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Kuato

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  1. Trip: The Brothers (6842') - Lena Lake Trail / Hourglass Trip Date: 09/05/2021 Trip Report: The Brothers (6842')– Lena Lake Trail Approach – Sept 5-6, 2021 (Sun, Mon). I climbed The Brothers (6842') over the holiday weekend. I started the climb from the Lena Lake Trailhead off Hamma Hamma Rd. The weather was in the 70’s and looking pretty nice for the 2 day stretch. Sunday: I caught the 7:10am ferry at Edmonds over to Kingston. I started out from the Lena Lake trailhead (700’) at 10:00am. I arrived at Lena Lake at 11.15am. The lake trail is very popular with lots of campers around the lake. I made my way to the Climber’s Camp at the end of the mapped trail (3000’) by 1:30pm. The trail going to the Climber’s Camp from the lake does a lot of weaving around but it is not too hard to follow if you pay attention to the worn path. The trail goes through the Valley of Silent Men. The valley was beautiful and the highlight of the trip. Having plenty of daylight left I decided to go as high as possible to camp on day 1. The trail above the Climber’s Camp is still pretty good and not difficult to follow. The last running water was at 3600’, near a couple of snow sections before climbing up through the burn section. I carried as much water as I could to high camp. I reached a perfect camp spot at 5500’ at 4:30pm. Monday: I left camp at 6:30am heading up through the Hourglass section toward the summit. Terrain was a mix of loose rock with some nice rock options off to the right side heading up (Class 3). I made the South Summit (6842’) by 7:45am. The summit ridge had several options to get around or over various rock spire sections, a mix of Class 2, 3 & 4. There was no summit registry. There were a couple of bivy spots around the summit area. If one wanted to add the North Summit, it would probably add about an hour or so with some route finding, mostly Class 3 & 4. There is snow between the South & North Summits down low, so water could be obtained by climbing down and melting snow. It was cloudy down low but beautiful up top with perfect weather. I headed back down to camp climbing down the rock on the side of the Hourglass section which worked well, arriving at 9:30am. I packed up and was on my way back to the parking lot arriving at 2:15pm. Caught the ferry and headed home. I was surprised by the light traffic on the way in and out. I was expecting to be sitting in line for a while but I made the first boat each direction. Overall this was a very enjoyable trip, especially going through the Valley of Silent Men. Some Tips and Notes: 1. The trail up to the lake is like a freeway, very easy travel, lots of people. 2. Last running water access was at 3600’ just before going up through the burn area. 3. There is no snow to cross on route. 4. The Hourglass section has loose rock but it can be avoided using the rock on the right side. 5. The summit ridge has several options around the rock spires. I used a path between some trees and a rock wall that worked pretty good. 6. There are bivy/camp options above the Climber’s Camp. One at 4000’, 5200’, 5500’ and around the summit area. Travel Time for reference: Sunday: Parking Lot to 5500’ Camp– 6.5 hours. Monday: Camp to Summit to Parking Lot – 7.75 hours Total Mileage: about 16 miles Total Elevation Gain: 6100’+ Gear used: Whippet, Helmet. Lena Lake on way to Climber's Camp Trail. Trail through Valley of Silent Men. Kept expecting to see Ewoks swinging through the woods. Stunning waterfall on the way through the Valley of Silent Men, a little piece of heaven on earth. Start of the burn area section of the trail. Around 5000', route goes diagonal under the rock face. View from camp 5500'. Start of Hourglass Gully. North Summit from South Summit, Mount Constance & Warrior Peak in the background. Gear Notes: Whippet & Helmet. Could have used a regular trekking pole in place of the Whippet. Approach Notes: Lena Lake Trail No. 810 to Trail No. 821 to Climber's Camp through Hourglass.
  2. Trip: LITTLE JOHANNESBURG (7945') - East Col / South Face Traverse Trip Date: 09/10/2022 Trip Report: LITTLE JOHANNESBURG (7945')– Fisher Creek Basin Approach - SEPT. 10-11, 2022 I’ve been eyeballing this peak for years from all the other peaks I’ve climbed around the area. From Easy Pass it just stares at you looking steep and nasty. On maps it doesn’t have a name, like a forgotten step child. Climbers refer to it as Little Johannesburg. There’s not much information about this climb, if you can find anything at all. I’ve taken pictures of this peak from almost all sides over the years. From my pictures, it looked like the east side of the mountain would offer the least difficult summit route. Since this area seemed to have the least amount of smoke from the various fires burning around the region, I decided this weekend was the time to make the attempt on Little Johannesburg. Saturday: I started from the Easy Pass Trailhead at 9:00am. I arrived at Easy Pass at 11:00am. I followed Fisher Creek trail down to the base of the switchbacks to the beaten up sign post (5140’) and turned left heading up the Fisher Creek Basin. The climbers trail is in pretty good shape at the start but disappears and reappears as you travel up the basin. I reached the camp on the bluff at the top of the Fisher Creek Basin at 1:45pm. I setup camp and heemed and hawed whether I should go for the summit or wait for the next day. The weather was looking good and the smoke was light so I decided to go for the summit and left at 2:50pm. From camp I could see directly up the talus and heather shelves to the East Col at the top that was to the left of the spire. I figured it would take me about 3 hours up and 2 down which would put me back at camp at dark. Most of the route up to the East Col was loose talus side hilling. There was two or three heather and rock plateaus separated by loose talus sections. I climbed on solid rock as much as possible heading up as the talus was not too fun. Most of the rock was Class 2 with a few sections of Class 3 depending on route. The final ramp to the East Col looked pretty steep from a distance, but the closer I got the less steep the ramp appeared. I reached the East Col (7500’) at 4:10pm. From the col I traveled across and diagonal on a rising traverse across the South Face. There was a pretty good shelf system that would work around the several gullies on the way. All the rock was loose so I made sure of all holds before moving through. I aimed for what appeared to be the highest peak from the col, which was the farthest away peak that I could see. Once I made it to the final peak ridge I climbed up on decent rock (Class 3) to the summit arriving at 5:10pm. The summit registry was in an old aluminum can with a screw top lid. The registry was the original from 1968 and was in good shape considering its age. I looked over the summit entries and was surprised how few entries there were. The first entry was 1968 and the second was 1974. There are several years between entries. The more recent entries average about 2 parties per year. I was the second this year. The views were excellent even with the smoke. I started back down at 5:30pm and reached camp at 7:25pm. It was nice to have the summit knocked out on day 1 so I could sleep in the next day. Sunday: It got pretty windy overnight. I woke to a fair amount of smoke in the valley, it had finally caught up to me. I was very happy that I had summited on day 1 as the views on day 2 would not have been that great. I broke down camp and was on my way back at 9:00am. I was back at Easy Pass at 11:15am and I was back at the trailhead at 1:00pm. Overall this was a good climb that has seen very little attention over the years. A hidden gem in plain sight. Some Tips and Notes: 1. Easy Pass Trail is pretty dry right now. The best place for water is the creek crossing with the small logs placed side by side for crossing around 4400’. The next water supply is at the Fisher Creek Basin. 2. The bluff camp (5960’) at the top of the Fisher Creek Basin has lots of water and two defined camp spots. 3. Be ready for extended time on loose rock for this summit. There is not much traffic to clean the route. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Trailhead (3700’) to Camp (5960’) to Summit (7945’) to Camp – 10:30 hours. Sunday: Camp to Trailhead – 4:00 hours. Total Mileage: around 19.5 miles Total Elevation Gain: around 7200’ Gear used: Trekking Poles, Helmet. Little Johannesburg (Front) Arriva (Behind) taken from Katsuk Camp in late July. Little Johannesburg from Easy Pass. Looking up the talus and heather plateaus to the East Col from upper Fisher Creek Basin. Looking down and toward camp on my way back from the East Col. Looking up to East Col. View across the South Face from the East Col, the summit is the farthest peak in the back. Summit Registry. Summit View straight to Easy Pass. Summit View looking back over route traveled. Mount Arriva, Fisher Peak and Black Peak views. Gear Notes: Trekking Poles, Helmet. Approach Notes: Easy Pass to Fisher Creek Trail to Fisher Creek Basin
