Ride report for Dec. 15, 2007 Whistlin Jacks checkout ride.
We had two people arrive at the scheduled 8 am departure time. However, by 9:14, GPS times, we had eight riders on the trail, five Polaris, a Yamaha, an Arctic Cat and a Ski Doo. We traveled over the new Bypass road, over Tacoma Pass and up to Green Pass. Approaching the ridge top the leader managed to get stuck but with a little help we were on our way. We took a cross country route from the 1913 over to the 1911 road and met a group of Snowjammers. When offered a chance to go the short 80 mile route, but probably require breaking the hiking trail back to Easton, the group elected to go to Whistlin Jacks.
Traveling the Naches Road to the 1903 then to the Lilly Pond, and Milk pond, we arrived at Whistlin Jacks at 2:04 with 75 miles. The Bowens rode the longer but faster route around the steep hiking trail to the Lilly pond and had 75 miles After gassing sleds it was determined that DeAnn's Ski Doo was the most efficient and Darrell's Yamaha the least with Lee's Cat a close second.
After our meal, and drinks, and picture we were back on the road at 3:35 attempting the shortest route home. Traveling by the 1912 road then cross country toward Bald Mt we surveyed the steep climb to the Menastash Ridge but decided to keep to the road. We crossed the Devils slide in the daylight but it was dark as we left Tripod and as usual the leader couldn't find the short route to Buck Meadows. However, the longer trail was an interesting route. At Buck meadows we decided to take the steep climbs to the top and several of the new Polaris had heat problems. We took the cut off trail at Gooseberry flat and were slowed down bypassing a large tree across the trail but did bypass theTanem bridge. We successfully also took the CleElum ridge trail cut off bypassing Five Corners.
The trails had enough snow to ride but not enough to be moguled. The normally groomed trails had been groomed but not recently and not the trail from Woods and Steel to Easton. We crossed Big Creek in the dark and Lee hit a rock and he hit his kill switch. Cats don't like water I've been told and for the second week in a row Lee showed it. We arrived back at Easton at 8:02, ten hours and 48 minutes from the start with 70 miles, tired, but all intact with no injuries or altered equipment. The two new club members, Joe and his son Jason, having experienced a typical Fred Ride covering trails groomed by four different groomers.
Respectively submitted by Fred Wemer as seen from the front.