Cracking Hips on Easton Ridge
A Break Between the Volcanoes
It was time to take a little break from doing Mount Shasta the week before. So I decided to do an easier trail this weekend to rest up for a number of good climbs in the upcoming weeks. With the avy danger so high in the higher elevation I figured this is the time to take it easy so I decided to head up to Easton Ridge from the trailhead I knocked off Thomas, Para Point, Domerie and Baldy two weeks ago. I decided to bring my friend Gabe because I knew he was in good enough shape to make this trip a quick workout. Gabe and I decided on this ridge because it looked like a descent workout and it was closeby.
The Trip Up
Gabe is a bit of a speed demon so I knew this trip would go very quick. We got to the trailhead at 9 am and predictably we were on the summit at 10:15 am. For Gabe this is very slow. To be honest this is the only person I know who can bench press more than double his weight 180 lbs and place in a marthon. Luckily Gabe was a little tired from his race two days before so I was able to set and keep a steady pace to the summit. I also think that I had more energy in my lungs from being up Shasta the week before. The trail up (from what I remember :)) was steady and was in places difficult to spot. Along the way though there were spotty views of Lake Kachess and of Kachess Ridge. The weather held well which made this trip very enjoyable.
Once on the summit area we quickly hit what I am 100% sure is the summit. Great views here can be seen of Baldy, Para Point, Domerie and Stuart in the distance. Then I saw a rock in the distance that might be potentially the same elevation so Gabe and I headed there just to make sure about the summit. Once by the rocks we realized that this rock area had a little scramble at the end. Nothing more than Class 2 but it added a little bit to the hike. There was a USGS marker on the summit and a platform but it still looked like it was shorter than the other area. Sure enough it is shorter according to MyTopo in that the northern summit area is 4515 feet and the other is 4507. But each area had unique views so if you are up there visit both.
Once we enjoyed both summit area we decide to head back. On the way back we hit a northern highpoint on Easton Ridge. This highpoint had a great picture of the true summit of Easton Ridge. It also had a good view of Kachess Ridge and Kachess Lake. After enjoying the last view we headed on down to the bottom to maybe tackle another summit along the way.
A Fall From Grace But Only A Bruised Ego
Unfortunately Gabe took a small tumble on the way down and feared at first that he cracked his hip. He on very slippery log on the way down and his hip went right into the log. My concern flags quickly went up because I could see what he fell on. For a small moment it did not look so good for Gabe. But after a minute Gabe got up and shook off the pain and put a little weight on the leg. After a couple minutes he was able to shake it off and as he was walking on it, it was clear that there was no major breaks or cracks to his hip. We did take it slower on the way down and the second mountain we were planning on doing didn't happen.
We made it back to the car safely and by the time Gabe was back to the car he was in much better condition. The end result of the fall was nothing more than a deep bruise and he was able to workout three days later. i think this fall though showed Gabe now why 80% of all injuries on mountains are from decending and not ascending. If anything you must be even more aware going down than coming up.
I want to thank Gabe for coming on the trip and we will be on many more in the future. Gabe is a good hiker and hopefully I can get him to join SP soon. Outside of the fall it was another great hike up here and hope to continue this momentum.