  3. Trip: BOWAN MOUNTAIN (7895') - South Ridge / Southwest Face Trip Date: 09/03/2022 Trip Report: BOWAN MOUNTAIN (7895') – Rainbow Ridge Traverse Approach – SEPT. 3-5, 2022 (Sat, Sun, Mon) Another perfect weather weekend for climbing and a long holiday weekend to boot. Dan O texted and wanted to know what I was doing. I said planning a climb. He said can I go, I said sure. So I had company for this trip, which was a nice change. Saturday: We started from Bridge Creek Trailhead at 6:45am. We headed down the Bridge Creek Trail to McAlester Creek Trail arriving at McAlester Pass (6000’) at 12:00 noon. There is water at McAlester Pass at a lake at the end of the meadow, not the best looking water, but water nonetheless. Distance was about 9.5 miles to the pass and the trails were in excellent shape. 5 minutes down the trail past McAlester Pass was the bootpath for Rainbow Ridge. The bootpath went along a shelf at the base of a boulder field. We walked past it the 1st time and doubled back. The bootpath was well defined with a few sections requiring some searching. The ridge was nice traveling with views of McAlester Mountain. There was some smoke coming up the valley from Lake Chelan, not bad, but enough to make the views hazy. We made it to the main lake on Rainbow Ridge (6100’) at 1:15pm. The lake was very nice and would make a great camp. We made our way up the ridge above the lake, the path was faint at times going up the slope. We made it to another set of lakes on the ridge (6750’) at 2:45pm. Along the way I jumped on top of a rock for a better view and noticed a bush shaking about 50’ away down slope. Out of the back side of the bush came a Grizzly Bear running down the slope heading toward Lake Chelan. I’ve heard of Grizzly Bear sightings in the North Cascades but I had never seen one for myself in the wild. The Grizzly was medium sized and looked pretty young, classic chocolate brown color with the blonde tipped punk rock hair hump between the shoulders. We were both a bit stunned. Holy shit, there are Grizzlies out here! There were several sets of fairly fresh bear tracks in the mud at the second set of lakes. It seems we had worked our way into a bear utopia. We headed up to the summit of Rainbow Ridge (7200’) that offered a great view of Bowan Lake and Mountain. The bootpath ended at the summit. We headed down the ridge toward Bowan Lake. The travel was a bit steep and loose in sections but doable. We arrived at Bowan Lake (6500’) at 5:15pm and decided to make this our camp for the evening. There were also a fair amount of bear tracks around Bowan Lake but they looked to be a day or two old. Sunday: We were up and moving at 6:30am. We headed up the valley toward the south col of Bowan Mountain. We arrived at the south col (7400’) at 7:45am. Our plan was to go up and over Bowan and drop over the summit and follow the ridge down to the Rainbow Lake Trail. One of the maps we had with us made this look like a good option. We started up the south ridge of Bowan, mostly Class 3 rock. We reached a deep gully on the ridge that we could not cross up high, so we headed down looking for a better crossing area for the gully. We found one probably 100 feet down from the ridge. The gully crossing was Class 3 with a little Class 4 depending on your route. We continued across the slope angling up on Class 2 rock. We crossed a couple more gullies using shelf systems along the way that were Class 3. We reached the summit of Bowan at 9:30am. I climbed over to the other side of the summit to check out the route down the ridge and it looked a lot more difficult than expected. Mostly Class 4-5 rock that would require a rope and gear. We had neither so we headed back down the way we came up. Once back at the south col we headed southwest down the slope toward a heather shelf. Once at the heather shelf we headed down and diagonal trending northwest. The hill side was steep heather and rock cliffs all the way down. When we would cliff out we would head across the slope until we found a down route. This pattern was repeated the whole way down. We finally reached the bottom of a deep gully that spit us out on the Rainbow Lake Trail. We headed down the trail to Rainbow Lake arriving at 2:45pm and setup camp for the night. The camps at Rainbow Lake are very nice with a pit toilet. I had planned on climbing McGregor Mountain on this trip along with Bowan. After figuring the amount of time it took to climb Rainbow Ridge and Bowan Mountain, I figured I’d need an extra day to complete the trip over to McGregor and back. I didn’t have an extra day to spare so we settled on summiting Bowan alone. Monday: We were up and moving at 6:45am, heading for home. It was a bit chilly in the morning, Fall was definitely in the air. We headed down Rainbow Lake Trail to Bridge Creek Trail back to the trailhead arriving at 2:15pm. The trails were in excellent condition. On the way back to the trailhead we passed a few people holding a sign about a get together at the trailhead. They said there was a bunch of food for us at the trailhead. We thought OK, we’ll check it out. Little did we know there was a church group that had setup a fantastic spread of food complete with chairs and a shelter. They had hot dogs, chili, beans, cornbread, cookies, brownies, lemonade and more. Coming off the trail dirty and tired, we felt like kings. It was the best ending to a climb I’ve ever had. The people were very friendly and we left with a bag full of food, a homemade cross and a prayer. With so much going wrong in the world today, it was uplifting to experience such great people doing good for total strangers. Some Tips and Notes: 1. There is a lot of bear activity on Rainbow Ridge right now. 2. It requires a lot of work and route finding to get up or down Bowan Mountain from the Rainbow Lake area. 3. Water access was pretty good the whole loop. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Trailhead to Bowan Lake Camp (6500’) – 10:30 hours. Sunday: Camp to Summit to Camp 2 – 8:30 hours. Monday: Camp 2 to Parking Area – 7:30 hours. Total Mileage: around 28 miles Total Elevation Gain: around 5800’ Gear used: Trekking Poles, Helmet. Lake at McAlester Pass. Rainbow Ridge Bootpath. Dan O climbing out of the 1st Rainbow Ridge Lake area. Bear utopia party on the beach at the 2nd set of lakes along Rainbow Ridge. On the way down to Bowan Lake. On the way up to the south col of Bowan Mountain from Bowan Lake Camp. Heading up the South Ridge of Bowan Mountain. On the South Ridge of Bowan Mountain, Lake Chelan Valley in the background. 1st Gully Crossing on Bowan. Class 3-4. Final gully exit coming down from Bowan, popping out on Rainbow Lake Trail. Bowan Mountain from Rainbow Lake. View of McGregor Mountain on the way down Rainbow Lake Trail. Gear Notes: Trekking Poles, Helmet. Approach Notes: Entered via McAlester Creek Trail, did the Rainbow Ridge Traverse, Exited via Rainbow Lake Trail
  4. On second thought, the Grizzly sighting was probably just a baby sasquatch riding a black bear like a horse down the mountain, just for fun. That would explain the yeehaw sound and the large hump between the shoulder blades.
