Fadgen's Adventures

Fadgen's Adventures
Green Creek Lake

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Wet and Hidden Peaks

Michael, his old buddy Scott, and I met up at the Albertsons on Federal Way Sunday morning for an alpine start, destined to climb a couple of Lost River Range 11ers.  The days forecast called for temps in the 40s, 30% chance of POP and 20-30mph winds.  Due to the unknown conditions, we brought everything but the kitchen sink with us (coats, gloves, ice axes, crampons and ski goggles for wind protection).

Four hours later, Michael's FJ took us to the end of Bear Creek road, and we were hiking up the well maintained Bear Creek trail at 10AM in bright sunshine and little wind.  Hmmm.

This is for Dylan
Only a portion of the Bear Creek trail is shown on the USGS topo map.  It actually follows the creek all the way to Bear Creek Lake.  It is a nice trail, steep and recently cleared of dead fall.  Somewhat of an anomaly for the LRR.
The stream from nowhere
We took a short break in the warming temperatures at Bear Creek Lake before turning north and heading for a large cirque surrounded by Octoberfest, Wet and Hidden Peaks at 10,000 feet.  It didn't take long before we were missing the trail.  Though the rock was relatively stable, it was still loose, sharp, Lost River limestone.
The end of the trail

Heading to the cirque

Looking back at Bear Creek Lake
As we crested the ridge and entered the cirque at 10,000 feet, we finally felt the wind picking up.  It wasn't blowing 30 or even 20mph and actually felt pretty good.

The cirque had a patchwork of soft snow across it, and we did our best to stay out of it and on the tundra as we gawked at the surrounding peaks.
Scott enjoying the view

First view of Hidden Peak

Wet Peak

South Wet
Michael didn't have much interest in re-climbing Hidden Peak, and I was hoping for a twofer, so we decided to split up.  With a big cornice on the saddle between South Wet and Wet Peaks, Michael and Scott would have to traverse South Wet before heading up the ridge to Wet.  If I maintained a good pace, I figured I'd be able to meet them at the summit of Wet after climbing Hidden.

So, we parted ways.  I dropped down, crossed the cirque, and headed up the mostly snow free southern face of Hidden Peak.  Nothing special here, just put your head down and zigzag up.  On the way I spotted a few sheep on the saddle between Wet and Hidden.

About an hour after our separation, I reached the summit of Hidden Peak at 11,308 feet.  The wind had picked up and it was a bit chilly on top.  So, after a quick bit to eat and some photos, I was off for Wet.

Alone on the summit of Hidden Peak

Looking at Wet Peak from Hidden Peak
As I moved down off the summit of Hidden Peak, I could occasionally find Michael and Scott in the mass of rocks.  From their position, it appeared that I might be able to actually beat them to the summit of Wet Peak.  So I quickened my pace down the 500 feet to the connecting ridge.
Scott on their ridge to Wet Peak
Once on the ridge, I realized that I should slow down and take my time.  Though I chased the sheep off the ridge, there wasn't much of a trail and the rock was very loose.  So I carefully picked my way up, over and around the spiny ridge.  There were a couple of spicy moves just before the final, short trudge up to Wet at 11,309 feet.  Exciting!

My ridge to Wet Peak
I believe that I arrived on the summit 5-10 minutes after Michael and Scott.  By this time the wind was whipping, and dark clouds were forming to the west.  We took a couple of quick pictures and started down off the summit to get out of the biting wind.
Wet Peak Summit shot
Looking back at Hidden Peak
Rather than traverse over South Wet, we opted to take out the ice axes and butt glissade our way down the north face.  After a couple of sweet rides, we were back in the cirque picking our way around the soft snow.
Scott preparing to take off with Michael down below
We retraced our steps back to the lake and then down the steep trail to the FJ.  We all arrived a little tired, but glad that the the weather cooperated.

Distance - 9 miles
Elevation - 4400 feet
Time: 7.5 hours

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Pieve di Cadore to Conegliano to Mestre (Venice Mainland)

The weather forecast for this morning's ride wasn't looking too good, with rain expected in the afternoon.  We did our best to get out early, but with colazione not starting until 7:30Am, it didn't work out so well.  We were on our way at a little after 8:30 with our cycling jackets on.

We felt pretty confident about getting this longer ride completed quickly, because we were dropping from the mountains on to the coastal plain.  Maybe we could be done before the forecasted rain?
Pretty happy at this point


About an hour and 20km into the ride, just before Longarone, the rain started. Before it was forecasted!

So, we deviated from our route, climbed into Longarone and found a spot to get out of the rain.  Luckily they served up some mean cappuccini.

Due cappuccini e cornetti
We sat around for a half hour admiring the local's outfits and willing the rain to stop.  The outfits were colorful, but the rain did not stop.
Not looking too good

Sweet jacket and slacks
With the rain not letting up, I walked over to a local market and picked us up some redneck rain gear to try and keep our hands and feet dry.
Tamara putting on her booties

Some sweet gloves
 All geared up, we headed out in the rain with only 50km to go.
Smiling for some reason

We stopped occasionally to take pictures, but for the most part just kept pedaling since it kept raining.
Lago di Santa Croce

We pulled into the Hotel Cristallo a little before 4PM.  A little wet, but for the most part not doing too bad.  To our surprise, we had twin beds rather than the "matrimoniale" that we had been accustomed to.  Oh well, we were too wet and tired to worry about it.

