He Devil

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Our family reunion bags He Devil on a long, hot day.

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We were having a family reunion (and a few are missing in this picture) at Upper Payette Lake. You can read about previous family reunions here:

  • 2001 Upper Payette Lake
  • 2004 Humbug State Park, OR
  • 2007 Redfish lake
  • 2013 Mt. Lassen National Park, CA

 

Trailhead

One of the activities organized by Dad was to climb He Devil. Alternately, another part of the group was to hike into Sheep Lake. Folks had arrived the evening before, so some were a little disorganized and slow getting going. So at the crack of 9:45, we were finally on our feet and moving.

Sun already high. Hiking conga style.

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The two groups quickly identified themselves, and the faster climbing group was off up the valley.

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Of course, that is about when the gain kicks in.

The remainder of this report is about the climbing group.

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We regrouped after the first pass to admire Mirror Lake, then went through the second pass. It was slightly hazy, and definitely warm. We rested in the shade....

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...and admired this little guy. He was pretty non-nonchalant until he realized we were ALL walking this trail toward him.

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After negotiating most of the fisherman's trail, you finally get this view of Sheep Lake and He Devil.

Our route went around the left side of the lake, then followed the official backpack trail from the lake up to the saddle on the right of He Devil. Jasper wasn't feeling well, so he stopped lakeside with a big fat book to enjoy the day and his novel.

The trail on the opposite side of the lake does a few switchbacks in the green, treed areas.... if you opt to skip the climber's shortcut.

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Once over that ridge, you drop down and cross a little valley with running water and a snow patch.

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Then comes a steep hillside, followed by a false flat and another steep hillside (seen looking down here) to the actual west ridge.

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The ridge starts out as a traversing trail ...

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...then some trail mixed with scrambling rocks of varying size. And varying stability.

Somewhere in here, Tom decided that Otis, who had sore paws, had had enough. Susan stopped to hang with Otis, and Elaine stopped to hang with Susan. Apparently they also had sore paws.

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I was having a hard time with the heat, so got to take this picture from afar. That's the group in the saddle just before the final summit push.

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Summit!

We can now say this climb is suitable for anyone fit, ages 9 to 60.

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Then began the long slog home.

It was still hot, so we took our time. Lots of short rests, drinks of water, and a short swim. When we got around the first saddle, we were completely in the shade for the descent.

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And then there were the cars, and that sweet, sweet last 100 feet of hiking.

It was a pretty tired group that stumbled back into camp at Upper Lake.

Trailhead
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