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 Cascade Bill (William Mooseker) | Home > Backpacking Trips > 1997 Backpacking Trips > 
1997 Kickass I
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Kickass Trek - August 1997
Carne Mtn-Leroy Creek/ Spider Gap
Image Lake/ Buck Creek Pass

Image Lake

This was a very long and strenuous trip through rugged country with a lot of cross country scrambling. The difficulty was offset by the scenery as you can see from the photos in this album.

Troop 24 Adults: Bill Mooseker, Charlie Walker, Bill Peckinpaugh, Steve Goodwin, Greg Mooseker (part time)

Troop 24 Scouts: Brian Sisk, Andrew Mooseker, Charles "Chip" Walker, Kyle Meissner, Pete Goodwin, Eric Walkingshaw, Austin Peckinpaugh

Photo names ending with "s" are by Steve Goodwin

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


Date(s): August 1997. Album by Cascade Bill. 1 - 133 of 133 Total. 479 Visits.
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Getting packs ready at Phelps Creek Trailhead:
Greg M, Bill M., Pete G., Eric W., Kyle M.


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Taking a break heading up the steep (but short) climb up the Carne Mtn. Trail.

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The Carne Mtn Trail relentlessly climbs up out of the Phelps Creek Valley.  Fortunately, most of the climb is in the shade of the forest, but near the top the trail enters meadows with expansive views.

Here Steve Goodwin makes his way up the trail with impressive Buck Mtn as a backdrop.


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Chip in camp at Carne Mtn. Basin.

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Austin setting up tent at Carne Mtn. Basin.

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Andrew getting ready to dish out dessert at our first night's camp.

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View of our camp at Carne Mtn. Basin

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Snowfields still linger in mid August.

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Our first nights camp was Carne Mtn. Basin, below Carne Mountain.  This photo shows our camp from the ridge above the camp.

It was only 3.2 miles from the trail head to our camp, but we had to climb almost 2800 feet.


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Looking along Entiat Ridge at Seven Fingered Jack Mtn and Mt. Maude.

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Looking north from the ridge above our camp, you can see Mt Maude beyond.

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Another view of our camp from the ridge.

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Kyle going up the ridge above our camp.

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Our Camp in Carne Mtn. Basin - My first trip here was in 1969 - Sue and I, with her carrying Greg (2 years old) were very tired when we got to the basin and looking forward to making camp.  Unfortunately, we found that the basin was occupied by about a thousand sheep and two Basque sheepherders.

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After Breakfast at Carne Mtn. Basin:
Bill M., Andrew, Austing, Kyle, Eric, Chip, ??


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First rays of the sun hitting our camp.

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All the Moosekers: Andrew, Bill & Greg.

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Getting ready to hit the trail: Bill & Charlie.

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Greg Mooseker in camp.

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Day 2 - breaking camp.  Charlie and Steve at the left.

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Group Photo in Upper Carne Mtn. Basin- You can see Spider Glacier and Spider Gap far in the distance (Above Brian).

Left to Right:
Cascade Bill, Brian Sisk, Bill Peckinpaugh, Peter Goodwin, Chip Walker, Eric Walkinshaw, Austin Peckinpaugh, Charlie Walker, Greg Mooseker, Andrew Mooseker, Kyle Meissner, Steve Goodwin.


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Another View.

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The trail climbs to a saddle overlooking the upper end of Rock Creek (Elev 6750).  Leaving our packs there, we scrambled up the ridge to the summit of Carne Mtn (Elev 7100).

Here Greg and Steve look north along Entiat Ridge.


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Austin and Bill at the Summit.

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Buck Mtn from the Carne Mtn summit.

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Andrew and Charlie.

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Chip, Kyle, and Eric. - You can see much of the Carne Mtn - Leroy Creek High Route along Entiat Ridge.

