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rstoddard24
BBQWingz



Joined: 30 Dec 2016
Posts: 42 | TRs

rstoddard24
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BBQWingz
PostMon Aug 05, 2019 8:04 pm 
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Over the weekend I did the Ben and Kevin's Excellent Pasayten Adventure UPWC loop and added 4 top 100 peaks on the way. Itinerary, map, and TR below:

Itinerary
8/3: Iron Gate TH -> Windy pk -> some bullsh## trail thatís destroyed -> Chewuch River trail -> Remmel -> Ampithetre -> bivy @ Upper Cathedral Lake. 13 hours

8/4: Cathedral pk summit -> beautiful Boundary trail miles back to iron gate. 8 hours

Map

Is CW or CCW better? will anybody ever do it twice to find out?
Is CW or CCW better? will anybody ever do it twice to find out?

Trip Report
Ben and Kevin's Excellent Pasayten Adventure is an Ultra Pedestrian Wilderness Challenge route that starts at Iron Gate TH and goes in a big loop: Clutch Creek Trail -> Windy Peak Trail -> Topaz Mtn Trail  -> Chewuch Trail -> Boundary Trail. The route goes very close to Windy, Cathedral, and Amphitheater and kinda close to Remmel, so I wanted to check it out and add the peaks. My plan was to go for it over a single push around summer solstice this year, but partners never worked out so I went for Shellrock Slam with Damon instead. Then August came and I still wanted to go for it, still couldn't connect with partners but figured I could just go solo and plan to bivy and do as a 2 day.

Didn't have much time to prep, got back from Goode NE Buttress on Tuesday evening, Wednesday hung out with my boo after work and drove her to airport at 3am for Sierra trip, then Thursday eve I had going away party for a colleague at ping pong bar I got a little too into, then before I knew it I was throwing my running shoes and fastpack into my car on the way to work Friday morning hoping things would fall into place. They say that the crux of Windy is the drive. It is long, although my beta is that I beat the Google drive estimate by a full 30 mins for Tonasket -> Iron Gate TH. I saw a cougar bound across the road 1.5 mi from the trailhead which made me just a little uneasy about open air TH camp situation..

Bummed there is no Iron Gate at the trailhead - drove all the way here, where is the gate? Left at 5:59am, on top of Windy peak 1:50 in. Other peaks look far away at this point.

I took this photo to consult later for navigation purposes
I took this photo to consult later for navigation purposes
Windy is the Pasayten rebel child that moved 20 mi east so it could be cool
Windy is the Pasayten rebel child that moved 20 mi east so it could be cool
very optimistic about this trail work on Clutch Creek trail
very optimistic about this trail work on Clutch Creek trail
"Blowdowns? That must have just been the situation last year" <- my thoughts on the Clutch Creek trail
"Blowdowns? That must have just been the situation last year" <- my thoughts on the Clutch Creek trail
The only Bulger peak with maintained trail to summit
The only Bulger peak with maintained trail to summit
Other peaks looking far away at this moment
Other peaks looking far away at this moment
Cascade crest peaks are very very far west
Cascade crest peaks are very very far west
Fellow UPWCer!
Fellow UPWCer!
"Oh yeah? then what number are we thinking of?" - Ben and Kevin on their Excellent Pasayten Adventure (probably)
"Oh yeah? then what number are we thinking of?" - Ben and Kevin on their Excellent Pasayten Adventure (probably)

Things are going well, then I realize the Topaz Mountain Trail is destroyed. Blowdowns everywhere. I vaguely remember someone writing something about this. But couldn't remember what ha. I could see evidence of the trail, but at some point (at ~6850' after passing Topaz) I determined it just wasn't worth it to keep trying the find the trail and just went cross country. There were times I spent several minutes at a time without touching "the ground" since blowdowns were so thick I would just walk on them. Progress was slow. At the switchbacks down to Chewuch the situation improved slightly and I started following the trail again. Made it to the Chewuch trail and rejoiced.

