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[TR] The Craggies - Choss, Choss and Choss 9/27/2015


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Trip: The Craggies - Choss, Choss and Choss


Date: 9/27/2015


Trip Report:

Random piles of choss way far away from civilization never seem to get much love. The primary draw of the Craggies is they are tall and on the top 100 list, but honestly this was a really fun and easy weekend trip. Beautiful views, larches and did I mention the choss?


We wanted an easier weekend to get back to climbing after mostly having our hands full all summer since this little guy came into our lives.




We left the Newcastle park and ride at 6am (more on this later) and arrived in Winthrop around 10 after stopping for 2 of the remaining 3 cinnamon rolls in Marblemount and the sugar high was still going strong. Trailhead at 11 and off we went up the Copper Glance trail. The hike in was very pleasant with nice view of the Methow valley and an actual mine to check out. I really wanted to go explore, but the group decided that is how most horror movies start so we kept moving. We broke off the trail near the hump after crossing Copper Glance creek and shwacked our way to the rocky cliff and up the valley. On the way back, we stayed on the rock wall until we reached the small unnamed lake and found a trail there connecting back which avoided much of the shwack. Go that way.


We arrived at our planned camp site to discover that my fears were justified and all the tarns were dry from the long dry year we have had. We decided to pitch camp and use the ample remaining daylight to go up Big Craggy and deal with water later. The climb up Big Craggy was not the worst choss I’ve ever dealt with but then I have sampled a fair amount of what the Cascades have to offer. We all definitely agreed this climb would be much more enjoyable as a spring ski or climb. A chossy two hours had us standing on the summit of Big Craggy, followed immediately by a discussion on whether the point 200 ft away was actually higher, a hike over to that point and more disagreement on which was actually higher. We tagged them both, so whatever. The “Mostly Sunny” weather never did actually materialize and we started getting very slight snow flurries and rapidly approaching clouds as we hit the summit. Scree skiing had us back to camp in an hour and we found water about a half mile back the way we came in from a stream near the cliffs we hiked by. Despite chilly temps and the supermoon waking me up thinking someone had a headlamp pointed at us, we were up and moving again towards West Craggy first thing in the morning. Again, a nice ramp of snow to hike up and slide back down on would have been amazing, but two hours had us at the summit of West Craggy. We found a register here, though there was not one we could find on Big Craggy. We didn’t see anyone else on the peaks or at camp all weekend, though there was a summit register entry on West Craggy for the previous day.


The temps were great, Larches were perfect and the views were fantastic. This made 39/100 for me and 40/100 for Danika






Copper Glance Mine




Geology lecture




As far as I could tell, it just kept going




Methow Valley




Love Larch season



totally dry tarn




Summit of Big Craggy




Interesting what I assume were Aspens seem to congregate around the slide paths.




Now we got them both




Love this lady




Backside of Silverstar. The glacier is totally melted out




West Craggy Summit




Gear Notes:

gaiters would have been nice to keep sand and rocks out of my shoes


Approach Notes:

Follow the trail to the small unnamed lake on the map, then follow the rocks up the valley

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Ha, almost forgot about that. On the drive home Aaron shared that he had not been able to find his keys when we got back to our car (his was back in the park and ride). He had no memory of them after he got out of his truck the day previous. He strongly suspected they were in fact sitting in the ignition of his truck at the park and ride. So we spent the entire drive home wondering if his truck would still be there. When we got to the par and ride we discovered his truck was still there, keys in the ignition and doors unlocked. Thankfully Newcastle residents and the transit folks seem to be good people.

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