Golden Lake backpack

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The last backpack of the season with Dave makes it all the more special at Golden Lake.

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

The end of the season is always bittersweet. Not that the season is over, but my main hiking buddy is leaving so THAT season is ending. But for this day, it was sunny with gorgeous fall colors.

We were slightly disturbed at the trailhead as we were packing up to depart, spoiled brats that we are, when another car arrived. But with just light packs they were quickly off ahead of us, leaving us to marvel at the scenery on our way up the hill.

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...our slow but steady way up the hill.

This particular hill gains 1900 feet in just 1.5 miles. And the first quarter-mile is dead flat!

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Carrying full backpacks up here provides lots of time for admiring those fall colors.

Note that it's still shady here and we're almost to the meadow. It pays to start early. Or go at the end of September.

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And there's the meadow.

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And finally, Golden Lake. With Peak 8361 (aka Platt Peak, according to my daughter). I have been hiking up here for more than 20 years; my first report from 2002.

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It was just barely past lunch time, so we had lots of time to hang out in camp. Art would be joining us later. So Dave and I did some fishing, I read my book, etc. etc.

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Wonderfully relaxing. Shade. Cool temps. No bugs. Trailhead

But you can only do so much of that before it's time for an explore. We climbed up the ridge to the west of our camp and then traversed its rocky spine. A little smoky on the horizon.

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Looking north, we were up there just a few days ago.

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Looking down-valley, there's Slick Rock. Trailhead
With a powerful zoom, you can even see climbers. Trailhead
More rocky ridge scrambling. Trailhead
We traversed across into the gully we intended to climb tomorrow. Then back to camp for some more relaxing before Art showed up. Trailhead

Golden Lake Peak.

Then it was 'Waiting for Godot' (plus more relaxing) until he did eventually arrive, and with his fire-making tools. It's been a long time since it was legal to have a camp fire.

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The next morning we climbed our gully to ascend a new route up Golden Lake Peak. Trailhead
Long shadows across the lake. Trailhead
From the summit, there's our second peak of the day. Trailhead
Same peak from the intervening saddle. Trailhead
Maki Peak off to the northwest. Trailhead

Art on the summit of 8361.

With me shooting into the sun.

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Summit shot with Golden Lake Peak in the background. We had climbed the right-hand ridgeline and descended the ridge leading toward the camera. Trailhead

Another view of Maki Peak, now with Maki Lake clearly visible.

That's the East Fork of Lake Fork Creek on the right, and Fitsum Creek canyon in the distance (and over a saddle) behind Maki.

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And north, that's Snowslide and Sawtooth. In 2018, we had linked those two peaks with the two we climbed today, and then for good measure tacked on a long ridgewalk to the East Fork. Today's effort was a little more leisurely. Trailhead

Looking back down on Golden Lake. McCall in the distance.

We ambled back to the lake, arriving just in time for a leisurely lunch.

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Then it was back down the treacherous 'trail', desperately trying to avoid contact between the ground and our backsides.

Au revoir, Dave. Bon chance!

Note: I didn't carry a gps, so no map today. Visit the links at the top of the page to see previous trips in the area that possibly include parts of this one.

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Also visit Dave's blog:

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