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[TR] Lost Peak and Carru - Standards 09/23/2018

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Trip: Lost Peak and Carru - Standards

Trip Date: 09/23/2018

Trip Report:


This has been a frustrating summer.  Smoke and/or bad weather thwarted a few of my trips.  With summer waning quickly and snow coming I decided to do a midweek trip, starting on a rainy Sunday and ending three days later.  Also, larches.  It's been too long since I got a good larch trip in.  Oh, and since I couldn't find partners last minute and midweek - solo it (well, I brought my dog).  Although I've solo'd many day trip scrambles, I've only done one overnighter before (Robinson) so this stepped it up a notch.

On Sunday I packed for most of the afternoon and drove up to Mazama around 7:30.  It was dry on the East Side until I got as far north as Kirkland or Bothell.   From then on there was rain, sometimes pouring.  At least this was the case until Darrington... and towards Rockport.  Eventually things became drier as I passed the passes on Hwy 20 and started down the hairpin.    I parked at the Monument Creek TH and slept in my truck.

The weather was good all night (cloudy, no rain) and I headed up towards Slate's Pass around 7 am.  As I passed the exposed hairpin the weather became increasingly socked in, and it was actually lightly snowing at the Slate Pass TH.  Good times.  This reminded me of my previous trip to the area where I hiked in the first 6-7 miles in the rain.  Oh well, time to HTFU and go.

The hike in went well.  It took about 6.5 hours to get to Doris Lake and another 2+ hours to the meadows below Shellrock Pass.  The weather got better the farther in I got and was dry at camp.  We ate dinner and got water ready just in time for it to start raining.   Bed time at 6:30!   It snowed and rained lightly all night and the tent had a  lot of condensation.  By 6 am it was clear and we were up and moving soon.  

We made short work of the hike to Shellrock Pass and started to descend the E side.  The trail started out clear and easy to follow, then hit meadows where occasional cairns marked the way and were not too hard to link up.  After crossing the small stream we soon hit the recent fire burnout (from last year I believe).  At first I could follow cairns and a lighter-colored line through the blackened earth.  Then it was all cross country.  I overshot the proper trail turnoff (Monument Creek Trail)  I believe and aimed for the notch directly next to the W base of point 7275 on the ridge.  The last 150 feet or so were up a very blocky gully.  At this point the weather was getting bad - fog was rolling in with a lot of wind.  I wasn't worried yet though.  I climbed up and over point 7275 and dropped to the next saddle (~7000') then ascended to 7700' and began traversing.  Now I was worried about the weather.  The boulders were covered with a thin layer of snow and were slippery.  It was getting more socked in, cold and miserable.  I knew I had at least 1.5 miles of this traverse and could not see the top of Lost Peak.  Nevertheless I kept going, hoping hypothermia would not be an issue.   My pup seemed fine.

As I rounded the first pair of humps in the ridge (Pass Butte), the rock became dry and snow-free and that helped with my morale.  It was still not very clear up high though.  I traversed under Point 8107 and could see lighter colored, sandier terrain ahead.  I moved onto that.  Then the the fog lifted and I could see the summit of Lost and realized I had traversed farther than necessary and headed straight up to the summit.  Time up?  6 hours.  Uggh.  At least I was done, but I doubted I could tag Blackcap on the way out with the late start and shorter fall days.

Summit shots on Lost Peak:


Looking back at Lost Peak:


Tres Bulger Hombres from Shellrock Pass at sunset:


After some time up top, we headed down, retracing our steps.  We had more trouble than expected finding the trail back.  Once past the burnout I just headed towards Shellrock offtrail including steep heather slopes and meadows.  We only located the trail at the stream crossing.  As expected we got to Shellrock Pass too late to get Blackcap and dropped down to camp instead.  It was dusk and about 7:45.  We quickly ate and crashed.

Up again on day 3 and moving by 7:20.  I debated in my mind weather I'd get Ptarmigan and hope for Carru on the way back or just climb Carru.  I opted for the latter.  It was a quick ascent - 3:20 up.  I decided to savor this summit.  It was sunny and quite pleasant.  The views were spectacular!

Starting up to Carru with gorgeous morning sunlight:


The meadows at 7000', just below the Carru-Lago col:


The only class 3 we encountered on Carru:


Summit shots on Carru:


Stark contrast between live trees and burnout on Lease Creek drainage.  Ptarmigan on right:42629538_10217214163854432_1701684777322545152_o.thumb.jpg.e956c65af98fc86220093f3e07ccd79a.jpg

I knew it would be tight to bag Ptarmigan before dark, so I opted to just descend to camp.  It took 3 hours from the summit.  At that point it was midday and I wanted a less strenuous final day so we broke camp and moved to Doris Lake.  It was about 6:15 - plenty of time to eat, relax and enjoy a gorgeous sunset over the larches.

Sad to leave the Shellrock Pass camp:


But happy at Doris Lake:


Sunset colors:


We were up early again Wednesday and headed out at 7.  It took longer to get back to Slate Pass than in, but that was fine.  We got to greet quite a few PCT through-hikers on their last leg since the PCT had been rerouted to the Middle Fork Pasayten trail.

Osceola over Larches:


Reflections on Fred's Luck on the way out:


Just below Slate's Pass:


KK enjoys his victory beer (Super Fuzz!):


Gear Notes:

Approach Notes:
No snow

Edited by KaskadskyjKozak
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I am probably assuming more thought in a dogs brain, but I often wonder what dogs think about what we are doing.  nice looking dog and trip.


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4 hours ago, genepires said:

I am probably assuming more thought in a dogs brain, but I often wonder what dogs think about what we are doing.  nice looking dog and trip.


looks aside, Vizslas are the best hiking dog!

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