Friday, July 21, 2017

Mt. Maude 9040' via Carne, Glacier Peak Wilderness

It's very rare I get to take Stepdad Steve to a place I've already been that's new to him. After he first visited Spider Gap in 1967, he decided he wanted to climb Mt. Maude (duh). As we seemingly picked the one day this summer that it was going to rain in the North Cascades, we changed our plans to head to the east side and finally get him up Maude, 50 years after he first saw it.

  • Carne-Ice Lakes: normal amount of blowdown, snow remains on passes. 
  • Mt. Maude: Steep snow to south ridge; the normal summer route is much steeper and has a deep moat (10'+) climbers left just prior to the last 20 ft (see pics below). I exited way too far south on the climb up and we had class 2/3 chossy crap for 100 yards traversing north on the ridge. Descended correct area, though much steeper than our ascent route. 
  • Leroy: Snow on the southern portion through slide areas, no issues after that. 
17.1 miles, 7500' gain

Flowers on the Carne Mountain trail

Opposite side of the Wilderness from last weekend

Love this view showing the whole route, Phelps Creek and Phelps Ridge; Buck Creek fire damage came over the ridge a bit

Grazing deer on the way to Box Creek

Perfect time for Entiat flowers

One of the coolest hornblende (right?) samples I've seen 

Traverse from Chipmunk pass to Ice Lakes pass

Ice Lakes Pass and Maude's south slope

Upper Ice Lake, 7745' and North Spectacle Butte

Correct route is up right, cutting back left under that snow tear drop; I lead us up the wrong slope (easiest looking one up the left ramp). It was much easier to pick the right route last summer 😋

Did some chossy scrambling along this ridge to reach the easy notch and south slope

Flowers on Maude's south slope

Looking over at Buck and Clark

Seven-Fingered Jack, Fernow and Bonanza

Spider snowfield and gap

Our annual summit selfie

Steve finally gets his Maude

Glacier and the Dakobed range

Traversing to Leroy Basin, with Seven-Fingered Jack

Boulder larch

Leroy Creek falls

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Lost Creek Ridge-PCT-NF Sauk loop, Glacier Peak Wilderness

Nick emailed me right before the weekend and it turned out we both had ideas on the western side of the Glacier Peak Wilderness. We settled on going up Lost Creek Ridge and then deciding which route to take based on conditions. With the current snow situation we opted for the on-trail route of the ridge, dropping down to the White Chuck River, taking the PCT south over Red Pass and closing the loop via the North Fork Sauk (trail and 3.5m on the road): 37 miles, 11,800' gain.

  • Lost Creek Ridge: patchy snow on north-facing aspects; never used more than poles.
  • White Chuck River area: expect some route finding, brush, blowdowns.
  • PCT: some blowdowns from White Chuck up to Red basin, lots of water over the trail; basin is still mostly snow-filled up to Red Pass, two patches of snow to cross to NF Sauk, one is steep.  
  • NF Sauk: few large blowdowns near the trailhead, slide paths are brushier than I remember.

Always a good sign to see

Sloan and Bedal from Lost Creek Ridge

Looking back west along Lost Creek Ridge, Breccia Peak back right

Black Mountain, Magenta Peak, Painted Mountain; still very snowy

Dome Peak and Spire Point over Meadow Mountain Ridge


Nick on Lost Creek Ridge, with Glacier Peak

Hardtack Lake on Lost Creek Ridge

On Lost Creek Ridge with Glacier; Nick's photo
Camp Lake just starting to melt out

Melting edge of Camp Lake

Many cool rocks along the ridge

Looking west along Lost Creek Ridge, with Sloan, Pugh and White Chuck

Lake Byrne and Glacier Peak

Lake Byrne

Glacier from the outlet of Lake Byrne
I have a much higher blowdown tolerance now; Nick's photo

Bottom of the descent to the White Chuck River

Old bridge over the White Chuck

New "bridge" over the White Chuck
White Chuck log; Nick's photo

Yup, accurate

White Chuck - PCT junction

Nick coming up through lower Red basin

Many marmots out

Looking south from Red Pass

Looking northeast from Red Pass

Nick reaching Red Pass

Mmmm, bark...

Descending to the NF Sauk trail

Looking back at the steeper of two short snow traverses to reach the NF Sauk trail
The bloom is always a special time in Glacier Peak Wilderness; Nick's photo

Nick coming through the flowers

Thank you random NF Sauk dudes for giving me an ice-cold beer as you drove by! Bad beer never tasted so good...