Posts tagged: Alpine Lakes Wilderness
PUBLIC LANDS — No campfires will be allowed at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation area except at designated grated campfire sites at least through Sunday. See the park's announcement issued Monday:
In accordance with the 2012 Superintendent’s Compendium, Acting Superintendent Natalie Gates has extended the ban for campfires on the exposed lakebed through midnight on October 7, 2012.
Campfires in park-provided fire grates at developed campgrounds are allowed. The use of gas and propane barbeques and self-contained stoves is allowed in the recreation area.
Campfires are never allowed on the beach area above the exposed lakebed.
WILDLIFE LANDS — Wild fires continue to char and in some cases nuke forests and other wildlife habitat in scattered areas around the Inland Northwest. But the future isn't all black.
Before-after-photos at Naneum Lake (above) hint at the impact of the Table Mountain Fire, which has spread over thousands of acres along with other forest fires in the Ellensburg-Leavenworth-Wenatchee area. The fires were ignited by lightning storms around Sept. 9, 2012.
Some areas have been reopened to public access, but hunters need to check ahead with the Forest Service, DNR and Washington Fish and Wildlife Department for closures to distinct areas in the Wenatchee region.
This photo comparison doesn't look good, but Washington Fish and Wildlife experts say the damage/benefits to the Colockum elk herd won't be known until next spring when they can assess the ratio of hot-burned areas with the areas that were lightly burned or skipped-over by the flames.
The fires ultimately will be good for wildlife.
The question is whether the recovery will be measured in years or decades.
HUNTING — It's not news that the fields are dry and fire danger is extreme.
But don't let your guard down when you go out hunting or recreating. One thoughtless moment in these conditions can be costly.
Hunters, who have an especially big responsibility to be fire conscious, should:
Being able to respond is essential in the first few seconds of a fire start when it is small and easily extinguished.
FOREST FIRES — The map above from the Wenatchee National Forest shows areas off limits to visitors because of forest fires in the Central Washington area.
The closures affect hikes in prime season and hunters out for Washington's early High Buck Hunt that opened Saturday.
BACKPACKING — After reading my post this morning about fire-related closures affecting hikers in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Stephanie Akker of Kennewick emailed me the photo (above) snapped Saturday from the Colchuck Lake area as she decided to evacuate during the night to safety.
I was happy to see your article on-line as I have been scouring for more info since we backpacked out of Colchuck, in the dark, Saturday night.
Attached is a photo of the fire from our campsite on the north end of Colchuck. We day hiked into the Enchantments Saturday after camping at Colchuck Friday night. We chose to evacuate after watching the fire grow dramatically over the course of 24 hours and also considering the proximity to the parking lot.
Yes, we had to forgo our coveted permit, but felt it better safe than sorry.
Read on for her photo of Colchuck Lake, a scene that helps you understand why it was no easy decision to leave.
HIKING — Many backpackers with coveted permits for the prime September season in the Enchantment Lakes area of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in northcentral Washington are finding their plans up in smoke.
Area includes Eightmile Road, Colchuck, Stuart, Eightmile, Caroline, and Trout lakes, and the Windy Pass portion of the Enchantment area in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness due to a fire burning Many Enchantment area overnight camping permits are cancelled. However, the Enchantment Basin itself remains open at this time with access via Snow Creek Trail. Please call the Wenatchee River Ranger Station for more information on which permits are cancelled.
See a photo and report from a backpacker who self-evacuated Colchuck Lake Saturday night as fires closed in.
Read on for the latest press release and details from the Wenatchee National Forest.
HIKING — The Inland Northwest has logged the fourth death this season of a hiker/climber who died after slipping on snow slopes
On Monday, a hiker on a steep snow field on Glacier National Park's Grinnell Glacier Trail slipped and slid downhill 50-100 feet. Initial reports from park officials indicate he suffered head injuries and died.
The hiker has been identified as Nicholas Ryan, 30, from Omaha, Nebraska.
The death is the latest in a troubling series of fatalities. Some of them seem to have a link to the late-lingering snowpack that's left more snow to negotiate in the high country and a longer period of high, swift and cold water in the rivers below.
A 55-year-old Lake Stevens man died Saturday when he fell from a ridge in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness west of Leavenworth. It's the second death in the Alpine Lakes this season.
The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office says Thomas Vietti was traversing a ridge on the west side of a lake lake below Big Jim Mountain. He apparently lost his footing as he was maneuvering around a large rock.
On July 3, a 21-year-old woman lost control while glissading on a snow slope and fell to her death in an icy crevasse in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. That's two similar type fatal accidents in one month in one Washington wilderness. In addition, a woman climbing Mount Baker slid and fell to her death July 2.
In 34 years of covering the Inland Northwest outdoors beat, the spring-summer of 2011 stands out as one of the most deadly periods for the region's outdoors enthusiasts.
A climber slid to her death this month died this month on Mount Baker.
As today's front page S-R story pointed out, around two dozen drownings have been reported, including at least six — from the Wenatchee to the Blackfoot, Lochsa, Salmon and Owyhee — involving rafters in full whitewater gear and PFDs.
One accident that wasn't specifically mentioned in that story involved a 14 year old girl who drown May 25 after the canoe she was paddling with her brother capsized in the cold, swift spring waters of the Kettle River. Stevens County Sheriff's officers said her brother, who survived, was wearing a life jacket. She was not.
HIKING/CLIMBING — More details are available regarding the death of a 21-year-old Eatonville, Wash., woman who slipped and fell into a crevasse Sunday while hiking and glissading in the Aasgard Pass area (elevation 7,841 feet) of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
The woman has been identified as Julia A. Rutherford, 21. She was a junior at Pacific Lutheran University. Most likely she died from hypothermia Sunday after she fell down a snow face and was pinned between snow and rock flooded with icy snowmelt.
“A person can only stand being in that water for about 20 minutes,” Chelan County Sheriff’s Lt. Maria Agnew told the Wenatchee World this morning. “That’s glacial water and it’s really cold.”
Aasgard Pass is in the Cascade Mountains near Leavenworth. It is the shorter, steeper way of two routes up into the Enchantment Lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The pass is still snow-covered.
Rutherford was hiking with her boyfriend and two other companions when she slid down the snow face, disappearing over the edge into an opening about 5 feet wide, where water was pouring in from snowmelt.
Read on for other details from the Wenatchee World.
WILDERNESS — Members of Washington's congressional delegation are making another attempt to expand the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in the Cascades, according to a Seattle Times report.
Republican Rep. Dave Reichert and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray reintroduced bills Thursday to expand the wilderness area by about 22,000 acres and to designate parts of the Pratt River and the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River as wild and scenic.
Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell is a co-sponsor of the legislation in the Senate, and congressmen Jay Inslee, Jim McDermott, Norm Dicks, and Adam Smith are co-sponsors in the House.
Reichert and other members of the delegation have introduced similar measures in recent years, but the bills didn't pass both the House and Senate.