You can see a small white dot midway between Chip and Kyle, which is a small snowfield about level with Chip's ear (lower Box Creek Basin).  The route climbs to the saddle between Box and Chipmunk Creek - roughly to the snowfield about halfway between the white dot and the top of Mt Maude at the center of the photo.  Note Seven Fingered Jack just to the left of Mt. Maude.


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Eric & Pete on summit of Carne Mtn.

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Andrew, Kyle, and Chip - View of Buck Mtn - Buck Creek Pass is at the head of the valley to the right of the photo.  We would be returning via Buck Creek Pass 6 days hence ending at Trinity (in the valley at the lower left).

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Looking up Phelps Creek - Spider Meadow can be seen at the upper end of the valley.

Peaks from left to right - Fortress, Chiwawa, Red.  Spider Glacier and Spider Gap can be seen as a "7" shaped snowfield to the right of Red Mtn.  We would head over Spider Gap 3 days later.


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Back down to the saddle we put our packs back on and go down switchbacks about 3/4 miles to the junction with the Carne Mtn- Leroy Creek High route.

Brian, Bill, Peter, Chip, Eric, Austin, Greg (lower group). Charlie, Steve, Andrew, and Kyle (upper group).


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Another view.

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Heading down the Rock Creek Trail with Entiat Ridge in the background.

Kyle, Andrew, Steve (red pack) and Charlie.  Greg is almost out of view in the woods.


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Andrew a short way along the Carne Mtn/Leroy Creek High Route.

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Taking a break in a small basin along the High Route - Andrew and Steve with Buck Mtn in the background.

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Charlie, Greg, and Steve.

I think that this is where Sue, Greg, and I camped in 1969 when we encountered the sheep in Carne Mtn. Basin.  Greg and I camped here in 1987, where we found our "Cowboy" Coffee Pot, that was lost in Milk Creek by David Hoff in 1998.


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Charlie and Greg.

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On the trail again - actually we did have a little tread through this part of the route as you can see. We are dropping into Box Creek - you can see the "white dot" snowfield in the meadow beyond.

If you enlarge the photo to "original size", you can see the trail going up from the right side of the meadow with the snowfield.  The trail goes up through the trees to the meadows of upper Box Creek.


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Kyle.
This is the meadow with the "white dot" snowfield looking back along our route to Carne Mountain beyond.  You can see the trail coming down.

Kyle is not happy - we had just taken his big box of CD's.


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At the upper end of Box Creek, you have to go up this hill to reach the saddle between Box and Chipmunk Creeks.  

Going up Kyle, Andrew, Charlie, Greg (far right).  Austin (red pack), Peter, Eric, Chip, Bill, Brian (far left).


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Looking back down the hill to the upper Box Creek meadows you can see Steve coming up the hill.

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Crossing the snowfield at the saddle, there is a peekaboo view of Fortress and Chiwawa Mountains.

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Looking down to the meadows of Upper Chipmunk Creek.  There is "vague" tread going down to Chipmunk Creek, but all trace of a trail is lost in these meadows.  

The route traverses around this shoulder as best you can, using benches where possible.


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Greg taking a break.

Going around the shoulder, Spider Meadow, and the "7" of the Spider Glacier and spider Gap seems a lot closer.
Click Here for a photo of Greg at the same spot in 1983.

From here on, the route gets much rougher as you have to drop down into a rocky basin around the corner.  Traverse around the shoulder till you come to a talus slope, which you can work around on the left.


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Charlie, Austin, Chip, Eric (behind Chip), Peter, Bill P., Brian.

Carne Mountain is the peak with the snowfield beyond.


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Get out the moleskin - Andrew doing a little foot doctoring.

As I noted a couple of photos ago, the route from Chipmunk Creek to Leroy Creek Basin is really rough, especially dropping down into the talus on the slopes of Seven Fingered Jack.

This was my last photo for the day.  We ran out of time and stumbled into our camp at Leroy Creek basin just before dark.  Steve and Charlie, pitched their tents and we didn't see them until morning. Everone was dead tired.  Someone said that this trail "Kicks your ass", so the Kickass Trail and the "Kickass Trekkers" were born.

