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[TR] Alpine Lakes High route

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Foss Lakes High Route (a.k.a. Alpine Lakes High Route). 9/13-15/08.


Al claims the first ascent of Iron Cap Mtn. by a corgi without supplemental oxygen on a Sunday, and if he's not the first, he doesn't care, he's a DOG. He doesn't even know how to brag.



Repeat trip; we were cheated by the weather last year. Park at Necklace Valley, hike road to W. Fork Foss R. This trip might be more pleasant and corgi-friendly when it's under snow, but the river crossing could be trouble in early season. You can do this in 2 days, but with good weather, it's nice to have time to loaf in the high country and the lovely Tank/Foehn Lakes area (worth returning to see on a non-hypothermic day). 1st bivvy on Iron Cap Mtn., 2nd bivvy near Tank Lake, then out Necklace Valley. Bugs vicious at Chetwoot L. & Iron Cap L. & Tank L. during the warm daytime this very heavy-snow year. No tent or DEET, a steady east nighttime wind kept us comfortable.


From Chetwoot Lake, don't drop, climb east on coarse talus, then traverse below cliffs. One could camp on the first rib (flat, filterable stagnant pond). Terrain is rocky; unseasonal snow was welcome. Late season, you can filter water at Iron Cap Lake (bring a silt filter) and carry it up to a high bivvy on Iron Cap's N. ridge, where many ledges invite a careful low-impact good-weather bivvy. Several small snow remnants up there where it was bone-dry last year. Fine views of Chimney rock and Overcoat.


Drop down to a noticeable knob on Iron Cap's NNE ridge, then traverse to Iron Cap Gap. This part was tricky last year in rain and nearly zero visibility; you'll want a 7.5' map in such conditions. Cairns. Note: the route as I've drawn it may be a bit too high.



I'd planned to bivvy on Otter Point, actually higher than Iron Cap, but I'd broken my water bladder, so instead we got in touch with our Inner Vegetables in the hot late summer sun near Tank Lake. We deserved it, and *somebody's* gotta make up for all you people out there climbing real mountains.





I forgot my MSR ultralight rubber ducky.



Subalpine spiraea, Spiraea densiflora. You can sometimes get this charming plant at MSK Nursery in the Edmonds area (PNW natives their specialty). Sun & water; this is at Copper Lake outfall. "Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest", Arthur Kruckeberg. Next 3 photos:






Moonrise over Bear's Breast Mtn. from Iron Cap.


Al recognizes "Sit. Stay. Look Pretty." as a standard command. I've only mastered the "Sit" and "Stay" parts.


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Nice pics.

Did this hike on 9/17 with my brother-in-law.

In W. Foss, out Necklace Valley.

It would be nice to spend a couple of days out there, but

I'm glad we were only carrying daypacks.

The bugs were not fun at all, and Tank Lakes was our only real

break because of the skeeters.




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humorous report with good shots of the Snoqualmie Pickets. proud puppy--i laughed at the triple rations title...my dog echoes that sentiment.

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