That night we had an awesome meal at a place called Osteria Ripasso.  Tamara had a pasta dish where they used ginger (yes ginger!) in the pasta, while I had a a pasta dish with local sausage and tartufo.

Days stats
Distance: 555 miles
Elevation: 2200 feet (gain), 5500 feet (lost)

Day Two - Conegliano to Mestre
For some reason we had agreed to a 1-3PM meeting time to turn in our bicycles.  With 90km of riding, we would need to have a much faster pace than we had been previously maintaining.  Luckily the hotel had colazione at 7AM and we were on the road by 8AM.

The weather is looking much better today
With a lot of distance to go, I kept the camera in it's case, and we tried to maintain a 20km/h average on our not so fast hybrid bikes.

But we did have to stop for some cappuccini and cornetti.
I just love the chocolate cornettos
Unfortunately, we were also leaving the countryside and entering larger cities, i.e., Treviso. Negotiating traffic and people causes the average speed to diminish.  We were not keeping to our 20km/h required speed.
Entrance to Terviso

Traffic, traffic, traffic

Once through Treviso, the cycling path followed the River Sile in all it's twisting fashion.  Realizing that we were probably not going to make our meeting time (damn cappuccini!), I figured out a shortcut on my phone to eliminate some of the twists and turns.

As we moved down a secondary road, bypassing the river trail, it started to drizzle.  To make matters worse, I was getting hungry.  We stopped to look for something to eat at a couple of places with no luck, either no food  or only whole pizzas cooked to order.  We eventually settled on a grocery store and sat out of the rain while constructing and eating our panninis.

The rain stopped as we finished getting fueled up, so we put the pedal to the metal toward Mestre.

Old boat graveyard on the River Sile

We followed the provided GPS coordinates to the bike garage only to not be able to find it.  After a phone call, some WhatsApp chats, and circling the block a couple of times, a guy walked out of a building and smiled.  Ahhh, we made it and just in time.

Anthony (the smiling guy) was kind enough to give us a ride to the stazione a couple of kilometers away.  Before we knew it, we were dragging our suitcases through the mass of humanity called Venezia trying to find our B&B.

Gotta love Google Maps.  A few bridges over a few canals, a few missteps down the wrong  narrow alleys and we arrived at San Stae B&B, our home for the next three nights!

View from our room


Stats for day two
Distance: 60 miles
Elevation: 2000 feet (gain), 2100 feet (lost)

Link to GPS track

Monday, May 21, 2018

Dobbiaco to Pieve di Cadore

Link to Dolomiti days tre e quattro

We were slightly depressed to be moving on from the Hotel Pider, in La Val to start the third stage of our Italy adventure.  We were leaving behind extraordinary views, heated bathroom floors, and fantastic food of the South Tyrol, for the unknowns of Venezia.  After a couple hours of bus and train travel, we were exploring the small town of Dobbiaco, in the Sunday afternoon drizzle.  Not much happening on a Sunday afternoon in a very small town.

That evening we meet up with Angelina of Fun Active Adventures, to get our trip itinerary, and the bikes we'd be riding for the next three days.  These guys are another outfit I found online and had great communication with. We contracted with them for luggage transport and bikes for the next three days and 150 miles.

It was a bit cool, but the sun was shining when we departed.  After a not so quick stop at the tour company's shop for a bike switch and some shopping, we were off to Cortina d'Ampezzo.

The valley we would be riding through

Lago d'Dobbiaco
As this ride was following an old railway line from Dobbiaco to Cortina, the grade promised to not be steep.  Maybe not steep, but it was long - 10 miles worth of gentle incline along a gravel pathway.  There were mountain peaks everywhere, and I spent the majority of this uphill travel gawking.

Not paying attention to the road

Ten miles in we reached the summit, Passo Cimabanche, and started the long downhill to Cortina d'Amprezzo.

As this was an old railway, there were many "stations" along the way that housed the railway caretakers.  This is one, of twenty or so, we noticed.

Again, more peaks and more gawking.  Unfortunately, clouds were building causing flat light and crappy photo opportunities.

Tamara enjoying a short break while crossing the river.

Entering Cortina d'Ampezzo
We stopped in Cortina at a bike shop and inquired about a pizzeria.  The owner's son suggested one down the road, so we stopped in and fueled up with a pizza and Patate fritte (fries)!
No picture of the fries


More views of Cortina

Close up

Another railway caretaker's house

After a long stretch of ups and downs we pulled into Pieve di Cadore and found our hotel.  That evening, while wandering around finding a place for an Aperitivo, it started to rain.  Luckily, we were done cycling for the day.

Distance: 43 miles
Elevation: 2200 feet

Link to GPS track

Link to tour to Venice day due

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A team of adventurers consisting of John, Tamara, Taylor, Dylan, and Shadow Fadgen