  5. Black bears come in many different colors and they get really big too. It wasn't the color or size that tipped me off, it was the big ass hump between the shoulder blades with the blonde tipped rough hair on top. Black bears don't have that. I wish I had a high end camera ready to go and knew the bear was in the bush, but I didn't. I've seen a picture from the Cascade Pass area of a Grizzly Bear in a side profile on a ridge from a few years ago. Pictures aren't enough to convince people. There's smoking gun video evidence of Sasquatch from 1967, the Patterson-Gimlin Film, people still try to say it was a dude in a monkey suit. In all my time out in the mountains, I've never seen a park biologist, sometimes I doubt that they even exist. I've seen pictures though.
  6. Great trip report and pictures. There is still solitude to be had out in the North Cascades for sure. If you think outside the box and do some lesser known approaches and peaks, the majority of your company will be mosquitoes and biting flies. Black Bear season is in full swing right now, bright clothing and a flute would be a good idea. How many people, outside of Russians, have ever seen a bear playing a flute?
  7. Trip: PRIMUS PEAK (8508'), TRICOUNI PEAK (8102') - EAST RIDGE & NORTH RIDGE Trip Date: 08/13/2022 Trip Report: PRIMUS PEAK (8508'), TRICOUNI PEAK (8102') – Thunder Creek Trail Approach – AUG 13-15, 2022 (Sat, Sun, Mon) Another perfect weather weekend for climbing. Temp was right around 80 all days. I originally planned to climb Tricouni, Primus & Austera Peaks. After climbing the first two peaks and doing the math, I would have needed another full day and more supplies to bag Austera from this side of the mountain, which wasn’t going to happen. Saturday: I started from the Colonial Creek Campground area at 9:00am. I headed up the Thunder Creek Trail to McAllister Camp arriving at 11:30am. I planned to cross the bridge over Thunder Creek to the McAllister Camp on the other side of the creek. That is where the start of the climber’s trail up to Primus Camp is located. Having climbed Primus before, I knew this was the best option. I walked right by the trail to the creek because it was covered under a pile of sticks and the old signage was gone. I doubled back and headed down the trail to find that the bridge is completely gone too. Not damaged or collapsed, but completely gone. I looked up and down the creek nearby for a possible log jam crossing. No luck at all, the creek was high and deep and moving fast. There was no way I was going to attempt to ford the creek. I decided to move on to Tricouni Camp since the camp is located before Fisher Creek feeds into Thunder Creek, hoping this would mean the creek would be more crossable. I headed through Tricouni Camp to Thunder Creek and lo and behold, a fantastic log crossing with three big trees together all the way across the creek. It was 12:45pm by this time and the new plan was to cross the creek and go straight up the mountain side to connect with the climber’s trail on the ridge. I knew it was going to be steep the whole way. The bushwhack started out good, the terrain was pretty easy going. That ended pretty quickly. I came across a well established game trail mostly of goat tracks. The goats have always been good to me, so I followed the game trail up the best I could. I started to hit vertical cliffs around 4000’ so I traversed toward Tricouni Peak and through several steep gullies, again following the goat trail. I finally made it to a boulder field and headed straight up. It got steeper and more loose but I kept fighting my way up. Finally at around 7:30pm I popped out onto a familiar looking plateau at about 5700’. Sure enough, the climber’s trail to Primus Camp was a little way up from me. I reached Primus Camp at 8:15pm. Time enough to setup camp, eat and go to sleep. The climb up was tougher that I had expected and took much more time. The goats are a bunch of crazy tough bastards, thank god, just my type. Sunday: I was up and moving at 7:00am. Tricouni was first on the list. I headed for the toe of the North Ridge and started up. The ridge start is class 3-4 rock then it eases up a bit to cIass 2-3. I looked down the side of the ridge to see a mountain goat hanging out on the cliffs below. He looked surprised to see a human in the area and got the hell of a dodge in a hurry. I headed up to the main snowfield. The snowfield is moderately steep and gets steepest at the top. Snow conditions were pretty good and firm. Once at the top of the snowfield I was staring at the ridge up to the top. Exposed class 3, 4 rock, somewhat loose in sections. I took my time and made sure my holds were good. The ridge got narrower, down to about 2’ wide in one section. I climbed along the side of the upper snow section with an overhanging cornice to the summit area. The cornice was ready to come down. A 6’ wide section came down as I was working my way to the snow gully. I climbed up the left hand side watching the cornice carefully for any movement. The rest of the cornice will probably come down this week. Once above the cornice section, it was easy climbing to the summit arriving at 11:15am. Beautiful views in all directions. I found a summit register from 2004 with only two party entries. One entry only had the date listed. I’m assuming they must have lost the pencil at that point because there was no name and the pencil was gone. The register is a zip lock bag with a vitamin bottle inside, hidden in a small pile of rocks on the summit. Bring your own pencil and maybe an extra to leave behind. I started down from the summit heading toward Primus. There is supposed to be an “easy” snow finger down to Lucky Pass. Easy my ass! The snow finger was steep with halfway soft snow and shitty moats on both sides. I was about 75% down the snow finger before seeing that the bottom section had a 20’ gap with 10’ of vertical snow. I had to climb down into the moat and wedge myself between the smooth rock wall and the snow. The snow was not solid enough to climb down with crampons safely, so I alternated between the snow and the smooth rock until I was close enough to jump down if I slipped. I didn’t slip but it wasn’t fun. I finally made it down to Lucky Pass at 1:00pm. The name is fitting. The pass is in a perfect location with great camping and a nice little stream for water. The view is fantastic. Klawatti Lake below would make a great camp area. Looking back at the “easy my ass” snow finger on Tricouni, I noticed a goat path down the side closer to the pass. If I had known it was there, I would not have taken the snow finger down to the pass. Next stop was the Primus summit. I climbed Primus before via the North Ridge in 2014. That was low 5th class rock. The East Ridge of Primus is mostly class 2 bouldering