Forum Index > Trip Reports > dosewallips lollipop (anderson, lacrosse basin, hart, overlook, duckabush glacier)  9.6 - 9.10.20
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rubywrangler
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PostTue Sep 15, 2020 1:39 pm 
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I was looking for an uncrowded hike that would be mostly on trails to avoid irritating my knees and hamstring tendon which have been sort of temperamental lately, and time is running out on my ONP wilderness pass, so I decided to head up the Dosewallips for a few days. My plan was a lollipop loop to Anderson Pass> Hart lake via way trail> Lacrosse Pass with side trips to the Anderson lake/maybe Mount Anderson and Lacrosse Basin. That is not what I actually ended up doing, but the improvised plan turned out pretty great.

I had only been a couple miles up the Dose road before, having vowed to return when I got a bike. Well, that was 5 or 6 years ago and I still don't have a bike, so...  on Sunday I walked from the washout to Anderson lake. On the way in I met a party who had climbed Anderson via "a couple notches over" from Flypaper pass. They noted that the Eel was pretty sketchy and I assured them I wasn't planning to go that way. My campsite reservation was for Honeymoon Meadows but I decided to keep going rather than wake up early and move camp. Above HM was the beginning of the most incredible huckleberry explosion I have experienced. It continued all the way to and beyond Anderson pass (which is really one massive berry patch) and slowed me down considerably. I reached the Anderson moraine just before sunset and quickly set up camp in the one small campsite recommended by the ranger who issued my permit.  I slept like a log after the 17 mi hike in.

dosewallips campground
dosewallips campground
tree damage
tree damage
first glimpse of anderson
first glimpse of anderson
white mountain
white mountain
sunset on lacrosse and white
sunset on lacrosse and white

On Monday I woke up later than planned but felt much better than expected.  I knew that it was supposed to be windy so I reinforced all of my tent stakes with rock anchors before heading around the S ridge of Anderson to the lakes on the east side. This is a really lovely area and has much better campsites than the moraine, I think. At lake 4924 I took a break to review the route up Anderson.  I had planned to climb Route 2 from the OMCG if I felt good enough, but looking up at the inviting meadowy slopes above me, I decided to try Route 3 instead. Except, I only had the brief description of Route 3 with me (and only because it is on the same page as Route 2!) and the description doesn't really line up with the route IMO - it says to go north, but the route actually goes NE according to the illustration in the guide (which I did NOT have with me).

anderson
anderson
anderson SE bench
anderson SE bench
looking across the valley to lacrosse and white
looking across the valley to lacrosse and white
anderson & lake 4924
anderson & lake 4924

So I climbed to the heather benches above the lake and went north, blissfully unaware that I was not on route, and enjoying the views and the gentle terrain. After a little while my route got steeper, but I continued following heather slopes north, thinking that I would intersect Route 2 eventually. Meanwhile the wind was picking up. The heather slopes ended about 20' below the south ridge and I climbed up to the ridge proper to get a better view. I was slightly above 6700' at this point and didn't see any obvious way forward.  The gusty wind was making me feel a little rattled, like I couldn't think straight, and all of a sudden I felt very tired, like the previous day had caught up to me. It probably didn't help that I hadn't eaten in hours, but I didn't realize that at the time. I decided to bail, and headed back down to the lakes below.  I suspect that I was actually on Route 4 (S ridge) but I haven't been able to find any first-hand accounts or specific details of that route beyond what's in the OMCG.  If anyone has any insight, I would love to hear it.

heading up south slope
heading up south slope
followed heather up and left here, then right up a rocky ramp
followed heather up and left here, then right up a rocky ramp
following heather ramps
following heather ramps
looking back from top of heather ramp
looking back from top of heather ramp
view over the S ridge at ~6705
view over the S ridge at ~6705
looking down the S ridge
looking down the S ridge
east peak and hanging glacier lake, diamond beyond
east peak and hanging glacier lake, diamond beyond
lakes 4924 & 4957
lakes 4924 & 4957
lake 4924
lake 4924
anderson & 5240 tarn
anderson & 5240 tarn

