Big Hump on the Duckabush Trail
LAT / LONG
|Big Hump||N 47° 41.291 W 123° 05.538||This is the BIG hump|
|Parking||N 47° 41.107 W 123° 02.410||Duckabush River Trailhead|
|Abby "Hydesek"||Jeff "Landrover"||Kevin "Ironman114"|
|Greg "TotemLake"||Drew "Cstmframr/Duckfart"||Cathy "Prying Pandora"|
|Andrew "AndrewRJ"||Phil "Plaidguy"||Chris "Criminal"|
|Penny the Dog||Shea the Dog|
22 November 2008
Trail Information: Duckabush Trail .pdf
This was a pretty big party; nine people and two dogs with the goal of hiking to the off-trail destination known as Big Hump. I had done this hike before with TroubleChild in June of 2007, but it’s such a fun little jaunt I wanted to see it again. I didn’t have a map that day and I remember taking the poor kid a mile down the trail past the hump before I figured out we were going the wrong way. Here’s the weird part; my Garmin V GPS has a point labeled Big Hump in the database, so we used those coordinates to get to the hump. As I mentioned, there’s no path from the Duckabush Trail to the hump so you just have to point yourself towards it and walk through the forest. Would I remember how to get to it today, more than a year later?
The weather held out long enough for an incredible day hike up the
Duckabush Trail. We all made it on time and set out from the trailhead
under a high overcast that would burn off as we hiked. As is typical for
big groups like this, we ended up getting separated along the trail
according to our individual paces. Beyond the first viewpoint we were in
two groups, the speedsters ahead and TotemLake, Ironman114, and I were
lagging behind. It was here that I made the navigation error; I forgot
where I’d departed the trail for the hump the last time. I knew it was
at the S-turn in the trail, but I forgot it was the S-turn after the
second viewing spot. We went in right after the first one and climbed up
the nearest hump.
I got a bit ahead expecting the see the other half of the group already on top- but I was alone. I called out to TotemLake on VHF 146.52 MHz that I was on the hump. Looking around I realized that something didn’t look quite right and noticed a higher hump to the north. While I was climbing up on top of that hump I heard a female voice hailing my call sign on the radio. It turns out a wonderful 10 year old girl named Alex on Mercer Island had just gotten her amateur radio license and was making contacts. I was stunned that my ~4 watt transmission was reaching out that far (over 40 miles) without the aid of a repeater. Both TL and I chatted with her as we climbed, she pointing out that I sounded out of breath, which I was.
I got on top and announced again that I was on the hump. About then Dick, W7WT, called out to TotemLake over the radio; he was hearing us all the way from Bremerton! Looking around I realized that something still didn’t look right. I turned around and spotted an even higher hump with a distinctive tree to the east, so I let TL know and headed that way.
Now, this was my second time on Big Hump, and the nav error may give one cause to taunt my path finding abilities, but the views down into the valley from this route were absolutely spectacular and well worth the climb.
I switched over to FRS and made contact with Landrover who had finally turned on his radio. As I was chatting with him and checking the status of the other group, TotemLake and Ironman popped up on the western hump. I gave them some guidance on how to best get from there to where I was and sat down to rest. The rest of the group had been waiting for us to arrive along the trail and by now had popped up from the east. Ironman arrived with some nifty looking scratches on his arm so I fished out the mondo sized first aid kit and gave him the most stingy antiseptic I could find, and a gauze pad to wipe off the blood.
We all sat around and ate our lunches, drank coffee, and watched the dogs play. The group, after hearing TotemLake and Fe describe the route I brought them in on, decided it would probably be safer to go out a different way.
Not more than three minutes into our egress off the hump,
we suffered our second casualty as TL took a spill. I looked over the
edge of a small rise and noticed him laying on the ground. “What the
heck is he doing?” I thought to myself before realizing he was hurt. I
rushed down the hill to find him playing possum on the ground, writhing
and complaining about his ankle. Well, there’s nothing in the first aid
kit for that! TotemLake cowboyed up and impressed us all with his
determination to walk out without assistance, which would certainly be
better (for him) than staying on the hump until it healed.
The hike out was at a slow and easy pace, which was really kind of nice. Everyone pitched in and cleared some of the troublesome branches out of the way so TL could get by without having too much difficulty. We hit the trailhead right at dusk and headed to Hoodsport for some roadhouse Prime Rib.
Thanks to everyone for making this such a fun afternoon! Special thanks to Alex and W7WT for the conversation. Extra Special thanks to Ironman and TotemLake for giving us someone to rescue!
TotemLake went to the hospital the next morning for an X-ray; his fibula was indeed broken. We all agreed afterward that it was a good thing we hadn't taken his boot off. Remember that.