Stat's for the day: 9.3 miles and 3350' climbed.  Total for 2 days - 12.5 miles and 6100' climbed.  Kickass indeed!


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Day 3 - Halfway down the Leroy Creek Trail we are taking a short break.  This "trail" is an ankle killing monster that is very steep and inspires almost constant cussing.

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Bill P, Brian, Andrew, Kyle, Eric, Chip, and Peter. This is a trail that is super steep and eroded, and is no fun either going up or down.

At the junction of Leroy Creek and Phelps Cr trails, we said our goodbyes to Greg, who headed on out, headed for home (with Kyle's CD's) while we headed up the trail to camp at Spider Meadow.

Stats for Day 3- 5.2 miles, 700' climbed, 2000' dropped.


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Day 4 - leaving Spider Meadow.

Day 3 had been fairly easy, even with the steep descent of Leroy Creek.  We made camp early and had a leisurely day.

You can't see the Spider Glacier, which is behind the gray buttress below Red Mountain.  Spider Meadow is one of the special places in the Cascades.


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Steve heading up the trail to the Spider Glacier.  This trail was built to support a mining claim on the other side of Spider Gap.

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Another view of Steve.  You can see the wide expanse of Spider Meadow beyond.  This trail is very steep as it was made by prospectors and not to some Federal Specification.

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At the foot of the Spider Glacier.  You can see Seven Fingered Jack beyond.

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Bill P, Kyle, and Charlie taking a break before we tackle the Spider Glacier.

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Looking back down at our break spot.

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Climbing up the Spider Glacier -
Chip, Peter, Eric, "Pink Cheeks" and her companion, Bill M., Charlie, and Steve.

"Pink Cheeks" was a good looking woman in pink shorts that passed me on the way up.  Following her for a while kept your mind off the steep climb.


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Still Climbing.

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Almost to the top - Austin at left.

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Andrew and Bill M.

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Charlie.

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Kyle

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Steve

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Chip & Pete at Spider Gap. (Pink Cheeks at left!)

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On top -
Cascade Bill, Bill P, Chip, Brian, Peter, Eric, Andrew, Steve, Charlie.
kneeling- Austin and Kyle.


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Another view.

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At the gap-
Steve, Charlie, Kyle, Andrew, Eric, Brian, Austin, Chip, Peter, and Bill P.

The miner's trail coming out of the snowbank at center right goes to the mining claim.  You can see 'Pink cheeks" and her companion heading out on this trail.  This trail does not lead down to Lyman basin.


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Heading down the snowfields on the north side of Spider Gap. Some of the guys got out garbage bags and slid down the snow.

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Charlie going down - note his creative use of his shoes and cup to store his water bottles.

If you look closely you can see "icebergs" on the lakes below.


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Continuing down the snowfield - you can see the crevasses on the Lyman Glacier beyond.

Sliding down on his garbage bag, Chip narrowly missed the only sticking out of the snow for 100 yards in any direction.


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Heading down - we were fortunate in having this much snow, which meant that we didn't have to clamber over the rocky detritus of the glacier.

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Another view.

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View of the upper Lyman Basin - Cloudy Peak to the right and the twin peaks of Sitting Bull Mountain at the center.

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Taking a break above the Lyman Glacier.

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Chip and Charlie.

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Kyle and Eric

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Andrew and Bill

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Peter and Steve.

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Bill, Steve, Bill P., Charlie

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Lyman Glacier.

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Lower edge of Lyman Glacier ends in this lake.

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After leaving the snowfield and the moraine field behind, a trail is picked up which will lead you down to Lyman Lake.

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Looking back up the basin - Spider Gap is back to the left behind the gray rock.

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Looking back through the trees at upper Lyman basin.

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A really impressive view looking back up the basin as the trail climbs to a little ridge.  You can see the trail at the lower left of the photo.

