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rubywrangler
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Joined: 04 Aug 2015
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rubywrangler
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PostWed Jul 11, 2018 12:19 am 
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For Ruby dog's 11th birthday (approximately), the goal was lots of meadows, lots of water, and minimal talus, so we headed for the Mormon Ladies lakes. We left the Chatter Creek TH mid-afternoon Saturday. The parking lot was full but we only saw a handful of people on their way down. As soon as we left the forest, the mosquitoes found us. I was fully permethrin-ed from head to toe; that did not seem to deter them at all.

chatter creek basin
chatter creek basin

It was about 5:30 when we left the trail, stashed overnight gear and headed west over the saddle toward Grindstone summit.  There are still a few hard, steep-ish snow patches on the route and I had a mini nervous breakdown upon realizing that my microspikes+trail runners combo was not going to be very effective in this situation. After slowly and carefully crossing the snow, we followed cairns here and there through a boulder field to a final bit of snow and the summit.

view west from the saddle
view west from the saddle
ladies, snowgrass, big chiwaukum, w/ cape horn in the foreground
ladies, snowgrass, big chiwaukum, w/ cape horn in the foreground
across the snow and left to the summit
across the snow and left to the summit
summit in sight
summit in sight
almost there
almost there
sylvester
sylvester
clouds rolling in from the west
clouds rolling in from the west
time to head down
time to head down

On the way down, I went around the steepest snow and we moved much faster, but it still was after 8:30 when we got back to the trail. I hoped we could get to Lake Edna before total darkness, but Ruby had other plans and decided to play hide and seek.  I think she made it halfway back to Grindstone's summit before turning around. Eventually I spotted her above me on the ridge. We ended up camping in a pretty nice spot on a bump in the next basin. After setting up, I realized my fuel was missing. Ugh. Too lazy to hike back to where overnight gear had been stashed, I had the next day's lunch for dinner with a delicious backcountry margarita and passed out.

fading light on cashmere + stuart
fading light on cashmere + stuart
we camped on the tree island @ lower right
we camped on the tree island @ lower right

First thing Saturday, we backtracked and found the fuel, then returned to camp for breakfast. A solo hiker passed by around 8am - the last person we saw until we got back to Icicle Road on Monday. We packed up and meandered to Lake Edna, up Cape Horn, down to Ladies pass.

en route to edna
en route to edna
cape horn + edna
cape horn + edna
lounging
lounging
edna + big jim+lou
edna + big jim+lou
ladies pass + beyond
ladies pass + beyond

One more steep snow patch along the trail before Ladies pass, easy to go around.  There were a few flowers popping out at the pass but definitely not peaking for another week or more.  I had read somewhere that "it appeared" one could travel over Ladies peak to Marys pass, so I lugged my pack up the peak, but could not find an easy way over or around the gendarme SW of the summit.  We hung out on Ladies for awhile, taking in the views and enjoying a relative break from the bugs. A helicopter flew by, north of Grindstone heading west, while we were on the summit.

scoping things out
scoping things out
looking back to cape horn
looking back to cape horn
grindstone + glimpse of alice
grindstone + glimpse of alice
summit nap
summit nap
snowgrass + big c
snowgrass + big c
grindstone, enchantments, stuart
grindstone, enchantments, stuart
mary, margaret
mary, margaret
brigham, flora
brigham, flora
helicopter passing grindstone @ center
helicopter passing grindstone @ center

Back down the ridge to the trail, we continued our meandering, taking way too many photos, passing by lovely Upper Florence wub.gif , Marys pass, Lake Mary, and many waterfalls along the trail.



I had intended to camp near Frosty pass, which would leave about 13.5 miles to the car on Monday. But no views at the pass so we continued to Lake "Margret", which was better than I expected - bugs were less terrible here and there is a huge waterfall pouring into the lake.


The hike out on Monday was pretty quick - we moved as fast as possible to outrun the mosquitoes, especially just after the junction of Frosty Wildhorse and Icicle Creek. Frosty wildhorse rivals Mineral Creek for "where are my feet" in a few places!  The Icicle road walk was not too bad given the lack of traffic on a Monday morning (4 cars passed us in 3.5 miles) but I wouldn't want to do it on a weekend.

