Dogslide Peak

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A late-season climb up Dogslide Peak feels pretty alpine during a storm.

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It was going to be a long day, so we got started early. We had done something similar in 2012, so we kind of knew what to expect.

We left my house a little after coffee o'clock and were on our feet a quarter after eight. Not yet enough light for photography.

The 20 Mile trailhead is an easy approach: pavement until the turn off, then about 150 yards of good dirt road. Even a (smelly) toilet!

Trailhead

The trail up 20 Mile Creek doesn't offer a lot in the way of views, anyway.

Not until you turn off and start the climb up to the 20 Miles Lakes basin. I believe that's our peak peeking out at the very far end of the valley.

Trailhead

There's the ramparts of Storm Peak.

Trailhead

This area got hammered in the 1993 burn. Most of the trees are now down, stacked several deep in places. But when the front of the predicted storm moved in, we were carefully watching the remaining snags sway in the breeze.

Approach

But there is new growth. Give it another 50 years....

Meanwhile, you can see a lot better within the burn, including seeing our peak.

Approach

Meanwhile, underfoot we had hoar frost standing almost 3" tall in places. Really weird to walk on.

Approach

We kept getting little peeks at out proposed summit.

Approach
The crux of this outing was dealing with the ice in the trail tread higher up. A lot of this trail has been carved into trenches, and up high the trenches had filled with water, then froze into a slippery, treacherous trap. Approach

As you get near the basin, the angle eases back and the peaks start making themselves more obvious. We were shooting for the snowy pyramid on the right. I did the rocky crest on the left, Peak 8808, with John Fadgen a couple years ago.

Approach

When we got to the first lake, North 20 Mile, it was frozen. But not the outlet stream.

Approach
From the first lake, you have to hike across a ridge to South Lake. We were heading for the chute right above Art's head that leads to the upper bowl, then to the saddle in the ridge. But first we had to find our way to South Lake and get around it. Approach

Ice, anyone?

Not Sam, who wisely stayed close to shore. After some inspection, Art was wishing he had brought his skates.

Approach

Ice, anyone?

Before we started up the chute, we needed a break. We found some scrubby trees that offered some wind protection. Then we puffied up, sat on our packs, and had some lunch. Sam begged. We told stories. I tried to remember what this chute was like with John. But the days are short in November, so it was time to get under way.

Approach
The chute was steep, but the snow was pretty good for kicking steps. Good, but tiring; we swapped leads several times. Approach
With the blowing snow and ice-encrusted rock, it was feeling pretty alpine. Approach
After traversing the upper bowl, it was more step-kicking to get to the saddle. This snow was a little deeper, and there were occasional holes in the rocks. Making us work. Approach
On the ridge, the wind was howling. With mittens on, and not being able to hear the camera click, photography was sort of hit-and-miss. But I did catch Art working through the terrain. Approach
And Art insisted that I tag the top first. Approach

Not my best effort at a summit shot. But in the conditions, I was lucky to get this one.

The black thing at the bottom is Sam's back. I have no idea what Art is doing, especially since he's wearing a mitten.

Approach

Then it was time to head down.

Here is where the peak name came from. Sam, who is possibly the best hiking dog in the entire world, had been pretty unimpressed with the deep snow. He loves the cold, but in the soft snow and holes, he was having to work to get up the hill. Even with 4-wheel drive.

But on the way down, he came alive with an amazing expression of joy. He ran full tilt. He rolled around. He jumped. He slid on his belly. Sam loved this peak.

Approach

Map

Approach

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