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neek
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PostSat Sep 07, 2019 2:58 pm 
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This is two separate trips combined into one report.  Did Tucquala, Nursery, and The Cradle on Sunday 9/1/2019; came back Tuesday for Paddy-Go-North/South.    I was aiming for one day but The Cradle went slower than expected.

Speaking of Cradle, there seems to be some controversy as to which peak is higher.  I've heard the easier South peak is, but there's more evidence the North is, and one person said they're identical, which seems physically unlikely to me.  Quantum vibrations might make this difficult to measure accurately.  Next time someone goes out there, please blast off the top 13 feet of the north peak, so it's no longer a question.  That one is scary anyway and I didn't do it.  But I'm not really a peakbagger so don't care.

The adventure started on the North Scatter Creek trail, which really should attract more boots.  It's in good shape aside from a few small trees down, and takes a fairly direct approach to the pass E of Tucquala Peak with none of this switchback nonsense.  From the pass I followed the ridge to Tucquala, a pleasant walk-up with a good view of the awaiting pleasure.  Back at the pass there's a sign that says "Meadow Creek Spur No. 1559.1", but I sure couldn't find anything that resembled a trail.  I headed off vaguely north, encountering a few cairns halfway down and some moderate brush lower down.  Hit the saddle at 5300' and crossed the Meadow Creek trail which looked like it had received recent attention (at that point anyway; later in the day to the west it was quite vague).  From here it was NE to Nursery, hitting its W ridge at 6700' for no particular reason.  No difficulties.  Nursery provides a great view of the basin to the E of the ridge and of the route ahead.  I followed the ridge for a bit then dropped into the basin, heading across rubble to a low point around 6370' with a small lingering snow patch and then up to the E ridge of Cradle at an obvious 6900' saddle.  See map below.  The ideal route might be different in snow.  Near the top of the peak I hooked around to approach from the NE.  From the top, the north peak sure looked lower, but as I mentioned above, this seems likely to not be the case.

From S Cradle I headed directly down the S ridge, which, although not scary, was loose and annoying, requiring concentration.  At 7000' I moved slightly E of the crest for easier but still tedious travel, then crossed over at 6800' and headed straight down.  This was annoying as well, loose and slow-going.  And there was brush to deal with below, but I did find a nice animal track through some of it.  Down by Meadow Creek things were pretty soggy and I'm not sure if I ever found the actual trail.  I eventually hit the French Creek trail, brushy but easy to follow, and gained 1200' to an obvious turnoff for Sprite Lake.  This is a marvelous little circular lake surrounded by orange iron-rich talus, and the alpine blueberries were prime.  Some people were camped a ways above the lake, the only others I saw that day.

The original plan was to hit the small peaks on either side of Paddy-Go-Easy Pass informally called Paddy-Go-South and North, but it was getting late, so I just went up to the pass and headed back down the decently-maintained trail to the road.

Pics from Sunday:

N Scatter Creek Trail
N Scatter Creek Trail
Could have been cut a little further back...
Could have been cut a little further back...
Tucquala
Tucquala
First view of Cradle and Nursery
First view of Cradle and Nursery
Heading up Tucquala
Heading up Tucquala
Summit view to the NW; that's Sprite Lake
Summit view to the NW; that's Sprite Lake
Daniel
Daniel
Chimney Rock etc.
Chimney Rock etc.
Some stuff like this to work around coming down from Tucquala Pass but no real routefinding difficulty
Some stuff like this to work around coming down from Tucquala Pass but no real routefinding difficulty
Looking north up the connecting ridge to The Cradle
Looking north up the connecting ridge to The Cradle
From 6370' in basin. Cashmere in the distance
From 6370' in basin. Cashmere in the distance
Cradle (north) on right
Cradle (north) on right
If you're going for the north peak, be sure to say so in the register, so no one thinks you're a weenie
If you're going for the north peak, be sure to say so in the register, so no one thinks you're a weenie
The Cradle (north peak)
The Cradle (north peak)
Going down, ugh
Going down, ugh
Congratulations... for littering
Congratulations... for littering
Sprite Lake
Sprite Lake
Heading down Paddy-Go-Easy Pass Trail
Heading down Paddy-Go-Easy Pass Trail

A few days later I went back (with Mom!) to finish the job.  The Paddies ended up being really fun little scrambles.  Highly recommended.  I hit the South peak by heading directly south from Sprite Lake.  Fun talus-hopping and class 2 all the way.  For the North peak we headed NW from the pass and then headed SW for the final bit.  Some easy class 3 encountered.  Really pretty rocks out there.  Nice reward for not much work.

