repeat destinations.
So to find an interesting summit get together these days is almost
impossible (he's done everything). I would say John has loosened
up a bit in the last few years in sharing his "secrets" on route
descriptions, and that's been really appreciated. His numerous descriptions
in Red/Green Fred have been of great help too.
One outing that was memorable
with John is Twin Peaks up the NF Snoqualmie River on 3/17/96 .
I not sure if John or Jeff Howbert came up with this destination.
We started near first light. After walking a road for a short distance,
we headed off-trail upslope and soon were greeted with lightly snow-covered
jack-strawed trees from a Weyerhaeuser thinning. This seemed to
go on many hours for just 800 feet of gain. Then we reached an old
logging road that led us to a drivable road. Where did this come
from and why didn't we use this for the approach? Shortly we were
at Loch Katrine Lake . We had hoped the lake would be snow-covered
so getting to the other side would be easy. John led us, thrashing
through heavy brush (he is not slowed by brush) for an hour, to
get to the far side of the lake. Next it was up thin snow-covered
very steep brush forest. More slow going. We eventually reached
good snow and the summit very late. I should mention, the turn-around
is the Summit . But in this case going back the same route would
have us in the dark thrashing through bush in the dark. John suggested
a direct descent to Sunday Creek and pick up the trail to follow
a known route out. The direct descend to Sunday Creek went well.
However we reached the creek around dark and the trail no longer
was maintained. This was not quite what was planned. We eventually
found good trail and were able to follow it with headlamps. One
challenge remained, crossing Sunday 'river'. After that wet experience,
a couple hours later we were back to the car safely. This is the
kind of trip I wish to avoid. John chocked up two more fine summits
on his list.
Happy Birthday John. Wishing you many
more Birthdays and many more wonderful outings.
Sweet Chariot (Slide)
Peak 2/23/03 -John on the summit with Snowking and Pickets in the
Mt Anderson West Pk (7/6/03) - John leading the steep snow to the summit:
Copyright 2004, John W. Roper.
All Rights Reserved.