on the trail, looking straight down the trail
on the trail, looking straight down the trail
typical travel on Topaz mtn trail
typical travel on Topaz mtn trail
stoked to see horseshoe prints in the sand on Chewuch trail
stoked to see horseshoe prints in the sand on Chewuch trail
maybe I shoulda kept tights on a lil longer
maybe I shoulda kept tights on a lil longer

Hiked/jogged Chewuch up to the 4 pt lake junction. Here BKEPA continues, but the peakbaggers variation goes left up to 4 pt lake. On the 4 pt lake trail I ran into 3 friendly horse packers here (+ 4 horses and 1 dog), the only people I ran into until Horseshoe basin the next day (kinda not the most likely place to run into someone I thought)? They asked if I was doing the loop I said yes, but didn't know if my loop was "the loop" or not.

The final climb up to Remmel was my energy low. Sun was shining hot and I was a little dehydrated. I put on sappy music and sloged thru. There is a climbers trail thru the talus I used for descent, but too many swichbacks for ascent. On Remmel summit 6:24 after leaving Windy Summit

not the Remmel summit
not the Remmel summit
Remmel summit in view
Remmel summit in view
What are these metal wires going everywhere?
What are these metal wires going everywhere?
Looking back at Windy, long way from there to here
Looking back at Windy, long way from there to here
on to Amphitheater
on to Amphitheater

To rejoin Chewuch I used the route others have mentioned. North of 4 point lake, between pts 7704 and 7494. Descending had more brush than I expected from reports but not too bad (I did a descending traverse to the left). Made it back the Chewuch Trail.

4 point lake
4 point lake
typical travel down from 2 humps
typical travel down from 2 humps
back on Chewuch trail
back on Chewuch trail

Climbed the trail a little bit until the 3 way junction NE of Remmel lake (with abandoned Lesamiz trail). A little north of this junction I left trail to head to Amphitheater (non peakbaggers route continues to Chewuch - Boundary trail junction). I really loved Amphitheater mountain. So unique - high flat plateau with shear cliffs to the north. Took the access gully down to Upper Cathedral Lake and was chilling at the lake by 7pm. Still ~2.5 hours of daylight but this is a good spot to bivy and figured I could climb Cathedral when I am fresh in the morning.

open meadow under Amphitheater
open meadow under Amphitheater
absolutely love this mountain!
absolutely love this mountain!
Amphitheater - the hardest Bulger peak to spell correctly
Amphitheater - the hardest Bulger peak to spell correctly
looking west
looking west
friends have been here recently!
friends have been here recently!
N access gully - good scree skiing!
N access gully - good scree skiing!
Upper Cathedral lake sun relfection
Upper Cathedral lake sun relfection
Burito beta: taqueria el ray burrito is not as tasty or voluminous as Malena's, but at this moment I didn't care
Burito beta: taqueria el ray burrito is not as tasty or voluminous as Malena's, but at this moment I didn't care
Amphitheater walls from bivy
Amphitheater walls from bivy

Slept very well, and was ready to go by 4:50am. While the other peaks have class ~2 routes to the summits, Cathedral has some fun chasm crossings that are probably "class 4". I was curious to see what I would find with all of the hype. I hiked up from the lake, then a little class 3 scrambling to get to first chasm. I guess this one is trivial to cross early season when there is snow block spanning the chasm. However no snow block today - I did a little exploring to see what the options were. I found 2 options- go left and downclimb class 4 into the chasm itself (variation 1), or go right, downclimb easier/shorter class 4 onto the boulder that spans the chasm (variation 2). Option 2 was easier, but also more exposed. I did option 2 on the way up, option 1 on the way down. I don't know which one is better, I guess they are about the same.

option 1 (climber turns left), scramble class 4 down into chasm (or just do a reverse pullup / control lower)
option 1 (climber turns left), scramble class 4 down into chasm (or just do a reverse pullup / control lower)
option 2 (climber turn right), downclimb class 4 (not pictured), then easily walk on boulder across chasm
option 2 (climber turn right), downclimb class 4 (not pictured), then easily walk on boulder across chasm