Pics from Tuesday:

Hello again
Hello again
Heading up p-g-s
Heading up p-g-s
Cathedral Rock in front of Mount Daniel
Cathedral Rock in front of Mount Daniel
Cle Elum River/Tucquala Lake
Cle Elum River/Tucquala Lake
Summit view
Summit view
Mine--watch your step
Mine--watch your step
Head for the "V" at center
Head for the "V" at center
Sherpani and Granite
Sherpani and Granite

Aside from driving twice down a long gravel road (rough in spots but most vehicles could make it), these were a fine couple of days, with much solitude.

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Gimpilator
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PostSat Sep 07, 2019 3:06 pm 
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That's a fun area.  Great photography!   up.gif

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puzzlr
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PostSat Sep 07, 2019 10:34 pm 
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neek wrote:
Tucquala, Nursery, and The Cradle on Sunday 9/1/2019

Yikes -- that's a HUGE day. Do you know your cumulative gain? Congrats on cleaning up on that part of the Cascades.

The red rock on the Paddy's is Perdotite, the same as the red rocks over by Lake Ingalls. It's gotten some attention lately because something about it's chemistry gives it the potential to suck up a lot of Carbon Dioxide. But large deposits of it are relatively rare.

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Sculpin
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PostSun Sep 08, 2019 8:14 am 
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puzzlr wrote:
The red rock on the Paddy's is Perdotite, the same as the red rocks over by Lake Ingalls.

The high country in the Teanaway is all peridotite and its hydrothermally altered form, serpentine.  These are rocks that came from the mantle and comprise less than 2% of the surface.  Paddy Go Easy marks an abrupt transition from the ultramafic rocks such as peridotite to the east and the granitic rocks to the north and west.  Gold was found in massive, black sulfide deposits here.  The Blewett gold mining area (mostly placer mining) is at the east end of the ultramafic rock, and the mining areas along Ingalls Creek are along the northern edge.  The southern edge is buried under sedimentary rock.

Ultramafic rock is toxic to most plants and has a unique flora, including many rarities.  Subalpine Larch seems to tolerate ultramafic rock, the easternmost stands occur right around Sprite Lake AFAIK.

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neek
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PostSun Sep 08, 2019 11:01 am 
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puzzlr wrote:
Yikes -- that's a HUGE day. Do you know your cumulative gain? Congrats on cleaning up on that part of the Cascades.

Gaia says 7479 ft, 13.6 mi.
Caltopo says 7927 ft, 14.48 mi.
Strava says 8086 ft, 14.47 mi.
Manually (subtracting major high/low points to remove minor ups/down and GPS jitter) is around 7600 ft.

I'm going with strava smile.gif

Thanks for the geology notes!
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John Morrow
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PostMon Sep 09, 2019 12:16 pm 
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Sculpin wrote:
Subalpine Larch seems to tolerate ultramafic rock, the easternmost stands occur right around Sprite Lake AFAIK.

You mean westernmost?

Sculpin wrote:
The high country in the Teanaway is all peridotite and its hydrothermally altered form, serpentine.  These are rocks that came from the mantle and comprise less than 2% of the surface.  Paddy Go Easy marks an abrupt transition from the ultramafic rocks such as peridotite to the east and the granitic rocks to the north and west.  Gold was found in massive, black sulfide deposits here.  The Blewett gold mining area (mostly placer mining) is at the east end of the ultramafic rock, and the mining areas along Ingalls Creek are along the northern edge.  The southern edge is buried under sedimentary rock.

great explanation!

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Cyclopath
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PostMon Sep 09, 2019 8:27 pm 
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Beautiful photos (except the balloon), my god that's a big day!
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