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[TR] Mount Lago (8745'), Mount Carru (8595') & Osceola Peak (8587') - Shellrock Pass Approach 10/02/2021

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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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So great!  This has been on my fall list....thanks for the details on an efficient link-up and the great images!

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