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 Cascade Bill (William Mooseker) | Home > Backpacking Trips > 1980's Hikes > 
1980 Devil's Dome
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Crater-Devils Dome Loop
Pasayten Wilderness
August 8-16, 1980

Devil's Pass Shelter
Merl Weatherhogg,Scott Weatherhogg,Dave Burgess,Wade McDaniel,David Longfellow,Wayne Leer,Bill Mooseker
Greg Mooseker,Matt Guentz

Forced to change our plans due to an ash cloud from Mt St. Helens, we headed to the rugged Pasayten Wilderness as an alternate destination. It was a great trip to some of the most beautiful backcountry ridge walking anywhere. If only you didn't have to climb almost 4000 feet in a day to get to it.

Troop 24 "The High Adventure Troop" Backpacking Trip
-Cascade Bill Mooseker


Date(s): August 1980. Album by Cascade Bill. 1 - 46 of 46 Total. 1078 Visits.
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This is the handout for the 1980 Fifty Milers.  This was the second of my 50 Miler Scout trips.  The troop had two trips planned because of the number of boys that wanted to go.  Group 1 (My group) was going to do a backpacking trip in the Glacier Peak Wilderness leaving from the Phelps Creek (Spider Meadow) trailhead.  Group 2 was going to do a combined backpacking/canoe trip along Ross Lake.

Mount St Helens had other plans for our trip, and when we got to the trailhead, the air was filled with ash from one of the many eruptions that summer. So we turned around and headed back home, where I hastily put together another trip to leave the next day.


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Troop Rules and Regulations.

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Menus for the trip: Ham Romanoff, Beef Stroganoff, and Chicken and Dumplings were prepackaged freeze dried food.  Rice dinners were instant rice mixed with freeze dried ham, chicken, and beef.  We also mixed cocoa powder with dried milk to make our morning cocoa.   

A lot of the deserts were stewed fruit.  Merl didn't much care for this: "While I don't mind being regular, I don't want to be frequent".  Over the years, my menu has changed - Click Here for a 2012 menu for a similar trip.

Today, only Chicken and Dumplings are still on the menu. Labor intensive menu items are gone. Lunches are not cooked (saves a lot of time), and breakfasts are either oatmeal or cereal.  Pancakes for a large group are a disaster, and the dried egg dishes leave a bad aftertaste that lasts all day.


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After consulting the guide books, I decided that we would do the Crater Devil's loop near Ross Lake.  This was well away from the St. Helens ash cloud.

This is a map of Day one of our trip. (Note the proposed N cascades highway route is incorrectly placed!!!).  We parked our cars at the East Bank Ross Lake Trailhead and descended to the Ruby Cr Trail.

Today there is a bridge at the Granite Cr, that would have saved the long and boring trek up Ruby Creek.  Climbing the steep trail to Camp 1 was very hard: Merl had terrible cramps and even the older boys were pooped.

Totals for Day 1: 6 miles and 3470' climbed.


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For our 2nd day, we stashed our packs and took a side trip on Crater Mtn.  Most of the group decided to hang out at small Crater Lake while Merl,Scott, Greg, and I decided to trek up to the site of the old lookout.

After we got back to our packs we continued on the trail through McMillan Park and climbed up to Devil's park and camped out near the old shelter there.

Totals for Day 2 (Bill/Merl/Scott/Greg): 7.5 miles & 3140' climbed.


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Bill & Scott taking break along the trail up to the old lookout.  You can see the North Cascades Hwy going up the valley to the left of center.

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Jack Mtn.

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Scott and Bill.

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Greg and Scott.

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Scott & Greg at the end of the Lookout trail.  Jack Mtn is very impressive.

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Scott and Greg looking down at the snowfields and little lakes at the foot of Crater Mtn.

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Day 3 was a long day of ridge walking with a lot of up and downs.
One of the things that I did back then was have each person bake a treat that we would have as a snack at one of our breaks.  Dave Burgess's treat was "Gluten Balls" for which he took a lot of ribbing as they looked just like the "horse apples" we found along the trail.


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Scott and Bill at break along the trail above Devils Park. (Wayne's hat at upper right). Merl's pack is behind Scott.  
Note that this was before water filters, as my cup attests.  You would just drink from any running water along the trail (I'll still do that if there is no camping above.)


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Looking back towards Crater Mtn (on the left) and Jack Mtn (on the right).

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Crater Mtn from trail.  You can see where we had hiked the day before.

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Day 3 from Jackita to Devil's Pass.

Totals for Day 3: 8.7 miles & 2890' climbed.


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Jackita Mtn.  You can see the trail switchbacking down the talus below.

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Looking north you can see Devil's Dome at the center of the picture.

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A composite photo from the two previous pictures, showing Devil's Dome to the left and Jackita to the right.

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Taking a break: Scott, Matt, Merl, Wayne, and David.

