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[TR] Alpine Lakes High Route - 8/20/2008

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Trip: Alpine Lakes High Route -


Date: 8/17-18/2008


Trip Report:

Greg and I stashed mountain bikes at the W Fork Foss River trailhead and then drove back to the East Fork trailhead and began the 8 mile march into Necklace Valley.




We proceeded on and up to Tank Lakes where we set up camp in beautiful rock gardens, groves of alpine fir, and threatening skies. The mosquitoes were horrible, but the views were stunning.


Chimney Rock



The BetaLight


That night around 11pm the fun began. We awoke to flashes of lightning--at about 10 second intervals--and the thunder was coming closer and closer. When the time between flash and roar hit about two seconds we decided that sleeping in a tent supported by two aluminum ski poles on a ridge was a bad idea, so we collapsed the tent, threw the poles down the ridge, and slept under the rain fly in a downpour wondering how many days it would take the authorities to find our smoldering corpses.


The storm passed at about 3am and we got up at 7 to sunny, but threatening skies. We decided to stick to the plan and headed off along the ridge to Iron Cap notch and down the gully about 2/3 the way to Otter Lake.


Chimney and Overcoat




Looked like some big slides came down this past season.


It began to rain hard as we traveled across talus and through forest to Azurite Lake and the wet, moss-covered "key ledge". Some easy 4th class scrambling and we were on our way up to yet another notch that overlooked Lake Angeline.


Blessed are the cairn makers.


Azure Lakes were spectacular--even in the rain--and we continued on to Chetwoot and Little Chetwoot Lakes, then up and along the torturous crest that divides Big Heart Lake and Lake Angeline.






The outlet to Big Heart Lake.


We picked up the West Fork Foss River trail and hiked out arriving back at our bikes just before total dark. About 21 miles total, 7300' elevation gain/loss.

Edited by Fairweather

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Sweet! Nice pics. Sounds like a good trip. I've always wanted to spend some time up at tank lakes, but I've never made the time.

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Sammy - Those are the north and main Peaks of Chimney Rock with part of the Overcoat Glacier below.


Rob - wait for the mosquitoes to die. This trip tied for worst swarm ever...with the week I spent once in Wrangell St. Elias. They actually mocked my Deet! :eek:

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Ah yes, nice shot of Chimney Rock. Can't quite see it but, its obvious why its called Chimney rock by its awesome 150 foot tall North Chimney to access the summit. Its a VERY airy climb for the Cascades. 1000-1500 foot plus air beneath your feet on all sides! Ramp at top has 2 spots where you literally step over 1500 feet of air to the other side of a cleft baring access to the top! You can even bivy on the summit! Spot for 2 and no more though!



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