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 Cascade Bill (William Mooseker) | Home > Backpacking Trips > 2005 - 2011 Trips > Anaconda Pintler Wilderness, MT > 
Montana 2005 D1-D3

Anaconda Pintler Wilderness, Montana - Days 1-3

Day 1: Carpp Creek Trailhead to Carpp Lake
Day 2: Carpp Lake to Tamarack Lake
Day 3: Tamarack Lake to Johnson Lake

Takin' It Easy at Tamarack Lake

Photos titles ending in "b" are by Bill; in "r" by Roger; and, in "a" by Andrew.

Troop 24 Kickass Trekkers: "The High Adventure Troop" Alumni Backpacking Trip
-Cascade Bill Mooseker


Date(s): August 2005. Album by Cascade Bill. Photos by WHM/Andrew/Roger. 1 - 113 of 113 Total. 2610 Visits.
  Sign the Guestbook. Displaying 2 of 2 entries.
Thanks for the great photos. I haven't been to Carpp Lake since I was a young boy of 12 (now nearing 49 years old). The creek, lakes, ridge and nearby Carpp mine were all named after my great grandfather Charles A. Carpp and his son Charles H. Carpp who ran the sapphire mine on Carpp Ridge. Hope to take my kids back there someday for a visit.
 - 
Charles J. Carpp | http://mysite.verizon.net/reswb9uj/, Thu, 31 May 2007 9:42PM
Bill-

I found your pictures googling '"Sawed Cabin" Pintler'.  We're thinking about doing your hike in the reverse (so we would go from Sawed Cabin to Oreamnos).  Do you have any tips for finding the correct route from SC to O?

Great pics - we really enjoyed them.
Brian
 - 
Brian L, Tue, 22 Aug 2006 5:59PM
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Map for Day 1:  After our trip to Granite, we continued on to the Carpp Creek Trailhead, arriving in the lengthening shadows of late afternoon.  We camped overnight at the trailhead - Andrew and I pitched our tent but Roger and Shelby slept under the stars.  In the morning, Shelby and Roger were a couple of corpse-sicles - covered by a thick frosting of ice from the heavy dew.  Soon the sun came over the hill and we put out our bags and tent fly to dry and got our gear together.  Roger and Shelby drove to the Middle Fork TH and left the car and walked back.  After they got back we headed up the Carpp Creek Trail.  Our destination was Carpp Lake.  (It is recommended that this map be viewed at original size).

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Shelby takes a break at the intersection of the Carpp Cr and Tamarack Lake (abandoned) trail.  Note old signpost behind Shelby.  If you want to take the Tamarack Lk trail keep your eyes peeled as it is easy to miss as brush has been piled over the old trail. (This is about 2 miles and 500 elev gain from the trailhead.

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Roger in his favorite hiking shirt (see trips from 2001 onwards).

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Andrew - Ipod engaged and Camelback ready.  This was Andrew's first hike since 2002 due to a snowboarding accident and two knee surgeries.

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Carpp Creek Crossing.

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Andrew crossing Carpp Creek.  This is about 2 3/4 miles from the trailhead (700' elev gain)

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Andrew at Carpp Creek crossing.

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"Wildlife" along trail.  One of the hazards along the trail were fresh cow flops.

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Local "wildlife"

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Andrew at Junction of Carpp Creek trail with the Carpp Lake Trail.  (3.6 mile and 950' elev gain from the TH).  The trail heads up steeply from this point.

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Carpp Lake and Warren Peak from near our camp.  All told it was about 5.5 miles and 1700' elev gain from the Trailhead.  We met a couple parties of day hikers (One included a pistol packin' Momma with a unique between the breasts holster) but no one else was camped at the lake - a wonder considering that it was a weekend in mid August.

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Shelby trying his luck.

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That's me way down there trying to catch some cutthroat trout.  Fishing was poor to fair - I caught only a couple of small ones.

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Even though the fishing wasn't great, it will still make for one of the most memorable days of the year.

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Roger's "frog's eye" view from the meadow near the outlet of the lake.

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The outlet of Carpp Lake (actually the middle and largest lake of 3 - see map picture).  The lower lake was fairly large but very shallow. Note chipmunk on top of rock (zoom photo).

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Warren Peak from the outlet of Carpp Lake.

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Telephoto view of Warren Peak.

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Chipmunk at the outlet.

