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Back to list of TNAB hikes
Driving Directions: Drive I-90 to Snoqualmie pass and the Hyak exit #54. Drive into the ski parking area staying on the main road and following it past housing developments. The road curves around a small sewage lagoon and then turns into FS #9070. Drive 5.4 miles and shortly after entering a large clear cut find Windy Pass and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) junction.
Hiking Directions: Begin (at 3850 feet) hiking the Pacific Crest Trail south. From the trailhead you gently gain elevation for a mile and a half, then drop through a series of S-turns. Less than a quarter mile later you'll find the fork to the saddle marked by a large cairn and a log in the trail for drainage control (4325 feet). The saddle will be visible above you to the right. Gain the saddle (4720) and find the 3-way fork. Go left to Tinkham. Go right to Silver. For Abiel, go right as if to Silver and find a small pond (at 5020 I think), find a faint trail or bushwack uphill to the knoll east of Abiel, continue west on steadily improving trail to the summit of Abiel. The third fork (in the center, going south) goes to parts unknown.
The official TNAB hike tonight is Windy Pass to Tinkham but thinking about
last years TNAB Abiel hike I call Carla up and suggest the Trifecta : Tinkham
AND Silver AND Abiel. She wasn't going to hike tonight but the idea got her
juices flowing. She's just recovering from Giardia: lost 15 lbs, finally able to
keep down solid food... I just might be able to keep up with her !
We decide to do Silver first, thinking it is the longest and highest and then beat feet to catch up with the TNAB folks on Tinkham, then convince some of them to do Abiel with us. I'm figuring Abiel is easiest - read shortest elevation and least distance. The plan goes without a hitch - for a while. We cruise the summit of Silver amidst a sea of wildflowers but find the top in the clouds.
We waste no time and head back to the saddle and up Tinkham to find much clearer skies and TNAB partying away - brownies, cabernet, Jack Daniels, scotch... We join them for some revelry. It's 8:10 PM when I suggest to Carla that we should cruise: "Do you still want to do Abiel?". "No" she says ! "Yes" say I and with that she's convinced. Dan and Steve and Joseph decide to join us.
We book to the saddle and then follow the small (3rd) trail
leaving the "central triangle" heading west... and down, lots of down. I could
swear this is the way we went last year! I become uncertain so everyone starts
bushwacking to the right. The forest is open but very steep and slippery with
mud and bear grass. We wander in separate groups and eventually grovel our way
to the top of the knoll just east of Abiel. From here, a worn spot in the forest
floor eventually coalesces into a real trail to the summit just (barely) in time
for a colorful sunset. We tag the top and leave. On the way down, we lose the
trail at the knoll and just follow the broad ridge back, baring left in the
direction of the saddle. This eventually connects with the trail to Silver at
the little pond. Back to the saddle and out... It's pushing 11:00 pm by the time
we're back at the cars... the stars are beautiful... and I am tired... and, by
the way... barely kept up with Carla.
TNAB Hikes are not for the faint of heart. During the season we meet every Thursday in the Eastgate parking lot at 5pm. We hike fast. We hike in the rain. We hike in the snow. We hike in the dark. We don't always follow the beaten path. If you want to join us, click TNAB.
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