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Remote North Cascades


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I'm looking to visit some of the remote North Cascades with a bunch of camera gear this late summer (think off trail back pack, no real climbing) and was wondering if anyone had been to these areas, and how hard they were to get to:

Pride Basin - Henry M. Jackson Wilderness

White Rock Lakes - Glacier Peak Wilderness (actually on the tail end of Ptarmigan Traverse, I'd be approaching from Downey Creek/Bachelor Meadows)

Klawati Lake - NCNP

Tiny unamed lake NW of Mt. Triumph - NCNP

Silver Lake - NCNP

Luna Lake - NCNP

Azure Lake - NCNP

I won't be able to get to them all, but will have one month to do my best. I'm also open to any other reasonable spot, as long as it's scenic and rarely visited, and not too dangerous to get to solo.

I have Beckey's three CAG's, but he's vague about some of the approaches.

Thanks to any and all who can help.


[ 03-18-2002: Message edited by: snowleopard_x ]

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Luna Lake - can approach 2 (or more ways), I have done it from Whatcom Pass. From Whatcom Pass (reach via Hannegan Pass to Chilliwack River, cross river on trolley rig), traverse around Whatcom Peak to reach Perfect Pass. Now traverse Challenger Glacier, then drop down to Luna Lake from Challenger Arm. Total approach time from Hannegan Pass TH would be a full 2 days, might go quicker if the trails are snow free (they should be in late summer). The traverse around Whatcom is pretty exposed. Very beautiful area, with great views of Shuksan, northern Pickets, Spickard and Blum massifs.


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luna lake is beautiful, and if you approach via access creek (the drainage between luna creek and mcmillan creek) the approach is non-glaciated. probably shorter distance-wise, but more overall effort than the whatcom approach, but since you say solo, it keeps you off the glacier... start with the boat from ross lake resort to the trailhead (or tack on an extra 6 or 7 miles), then about 11 miles of moderate trail, then a steep bushwack up about three thousand feet to get above timberline (classic cascade devil's club & slide alder, some sections of easier old growth), then more elevation gain and some tricky navigation to get to luna pass (possibly more scenic than the lake itself) then drop down 1500 feet to the lake. with a heavy pack, i'd guess minimum of two full days, maybe three. early summer may be easier for this one because the upper reaches may be snow covered. or not. write me a pm if you want more detailed info.

[ 02-21-2002: Message edited by: forrest_m ]

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With the right conditions, Luna Lake could be approached via Access Creek in three days, perhaps two in beautiful conditions and you're in ripping condition. It took me and my partner a grueling day in August, '99 just to make the approach from Luna Camp to the head of Access Creek. We made the unfortunate choice of crossing the Big Beaver just south of Access Creek and thence commenced an epic bushwhack up the south side of Access Creek--not recommended! Proceed to the north side of Access Creek (as now noted in most recent edition of Becky) and ascend staying in the timber north of the creek! There is serious, serious slide alder on the south side about mid way up to the head of cirque. The ascent out of the cirque to gain the long ridge between Luna and Fury is made by a choice of couloirs. When we made our ascent,the top of the lower elevation couloir/gully was blocked by a nasty cornice mad.gif" border="0 . We chose the higher elevation couloir, the top of it was steep and icy and we ran boot-axe belays at the very top.

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Geez Mr. Pessimistic. Are you just trying to sandbag? "Don't come to the Cascades, it rains constantly, it sucks." Anyway, we have long stretches of nice weather during the summer and many photographic opportunities abound, at least that's been my experience.

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I'm a native Portlander, so I'm pretty familiar with Cascade weather.

Thanks for the replies guys. As of now, I can't say how much time I'll be able to spend up there this summer, due to financial means it looks like much less than a month. More like a few long weekends. So Pride Basin seems much more likely than, say Luna or Silver lake. But you never know, so I'll file anything away for future reference. The input is appreciated.

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pride basin is beautiful - good choice. its been a while, and i dont remember the roads used to access it, but it could definitely be done in a day, although i did it in two. the approach i took went up a well maintained trail for about 5 miles, then off-trail and straight uphill to a saddle overlooking pride glacier. if you want more info, email me.

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