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Dwarf Alpine Fireweed and Mountain Daisies in the meadow along the shore of Carpp Lake.

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Bumble Bee and Mountain Daisy.

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Butterflies and a myriad of flowers.

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More butterflies and flowers.

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Close up of Butterfly.

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More butterflies.

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Sunlight on the lakeshore grasses.

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Hey, Chippie!
"Pika? not chipmonk"
View Comments...

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I see you!

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Is it Chip or Dale?

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Blue Gentian - likes marshy areas such as the lakeshore of Carpp Lake.

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Another view of the blue Gentians around Carpp Lake.

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The previous campers at our campsite had dumped two large filleted fish remains into the water adjacent to the campsite.  Roger went in and "fished" them out.

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These fish carcasses show that there are some fairly big ones in Carpp Lake, but we weren't so lucky.  Note the red gill flaps denoting that these are cutthroat trout.

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Another view of Carpp Lake and Warren Peak.

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Carpp Lake is a beautiful lake - the Highline Trail (which we joined at the lower end of the lake) passes over the low pass at center to drop past Upper Carpp Lake and drops back down into the Carpp Creek drainage.

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Telephoto view of Warren Peak.

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Shelby fishing in Carpp Lake.

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Our camp - morning of Day 2: Roger, Shelby, Bill (obscured).  There was a campfire ban in effect so we had no campfires during the trip.

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Roger and Bill .  It was a cold morning until the sun got over the hill, so we had our fleece on.

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The morning son finally comes over the ridge on a very still Carpp Lake.

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Our Camp - Packing up after breakfast.

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One of the many resident camp chimpmunks - coming out to see what they could find.

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Chimpmunk plays hide and seek.

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Roger packing up his troop gear pile - Why do we still call it troop gear after all the guys have been out of the troop for four years?

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Bill and Andrew packing up.  Note Andrew's knee brace.

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Before we take off - Andrew and one final view of Carpp Lake and Warren Mountain.

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Cascade Bill - ready  to head out.

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Roger and Shelby - "Good to Go" mode.  Waiting for Bill to get up the trail aways before heading out.

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Map for Day 2: From our camp on the NW shore of Carpp Lake we head west along the Hiline Trail climbing a couple of hundred feet over a ridge and then dropping down to Tamarack Creek.  A few switchbacks past the creek crossing you can see the faint tread of the old Tamarack Lake Trail (1.8 mi from Carpp Lake) coming up the hill. Turning south, the trail climbs through open forest to a junction where the Hiline Trail turns west and the Tamarack Lake trail continues South. (2.4 mi from Carpp Lake).  After a short distance, a small lake is seen through the trees (Little Annie Lake).  Past the lake the trail starts climbing seriously, finally breaking out in meadows and trending downhill (you think you'ree finally there), but the trail (not as shown on the topo map), heads up again, rounding a small pond (not shown on the map) before arriving at beautiful Tamarack Lake (3.6 mi and 1100' elev gain from Carpp Lake). Note map best viewed at original size.

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Just before breaking out into the meadows below Tamarack Lake, the ruins of this old cabin are seen to the right of the trail.

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Tamarack Lake? No! - just a small pond (not shown on the map).  The trail goes arond the lake on the left side.

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Another view of the small pond - Previous photo was taken from the trees at the left of the photo (you can see the trail going around the lake shore).

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After a short hiking day - Time to Relax. Nothing finer than sitting in your lawn chair out in the lake.  Shelby got a 16 inch cutthroat trout on his second cast - no further action at all.  We (well I did) filleted the fish and cooked it, but the flesh was very soft and we ended up burying most of it.  I would rather eat a passle of 8-10 inchers any day, although the large rainbows we caught in Idaho were really good.

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Close up of the guys in their lawn chairs.

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After the fishing flunked out, I found this shady spot to read my book - what a view.

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Roger opted to climb up the slope above the lake and got this view - Our camp was in the trees between the main lake and the small pond.

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View from the talus slope above the lake. We were hoping (in vain) for goats to appear.

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Another view.

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Telephoto view of our camp - you can see the rocks that the lawn chair pictures were.

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Looking down the talus to the lake.

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Alpenglow over Tamarack Lake.

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Alpenglow reflection of Warren Peak in Tamarack Lake.

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Tamarack Lake.

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Tamarack Lake.

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Tamarack Lake.

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Tamarack Lake.

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Tamarack Lake.

