The Big Adventure that Never Was...
Ever since Middle Chiwaukum I've found an interest in Big Chiwaukum. I met Wayne through nwhikers which he picked me up from my house. The weather conditions were a bit questionable with clouds but good weather was possibly on it's way in. As we were driving to the trail head I was amazed at how much ice there was on the road, we had a few slide spots which had me a little worried. When we reached the trail head on mostly flat spot we slid a ways because the ice was like glass and it was barley wet. He then managed to pull back and get in the spot just fine.
We started off the road walk at a decent pace which I was enjoying the nice misty forest. As we were walking along we heard snow mobilers coming through which sometimes I would have to walk off the road for them to get through. It was interesting that the snow on the road was broken up which one guy sped off of the snow onto the gravel and then went at high speed. I'm sure that wasn't good for his rig. Then we reach the actual trail head (White Pine Creek) which this is mile marker 3. From here we walk into the woods, Wayne mentioned something about having knee problems and it was giving him a little bit of pains but he said we would manage. Up until this point the snow was so solid I could walk along just fine without snowshoes. Then I had a little bit of post holing which there were quite a few fallen over trees. As we were traveling over one, Wayne sank in a bit on one step which he seemed to have twisted his knee.
I was a bit worried for him, he said it would be fine, we rested a bit. When trying to go up hill it was very slow and painful for him which there was no way we would be able to make it up, even with our overnight gear. So we decided to go back down. I was not disappointed, I totally understand when things like injury come about you have to not only have all your concerns on the team, but also it's good for you to accept that the mountain will be there another time.
I was glad I came along on this trip, we had some good conversations on the way down, and Wayne turned out to be a cool guy. It took about 4 hours to go 3 miles on almost flat down hill which I knew it would feel like forever for the both of us. But I made the best of it. All in all it was a refreshing day out, plus all the overnight gear, snow pickets and such made my pack a bit heavy so I still got a good days work. Wayne ended up generously buying me dinner and not charging me anything for the ride home (nor did he for the way there). He was in good shape, the only reason for the slowness was because of the injury. It was still a good day out!