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Merl, Matt, Wayne, and Wade.

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Camp 3 was at the Devil's Pass Shelter.  This was a great camp as the shelter had a stove that kept it nice and comfy.

We had a great night with the added attraction of the Perseid Meteor Shower, which was spectacular in the wilderness sky of the Pasayten.

Unfortunately, the shelter has collapsed in the intervening years.  Click here for a photo of the shelter as it exists today.


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Standing: Merl, Scott, Dave B., Wade, Dave L., Wayne, Bill
Kneeling: Greg, Matt.
The shelter is located about 200' below the ridge.  In the late afternoon, Wade was up on the ridge and he found a big rock that he wanted to roll down the hill (what is it about scout age boys and their penchant for rolling rocks down hills??).  I yelled, "Wade, Don't you dare do it!!!".  The guys all yelled back, "Wade, Do it! Do It".  Well, Wade listened to his inner boy scout and rolled the rock down the hill.  Fortunately it missed the shelter.


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Day 4: We Left the Crater-Devils Loop and headed east towards Sky Pilot Pass.  
As we hit Sky Pilot Pass, we met a couple heading south.  The guy had a huge tent atop his pack.  One of our guys asked him why he had such a big tent for just two people, he replied that he hated to be cooped up in a small tent on a rainy day with nothing to do.

As they hiked out of sight, one of the guys said, "with a babe like that I'd find something to do". I think that we all were thinking the same thing.

Totals for Day 4: 6.6 miles & 1615' climbed.


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Day 4 continued: We found a nice basin to camp in. At first the guys spread their tents out, but when some large bear scat was found, they all moved them together in a group.

It was an eventful evening, as after the guys were playing Kick the Can, we found that Matt had disappeared. We yelled and yelled and I was close to panic as it was getting dark. Wayne and Dave went down the trail and finally found Matt, who had almost made it to the valley bottom.

The next day was a rest day in camp.  While the rest of the guys stayed in camp, I did a day hike out towards Holman Pass and then north on the Cascade Crest Trail to Woody Pass.


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Photo from my day hike along the Cascade Crest Trail. Powder Mtn to the left of center.  Rock Pass is just to the right of Powder.

Totals for my day hike: 12.8 miles and 3489' climbed.


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Another view. Unusual clouds

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Looking south towards Windy Pass from the Cascade Crest Trail.

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Day 6: Heading back to Devil's Pass.  Descenting switchbacks below Sky Pilot Pass.  Devil's Pass is the low point of the ridge in the distance at center of picture.

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Heading back to the shelter at Devil's Pass for night 6.

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Day 7: Leaving Devil's Pass Shelter, we strike out along Devil's Dome ridge.  Unfortunately, the weather had turned so we didn't have the expansive views that would normally be found along this trail.

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It's a long dry trek along the ridge, and then a long descent to Ross Lake.

Totals for Day 7: 10.5 miles & 1750' climbed with 5730' of descent (It's a long way down to the lake!!)


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Dave, Merl, Scott, and Bill at Devil's Dome.  You can tell from our apparel that the weather had changed.

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You can see my brand new hiking staff.  Sue had gotten it for me at a craft fair just before the trip.  It was very light and flexible and it lasted for many years.

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Our view from Devil's Dome.

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Snowfield at Devil's Dome.

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Clouds obscure the peaks along the trail.

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Dave Burgess and Greg Mooseker as we begin our long descent.  

The guys were looking forward to getting to Ross Lake, and it had built up in their minds something like Malibu Beach with wall to wall bikini babes.  Unfortunately, it was more of the same and some were bitterly disappointed.

The guys got some humor out of the situation, telling me that Wayne had been skinny dipping in the lake and had come out to find a 40+ yr old hippy woman standing there.  They told me he came out of the water was having a conversation with her.


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It was a long day out from Devil's creek camp back to the cars following the East Bank Trail.

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View of the guys on the Devil's Creek bridge.

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You can see the lake below the bridge.  In the spring, the lake level is down and there is another 80 feet down to the bottom.

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View from the bridge looking up Devil's Creek.  You can see the bridge suspension cable in the foreground.

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Continuing along the East Bank trail.

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Climbing up Hidden Hand Pass, we met the other Troop 24 group doing the combined canoe/hiking 50 miler.  Had a nice chat with our comrades and wished that they would have as good a week as we had.

It was a long day, and the worst part of it was that we had to climb 200' at the end to get to our cars.

Totals for Day 8: 12.1 miles and 1870' climbed.


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This is a printout of the daily mileage and elevation gain/loss along with Cumulative totals are also given.

The waypoints correspond to those shown on the maps in this album.

Trip Totals:
Bill: 70.8 miles & 19910' climbed.
Merl/Scott/Greg: 58.0 Miles & 16425' climbed.
Dave B/Dave L/Wayne/Wade: 55.6 miles & 15105' climbed.


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