Jack Mountain - South Face via Little Jack, September 2002
Jack Mountain is probably the most significant peak in the viscinity of Ross Lake. It is massive, prominent and not to be overlooked. It's one of those Cascade peaks you see from a distance and say to yourself, "I've got to climb that". With a nice September weekend in the forecast, Paul and I set out to bag Jack, and were nearly bagged ourselves...
We started from the East Bank Trail trailhead at Panther Creek. We left the car at 11:20AM and by 12:10PM we were at the junction with the Jack Mountain Trail (2.5 miles to here). From this junction it is 6.0 miles to Little Jack although Paul's topo software says approx. 4.4 miles. It is 4,800 ft of gain from junction to Little Jack (6,745 ft) and it's uphill all the way. This trail was largely uneventful...except for the dead horse just off the trail at 4,000 ft! There was a pile of oats on the trail and we thought this odd. Then we heard the din of lots and lots of flies and looked up the bank in that direction. There, under an alder bush about twenty feet away-half in the sun and half out-was a dead horse on its side with one leg thrust up in the air. (On the way back Paul noticed its tongue sticking out like an animal that has croaked.) As soon as we saw the horse we began to additionally smell it. Because there was no saddle on the horse we figured there wasn't also a dead rider around. Then, after switchbacking up the hill to a point about 80 ft above the carcass the stench really hit us and hit us hard. We had never smelled anything so repugnant in the great outdoors before! (more...)
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