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ferg

the wallowa mtns.

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hey guys,

i'm new to the forum. and fairly new to the sport although in the past i have done some climbing, and getting back into it.

but my ? is. i've been searching the forum and i'm seeing a lot of stuff on matterhorn peak in the eagle caps, but nothing on Sacajawea peak.

i was curious if anyone had any info.

our plan is to start at the trail head at wallowa lake, hike to ice lake from there. which is where camp will be, and then hike up to Matterhorn peak, and cross a ridge over to Sacajawea. here is a pic of the ridge standing on Sacajawea looking at Matterhorn.

http://s683.photobucket.com/albums/vv195/fergi692000/?action=view&current=506336.jpg

any info on this ridge at all would be helpful. maybe just conditions.

or would i just need to take a scouting trip up there?

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can't hurt to scout-either summit is pretty. I think 75 scrambles in oregon has both - pretty sure a common approach to sacajawea goes up from hurricane creek basin (one valley to the west from Wallowa), whereas matterhorn, for obvious reasons is approached from ice lake (or for more challenge, up and over and around the ridge from raz lake--not heard of that route taken too often).

 

Anyways I've read a report or two around the web of people trying to go from matternhorn to saca and it seems like at some point between there is a large gap that 'could' be crossed but most people whos reports I read turned around there.

 

here is a photo looking south from saca I think.

http://s683.photobucket.com/albums/vv195/fergi692000/?action=view&current=506336.jpg

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By the way, it's a very simple ridge walk from Matterhorn to an intermediate point, then over to Sac. You can come back to that point, then head down a scree slope to Ice Lake if desired.

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My family has had a cabin on Wallowa lake for 3 generations. It is a very beautiful area. My grandpa (RIP) took me to my very first summit on Mt. Joseph with some really cool abandoned mines along the way. There was a book in one of the bookstores in Joseph that had a few technical routes in the Eagle Cap (I don't think anything harder than 5.4) And some hazy info on a couple of 2 pitch crags supposedly at the park end of the lake.

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i actually did the exact same thing a few years back. camped at ice lake, then next day sumitted the matterhorn (make sure to peek down the west side at the biggest wall in Oregon!) and did the ridge to sacagawea (never had to even use our hands). We then made a neat loop by continuing to follow the sacagaewa ridgeline east/downhill into the obvious drainage leading back to ice lake. Again, I don't recall ever "climbing" at any point...

 

it was utterly straightforward until entering the drainage. i remember the drainage actually became a cool slot canyon, except composed of that weird granite/limestone mix of rock, and there was some sketchy scrambling involved (though you could always detour around the sketchiness if you wanted to spend the extra time).

 

the drainage was really neat, i wish i had spent more time poking around in there.

 

this was over labor day weekend, btw. have fun!!

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I did this a few years back over Labor Day as well. You weren't the guy skinny-dipping in Ice Lake with his woman, were you?

 

Hah!

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i was there with my now-wife, but i don't have a memory of swimming...i do remember some fun bouldering at the SE side of the lake though, on little mini-crags...

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thanx guys, this is the info i've been looking for.

 

dino: saweet web site, and great pics. i'm going to take some time to look at more of your site.

 

PUP: nice pics, i'm glad you and your wife had a good time. i feel pretty fortunate to have these mtns. pretty much in my back yard.

 

i thought about going up the hurricane creek side but, we are going to fish also, razz lake is right there. it's one of our golden trout destinations.

been to swamp lake many times fishing. very cool.

i like the story of the two skinny dippers LOL, why can't i see stuff like that.

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gotta look over the edge crimper, :). that sounds like a good loop though thanx. i'll be sure to check it out.

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Some of that stuff in the springtime gets radically awesome! I think I camped in the basin in the North side of Sac @ 1976 and climbed the NW face (and some other lines up out of the camp) one spring weekend. This is all real vague in my mind and have no pictures, but the memory was that it was way steep snow, maybe 70 degree- and the ridge on the left was clear of snow and had rock pro available, so we nutted the bare rock cliff on the left for pro and stayed on the snow. Damn Good times.

 

Some of that stuff gets freaky scary too wondering why the snow hasn't avalanche off. I'd pass on a summer climb, too much loose rocks. But that's me.

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