with a little class 3 here and there. I made it to the summit at 2:40pm. I was back to Lucky Pass at 4:00pm. I looked over at Austera Peak and looked at my watch and went through my supplies. There was no way I was going to get to that peak and make it back to camp in any reasonable amount of time. So I headed for camp cutting across the glacier in front of the South Face of Primus. The glacier was in OK shape, soft but manageable. I wrapped around down to the glacier above the lake and over to the glacier below Tricouni. It’s a bit of a bowling alley below Tricouni so I opted to climb on the glacier halfway floating on the Lake. It worked out well, I saw several boulders on the glacier around that area so I knew it would hold my weight fine. I made it back to camp at 6:45pm. Monday: I packed up camp and was up and moving at 7:00am, heading for home. I didn’t want to follow the same route that I came up on as the gully crossings were not fun. My plan was to drop down the climber’s ridge trail a ways and then drop off the side into the Thunder Creek area, hopefully running into the Tricouni Camp’s huge log crossing. I dropped down the ridge trail to about 5000’ and decided to make my turn down toward the creek valley. The route started as a fairly steep gully down the side of some cliffs. It looked somewhat well traveled, probably by goats. Careful vege belay technic was crucial. After the initial loose steep start down the gully, I spotted what looked to be a dried creek bed down the middle. I follow this dry creek bed as far down as I could. There was some wet mossy sections along the way. I was using vege belays the whole way down. I reached a cliffed out section in the creek bed and turn right into the forest to get around the cliffs. The forest vege belays didn’t work very well. Most of the branches were dry and brittle and tended to break when you needed them the most. So I aimed at the areas that had the most trees to grab onto. I stayed close to the creek bed but in the forest. There were cliffs mixed in here and there put they usually had hidden shelfs that allow me to get around them. Again I was following goat trails most of the way down. The steepness started to ease up and I knew I was close to Thunder Creek. I popped out onto the creek side and checked my elevation (2060’). This was close to the Tricouni Camp log crossing. I looked up and down the creek and didn’t see the huge log crossing. I decided I must be a little too high up so I followed the creek down thinking I’d run into the Tricouni log crossing soon. After about a half hour going down stream I came across another nice log crossing the creek. It wasn’t the original log crossing but it was too good to pass up. I was on the main trail side of Thunder Creek at 11:00am. I wasn’t sure if I was above or below Tricouni Camp. I wandered around massive amounts of downed trees in a swampy area until I saw a sharp turn in Thunder Creek. I pulled out the map to look for the turn in the creek and it put me closer to McAllister Camp than Tricouni Camp. I knew the main trail was close even though I could not see it. So I just marched straight up the hillside and sure enough I ran right into Thunder Creek Trail at 12:00 noon. I was on the trail just above the old bridge crossing that has disappeared at McAllister. The trail back to the parking area was uneventful and actually kind of boring compared to the bushwhacking. I was back at the vehicle at 3:20pm. Since the McAllister bridge is completely gone and probably will not be rebuilt, the route I took up and down will probably be the new way to Primus Camp for the future. Hopefully with more use by goats and people there will be a more clear cut path to follow up to and down from the Primus area. Right now, it is one hell of a workout getting up and down. I was beat by the end of each day. Some Tips and Notes: 1. The McAllister bridge over Thunder Creek is gone and there are no log crossings nearby. 2. Tricouni Camp has an excellent log system crossing Thunder Creek. 3. Climbing up the hillside toward Primus Camp from Tricouni is steep and loose. 4. If you see a creek bed on the way up, follow it. If you see a well worn goat path on the way up, follow it. They will be the easiest ways up. 5. Bring work gloves for the extensive vege belays needed both up and down. 6. There are bivy / camp options near the Tricouni Summit, the Primus Summit and at Lucky Pass. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Trailhead to Primus Camp (6000’) – 11:15 hours. Sunday: Camp to Summits to Camp – 11:45 hours. Monday: Camp to Parking Area – 8:20 hours. Total Mileage: around 26 miles Total Elevation Gain: around 8100’ Gear used: Trekking Poles, Ice Axe, Crampons, Helmet. Logs crossing over Thunder Creek at Tricouni Camp. Bushwhacking around 4000' on way up to Primus Camp. Finally on the climber's trail with the objectives in sight. Tricouni and Primus from camp. Tricouni North Ridge. Snowfield on Tricouni. North Ridge to Tricouni Summit. Looking down the North RIdge route from Tricouni Summit. Looking back at the Tricouni snow finger down to Lucky Pass, notice the goat trail on the right side. Lucky Pass view. Klawatti Lake below. Forbidden in the background. Primus East Ridge, basic class 2-3 rock. Primus summit memorial. I have to admit I had a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. One simple line "We Miss You Son". I couldn't image losing a son so young and trying to move on in life. I climb in the mountains to get closer to heaven and it seems others do to. Austera, Klawatti & Eldorado from Tricouni. Primus on the way back to camp. Tricouni on the way back to camp. Back to Camp. Some nice views right off the side of the main trail. A very beautiful area that charges a hefty fee in the form of suffering. Well worth the effort. Gear Notes: Trekking Poles, Ice Axe, Crampons, Helmet. Approach Notes: Park near Colonial Creek Campground, head up Thunder Creek Trail, cross logs over Thunder Creek at Tricouni Camp.
  8. [TR] Johannesburg - DD x2 08/21/2022

    Great trip report. That is a beautiful area. Is the road open to the Cascade Pass Trailhead?
  9. It sucks that the McAllister bridge is gone, it was a nice bridge and campground area. The trail up the ridge from that spot is pretty nice. The climb up the side of the ridge is a lot more difficult. If I had to do it again, I'd probably climb diagonal back toward the lower part of the ridge trail and connect in earlier. There are a lot of cliffs climbing straight up from Tricouni.
  10. I rode up to the start on a sport touring bike. It makes the drive in a lot more entertaining, especially with all the twists and turns on 20. I think the homemade bug juice was actually attracting more bugs than repelling, I was like a giant fly trap. At least it smelled good.
