Austin and Bill Peckinpaugh -Switchbacks in the Snow
No school on Friday meant we could do a multi-day trip in September, and the Lost creek Ridge trail is a good one. The weather cooperated and we had a great trip. It's a rugged trip, 20.5 miles and 7600 ft. climbed, but it is also one of the most scenic hikes in the Cascades. Topped off with a dip in Kennedy Hot Springs, it was a good way to close out the alpine hiking for the year.
This hike is no longer possible as we did it in 1997. In October 2003 the deteriorating Whitechuck Trail was completely destroyed by floods and mudslides taking out many trail bridges, and obliterating the hot springs and nearby ranger cabin.
Troop 24 Scouts: Jason Smith, Adam Phillips, Austin Peckinpaugh
Troop 24 Adults: Bill Mooseker, Bill Peckinpaugh
Troop 24 "The High Adventure Troop" Backpacking Trip
-Cascade Bill Mooseker
Date(s): Sept 1997. Album by Cascade Bill. 1 - 32 of 32 Total. 463 Visits.
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enlarge 299KB, 526x800 2 It's a long climb up the Lost Creek Ridge trail and we were late getting into camp. This photo is from the morning of the second day. Although the weather was nice, there had been some snowfall earlier in the week and any north facing slope was covered with 4-6 inches of snow. You can see the ridge above Round Lake, where we had to descend on a very slick ice covered trail. Fortunately we all made it down without incident.
enlarge 321KB, 800x524 3 Our camp at Round Lake.
enlarge 317KB, 800x524 4 Round Lake from near our camp.
enlarge 298KB, 800x522 5 Bill Peckinpaugh, Adam Phillips, and Jason Smith (doing dishes).
enlarge 210KB, 522x800 6 Another shot of Round Lake - we were lucky that the snow level did not come down to the lake level.
enlarge 332KB, 525x800 7 Austin Peckinpaugh leaving camp. Mount Pugh in the background.
enlarge 367KB, 527x800 8 Austin, Adam, Jason, and Bill P. leaving camp.
enlarge 261KB, 523x800 9 Climbing up the trail, you get a good look at Round Lake. Going up the trail through the snow was a little easier than it was coming down.
enlarge 239KB, 666x800 10 Sloan Peak from the trail near where you duck over the ridge to descend to Round Lake.
enlarge 287KB, 800x525 11 Looking back at Round Lake, you can see why it was named.
enlarge 246KB, 526x800 12 Sloan Peak provides the backdrop for Bill P., Adam, Jason, and Austin.
enlarge 257KB, 536x800 13 Another view of Sloan Peak from the meadows along the Lost Creek Ridge Trail.
enlarge 344KB, 531x800 14 Adam - taking a break along the trail. Note that from Round Lake to Camp Lake, the trail is sketchy in places.
enlarge 228KB, 800x525 15 Looking up the trail we can see Glacier Peak.
enlarge 239KB, 800x590 16 In shady spots the snow lingers.
enlarge 190KB, 800x580 17 Crossing over to the north side, we find another snow covered set of switchbacks to descend. This was along the ridge near Hardtack Lake.
enlarge 193KB, 567x800 18 Heading down the switchbacks. The trail along the ridge goes up and down a lot, as is typical of ridge trails.
enlarge 255KB, 525x800 19 Late in the day we roll into our camp at Camp Lake. Bill P. tried his luck at fishing, but no dice.
enlarge 300KB, 599x800 20 You can see Bill P. trying his luck fishing.
enlarge 244KB, 800x522 21 Austin cooking dinner. You can see my beloved "Cowboy" Coffee pot, that my son Greg found on the Carne Mountain Leroy Creek trail.
enlarge 263KB, 800x522 22 Our camp near Camp Lake.
enlarge 262KB, 525x800 23 Another View.
enlarge 157KB, 800x575 24 Adam and Jason at camp.
enlarge 179KB, 800x522 25 Adam catching the last rays of the sun - Mount Pugh in the background.
enlarge 289KB, 587x800 26 Heading out around Camp Lake - our camp was by the big rocks at the center of the photo.
enlarge 199KB, 800x526 27 Taking a break - Bill P., Austin, and Adam. View is down the Whitechuck Valley looking west.
enlarge 178KB, 800x597 28 Adam, Jason, Bill, and Austin.
enlarge 242KB, 800x562 29 Getting closer to Glacier Peak.
enlarge 192KB, 800x586 30 Taking in the view of Glacier Peak.
enlarge 301KB, 540x800 31 Lake Byrne's Blue waters beckon from the trail - a very scenic spot with the fall colors in the foreground.
enlarge 258KB, 800x572 32 A last look at Glacier Peak before we begin the long descent to Kennedy Hot Springs and out the Whitechuck Trail. We paused for a dip in the hot springs, where we took a quick dip before continuing on out. Coincidently, one of the teachers at Adam and Jason's school was in the pool when we were there.
Unfortunately, Kennedy Hot Springs is no more, having been washed out in the floods of 2003. See these links for information: Kennedy Hot Springs before the flood Kennedy Hot Springs after the flood There is a good picture of the Springs in the "before" link. Troop 24 used to do an annual hike to the Springs in 70's and early 80's in late March or early April. Our record was 18 people at one time in the Springs, which seems impossible looking at how small the springs look in the picture.