This was a 7 day backpacking trip along the Chelan Summit. We call it the "George" Hike, because at the pack check the night before we left, Bill Peckinpaugh's childhood friend, Jorge (George) Gonzalles was looking wistfully as we were getting ready. I asked him if he wanted to go, and he agreed to come.
Unfortunately, I didn't get photos for the middle of the trip, and so I missed a lot of scenery. At the Junction Camp (below Boiling Lake), I missed Shelby's Bug, where on a bet he ate a "cricket" like bug about 2 inches long, not just swallowing it, but crunching it with his teeth. When asked why he did that, he said that "If I'm going to eat it, I might as well see what it tastes like!
Another memorable moment (well that may be stretching it, maybe unforgettable is more appropriate) is when we got a double full moon, as the moon was rising above our camp at Surprise Lake, George decided to bend over when he was taking a bath in the creek.
Troop 24 Scouts: Adam Phillips, Danny Stallings, Charles "Chip" Walker, Peter Goodwin, Roger Shively, Brian Sisk, Shelby Stong, Austin Peckinpaugh
Troop 24 Adults: Bill Mooseker, Bill Peckinpaugh, Jorge Gonzales
Troop 24 "The High Adventure Troop" Backpacking Trip
-Cascade Bill Mooseker
Date(s): July 1997. Album by Cascade Bill. 1 - 53 of 53 Total. 661 Visits.
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enlarge 336KB, 522x800 2 It's a long grind to Martin Lake, and since I'd been on this hike a couple of times already, I didn't get any photos on the first day. This is on the morning of the 2nd day at Martin Lake.
First day stats: 7.2 miles, 2900' climbed, 930' dropped.
enlarge 279KB, 800x526 3 Gang at Lower Martin Lake.
enlarge 327KB, 526x800 4 Martin Peak and Lower Martin Lake.
enlarge 294KB, 800x510 5 Shelby, Peter (behind tree), Danny, and Adam.
enlarge 276KB, 524x800 6 On the trail between Martin and Cooney Lake.
Adam, Peter, Danny, Chip, Brian, Bill P., Austin, Roger, and George.
enlarge 351KB, 800x529 7 It was an easy day to get to Cooney Lake from Martin Lakes. All the good camps at the lake were taken so we made our camp in the meadows below the lake.
Bill Peckinpaugh bringing his gear into the campsite.
Day 2 stats: 2.6 miles, 920' climbed.
Additional stats for side trip up the Angel Staircase: 1.8 miles and 800' climbed.
enlarge 297KB, 800x526 8 Brian and Bill P. on the Angel Staircase above Lake Cooney.
Not having hiked the Angel Staircase before, Bill P., Brian, and I headed up the trail to check it out. There was a large snowfield that we could see from the lake, and I was worried that the trail would not be open (it was still early in the year).
enlarge 194KB, 526x800 9 Brian on the Angel Staircase Trail - Martin Peak in the background.
enlarge 230KB, 800x595 10 Cropped version of previous photo.
enlarge 203KB, 800x526 11 The first pass along the Angel Staircase - we found that the trail was open (the trail skirted the snowfield that had me worried).
The signpost here marks the junction with the Sunrise Lake trail.
enlarge 204KB, 800x523 12 View of Sunrise Lake and Merchant's Basin from the pass above Cooney Lake (Elev 7950').
enlarge 187KB, 800x524 13 Looking West.
enlarge 276KB, 800x524 14 On our way back down - Brian and Bill.
enlarge 248KB, 800x525 15 Day 3: Danny, Chip, and Peter in camp pumping water.
Peter got his nickname as "Bucketfoot" by putting his foot in the Pot we had cooked supper in. Fortunately, we had already doled out the portions.
As you can see, if you are going to hike the Chelan Summit in July there are going to be hordes of bugs!
Cascade Bill tip: If you are going to pump water, always pump from a water jug or pail and not directly from a stream or lake. Doing so allows sediment to settle and you can find a comfortable spot to sit while pumping. As a bonus, your filter will last much longer.
enlarge 257KB, 800x526 17 Heading up the Angel Staircase. You can see the snowfield that had me worried.
enlarge 271KB, 800x526 18 Brian, Bill P., Shelby, and George heading up the very steep Angel Staircase.
enlarge 251KB, 800x525 19 View of Cooney lake from this vantage point is very spectacular.
enlarge 235KB, 800x526 20 Standing: George, Peter, Chip, Danny, Bill P., Adam, Austin, and Roger. Kneeling: Shelby, and Brian.
enlarge 256KB, 800x526 21 If you look close you can see Brian's purple Jansport Pack. He took so much crap about it we never saw it on another trip.
enlarge 237KB, 800x526 22 When you get to the pass above Cooney Lake you groan as you see that you have another 150-200' to climb to reach the ridge above Merchant's Basin.
