Lake Mountain and Little Baldy

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Our second adventure to the Frank Church Wilderness in a week.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

Earlier this week we visited the Pinnacles in the Frank Church Wilderness. That was pretty fun, so we decided to get a similar experience out of Cascade.

This time, we would be following footsteps made by Jeff and I last year on our way to Chinook Mountain.

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The map showed the ridge trail leaving our ascent route and heading north. That trail junction has become pretty non-obvious, but it's there if you know what to look for. The big green tree laying on/over the tread is a clue. Trailhead

Looking back at the initial climb. You can't see the truck, but the road is over on the left. This is also looking toward Johnson Creek, running left-right across the view.

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Once up on the ridge, there's Pistol Lake. Note: my gps had it labeled as Caton Lake.

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Looking north, we could see the start of the ridgeline one follows to get to Big Baldy, with Chilcoot Peak dominating.

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There's still a little snow here and there above 8000'.

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That's Chinook Mountain on the right, and an unnamed and trail-less lake in the Pistol Creek drainage. There are several more lakes to the north of Lake Mountain.

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As we bushwacked from the summit of Lake Mountain, there's Pistol Lake again (so named because it's the head of Pistol Creek?).

You can also see Little Baldy way out the ridge, but it is lower so doesn't really stand out.

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That's water hose. We couldn't figure this one out.

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Our bushwack connected with the trail, which stays above marshy terrain until near the outlet of the lake. Near the outlet there were several nice, if over-used, camp spots.

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Dave caught a fish on his first cast.

Then it was on to photography (below).

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While Dave was fishing, I had wandered around and found what I believed was a trail to the upper lake. We followed that successfully to several campsites on that upper bench.

At one of them sites, we found our second wilderness frying pan in a week. People, this becomes trash. Pack it out!

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The upper lake, with the saddle above that takes you back to the car. Trailhead

But instead of heading down to the car, we turned left (south) and followed the trail along the ridge, headed for Little Baldy.

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The summit of Little Baldy earns its name.

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Actual summit.

We had to do a little map work to determine if it was required to walk to the other end of the ridge (it's not).

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Click the photo on the right to see Dave's excellent photos.

Dave Beck photo

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Note on being prepared for the backcountry: On our way home, we got to use Dave's saw to remove a tree that had fallen across the road we drove in on. When you consider that we didn't see a single soul for the first/last 15 miles of the drive (and also including the hike), and there is no cell phone service, anyone travelling back here should be prepared to be self-sufficient.

Map

 

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