Forum Index > Trip Reports > Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
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Nancyann
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Location: Sultan Basin
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PostSat May 11, 2019 1:23 pm 
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I visited this trail twice in 2017 to escape bad weather on the west side, but never made it up on the ridge due to the cold wind and lack of visibility. Yesterday we tried it on a beautiful sunny, warm day and our experience was superb from start to finish. After dropping a rowboat on my big toe recently, I was looking for a trail on which I could wear my Chacos, and this worked out well until we were stopped just short of the summit by sloppy snow, a couple feet deep. It would have been a very long walk back (4,500 feet) with soaking wet feet, so we turned around. Nevertheless, we were happy to finally get up there in nice weather to enjoy the spectacular views towards the Enchantments, Mt. Cashmere and the Icicle River headwaters.
We even got to see a few Tweedy Lewisia and a glorious display of balsamroot on the lower section of the trail.
Icicle Ridge Via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge Via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge Via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge Via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge Via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge Via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/1019
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/1019
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/1019
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/1019

Mount Cashmere was still snowy, with spectacular waterfalls cascading down to join the turbulent Icicle on the valley floor.

Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19

As we climbed through the silver forest burn, the view towards the Enchantments began to open up, and for the first time, I actually got to see Icicle Ridge. On past trips, it was obscured by swirling fog.

Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19

As the lookout site and the top of the ridge came into view, we encountered patchy deep snow, until it became clear that it would be difficult to proceed any further in Chacos. bawl.gif There were no footprints in the snow, but it looked like it would be easy for people wearing boots to scramble the last 200 feet to the summit if they didnít mind some deep postholing.
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek, elevation 6,600 ft.  5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek, elevation 6,600 ft.  5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek, elevation 6,600 ft.  5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek, elevation 6,600 ft.  5/10/19

We rested at about 6,600 feet, soaking up the majestic views towards the Enchantments, and then began the long slog back down hundreds(?) of switchbacks about 4:30pm.
The evening light was lovely and we enjoyed listening to many songbirds as we walked through the burn area.

Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19
Icicle Ridge via Fourth of July Creek 5/10/19

We had a bit of excitement at 4,100 feet when we were stopped in our tracks by a giant four foot long rattlesnake sunning itself in the middle of the trail. eek.gif It slithered off to the side, but was way too close for comfort, so Hiking Partner poked it with his trekking pole, whereupon it reluctantly left.
We reached the trailhead at 8:30, happy to get back before we needed to use our headlamps.
Warning!: Check for ticks if using this trail. We found several on ourselves when we got home!
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fourteen410
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PostSat May 11, 2019 3:04 pm 
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Good stuff Nancy  up.gif
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Backpacker Joe
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Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 22980 | TRs
Location: Cle Elum
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PostMon May 13, 2019 1:56 pm 
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Thanks Nance.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

ó Abraham Lincoln
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Brushwork
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Joined: 18 Aug 2018
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PostMon May 13, 2019 4:50 pm 
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Beautiful pictures!   Thanks!

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When I grow up I wanna play.
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