A leisurely 24 miles and 8300' of gain.
More photos
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GaliWalker
Have camera will use



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 3909 | TRs
Location: Pittsburgh
GaliWalker
Have camera will use
PostWed Jul 11, 2018 8:04 am 
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Nice! up.gif

Some of the worst mosquitoes I've encountered were at "lovely Upper Florence". I would have liked to have spent much more time at that lake, but I was driven away by those voracious flying beasties.

--------------
'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
bobbi: "...don't you ever forget your camera!"
Photography: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shahiddurrani/albums
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neek
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Joined: 12 Sep 2011
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Location: Seattle, WA
neek
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PostWed Jul 11, 2018 8:23 am 
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Nice trip!  I got a shot of Grindstone from a high point on the ridge a few days prior that I believe shows some of the terrain you and your 11-year old dog covered:

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mbravenboer
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Joined: 20 Oct 2013
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mbravenboer
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PostWed Jul 11, 2018 10:41 am 
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up.gif Looks great! Congratulations on the birthday (our dogs are about the same age!)
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wildernessed
viewbagger



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 9182 | TRs
Location: Wenatchee
wildernessed
viewbagger
PostWed Jul 11, 2018 2:22 pm 
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up.gif Nice !

--------------
Living in the Anthropocene
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kitya
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kitya
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PostWed Jul 11, 2018 2:51 pm 
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Happy birthday Ruby!!!! Have a nice treat!
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rubywrangler
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Joined: 04 Aug 2015
Posts: 136 | TRs

rubywrangler
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PostWed Jul 11, 2018 6:27 pm 
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GaliWalker wrote:
Some of the worst mosquitoes I've encountered were at "lovely Upper Florence".

Oh no! I just recommended it to a friend as the best campsite on the loop!

neek wrote:
Grindstone from a high point on the ridge

Hmm, I'm having trouble identifying where we traveled in your photo.  I think maybe we came up on the rock that's curving up from the lower right? Not sure.

Thanks Martin & Kitya for the b-day wishes!  Ruby enjoyed a lot of bacon on this trip, and extra helpings of her favorite freeze-dried lamb nuggets!
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MLHSN
What goes here?????



Joined: 09 Sep 2007
Posts: 1058 | TRs
Location: Wenatchee
MLHSN
What goes here?????
PostWed Jul 11, 2018 9:01 pm 
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GaliWalker wrote:
Nice! up.gif

Some of the worst mosquitoes I've encountered were at "lovely Upper Florence". I would have liked to have spent much more time at that lake, but I was driven away by those voracious flying beasties.

I concur. At florence I had to crawl in my tarptent for a temporary reprieve to maintain my sanity.
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Brushbuffalo
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Joined: 17 Sep 2015
Posts: 1074 | TRs
Location: there earlier, here now, somewhere later... Bellingham in between
Brushbuffalo
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PostWed Jul 11, 2018 9:17 pm 
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Happy birthday to your sweet Ruby!

rubywrangler wrote:
was fully permethrin-ed from head to toe; that did not seem to deter them at all. 

95-100% DEET works but on my skin it feels like a coat of Saranwrap. I use good ol' Cutters lotion with success.It is about 34% DEET.

rubywrangler wrote:
taking way too many photos,

Is that even possible?  I really enjoy your photos!  up.gif  up.gif

--------------
Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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zephyr
aka friendly hiker



Joined: 21 Jun 2009
Posts: 1698 | TRs
Location: West Seattle
zephyr
aka friendly hiker
PostWed Jul 11, 2018 10:41 pm 
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rubywrangler wrote:
across the snow and left to the summit
across the snow and left to the summit

I remember this view.  It took awhile to get here and some exploring to find the way over that ridge.  Can't remember what month it was, but there was a little less snow and more talus showing.  You were in some pretty country up there.

I just love this next photo of yours.  Such a glorious scene this is.  Wow.

rubywrangler wrote:

Great report.  Thanks for sharing it with us.  ~z
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > frosty ladies loop and grindstone 7.8 - 7.10.18
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