Sunday, May 1, 2016

Big Jim 7763', Alpine Lakes Wilderness

Big Jim Mountain scrolled across my computer screen on CalTopo a couple of months ago when I was looking for longer winter/spring day trips. While it doesn't seem to get too many early season ascents (except maybe on skis?), the route looked like it didn't have any terrain that would be too limiting if conditions were good.

This route does go through the 2014 Chiwaukum fire, however the trail is in surprisingly good shape, considering. Solid snow started around 5300'. More route details in photo captions below.

Hatchery Creek TH parking lot looking lush
Through the lower burn zone where flowers and brush are thriving
Higher in the burn zone with less regrowth
First view of Big Jim (center right) from the ridge at 5300', looking over the Battle Canyon Creek drainage
Snowshoes on; checking out the Entiat-Dakobed ranges to the north
At the ridge above Cabin Creek basin before dropping down, with the Enchantments beyond; Richard's photo
Cornice activity on Big Slide mountain
Coming up Cabin Creek basin to Lake Augusta
Richard scoping the climb up to the summit plateau
Ben and I starting up the final slope to the summit plateau before Richard took over and kicked monster steps in his ski boots; Richard's photo
Ben and I coming up the last section; Richard's photo
Reaching the summit plateau; Ben's photo
Northwest (L) to northeast from Big Jim's summit
Southeast (L) to southwest, from Big Jim's summit
Zoom of the northern Entiat (r), Bonanza and Chiwawa/Phelps/Napeequa area peaks
Summit ladybugs
Richard, Ben, me and Dave; Big Jim Mountain 7763'
Richard traversing in to drop
He brought his skis for these eight turns...
Back down at Lake Augusta on our way out
Showing our ascent line that split the melting sections and then traversed right to gain the ridge; on descent we came down the dirt/talus and met the snow at the finger in the center of the frame; Richard's turns visible center-left
Climbing back out of the Cabin Creek drainage
One last look at the northern Entiats and Bonanza on the way out...


  1. Nice photos! What was the distance / do you have a Strava link?

    1. Here's the strava: