2012  HIKING, CYCLING,

& RV TRAVEL ADVENTURES

 

   
 
Runtrails' Web Journal
 
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   RENDEZVOUS-GORDON LYON RIDGE HIKE, p. 3

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 22

 
 
Continued from page 2.

THE LAST HALF OF MY HIKE

The next group of photos shows views to the north after I turned around and hiked back toward Rendezvous Peak:

 


View of Anchorage from the far end of Rendezvous Ridge

 

 


Still a few thin clouds half a mile from Little Teton (L) and Rendezvous Peak (R)


Little Teton, Rendezvous Peak, and Mt. Gordon Lyon (far right) are clear now.


View down to JBER and Cook Inlet from the upper saddle;
I think those are also some military buildings directly below me.

After I got back to the saddle between Little Teton and Rendezvous I descended about 3/4 mile to the lower saddle on a different trail and began climbing the main trail to the rocky summit of Mt. Gordon Lyon.

 


Trail from saddle down to trailhead at ski lodge; I went to the right to climb up Mt. Gordon Lyon.
Note the old Nike missile installation above right. The military still uses the facility.


I could see helicopters flying in and out this morning and this afternoon while in this area.


View to the southeast (South Fork of Eagle River valley surrounded by Chugach Mtns.)

This trail up to the summit of Gordon Lyon has a steep section in the lower half that was easier for me to climb up today than it was to descend on a previous hike. The upper half is more gradual:

When I reached the long ridgeline I turned left (west) and walked along the ridge for about a mile.

There were lots of interesting clouds rising from the valley to the north :

 


View back up to the summit of Mt. Gordon Lyon (elev. 4,134 feet)


Looking back to part of the route I took to reach this point


View SE to South Fork Eagle Valley and lakes I saw from Rendezvous Ridge (on the right)

Hikers aren't allowed to get too close to the old Nike missile property (above) so I had to make my way back down cross-country to one of the trails on either side of the creek that flows down to the trailhead.

I've wandered around these slopes twice before so I knew it would be fairly easy to go back down about half a mile without a trail :


Looking down toward the Arctic Valley trailhead


Looking back up to the ridge I was on

When I reached the creek I crossed it and continued descending to the Arctic Valley trailhead on the main trail (photo above), which is on the north slope of Rendezvous Peak.

UP, DOWN, UP, DOWN, & ALL AROUND . . .

I had a lot of elevation gain and loss today, with five peaks between 3,900-4,146 feet. I dipped down to 3,500-3,600 feet between each of those and began/ended at 2,656 feet.

I donít know the total gain and loss since my wrist GPS recorded 20 miles and not just the miles I hiked. I forgot to turn it off and it recorded the drive back down to JBER. Oops.


View toward Rendezvous Peak from Mt. Gordon Lyon

My knees felt fine during and after the hike, even after sliding on some slick foliage in the second mile. I fell hard enough on one of my knees to make it swell. Tramadol helped. So did two trekking poles and going downhill carefully on every descent.

Cody did fine after two days of more hiking than heís done in about three weeks. He's about my age in dog years but he's a tough cookie.


Upper drainage between Gordon Lyon (where I'm standing) and Rendezvous Peak

Cody had an encounter with an Arctic ground squirrel about an hour before we got done, however.

I saw one poking its head out of its hole about halfway up the last peak, Gordon Lyon, and pointed it out to Cody. He stuck his head in the hole like he's done many times before -- and has never previously encountered the occupant.

This time it back-fired. I didnít see exactly what happened but I saw Cody withdraw rather quickly (no yelp or other sound) and the squirrel suddenly bolted out of its hole and ran away.


Descending on the main trail and looking back at the last ridge I was hiking

Cody didn't give chase like I thought he would.

I think I know why. When Jim was washing him later at the camper, we noticed some hair is missing from one ear. I know it wasnít like that this morning. I guess the squirrel chewed on it! Hope he doesnít get some rodent disease. (Note later: he didn't, and the hair grew back in a couple weeks.)

Hiking in Alaska is full of perils, some obvious and some not so predictable. Be careful out there.

Next entryanother bike ride with lots more photos from the Coastal Trail (I rode this time, too; I take many more pictures than Jim does!)

 Happy trails,

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, and Cody the ultra Lab

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© 2012 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil

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