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After climbing the low ridge, we get our first view of Lyman lake below Cloudy Peak.  You can see the guys on the trail below.

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Looking towards upper Lyman basin from Lyman Lake.

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Lyman Lake looking down Railroad Creek Valley.

We camped at the designated campground here.  The guys had a nice dip in the lake. A coed working at Holden Village for the summer, was camped by us and joined us at our campfire.  We got a laugh when she sat down next to Brian, and he kept moving away and she would move closer, etc. until he almost fell off the bench.

Stat's for the day, 7.6 miles, 2700' climbed, and 1800' dropped.


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View from our camp back towards Lyman.

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Our Camp on the west side of the lake: Eric, Bill P., Andrew, Kyle, Brian, Bill M., Pete, Chip, Austin, charlie.
You can see from the Mosquito nets that the bugs were bad!  There was a gal from Holden Village camped near us and joined our campfire. She sidled up to Brian, and he kept sliding over until he was hanging onto the log with just one cheek.  We thought he was going to fall off.


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Day 5
Heading up to Cloudy Pass though the fields of lupine along the trail. Cloudy Peak is to the right.


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Bill M. on the long traverse up to Cloudy Pass.

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Looking back towards Spider Gap, Red & Chiwawa Mountains.

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At Cloudy Pass is one of the premier views of the Cascades (or anywhere) - Lyman Lake and upper Lyman Basin, and Red Mountain.  You can see the route coming down from Spider Gap.

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Taking a break at Cloudy Pass.

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Descending from Cloudy Pass.

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Day 6 - our camp at Image Lake. Charlie, Bill P, and Steve enjoying a cup of java with Glacier Peak rising from the mists beyond.

Note: Day 5 stats: 7.4 miles, 2250' climbed, and 1900' dropped.


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Glacier Peak and Image Lake.

We made a circuit of the lake from our camp (in the trees beyond).  When we wee about at the far side, we saw a guy swimming on the other side of the lake.  As we made our way around to that side, Somebody exclaimed, "Hey, that guy is not a guy!", and sure enough as we came up to where the swimmer was sitting, we came upon another Holden Village coed enjoying a morning skinny dip, sitting there with her hands strategically placed.  As we walked by, Bill P. asked her how the water was.  They exchanged a few comments with everyone trying to look like they weren't looking.

If you look at the photo at the original size, you can see the swimmer making her way across the lake.  

They say that the view from Image Lake across to Glacier Peak is another one of the best in the Cascades, but I think that we had a bonus that morning.


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Can you find our "Swimmer"? - Enlarge to original size.

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Guys at Image Lake.

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Looking back over Image Lake.

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Another view of Image Lake and Glacier Peak shrouded in clouds.

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Bill P - testing the water himself.

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Eric and Kyle.

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Andrew - Leaving Image Lake.

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Charlie - on Miner's Ridge on Image Lake Alternate heading back to the Cascade Crest Trail.

At the junction with the CCT, we met a group that was on a speed trek.  I asked them where they were going, and they said that they were heading up over Suiattle Pass and then down Agnes Creek.  I told them that they should make the short side trips to Image Lake and to Cloudy Pass to get the best views along their route.  They weren't interested, so I told them that that was like having a hamburger without mayo, onions, and ketchup.  I guess they thought I was some kind of whacko cause they immediately took off up the trail.


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View from Miner's Ridge - the Suiattle river is at the left, and Dusty Creek just left of center.

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Steve and Charlie - Fortress Mtn as a backdrop.

Usually we filter our water, but where there is little chance that people are camping near the water source, I'll generally drink the water as is.  At the beginning of the trip Steve and Charlie were adamant that all their water be filtered, and they would be pumping water when everybody else would be filling their canteens from the stream.  I was taken aback along this stretch of the trail, when I came around a bend and both Charlie and Steve were filling their canteens from a stream along the trail!