The second crossing is the famous "chasm jump", or alternatively there is a class 4 boulder scramble bypass. Many people take the bypass on the way up and jump on the way down, since the jump has a little net gain. I found the chasm jump to be more of a "chasm step", and stepped across without really considering the scramble option. I guess I am 6'1", perhaps the step feels more committing for someone shorter. In current conditions I would say the first crossing is the technical crux of the route (not the "chasm jump"). Reached the summit around sunrise, lighting was very beautiful on Amphitheater. Downclimbed the route, stepping back across the chasm then climbing out of the 1st chasm using option 1. Made it back to Cathedral pass.

chasm jump and summit
chasm jump and summit
lookin west
lookin west
Unique looking mountain
Unique looking mountain
sunrise chasm jump
sunrise chasm jump
i know this is a duplicate but couldn't decide
i know this is a duplicate but couldn't decide

Now it was just a nice ~marathon distance jog/hike back to TH on the Boundary trail. This was one thing I was really looking forward to - I have been doing a lot of trips with technical gear lately and heavier packs, and I was looking forward to a chance to stretch my legs on the trail. I ran the downhills and some of the flats, although not as much as I would have if not weighed down by bivy gear. Made it about 19 mi to Louden Lake in more a less a single push (not counting quick water fill stops), then took a longer break there for swimming and sunbathing and eating the remainder of my snack supplies.

Remmel
Remmel
Classic Cathedral view
Classic Cathedral view
just have to run around the back of Windy...
just have to run around the back of Windy...
am i even still in washington?
am i even still in washington?
so excited for swimming @ Louden Lake
so excited for swimming @ Louden Lake
looks a lil different than cascade pass horseshoe basin
looks a lil different than cascade pass horseshoe basin
I think the mileage is closer to 60
I think the mileage is closer to 60

Back to the TH at 1:03 pm

What a great solo outing. Def doable in a single push, use the headlamp for the Boundary trail section.

Stats:
58.0 mi
15.8k' gain
31:04, total time, with 9:50 stopped overnight

strava link

ps. always looking for mountain running partners, please PM or find me on facebook to connect
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Bluebird
suffering optional



Joined: 22 Jan 2014
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suffering optional
PostMon Aug 05, 2019 8:55 pm 
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ah, i was on the clutch creek trail yesterday. saw some moose. think its mostly their trail. sure woulda helped if the cairn and sign at the windy peak junction were actually at the junction.... 👎🏻
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Midnight Slogger
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Joined: 04 Aug 2017
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Midnight Slogger
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No heroics
PostTue Aug 06, 2019 8:43 am 
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Strong slog! Thanks for the inspiring trip report.
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Fletcher
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 10:52 am 
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Nice, those peaks were some of my favorite on the entire Bulger List.
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Podenski
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PostThu Aug 08, 2019 9:11 am 
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With regards to

"I saw a cougar bound across the road 1.5 mi from the trailhead which made me just a little uneasy about open air TH camp situation.. "

I did a quick overnight up to Louden Lake about a month ago. On the way back out, very near the Iron Gate Trailhead, I first saw a jackrabbit running full speed across the trail, then a coyote in hot pursuit. Who knew that Iron Gate Trailhead was so popular with the wildlife?

There were two deer that came down to Louden Lake for a visit as well.

Forest service workers at Iron Gate told me that they were adding the new restroom and extended parking lot due to Border Patrol horse patrols taking up most of the smaller sized parking lot.

You went a lot farther than I did.   smile.gif

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Pat Podenski
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backpacker92out
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PostSat Aug 10, 2019 10:48 am 
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Why do people keep mentioning wooden convex golf clubs?

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My Hiking Youtube Channel
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Stephen B
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PostFri Aug 16, 2019 2:50 pm 
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Any snow at all that you had to cross or climb/downclimb?
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rstoddard24
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Joined: 30 Dec 2016
Posts: 42 | TRs

rstoddard24
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BBQWingz
PostMon Aug 19, 2019 7:50 am 
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@StephenB no snow anywhere
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > BKEPA UPWC route + Windy/Remmel/Amphitheater/Cathedral ~ 8/3 - 8/4/19
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