Ascent of Git Out Ridge on 2018-12-05

Climber: James Barlow

Date:Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Git Out Ridge
    Elevation:2670 ft / 813 m

Ascent Trip Report

If you are not into stealthing, go the way that Ken Jones went from Sapda Lake. I drove to the trailhead for Explorer Falls, following the WTA app's driving directions to that point. I had been pouring over satellite maps to piece together logging roads from the Explorer Falls area for quite some time, vowing to get a bicycle to the top of Git Out Ridge. The initial mile until the well-signed left turn to Explorer Falls is flat and easy riding.

The only section that had my heart beating was from the Explorer Falls trail turn off at 720' to 860' where the road down to Lake Chaplain turns right, a total of just under a mile, which I biked quite quickly through in both directions. Once you hang a left at the junction where the road goes right to Lake Chaplain, it is smooth sailing on a mix of state and Mt Baker-Snoqualmie NF land, therefore legal and public. Once I made this turn and was out of sight, I felt just fine. The stealth section is quite well-signed, but I practiced my best LNT ethics and Everett's water supply is still safe. A sole mountain bike on a graded gravel road was likely less disturbance than the logging cut blocks everywhere...

After topping out on a little hill-let at 1800' there is a nice downhill stretch to the saddle separating Miller Creek from the creek heading south to the Sultan River. The steepest grind of the day lay ahead, a number of switchbacks that take you from 1600' to 2300.' Just when you think that they are done, there is just one more steep spot!

There are two contenders for high point in my opinion:
-High ground just off the crest of the dirt road, next to some logs painted "Pig Knuckle Pass." I went here first as this is where I came up from. The high ground is 20' off the road and quite accessible.
-The 2670' X on the map where the PB peak spot is located. I covered this spot second, stashing my bike in a ditch next to the road and walking about 100m up and east to the high ground. A cairn but no register was found at this location.

In between these 2 points, I went east below the summits to a nice flat spot and walked a short distance from the bike to get some spectacular views of Spada Lake, Bald Mtn East, Vesper, and Morning Star.

Following the usual summit photos in the serene mossy forest, I headed back to the bike and switched to warmer attire for the descent. The descent was excellent, where I hit speeds just over 30mph on a number of stretches. I encountered two pickup trucks parked between 1300' and 1400,' but I did not see their occupants and preferred not to encounter anybody as I was descending closer to forbidden Chaplain Lake. The trucks had official-looking logos of some type, but I did not slow down enough to read them... After blazing past the stealth section between the lake turn and waterfall trail turn, I was able to calm down. I initially thought it would be fun to ride to the waterfall and check it out, the trail was tank-trapped and had a lot of logs I didn't want to drag my bike over, so I just turned around and rode back to the trailhead. Explorer Falls would make a nice easy/nearby hike for when my parents or other non-hikers visit.

I also noted after I returned home and looked at my track that I went over a fire lookout site when I went for the Spada Lake view. Interesting, with a beautiful view, but not prominent enough to log. I was also quite surprised to see that I had covered exactly 20 miles on this ascent - it certainly felt like less.

I would recommend this way to anybody with a bicycle and sense of adventure. Maybe mid-day on a work day wasn't ideal, but I honestly thought that the logging road leading from Explorer Falls to the peak was legal and just the roads going down to Lake Chaplain were off limits. Again, only the 1 mile section between the Explorer Falls Trail turn and Lake Chaplain road turn was signed "no trespassing." Beyond the turn you are on state and USFS land and legal.

I thought a lot on this ride about my friend, a fellow peakbagger, who passed away yesterday. We hiked many a great and prominent peak together from ultras to P300s. He was an LoJ'er who made the wise transition to peakbagger after we all bugged him about it for a few years. I "poured some out for the homies" from my Nalgene on the summit. Rest in peace friend, you are missed.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1821 ft / 555 m
    Gear Used:
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1821 ft / 555 m
    Distance:20 mi / 32.3 km
    Route:Logging Roads
    Start Trailhead:849 ft / 258 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by James Barlow
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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