  11. Trip: Corteo Peak (8080') - SW Ridge Trip Date: 08/06/2022 Trip Report: Corteo Peak (8080') – Rainy Pass Approach – August 6-7, 2022 (Sat, Sun) Another perfect weather weekend for climbing. Temp was right around 80 both days. I had limited time for a climb and this one fit the timeslot perfect. Saturday: I started from Rainy Pass at 6:30pm. I headed up Trail 740 to Heather Pass. I crossed over Heather Pass on my way to Lewis Lake. The boulder field crossing on the way to Lewis Lake was somewhat unstable with fresh looking debris. Looks like a large rock slide came down through the area some time this year. I arrived at a level area above Lewis Lake at 8:45pm and setup camp. Sunday: I was up and moving at 6:15am. I headed for the moraine ridge above Lewis Glacier. I headed up and to the left for the 7500’ notch to the West Basin. I reached the crossover notch at 8:15am and headed down the gully. I reach the Southwest Ridge Notch (7400’) at 9:15am. The ridge from there on up was nice Class 3-4 rock. Some loose sections but overall pretty solid. I reached the summit at 10:00 am. I cut out an old tattered, sun bleached, rappel sling that was begging for a fatality and then headed back to camp. I made it back to camp at 12:45pm. I was back at Heather Pass at 2:30pm and back to Rainy Pass at 3:30pm. This was a fun climb with some exposed class 3-4 rock on the ridge. Not too much climbing, not too much distance. I’d say the hardest part was the 400’ gully down into the West Basin. I decided to try out a homemade bug repellant made with several supposedly bug repelling essential oils on this trip. I applied some at the start but the mosquitoes didn’t seem to care, I applied more and more thinking maybe I’m not using enough. I put a bunch of time into researching the bug repelling essential oils so I want to be sure. After being swarmed by mosquitoes for most of the trip, I finally decided that most of the supposed bug repelling essential oils don’t work worth a shit. I pulled out the 34% Deet Ultramarathon bug lotion and lathered it on. The mosquitoes wanted nothing to do with me after that, it was a night and day difference. The next test will be some Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus repellant with high PMD, if that doesn’t work, it will be Deet until the day I die. Some Tips and Notes: 1. There is a good supply of water at the lake and the steams going in and out. The only water once over the notch is down low in the West Basin or melting snow. 2. The bugs are out in force, bring serious bug repellant. 3. The gully down into the West Basin is fairly steep loose rock most of the way. I found it easier going up than down. 4. The boulder field crossing to Lewis Lake is less loose down low. 5. The trip can be done in one long day going light, but the camping in the area is nice. 6. The snow going up the Lewis Glacier and the snow in the West Basin was fine climbing up and down with just boots . A couple sections were firm enough for crampons. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Trailhead to Lewis Lake Camp (6060’) – 2:15 hours. Sunday: Camp to Summit to Camp to Trailhead – 9:15 hours. Total Mileage: around 12-14 miles Total Elevation Gain: around 4800’ Gear used: Trekking Poles, Ice Axe, Helmet. Not a lot of people at the start. View across the boulder field to Lewis Lake and Black Peak. 7500' Crossover Notch to the West Basin. Looking back across the West Basin and the Crossover Gully from the SW Ridge Notch (7400'). Looking down the SW Ridge from the Summit. View along the SW Ridge, Goode & Logan in the distance. Gear Notes: Trekking Poles, Ice Axe, Helmet. Crampons could be used in a couple sections. Approach Notes: Rainy Pass to Trail 740 to Heather Pass to Lewis Lake
  12. [TR] Glacier Peak - Frostbite Ridge 08/07/2022

    Excellent Trip Report & Pictures! That area is beautiful and well worth the extra trail time. The best part is how few people are in that area compared to the circus surrounding Mt. Rainier. You truly feel like you have gone back in time stepping into that area.
  13. Trip: Mount Hardy (8038') & Golden Horn (8366’) - Swamp Creek to Snowy Lakes Trip Date: 07/30/2022 Trip Report: Mount Hardy (8038') & Golden Horn (8366’) – Swamp Creek Approach – - JULY 30-31, 2022 (Sat, Sun) It was going to be hot as hell over the weekend, a good excuse to get up in elevation and enjoy the mountains. Mount Hardy & Golden Horn are in the Wilderness area and not in the National Park, so no bullshit permission slips needed to use MY forest. It’s the way ALL forests owned by the people should be. Saturday: I started from the Swamp Creek Turnout past the Easy Pass Trailhead off Hwy 20 at 10:00am. I walked down Hwy 20 past Swamp Creek and started up the hill toward Mount Hardy. The bushwhacking started out very pleasant, with open easy travel through the forest. I knew the longer it stayed pleasant the steeper the upper bushwhack was going to get. You hit a wall of steep thick baby trees around 5200’ and you don’t come out until about 5900’. After 5900’, you come into a burn area with a clear line of sight to the summit of Mount Hardy. The rock to the summit is mostly class 2 with a little class 3 here and there. The challenge is in the elevation gain over the short distance to the summit. I was on the Mount Hardy summit at 2:45pm. A new summit registry was placed on July 24th . There is no water between Swamp Creek and the Mount Hardy summit, so water up at the creek and carry all that you will need until the Pacific Crest Trail. I headed down from the summit and followed the ridge to Methow Pass off the Pacific Crest Trail at 4:45pm. I headed down the trail toward the Snowy Lakes arriving at the Upper Snowy Lake camp at 6:00pm and called it a day. The bugs are out in force around the lakes area right now. Bring your bug repellant and a head net unless you like breathing mosquitoes. I really wanted to swim in the lake to cool off, but I would have come out looking like a pin cushion with a skin tone a shade of grey from all the blood loose. I brought a tarp to sleep under and I was wishing I had lugged up the extra weight of a tent so I could hide from the buzzing swarm of mosquitoes. A beautiful area nonetheless. Sunday: I was up and moving at 5:30am. I headed for the ridge of Golden Horn instead of going through the middle and dealing with all the loose rock. The ridge was nice. I summited Golden Horn at 7:45am. I climbed an extra ridge of 4th and 5th class rock thinking it was the summit. The actual summit requires about 30-40’ of low 5th class to get to the top. The final section to the top was a 6’ vertical section that I pulled myself up over. There is a rappel sling setup off the top if wanted. A 30’ section of accessory cord would probably do the trick if you wanted to go light. I worked my way down back to camp arriving at 9:15am. I went down through the middle, in the loose rock, as it was nice on the feet. I was back to Methow Pass at 11:30am. I climbed up to 7500’ on the side of Mount Hardy to cross back over to the route down to the parking area. I was in this area before and I decided to go straight across from the end of the nice ridge from Methow Pass, probably at around 7000’. That sucked. I ended up hitting a few gullies full of steep loose rock on top of slick rock. It took a long time and one slip would have meant having my ass belt sanded for 100’s of feet. So make sure you cross at 7500’ or higher on the side of Hardy. I made it back to the parking area at 3:30pm. The climb down the steep baby tree section was just as hard going down as up. I could see better going up even though it was more effort. It was a fun trip overall, nothing too technical, beautiful scenery, and most importantly NO BULLSHIT from the green gestapo. Some Tips and Notes: 1. The route going up to Hardy is on the West side of Swamp Creek and splits away from the creek after a little while. 2. There is no water between Swamp Creek and the Snowy Lakes area so plan accordingly. There is snow to melt on route if needed in a pinch. 3. Cross the side of Mount Hardy at 7500’ or higher to avoid nasty gullies. 4. Bring bug repellant or a blood transfusion. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Trailhead to Hardy Summit to Upper Snowy Lake Camp (6600’) – 8 hours. Sunday: Camp to Summit of Golden Horn & back to Trailhead – 10 hours. Total Mileage: around 12-14 miles Total Elevation Gain: around 7300’ Gear used: Trekking Poles. Mount Hardy from the Swamp Creek Turnout parking area. The views start really kicking in at the burn area. Golden Horn and Tower Mountain from Mount Hardy Summit. Looking back at Mount Hardy on the way down the ridge to Methow Pass. Start of Snowy Lakes Trail from Pacific Crest Trail. Snowy Lakes Area. Sunrise on Mount Hardy. Golden Horn Summit. Final section to Golden Horn Summit. Summit view from Golden Horn, Mount Hardy in the Middle. Gear Notes: Trekking Poles. Bug Net. Approach Notes: Swamp Creek to Methow Pass to Snowy Lakes
  14. Fantastic Trip Report & Pictures! It chaps my ass to hear all the effort the NPS is putting in to keep people from using the forests that they pay for with their taxes, as well as pay the salaries of the NPS staff. Then they still put their hand in your face and demand more money and more concessions, it's ridiculous. We need more of that crotchety old man F Off energy!