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When we got to the CCT we headed south until we got to the junction of the Buck Creek Pass Trail.  This photo is taken near where the Buck Cr Pass Trail goes over the ridge, and is looking back across the valley towards Miner's Ridge.

In photo: Bill P., Brian, Eric (green pack), Andrew (white hat), Charlie (in mosquito netting).


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View of Miner's Ridge and Plummer's Mountain.  If you enlarge photo to "original size" you can make out the Image Lake Alternate trail if you look closely.

When we got to the ridge crest, we met "Pink Cheeks" and her companion again.  We had planned on going up the ridge to a little basin to camp, but that was where PC and friend were headed so I opted to continue on the trail, which turned out to be a bad decision in that we had to camp in a crappy camp at Small Creek instead of high up in the meadows.  Basically we were pitching our tents in the trail - no one was happy that night.

Stats for Day 6: 9.8 miles, 2600' climbed, and 3200' dropped.


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Day 7 - on our way to Buck Creek Pass.

The climb out of Small Creek is short but steep.  I put Brian in front as hikemaster, but had to fire him as he was going much too fast.

Also, enlarge photo and look at Charlie's hiking stick.  Then go back and look at the photos from the beginning of the hike - it looks like it has gotten shorter by about 3 feet!


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As we head along the trail down into Buck Creek Pass, Glacier Peak comes into view from behind Flower Dome.

Note the lenticular cloud over Glacier Peak.


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Full on view of Glacier Peak.

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Climbing up Liberty Cap on the trail above Buck Cr. Pass.  Helmet Butte is to the left with Fortress Mtn. just to the right of it.

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After setting up camp at Buck Cr Pass, we took a day hike up the trail towards High Pass.  This trail was once supposed to be part of the Cascade Crest Trail, but it never was constructed over High Pass.

Mountain to the left is Fortress Mtn. again.


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Charlie, Steve, and Bill P. heading up the trail that goes around the side of Liberty Cap.

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Taking a break with a great view of Glacier Peak.

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Another view - this is a beautiful stretch of trail.

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Another view.

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Typical ridge walking on the way to High Pass - view is down Buck Creek Valley.

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Eric and Kyle.

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Austin, Kyle, Eric, Chip, Peter, and Bill - taking a break on the way back to camp.

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Eric, Chip, Peter, and Andrew -
After rounding Liberty Cap, the trail goes along the ridge for a while and then goes over to the north side of the ridge and traverses across the steep slopes of peak 7276.  The trail here is in pretty bad condition, and the dropoff makes you a little nervous.  I went around a corner and saw that the guys were crossing a steep snowfield that was over the trail and a slip would be a one way ticket to Eternity.  I stopped the rest from going over and was relieved that those that had already crossed go back over safely.  We headed back to this spot on the ridge and took a break.  

The guys were a little nonchalant about crossing the snowfield, and Steve gave them quite a tongue lashing.  Later, Chip stated that he hadn't seen Steve that pissed since someone dropped a book in the Library.


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Looking across Buck Creek we can see in the distance our route at the beginning of the trip - from Carne Mountain at right to Mt Maude at the left.

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Looking towards Mt. Maude.

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Bill and Andrew - this is where the trail goes over to the north side of the ridge.

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View looking south from the trail.

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Heading back to Buck Creek Pass near where the trail starts to descend around Liberty Cap.

Andrew, Peter, Chip, Eric, Kyle, Austin, and Brian.


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Heading down to Buck Creek Pass - Helmet Butte and Fortress Mtn. as the backdrops.

Day 7 stats, including day hike: 7.3 miles, 2150' climbed, and 1700' dropped.

I didn't get any pictures for the hike out from Buck Cr Pass to Trinity, but here are the stats for Day 8: 10.2 miles, 600' climbed, and 3600' dropped.

Total stats for the trip:  60 miles, 17200' climbed, 17894 dropped.


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Our last camp - Buck Cr. Pass:
Eric, Charlie, Chip, Andrew, Austin, and Brian.


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Last Camp.

 
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