Thunderstorms at Horseshoe Basin - June 24-27 - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2004, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Default Thunderstorms at Horseshoe Basin - June 24-27

Seagull, Oriana, Andie and I headed down the States for a 4-day trip to Horseshoe Basin in Pasayten Wilderness last weekend. Seagull & I left on Thursday morning, and the girls were supposed to meet us on Friday at the campsite. The weather forecast was calling for sun with possible (only 30%) thundershowers in the afternoons. It was very warm if the valley. In Loomis, the closest town to the trailhead, the weather was 34C... At the trailhead: 16C.

My car made it to the trailhead without too much difficulty. They say the logging road is only suitable for 4x4, but it's not the case.

On the road up there, we met a bunch of these guys in the middle of the road. They seem to wander freely all around in these hills.


Seagull and the car at the trailhead:


We hit the trailhead at 4pm. It was cloudy and we got a few drips of rain, but not much. The trail starts in the woods on an abandoned mining road.


We eventually crossed a first meadow and met this guy. He was completely alone.


We finally learnt that the horse was owned by a guy (a real cowboy!) whom we met the next day. He had lost his horse the day before and was looking for him...

Approaching Sunny Pass, the trail then opens to a more opened country:


Pictures from Sunny Pass (where is the sun?)


At Sunny Pass, we met a couple who was heading out after spending almost a week in the area. They told us the weather had been the same everyday: sunny in the morning, afternoon thunderstorms, and then nice again for the evening. They even said that it was hailing a lot the very same afternoon we hiked in.

We finally reached the campsite at Horseshoe Pass in a little less than a leisure 3 hours. Here are some pictures from the campsite on the first night. The sky started to clear just as we were setting up camp.


And then we got an amazing sunset:


The next morning we woke up in a glorious sun:


The beauty and interest of this trail is that the country is so opened that you can go anywhere you want. All surrounding peaks are easy and the views on top are amazing. On Friday morning, we decided to go up Armstrong Peak. This peak is located on the USA / Canada border.

On the way up:


The Armstrong ridge is quite big and you can explore in many directions.


There is a sign on top that mark the border. We also could clearly see the border line cut in the woods on the surrounding peaks.


More views from the top:


The sky was starting to cover pretty fast, so we decided to head down. We then met two guys who were going up. They were camping at Louden Lake, a little less than a mile from our campsite. They had tried to go up Armstrong the day before, but got caught by the thunderstorm. You really don't want to be on top of a ridge when there is lightning. So anyways they were coming back up as we were heading down. A few minutes after that, thunder and lightning started. Not lucky...

On the way down we met some friends:


Louden Lake when going down from Armstrong:


A little after we arrived in camp, the rain started. It then changed into hail and was very bad. We stayed in our tents part of the afternoon, until 5pm when the sky cleared. The sun was then back again. The weather pattern was repeating itself.

While Seagull was resting in camp, I decided to go to another hike in the area. I went down to little Smith Lake, and then went up Armstrong a little to get a better picture of Louden Lake.


When I came back down the girls were just arriving. To make a long story short, they had a bad car accident near Princeton and had to get a rental car to be able to reach us. I have to congratulate them for making it to the trailhead as most of us would have turned around after such an adventure.

The night was once again beautiful:


The Saturday morning was also sunny and beautiful. After a little talk with Mac whom we met on top of Armstrong the day before, we decided to go up Haig Mountain.


The closer we got to noon, the more clouds we were seeing. Thunder started a little before we reached the top, but we were kind of in the middle of a hole in the sky, and it wasn't raining on us. Lightning was in the background. Walking on Haig was like walking on the moon. Really interesting ridge to walk on, with beautiful views. We could see the rain in the distance.



We then got some of rain on the trail on the way back to the campsite, with lightning and thunder. When we reached the campsite, the worst started to happen. I have never seen such a storm in my entire life. Non-stop rain and hail, lightning, thunder, ... it was very very bad. We stayed in the tents from 2:30pm until 7am the next morning, without even eating dinner. It was a very good test for my tent thought, and I am happy to say that this tent is ready for the worst possible conditions.

On Sunday, we packed everything and started hiking out. When passing in front of Horseshoe mountain, Oriana, Andrea and I couldn't resist so we dropped our packs and went up there, while Seagull was heading out to wait for us at the trailhead.




It was a truly wonderful trip, even with all these afternoon storms. The weather in this area is fascinating. At one point on Saturday before the big storm, I could see the clouds coming from all directions to stop in the basin right above our heads, instead of just passing by as they would have done with a normal wind.

Thanks to Seagull, Oriana and Andie for their company!


