Forum Index > Trip Reports > 6 Day Glacier Peak backpacking trip : Spider Gap,Bannock Lakes,Hanging Gardens,Totem Pass,Buck Creek
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backpacker92out
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PostThu Jul 04, 2019 9:37 am 
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Back in late 2018 I contact MyOwnFrontier(Joey) about doing the Redoubt High Route and he was super interested. Fast forward to game time the weather forecast for the west side was horrific but it was decent on the eastern crest near GPW. So we went with one of the back up routes I had planned.

June 24-30
The trips original route was a 7 day trip.

Camp 1 : Lyman Lakes
Camp 2 : Bannock Lakes
Camp 3 : Canyon Lake
Camp 4 : Image Lake
Camp 5 : Buck Creek Pass
Camp 6 : Napeequa River Valley
Day 7 : OUT over Boulder Pass

https://caltopo.com/m/BV0J

Due to weather we had to modify the route and exit a day early. Going into the trip the weather other than Wednesday looked good. But after Wednesday the weather turned on us fast.

Reality we ended up doing...

Camp 1 : Lyman Lakes
Camp 2 : Bannock Lakes
Camp 3 : Forest below Totem Pass (thunder storm sent us on a retreat)
Camp 4 : Miners Cabin (I forgot to mention it was cold and snowing at image lake)
Camp 5 : Buck Creek
Day 6 : Hike OUT


The road to Phelps Creek TH is still garbage. It was littered with car parts on the way up which I found humorous.

Spider Gap Conditions are similar to that of late to mid july.

Upper Lyman lakes camp. Bonanza in view.

To Lyman lake, cloudy pass then bannock lakes. Got to camp after basin along PCT N where the trees form a 'V' or 'Arrow" pointing toward the unnamed ridge/pass. The climb up was tough.


Bannock Lakes still have lots of snow and hard to find a flat spot to camp. Easiest and safest way down from "Character Ridge" (what we called it as it was definitely a character building type climb, especially with a 7 day pack) was to go under Saddle Bow's little off branch knob and start zig zagging down the snow on the rocks. There were some moats but not too many. There are probably LOTS now though.


Favorite part of the trip was Lower Bannock Lakes to Ross Pass/Hanging Garden. The amount of run off and snow made it kind of challenging and a white-knuckler at times.


As we were approaching Totem Pass a crazy thunder storm rolled in and sent us sprinting down the mountain to the trees. It was also hard to find a flat spot to camp but we found it. At this point with all the wet heather slopes we had to work through we've all fallen down / slipped close to a 100 times.

The next day we got over totem pass in the fog and relaxed at canyon lake for a bit. There was lots of snow on the creek below Totem Pass so we just followed that down to the flat part where we saw a trail that is slowly starting to fade or form in order to go over to the lake. After that it rained hard on and off for basically the rest of the trip. It snowed at Image lake and our camp at Miners cabin. Looked like it stuck on the ridges above image lake but didn't stick at miners cabin. Buck Creek Pass looked like an amazing spot but storms chased us down Buck Creek where we out ran them and were finally able to have a fire and dry all our crap out.

Amazing trip with MyOwnFrontier (Joey) and Aaron. We are already planning future trips together. Unforgettable experience in some remote areas!

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contour5
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PostThu Jul 04, 2019 10:57 am 
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Great trip report and pictures, thanks for posting!
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Kenji
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PostThu Jul 04, 2019 3:28 pm 
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Concur up.gif  up.gif  Thx for TR!
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backpacker92out
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PostThu Jul 04, 2019 9:26 pm 
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@Kenji and @countour5

thanks! Posting pics of GPW & the Pasayten feels like cheating though they are so dang beautiful lol

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Roly Poly
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PostFri Jul 05, 2019 6:38 am 
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What an incredible trip.  Such beautiful country and the snow and the clouds add even more to the beauty.  We got nailed by that same thunderstorm on Sulphur Mt.  Lots of lightning!
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MangyMarmot
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PostFri Jul 05, 2019 9:41 am 
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Awesome trip! Great photos! I need to put that area on my list.
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iron
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getting old
PostFri Jul 05, 2019 2:20 pm 
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looks like the snow up from bannock lakes to totem pass may have helped. definitely a great spot!

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man, you go through life, you try to be nice to people, you struggle to resist the urge to punch 'em in the face, and for what?

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backpacker92out
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PostFri Jul 05, 2019 4:40 pm 
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It definitely did. It also helped on the descent to Canyon Lake from Totem Pass. I recall Fletcher saying that he had to veggie belay quite a bit to Canyon Lake but for us the snow packed the creek so we just plunge stepped our way down to the flat spot where the trail starts avoiding all that wet and nasty steep heather slopes

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Jake Robinson
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PostFri Jul 05, 2019 4:47 pm 
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Great stuff, very special place.  up.gif
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silence
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PostFri Jul 05, 2019 5:39 pm 
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WOW! Beautiful! Thanks for sharing ... always wanted to check out the Hanging Gardens.

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backpacker92out
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PostMon Jul 08, 2019 5:44 pm 
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The hanging Gardens for the brief period we passed through there like it would have some 10/10 camping spots. Definitely worth the trek for just there alone.

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RichP
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PostMon Jul 08, 2019 8:02 pm 
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Beautiful. It's amazing what's out there. You guys hit the jackpot.

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Mosquito Food
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This is how we do it
PostTue Jul 09, 2019 4:35 pm 
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up.gif Epic.  Thanks for sharing.

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Forum Index > Trip Reports > 6 Day Glacier Peak backpacking trip : Spider Gap,Bannock Lakes,Hanging Gardens,Totem Pass,Buck Creek
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