Forum Index > Trip Reports > Middle Chiwaukum from Lake Ethel 5/13/19
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neek
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PostTue May 14, 2019 8:07 am 
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Took the Lake Ethel trail to North and Middle Chiwaukum yesterday, then looped back via some of the lakes out there.  Conditions were great and I was surprised nothing got stomped out over the weekend.  All easy and safe class 2 terrain.  Skeeters were out already near the trailhead.  Lots of blowdown on the initial section of the trail before the clearcut.  No snow until after the clearcut, 5000 ft.  Instead of descending to Lake Ethel, I stayed on the ridge and followed it to North Chiwaukum.  A lot of the tundra-like meadows up there are already melted out, so the snowshoes went on and off several times.  They weren't strictly necessary, but definitely helped.  I continued on to Middle C and hung out for a while, enjoying the view as the cloud layer thinned a little.  Descended into the larch-filled basin N of McCue Ridge, then to Lake Donald, which was still frozen enough to walk across.  Headed N from near the outlet of Donald to the outlet of Lake Eileen.  There was no reason to descend all the way to Lake Julius so I took a fairly direct approach to Lake Ethel and then back up to the trail I came in on.  Ended up being about 17 miles.  Glad to finally check out this area, first time I've been back there.

Waterfall on Gill Creek
Waterfall on Gill Creek
Tweedy's Lewisia - thanks Nancyann
Tweedy's Lewisia - thanks Nancyann
Lake Ethel
Lake Ethel
Middle and North C
Middle and North C
The melted-out areas were covered by these little flowers
The melted-out areas were covered by these little flowers
Middle C from the northern peak
Middle C from the northern peak
Sloan, Glacier, etc.
Sloan, Glacier, etc.
Approaching Middle C
Approaching Middle C
Looking back at N. C
Looking back at N. C
The basin above Lake Donald
The basin above Lake Donald
Heading up the spine of snow below the summit, the only place an ice axe seemed like a good idea
Heading up the spine of snow below the summit, the only place an ice axe seemed like a good idea
Bare trail on the final push
Bare trail on the final push
Summit shot with Stuart in the distance, maybe Larch Lake in front
Summit shot with Stuart in the distance, maybe Larch Lake in front
Summit shot
Summit shot
Down into the basin
Down into the basin
My glissade path
My glissade path
Lake Donald
Lake Donald
Lake Donald
Lake Donald
Lake Julius
Lake Julius
Loch Eileen
Loch Eileen
Loch Eileen
Loch Eileen
Sketchy snow bridge
Sketchy snow bridge
From the other side
From the other side
Lake Ethel
Lake Ethel
Fungus
Fungus

Sorry for the lame cell phone photos, I'll take a better camera next time.
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Nancyann
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PostTue May 14, 2019 8:17 am 
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Thanks for the helpful trip report and pictures, neek. We were just talking about the best way to get up to Lake Donald from Lake Ethel and wondering when it would be melting out. You just answered our questions!
The beautiful flower you wondered about is Tweedy's Lewisia, one of my favorites. smile.gif
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Bootpathguy
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PostTue May 14, 2019 8:26 am 
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up.gif

Need to adventure that area myself. Thanks for sharing

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Experience is what'cha get, when you get what'cha don't want
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Anne Elk
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PostTue May 14, 2019 8:33 am 
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Nice report, neek, about an area I know nothing about.  I was going to guess that the mystery flower looked like some kind of odd Lewisia;  pretty good guess!  Thanks Nancyann for the ID.

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"There are yahoos out there.  Itís why we canít have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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Backpacker Joe
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PostTue May 14, 2019 9:20 am 
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Great pics Neekster.  Thanks for the early season beta.

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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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timberghost
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PostWed May 15, 2019 11:46 am 
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Nice report at least you didn't have to fight the down burned tree mess on the Chiwaukum cr trail.
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Sculpin
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PostThu May 16, 2019 9:31 am 
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neek wrote:
The melted-out areas were covered by these little flowers
The melted-out areas were covered by these little flowers

up.gif  up.gif  agree.gif

That is Douglasia nivalis.  I'm glad you posted this!  It is of great interest to this plant geek.  D. nivalis is not documented in the Chiwaukums in the database of the Northwest Consortium of Herbaria, so this is a bit of a discovery.  D. nivalis has a very odd range.  It is common on serpentine high in the Wenatchee (nee Teanaway) Mountains, but unlike the vast majority of serpentine plants, seems to have colonized other substrates.  Wildernessed documented it in the Sage Hills at very low elevation on a basalt knob, and I went to see that population.  He and his cronies also documented it at low elevation in the Entiat.  It seems to bloom very early, which is April at low elevation and as late as July in the Teanaway.

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Even my best friends, they don't know, that my job is turning lead into gold. When you hear that engine drone, I'm on the road again, and I'm searching for the philosopher's stone - Van Morrison
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Triciaann777
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PostSun May 19, 2019 9:23 pm 
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Cell phone pictures are great, unless you expect to enlarge them to frame.  I regretted trying.
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Middle Chiwaukum from Lake Ethel 5/13/19
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