  15. [TR] Mt baker - North Ridge 08/01/2022

    Great trip Report! The "figure it out as you go" climbs are the most memorable and make you a better climber.
  16. Great trip report! The bushwhacking in that area is Grade A suffering that definitely builds character. How is the rock on that side of Goode? Kind of blocky with nice holds or more like a crumbly cookie?
  17. That area is really nice this time of year, I was happy to make it happen. Unfortunately I didn't get any video of the orb. I had just turned off my phone and I didn't want to fumble around trying to get it turned back on to try and get video. I figured by the time I was ready for video it would be gone and I would have missed watching it. So I just observed the best I could. I had my headlight on when I first saw it, so I turned that off and just sat in the dark watching. It was very interesting.
  18. Trip: KATSUK PEAK (8425') - South Ridge Route Trip Date: 07/23/2022 Trip Report: KATSUK PEAK (8425') – South Ridge Route - Easy Pass Trail Approach – - JULY 23-24, 2022 (Sat, Sun) I didn’t have a lot of time this weekend so I needed a day and a half climb. Katsuk Peak sounded perfect. Saturday: I made it to the trailhead around 3pm and was starting up the trail to Easy Pass at 4pm. There were some rain clouds threatening so I was hoping to stay ahead. I made it to Easy Pass at 6:15pm. I was in this area for Graybeard Peak last month and the snow conditions have changed a lot since then. The trail is mostly clear with a few patches of snow here and there. I made my way down past Fisher Camp to my turn up the slope toward Katsuk at 5000’ at 7:30pm. I was planning to hit the bluff camp by sunset. I reached the bluff camp (6600’) at 9:30pm, still light enough to see without a headlight. The bluff camp is one of my favorites, great views and you are perched on the side of the mountain like a gargoyle. As I was settling into camp around 10pm I saw an orb of light coming over the top of Mesahchie Peak heading toward Easy Pass. I’ve heard of orbs of light out in the mountains but I’ve never seen one in person until this trip. It was about the size of a beach ball and looked like a giant star. It moved with a purpose and seemed to be checking out the area. It would move for a while then pause and change elevation and direction. It did this for about 10 minutes before moving out of sight. There was no sound at all coming from the orb of light. I was trying to figure out what it was and came to the conclusion that it was something strange and unique. Sunday: I was up and moving at 5:30am. The morning was looking glorious. I worked my way into the snow basin and over to the South Ridge of Katsuk. The snow was perfect for booting up, no crampons needed. The South Ridge was fairly nice quality rock by Cascade standards, lots of nice holds and options to get around steeper sections. The route to the summit is a bit of a maze, weaving around several spires. The rock was mostly class 3 with sections of class 4. I reached the summit at 8:30am. I climbed both the East and West Summits. The East Summit is the highest by a few feet. I didn’t find a summit register on either peak. I headed back down going straight down the snow arriving back to camp at 11:30am. I packed up and retraced my route back to the trailhead arriving at 5:00pm. This was a fun climb with great views. Some Tips and Notes: 1. The turn up the slope at 5000’ from Fisher Creek Trail is pretty obvious. After passing Fisher Camp, you will come into a section of the trail that is tall grass and flowers heading up the slope. 2. The route to the bluff camp (6600’) is mostly diagonal. The toughest part (after the climbing) is finding the best spot to cross the streams coming down the side of the mountain. I found good crossings around 5800’-5900’. 3. There is plenty of water along the way. Between Easy Pass and Fisher Creek Basin is pretty dry when heading up. 4. There is no summit registry currently. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Trailhead to bluff camp (6600’) – 5.5 hours. Sunday: Camp to Summit to Trailhead – 11.5 hours. Total Mileage: about 15 miles Total Elevation Gain: around 8000’ Gear used: Trekking Poles & Ice Axe. Outrunning the rain at Easy Pass. Easy Pass View. Mesahchie Peak & view to bluff camp. Stream crossing on the way to bluff camp. View from camp. Start of South Ridge of Katsuk Peak. View on the way up, Mount Arriva in the middle. Ridge rock on the way up. Summit of Katsuk Peak. Summit view. A great peak for scouting future climbs and current conditions. Gear Notes: Trekking Poles & Ice Axe. Approach Notes: Easy Pass Trail to Fisher Creek Trail.
  19. That area is really nice this time of year, I was happy to make it happen. Unfortunately I didn't get any video of the orb. I had just turned off my phone and I didn't want to fumble around trying to get it turned back on to try and get video. I figured by the time I was ready for video it would be gone and I would have missed watching it. So I just observed the best I could. I had my headlight on when I first saw it, so I turned that off and just sat in the dark watching. It was very interesting.
  20. [TR] Forbidden Peak - NW Face 07/17/2022

    Great trip report! This peak has been on my list for years. The more beta the better.
