With those experiences in mind, I planned to backpack out to Sheep Mountain and then stay in Whistler Basin, hiking out the following morning. I figured there would be hundreds of blowdowns and the other usual issues that create longer-than-planned trips. Unfortunately, things went a little too well and I summited Sheep in 6:35 from the car, arriving in Whistler Basin just before 5pm. With five hours of daylight left I had no idea what to do, so I just hiked out, finishing at 9:45pm, about two minutes shy of needing my headlamp. After being gone all last weekend, a certain kiddo was very happy to have me home earlier than planned.
Hiking 40 miles with a full backpacking set up that went unused felt pretty lame, but the day was truly amazing and I think this is my new favorite area in the Pasayten...
- Billy Goat trail: cleared to Drake Creek.
- Larch Creek - Larch Pass: one large microburst of trees passable off trail; ~100 (?) blowdowns w/the majority being step overs, some crawl unders and climb overs.
- Northern trails (McCall Gulch, Whistler Basin, Peeve Pass): some patchy snow though none present any real difficulties; everything in great shape and very lush.
|Weekly dose of Wilderness|
|Many Trails Peak over Diamond Creek and Lost River|
|Go high for the first group and low for the second, which is a quite big grouping|
|Larch Creek drainage with Larch Pass|
|East Fork Pasayten River drainage; beetle kill?|
|McCall Gulch basin with Two Point Mountain|
|The northern Pasayten is in bloom|
|First full view of Sheep Mountain, from above the Timber Wolf Creek drainage|
|Looking back toward the pass above McCall Gulch (where the previous photo was taken from)|
|South slopes of Sheep Mountain in bloom|
|South side of Sheep Mountain, from 7300'|
|Buck and doe on Sheep Mountain|
|Two bucks on Sheep Mountain|
|Upper slopes of Sheep Mountain, ~200' of easy talus|
|Looking east from Sheep Mountain: Cathedral Peak and Pass, Amphitheater Mountain, Windy Peak, Remmel Mountain|
|South (left) to west, from Sheep Mountain|
|Ramon Lakes on the north side of Sheep Mountain|
|Jack Mountain (r), Ptarmigan Peak (l)|
|Sheep Lake and the eastern Pasayten|
|Bear tracks at Peeve Pass|
|Sand Ridge, dividing Timber Wolf Creek and Mayo / Whistler Creek drainages|
|Whistler Basin and Ashnola Mountain|
|Trail to Whistler Pass|
|McCall Gulch basin, Larch Pass from Whistler Pass|
|Looking back at Whistler Pass over McCall Gulch|
|Setting sun from Billy Goat Pass, looking north|
|Just about back to the car; looking south from the Billy Goat Pass trail|