You can see the guys going up the trail as it crosses the talus slope just below the ridge crest.
enlarge 232KB, 800x524 23 Chip, Peter, Adam, and Danny at the crest. You can't see Lake Chelan from here but you can see the peaks on the western side of the lake. You can just make out Glacier Peak at the center as it is masked by a nearer peak on the west side of Lake Chelan.
enlarge 243KB, 800x524 24 Once you reach the crest, the trail continues to traverse in a southerly direction before going over to the other side for the descent. Pyramid Mountain can be seen on the opposite ridge at the center of the photo.
enlarge 257KB, 800x526 25 Another view.
enlarge 238KB, 800x525 26 Its a steep descent on the western side of the Angel Staircase to the junction with the Chelan Summit Trail. This typical of the stretch north of the trail junction as the trail traverses pleasant meadows with views in all directions. Chip, Peter, Danny Adam, George, Roger, Austin, Shelby, Bill P., and Brian.
Unfortunately, when I changed the film after this shot, it wasn't engaged and I got no pictures from here to the pass above Tuckaway Lake.
Day 3 stats (Cooney Lake to Junction Camp): 4.5 miles, 1200' climbed, 1850' dropped. Day 4 stats (Junction Camp to camp above Surprise Lake): 7.2 miles, 2200' climbed, 2000' dropped. Day 5 stats (Surprise Lake camp to Tuckaway basin camp): 5.1 miles, 2200' climbed, 1550' dropped.
enlarge 241KB, 800x523 27 Hey, the camera is working again.
Roger, Austin, and Chip taking a break at the pass above Tuckaway Lake.
Some of us headed up the ridge to climb Gray Peak. While we were away, Bill and George put a 15 pound rock in Adam's pack. (to be continued.)
enlarge 268KB, 800x525 28 On the way to Gray Peak - we get this view of tiny Tuckaway lake, aptly named as it is truly tucked into a basin.
The previous day we had day hiked up to the lake to do some fishing for small trout.
enlarge 206KB, 800x523 29 Another view from the ridge on the way to Gray Peak.
enlarge 161KB, 800x524 30 Grey Peak is a "bump" along the ridge.
enlarge 153KB, 800x524 31 If you enlarge the photo you can see the guys as stick figures along the ridge.
enlarge 147KB, 800x524 32 Enlarge to original size to see the guys at the summit of Gray Peak (Elev 8082).
enlarge 171KB, 800x522 33 Adam, Shelby, Austin, and Brian at the summit of Gray Peak.
enlarge 148KB, 800x525 34 Looking SW from the summit - Pyramid Peak can be seen at the left side of the picture (peak with finger like snowfield extending to the ridge.
enlarge 247KB, 800x523 35 The guys are heading back down the ridge.
enlarge 225KB, 800x523 36 Looking north from the summit towards Tuckaway Lake. If you enlarge to original size, you can see the packs and the guys that didn't want to climb Gray Peak.
enlarge 278KB, 800x522 37 Looking east, we can see West Oval Lake, which is our day's destination.
enlarge 189KB, 800x527 38 Looking south from the summit. If you enlarge the photo to original size, you can see the old sheepherder trail as it reaches the crest of the ridge below Gray Peak. The Chelan Summit Trail comes over the pass to the right of the peak above the snowfield at the center of the picture.
enlarge 252KB, 800x525 39 Another view of Tuckaway Lake.
enlarge 314KB, 800x523 40 Packs on and heading down. We don't go on the trail that extends up to the top of the photo as that goes over the ridge to Middle Oval Lake. You can't see the junction with the Oval Lakes Trail from here.
By the way, I wonder if Adam is feeling the extra weight!
enlarge 188KB, 800x523 41 On the way down, a snowfield covered the trail. Shelby took a spectualar spill along here, and Adam found a "lucky" horseshoe.
enlarge 198KB, 800x526 42 On the way down.
enlarge 172KB, 800x526 43 Chip and Danny - taking a dip in West Oval Lake.
When we got to the lake, we were all sitting around deciding where to set up camp, when Bill P. and George pulled big rocks of their packs (which they had just surreptitiously put in). George looked at Adam and said, "I can take a lot of things, but this is just BULLSHIT!. Adam said "It wasn't me, it wasn't me", and then found the big rock in his pack. We all got a big laugh.
enlarge 298KB, 800x525 44 The fishing was good in the lake. We had a pool going for the biggest fish (about 25 bucks), and there were some big fish caught.
Adam (it just wasn't his day) got a really big one on. Bringing it in he picked up the line, and gave it a whack with his "Lucky" horseshoe. Instead of killing the fish, he knocked it back into the water.