  21. Trip: COPPER MOUNTAIN (7142') - South Ridge Trip Date: 07/16/2022 Trip Report: COPPER MOUNTAIN (7142') – Copper Ridge Trail Approach – JULY 16-17, 2022 (Sat, Sun). This climb is typically done September or October when most of the snow is gone and the trail is clear. I decided to go early. Saturday: It was raining on the way to the trailhead but had started to clear up with sun breaks by the start of the trip. I headed out from the trailhead (3100’) at 8:45am. The trail was in excellent condition up to 4600’. At 4600’ the snow started. There was snow all the way up and over Hannegan Pass and most of the way to Boundary Camp arriving at 11:45am. I started up the Copper Ridge Trail. I started hitting pretty solid snow at around 5000’. I reached the Copper Mountain Lookout at 5:00pm. The lookout was closed up tight. There is a compost toilet down the ridge a little bit from the lookout that is melted out from the snow. I settled into camp at 6:00pm at the saddle turn for the ridge to Copper Mountain. Sunday: It was windy with clouds blowing over the saddle most of the night. It was cloudy with decent visibility when I left camp for the summit at 6:15am. I reached the summit at 9:00am. There was no view to be had as clouds covered all the surrounding peaks. I headed down to camp arriving at 12:00. I headed out from camp at 12:45 arriving back to Boundary Camp at 4:30pm and back to the trailhead at 7:30pm. It was drizzling rain all the way from Hannegan Pass to the trailhead. With all the snow travel, the trip was long and a good workout with lots of climbing. Looking through the summit register, I was surprised how few climb this peak every year. Some Tips and Notes: 1. I started hitting snow at 4600’. I would say 75% of the trip was on snow. 2. The snow was fairly soft. I didn’t bring crampons. I used mountaineering boots only and it work well. 3. I had plenty of water options almost the entire way up due to the snow melting on Saturday. Sunday the water options were less due to the temperature drop. 4. There is still a lot of snow at elevation. It is going to take a long heat wave to melt the snow off the trail completely this year. 5. Boundary Camp is 50% under snow. Silesia Camp is 90% under snow. Egg Lake Camp is 60% under snow and the lake is 90% snow covered. Copper Lake Camp is 90% snow covered and the lake is 90% under snow. 6. The ridge to Copper Mountain is a lot longer than it looks. There is a lot of up and down. There is some 3rd class and even a little bit of 4th class to navigate along the ridge. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Trailhead to Lookout to saddle turn camp - 9 hours. Sunday: Camp to Summit to Trailhead - 13 hours. Total Mileage: about 26 miles Total Elevation Gain: around 8000’ Gear used: Trekking Poles & Ice Axe View up the valley to Hannegan Pass and Ruth Mountain. View from Boundary Camp area looking back toward Hannegan Pass. Some big beautiful trees along the way. Ridge to Copper Lookout & Copper Mountain Ridge. Egg Lake Camp. View from Copper Ridge. Marmot checking out the view. Copper Lookout. Mount Redoubt in the distance, on my "to climb" list this summer. Copper Lake Camp. Copper Mountain Ridge. Rock section along upper Copper Mountain Ridge. Copper Mountain Summit. Great view of the inside of a cloud. Gear Notes: Trekking Poles & Ice Axe. Approach Notes: Hannegan Pass to Copper Ridge Trail. Lots of snow above 4600'
  22. Trip: GOAT MOUNTAIN (6820') West & East Peak - West Ridge Trip Date: 07/02/2022 Trip Report: GOAT MOUNTAIN (6820') West & East Peak – Goat Mountain Trail Approach – JULY 2, 2022 (Sat). The weather was perfect, 70 degrees and clear skies. Rain was supposed to be on the way so time for a day climb. Goat Mountain fit the bill. Saturday: I headed out from the trailhead (2500’) at 6:30am. The trail was in excellent condition up to 4600’. At 4600’ the trail is covered in snow for the rest of the way up. I reached the West Summit at 11:30am. I had to do a bit of down climbing on down sloping wet rock to get to the actual peak. This can be avoided by using the snow to go around the bluff peak that looks at the real peak. I headed down the side of the West Peak into the snow basin between the West and East Peaks. There is a heather shelf that leads into a fine scree ramp down to the snow. I crossed the snow basin to the dip in the saddle between the two peaks (6000’). I climbed the West Ridge up for the East Peak summit arriving at 2:00pm. I meandered along the ridge a bit avoiding the extra steep snow that was soft. I stayed on rock the best I could. The West Ridge of the East Peak is mostly Class 2 & 3 with some steep sections. I headed down the snow on the South side of the East Peak, diagonal back toward the trail up to the West Peak. I had to climb about 300’ to get back up to the trail heading down. I was back at the trailhead at 6:20pm. Overall the climb is a good workout and the views are great. Some Tips and Notes: 1. The last easily accessible water was on the way up to the West Peak at 5600’. 2. The snow was fairly soft. I used boots only and it worked well. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Trailhead to summit back to trailhead - 11 hours. Total Mileage: about 10 miles Total Elevation Gain: around 5500’ Gear used: Trekking Poles, Ice Axe, Helmet. West and East Peak of Goat Mountain from the trail. View from the West Peak of Goat Mountain. You can see the bluff peak that I climbed down to the snow saddle. View from the West Peak of Goat Mountain. Tomyhoi, Canadian Border Peak, American Border Peak and Mount Larrabee (Left to Right). Snow basin and the West Ridge to the East Summit of Goat Mountain (True Summit 6820'). I achieved the ridge at the saddle low point around 6000'. West Ridge up to the East Peak of Goat Mountain. It is steeper than it looks in the picture. East Peak Goat Mountain summit (6820'). Looking back toward the down route of the East Peak of Goat Mountain. Gear Notes: I used Trekking Poles, Ice Axe, & Helmet. Approach Notes: Goat Mountain Trail Approach.
  23. Trip: Graybeard Peak (7965') - Southwest Ridge Trip Date: 06/25/2022 Trip Report: Graybeard Peak (7965') – Easy Pass Trail Approach – June 25-26, 2022 (Sat, Sun). The weather was perfect both days, 70+ degrees and clear skies. Saturday: I headed out from the trailhead (3800’) at 9:00am. The trail is in good shape with some down trees to negotiate. The trial ran into solid snow at 4600’ and I promptly lost the trail. I decided to head up and to the right, as that looked like the best option at that point. The terrain got steeper and less forgiving, some bushwhacking was needed. I finally made it out into an open area on the slope at which point I realized I was far off to the side of the actual trail location. I headed across the slope to reach the correct wide snow basin heading to the pass. I should have turned left at 4600' and headed toward the snowfield visible through the trees. Oh well, live and learn. I finally made it to Easy Pass at 2:45pm thanks to my detour and being a bit out of shape. I was planning to climb Graybeard and Kitling Peak over the weekend but my legs where feeling it by the time I reached the pass and I was behind schedule. So I decided to hit Graybeard first and see how I was feeling the next day. I decided to attempt a climb of the Northwest Ridge of Graybeard straight from Easy Pass. I was burned out on side hilling on loose wet snow so I figured a rock route would be much more fun. I haven’t seen much information on the Northwest Ridge of Graybeard so I was on a reconnaissance mission as well. The ridge was going well with class 2 & 3 for the most part. I made it to the saddle between the sub peak and Graybeard. At this point there were a few deep sheer gullies separating the ridge. I didn’t bring a rope and down climbing into the gullies was too dangerous. I decided to drop down into the snow basin of the standard route up Graybeard. I looked up the main snow gully going up to the Graybeard summit area. The snow was soft and wet and the top of the snow gully was 40 degree snow. As I wasn’t feeling like a high speed glissade, I decided to climb over to the Southwest Ridge instead. I decided to call it a day and setup camp on the ridge at 7:30pm. Beautiful views and perfect weather, even though my legs were done, I didn’t really care. Sunday: I broke down camp and was on my way to the summit by 6:45am. The rock was mostly class 2 & 3 with a little class 4 toward the top. I reached the summit at 8:00am. Beautiful views in all directions. On my way back I was planning to take the snow gully down. I was able to tie into the snow gully below the 40 degree section by down climbing the ridge about halfway. The snow was still soft and loose but manageable. I took the standard way back across the snow basin toward Easy Pass. I was back to Easy Pass at 11:00am. My legs were still pretty tired from the previous day so I decided to hit Kitling Peak on another day. I made it back to the trailhead at 1:30pm. Some Tips and Notes: 1. There was very little water above Easy Pass and no water at the Pass. Best option for water was at about 6000’ from the big creek at the bottom of the snow basin heading to Easy Pass. 2. I brought too much gear being unsure of what to expect. I brought crampons and snowshoes. I used the snowshoes a little and found out that boots alone worked the best. 3. The route up the Northwest Ridge was looking to be fairly challenging. A rope is necessary for the route. I’d say it is good mix of class 3,4 & 5. 4. There was still a lot of snow in the area and probably will be for a while. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Trailhead to Southwest Ridge Camp – 10.5 hours. Sunday: Camp to Summit back to the Trailhead – 6.75 hours. Total Mileage: about 10 miles Total Elevation Gain: around 5000’ Gear: Trekking Poles, Ice Axe, Crampons, Snowshoes, Helmet. Looking back at KITLING & MESAHCHIE PEAK on my way up the Northwest Ridge of Graybeard. Northwest Ridge of Graybeard. Northwest Ridge of Graybeard. I decided to head down to the snow basin at the end of the snow in the ridge saddle. Snow basin up to the Southwest Ridge of Graybeard. Main snow gully and Southwest Ridge to Graybeard. Snow gully branch that I used to come down the main snow gully, bypassing the steep 40 degree soft snow. Summit View down the Fisher Creek Valley. Lots of snow still. Summit View looking down the Northwest Ridge, KITLING & MESAHCHIE PEAK in the background. Gear Notes: Trekking Poles, Ice Axe, Crampons, Snowshoes, Helmet. I didn't need the crampons or snowshoes. Approach Notes: Climbed up Easy Pass Trail. When the trail goes under the snow at 4600' turn left toward the snowfield and follow the snowfield all the way up to Easy Pass.