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Tamarack Lake.

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Tamarack Lake.

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Shelby - near our camp on Tamarack Lake.

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View across Tamarack Lake Outlet.

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Tamarack Lake Outlet.

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Scenic view looking up lake from Tamarack Lake outlet.

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Tamarack Lake.

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Tamarack Lake.

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Warren Peak

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Camp deer.

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Camp deer.

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Roger making "Pink Flamingo" video.

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Roll Tape (Roger) - actually it's digital.
"Actually, that one is a tape. Its the black one thats..."
View Comments...

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Map for Day 3: Tamarack Lake to Johnson Lake.  From Tamarack Lake we retrace our route from Day 2 down to the Hiline Trail where we head west over a small hill and then down to cross the creek coming down from Glover Basin (Tamarack Lake).  After crossing the creek, the trail climbs steeply up to cross Porter Ridge (2 mi and 400' elev gain) from Tamarack Lk. After crossing the ridgeline, the trail trends up for a while before trending down for a long traverse through trees, meadows and a talus slope.  Reaching another ridge, the trail heads down into the Falls Fork of Rock Creek drainage passing the trail to Edith Lake (not as shown on topo but much higher up) before seriously switchbacking down to meet the Falls Fork Trail to Johnson Lake (4.4 mi from Tamarack Lake). Note map best viewed at "Original Size".

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Bill along Hiline trail (just before crossing creek coming down from Glover Basin).

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View down trail up Porter Ridge.

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View from trail up Porter Ridge gives our last view of Warren Peak.

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View from Porter Ridge west to Rock Creek drainage.

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Bill coming down trail traversing Porter Ridge.

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Huge talus field on Porter Ridge.

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Andrew at talus field.

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Looking across talus field to Rock creek drainage.

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Beginning the descent into the Rock Creek basin.  Johnson Lake lies behind the trees of the low ridge left of center.  Pintler Pass is the low spot on the far ridge at the left of the picture. The highest peak on the ridge is East Pintler Peak.  If you look closely you can see many areas where a forest fire has burned thru the valley.

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Shelby going down the switchbacks near the Edith Lake trail cutoff.

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Shelby - we met our only other backpacking party of the trip, who were heading to Edith Lake as we rested where the trail to Edith left the Hiline Trail.

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After the descent to the junction of the Falls Fork trail, the Hiline Trail passes through a burn area - Not Much Fun hiking - hot and dusty.  Heading up the trail to Johnson Lake, the trail enters a burn area that on a hot day would be pure hell.  Fortunately, at the upper end of the valley, the trail leaves the burn area to enter the cool forest for the final switchbacks up over the ridge to Johnson Lake.   Before reaching the lake, the Burn area is entered again and a trail sign and map outlining camping restrictions directs you to camps on either side of the lake.  As the burn area is on the east shore we take the main trail along the west shore, camping at a nice camp at the south end of the lake.

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Andrew at Johnson Lake - There are camping restrictions (designated campsites only) , but as we wee the only backpackers at the lake we found a primo side at the upper end of the lake.  You can see that the burn area extended around the north east (upper left) of the lake.

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View from our camp down towards the meadow at the upper end of the lake.

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View of the alpine forest and meadows near our camp at Johnson Lake.

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Andrew in meadow above Johnson Lake - Peak 9805 in background.

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Another Camp deer at Johnson Lake - this one was in poor shape.

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Camp deer.

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Camp deer.

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Shelby and Roger - East Pintler Peak is at right.

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Sunset over Johnson Lake catches the silver forest of the old burn - the Continental Divide Trail goes through the basin between the peaks to a pass above Rainbow Lake.  (See map).

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Meadow and stream above Johnson Lake.  We were hoping to see Moose as twilight fell but the only moose were Moose(kers, Andrew and Bill).

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East Pintler Peak (9486')

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Johnson Lake - I tried casting a lure but no strikes or follows.  Didn't see any fish feeding on the surface either.  You can see that the forest fire extends over a significant part of the northeast side of the lake.

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Silver forest above Johnson Lake.

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Peak 9805'

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Another view of the stream flowing into Johnson Lake.

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Meadow and Lake.

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Meadow and Lake.

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East Pintler Peak and meadows above Johnson Lake.

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Inlet stream and meadow above Johnson Lake.

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As night fell we noticed a brown haze over the valley to the north - Forest Fire??

 
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