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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2004, 03:29 PM
 
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Some nice shots of the skies there Bum. Not surprised to hear about the afternoon thunder storms, with those high temps below

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2004, 03:58 PM
 
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What a lovely open area! Thanks for posting! Looks like a great trip.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2004, 04:09 PM
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Nice T/R and great terrain.Sounds like alot of action on this trip
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2004, 04:36 PM
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This is one to remember. Overall, it was a great experience. I'm glad I was part of it. But you should have seen the weather on saturday. When it exploded, it lasted 12+ hours. I mean non-stop. We had everything from heavy rain, hail, wind, thunder and lighting right above our heads and the immediate area where the Horseshoe Basin sits at 7000 feet or so.

This comes handy to say that it's the most important to purchase good quality gear. Spend the extra dollars. You won't regret it. When something like this happens while out there, we can depend on it. I'm proud to say my tent survived the test. I made a good choice for a 3 season / one person tent. It stood up right through the storm, no leaks except for a few drops at one edge. And it's not even properly sealed yet. It shouldn't hurt to get it sprayed once for all.


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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2004, 06:58 PM
 
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Beautiful photographs.

Glad you survived the nasty weather too!

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2004, 07:20 PM
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beautiful pictures TrailBum! what a beautiful writeup, too.

Oriana and Andie I hope that you are both ok. A car accident far away from home is no picnic.

cheers - C Wall

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2004, 07:38 PM
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Great pics and an interesting area.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2004, 08:20 PM
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Im sorry I missed this trip.... but glad you folks had such a good time
Its always nice to find that your gear holds up against nasty conditions, I was glad to find that on my last trip to the Baker area, no thunderstorm, but howling wind and rain all night!
Sorry Oriana and Andrea, to hear about the car accident, and hats off to the two of you for not letting it ruin your trip.... Im so glad to see neither of you two were hurt, I hope the outcome is in your favour.
Martin, your trip reports are a pleasure to read, yes I did read all of it (dint give up halfway through ), I really like the photos, and nice to see you had some wildlife to enjoy!!
Nice trip, nicely done [^][8D]
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2004, 08:51 PM
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Fantastic trip report!! Loved the pics, interesting about the line cut thru the trees at the border......
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2004, 09:40 PM
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yeah, i really thought the universe was sending me a message...
-slip on grease on road,crash my car
-towed to princeton...expensive...drop car off at kaltire hoping for morn fix
-stay at hotel,drink at local pub..hit on by two young drunk weed pickers from abbie which we had to make a run for the hotel on a dark street to get away..if only they knew our ages[:0]
-car can't be fixed till monday(alot of damage).rent a car from pentiction
-they have to drive to get us (1 and half hrs) and than drive us back to pentiction..made sure it was a small suv.
-arrive, and all they have is a monster gas gussler..don't even know if i can drive it..get over my fear after a bit of commotion.
-get lost over and over...are meet at the trail with big black cows who wouldn't move and than the lighening begins...and than we realize we don't have trail passes...oh well..i quess i might get towed!![B)]but it is too late to turn around as it is 4pm and we must start hiking.

it was fab..into meadows right away...the storm was insane....i also forgot my poles for my tent..when we realized that we were already in princeton..so we hoped we could share with the boys...well, we hoped we could borrow a tent, and the boys would share....BUT...well you know how it is soooo...in the end we shared with martin in his 2 person tent...imagine..the 3 of us squashed together from 230pm to 7am the next day..it was an adventure i will tell you that..

poor martin had to put with 2 chatty girls, needing space and privacy to change..who drank in his tent,ate and wanted to light tent candles (was scared of his tent burning down)..who couldn't close the tent properly each time they got out so got the tent wet each time....THANK YOU MARTIN FOR PUTTING UP WITH THAT...I WILL PROMISE TO BRING MY POLES ON OUR NEXT ADVENTURE (which will be this wk again)

great trip guys thanx again for organizing martin...where are the pics of horseshoe ridge?
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2004, 09:51 PM
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LOL Oriana!!! (But sorry to hear about your car )

Martin, you are a great man

I think a white squirrel award is in order, for your unconditional kindness in this matter!

Russ, I think a meeting with the staff asap is called for!
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2004, 10:04 PM
 
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From where you were, what did the cross country route into Haystack Lakes and the Cathedral Lakes Provincial Park look like?
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2004, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I can tell you... it was busy in my tent! [:0] First time I have to share this 2-person tent, and it's with 2 others... Wait... 2 + 1 = 3 right? Hmmm... The Roadrunner is a great tent, and it wasn't that bad after all...

mntnmn, I don't know where that route would be... It was my first time in the area and I was focusing my attention on the nearest surrounding peaks.

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post #15 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2004, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by oriana

where are the pics of horseshoe ridge?
I don't have pictures of the ridge from the top... the last pictures on the report were taken in this area... I have tons of other pictures looking similar to what I posted, but since we were in the clouds, they all kind of look the same...

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