  24. Trip: Mount Lago (8745'), Mount Carru (8595') & Osceola Peak (8587') - Shellrock Pass Approach Trip Date: 10/02/2021 Trip Report: Mount Lago (8745'), Mount Carru (8595') & Osceola Peak (8587')– Shellrock Pass Approach – October 2-4, 2021 (Sat, Sun, Mon). I climbed Mount Lago, Mount Carru & Osceola Peak over the weekend. I started the climb from the Slate Pass Trailhead off Hart’s Pass Rd. outside Mazama, WA. I planned for a 3 day trip. The weather was looking like perfect fall conditions. Mostly crisp and clear. I drove to the Slate Pass Trailhead Friday night and slept in the vehicle. Saturday: I was up and moving down the trail at 7:30am. Starting at 7000’, it was cold and crisp. I arrived at Shellrock Pass Trail (5000’) at 11:00am, 9 miles in. The trail in was almost all downhill with a little uphill here and there, overall a very nice trail. I started the trail climb towards Fred’s Lake reaching a pass above the lake (7100’) by 1:30pm. The trail dropped down to Lake Doris. Lake Doris looks to be very popular with lots of camping areas and a spider’s web of trails all around the area. I found it difficult to find the correct trail out of the Lake Doris area heading towards Shellrock Pass. The trail out of the Lake Doris area to Shellrock Pass is much less traveled and a little overgrown in sections. There are several downed trees across the trail to navigate on the way to the Shellrock Meadows. I made it to Shellrock Meadows for camp at 4:30pm, 15 miles total for the day. The Shellrock Meadows is well worth the trip just to camp. The fall colors are in full display with the Larches gold color everywhere. The head of Eureka Creek begins in this meadow. It was like walking into a painting. Sunday: Some cloud cover had moved in overnight. I left camp at 7:45am reaching Shellrock Pass at 8:45am. The clouds started breaking up and the views started opening up. I could now see the long ridge climb ahead for the 3 summits. The ridge climbing is mostly loose rock and lots of it, class 2 with some class 3 mixed in. I made it to Mount Lago summit (8745’) at 11:15am. The views were really kicking in now. I dropped down to the Lago/Carru Col (7600’) by 12:45pm. I needed to drop down to 7500’ to hit a diagonal ledge system to gain the Carru ridge. I made it to the Mount Carru Summit (8595’) at 2:30pm. The climb down Carru to the col below (7700’)was loose and steep, careful movement was necessary. There are a couple of rounded peaks between Carru and Osceola. I climbed up and diagonal across the rounded peaks until I needed to drop down to the col below Osceola. This took more time than I was expecting. I was very happy to find a fantastic camping area at the base of the Osceola ridge with a little lake for water supply and great views. I arrived at the camp at 4:50pm (7200’) and called it a night. Monday: I left camp at 7:00am heading up the ridge to the summit of Osceola. I reached the summit (8587’) at 8:30am. The summit registry was frozen shut, so no sign in. There was a rock engraved on the summit in memoriam of Robert William Metlen, very cool. I headed down towards Lake Doris, lots of loose rock along the way. I was very happy to be back on trail again at the lake. I was back at the base of the Shellrock Pass trail by 11:30am. I climbed the trail back to the Slate Pass trailhead arriving at 4:30pm. This was a great fall season trip in a beautiful area with lots of excellent camping options. I didn’t see the cliffs off the side of Hart’s Pass road on the way in but I did on the way out. It was like something out of the Raiders of the Lost Ark. If you go off the side you will die a fiery death for sure, but it would be one hell of a ride. Some Tips and Notes: 1. Bring comfortable boots, there is a lot of walking on this trip. 2. The trail after Lake Doris is hard to find due to the network of trails around the area. The trail to Shellrock Pass angles down toward the valley. 3. The trail after Lake Doris is lightly travelled with several downed trees and faint trail sections. 4. Shellrock Meadow is awesome for camping. 5. Climbing these peaks from Shellrock Pass is a long ridge climb but the views are great. 6. There is a great camp area at the base of Osceola Peak ridge on the east side at 7200’ with a small lake water source. Travel Time for reference: Saturday: Trailhead to Camp – 9 hours, 15 miles, 3000’ vert. Sunday: Camp, over 2 Summits, to Camp#2 – 9 hours, 8 miles, 3800’ vert. Monday: Camp#2 to Summit to Trailhead – 9.5 hours, 14 miles, 3700’ vert. Total Mileage: about 37 miles Total Elevation Gain: about 10,500’ Gear used: Trekking Poles & Helmet. Mount Rolo from Pass above Fred's Lake. Osceola, Carru, Lago from Pass above Fred's Lake. Trail to Shellrock Pass after Lake Doris. Valley to Shellrock Pass. Mount Lago from Shellrock Meadow. Osceola Peak from Shellrock Meadow. Route View from Shellrock Pass. Carru & Osceola from Lago Summit. Osceola Col Camp 7200'. Osceola Peak Memorial. Another glorious fall day on the trail. Heading back up to Slate Pass. Gear Notes: Trekking Poles & Helmet. Approach Notes: Slate Pass Trailhead, Shellrock Pass Approach
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