After lunch at lake 4957, I meandered back to camp.  Except, camp had blown away. Luckily it got caught on some rocks nearby. I should have taken this as a sign to find a new campsite, but didn't. I set the tent back up in the same spot, minus 3 of 6 stakes which had vanished in the wind, and repaired several punctures in my sleeping pad and tent bottom. That night was super windy and the tent was blown flat (with me in it) on several occasions. Very little sleep was had.

where my tent should have been
where my tent should have been
where my tent actually was
where my tent actually was

Tuesday morning was so smoky that I sent an inreach message to see whether there was a new fire nearby. Apparently not, so I hiked back down to Anderson pass, SW down toward the Quinault, and then left up the O'neill pass trail.  Shortly I reached White Creek meadow, which is very lovely and has a couple of nice campsites. I had not planned to go over Fisher's notch but ultimately could not resist the shortcut. So, after crossing two branches of White Creek, I turned left and followed a dry streambed, which eventually led to a bootpath, which led to upper White Creek basin. Then up and right (SW) to the notch.  At first I thought, it doesn't look as bad as advertised.  But it definitely was - very steep and very loose. It took me an hour to climb the 600' and every muscle in my body was tense the entire time. I was very happy to be solo and not have to also worry about rockfall. Would not recommend this route unless you have experience on similar terrain. But if you do, it's a very efficient shortcut and has great views too. Thanks to AncientAmbler for the earlier report on this.

a little hazy
a little hazy
anderson pass and smoky haze beyond
anderson pass and smoky haze beyond
quinault valley
quinault valley
entering white creek basin meadow, fishers notch in the distance
entering white creek basin meadow, fishers notch in the distance
white cr basin meadow & anderson massif
white cr basin meadow & anderson massif
upper white cr basin
upper white cr basin
up and right to fishers notch
up and right to fishers notch
climbing to fishers notch, steep and loose. yuck
climbing to fishers notch, steep and loose. yuck
looking back down from the notch. whew.
looking back down from the notch. whew.
lacrosse basin
lacrosse basin

I dropped into Lacrosse Basin on a much gentler heather slope and worked my way toward the lake. I looked back just in time to see a bear descend from the east about 5 minutes after I passed - the only one I saw in 5 days. I arrived at the lake at 2:30 and spent an hour lounging, snacking, taking in the views, and considering what to do next. I was supposed to camp here but it was too early to stop hiking. I figured the campsites at Hart lake and Marmot lake would be full.  But the ridge above Hart lake looked like a nice place to explore, full of tarns and likely excellent views, and not too difficult to get to. So, for the second time I bailed on my plan to stay on established trails...

upper lacrosse basin
upper lacrosse basin
healthy looking guy/girl
healthy looking guy/girl
lacrosse lake and duckabush
lacrosse lake and duckabush
lacrosse basin
lacrosse basin
lacrosse lake and steel
lacrosse lake and steel
lacrosse lake
lacrosse lake

I hiked to Hart lake where I filled up with 4.5L of water in case the tarns on the ridge were dry or gross (which meant of course they wouldn't be). Fortunately, and not surprisingly, I found a bootpath heading up from Hart lake. I followed this path up a few hundred feet, past several dry tarns, to a pretty tarn with an island. It was windy there so I continued poking around and came to another tarn with excellent views and a previously used campsite (or possibly a dry puddle) with good wind protection. The smoke had cleared some by now and wasn't too bad for the rest of my trip. I had dinner overlooking Mts Steel and Duckabush, watching the last rays of sun light up the broad north ridge of Mt Duckabush above O'Neill pass (which I'm calling Duckabush arm), a destination I had been considering for a future trip out of Staircase.

leaving lacrosse lake
leaving lacrosse lake
trail to hart lake
trail to hart lake
steel and duckabush
steel and duckabush
hart lake
hart lake
island tarn 5140
island tarn 5140
ridge tarn 5020 where i camped
ridge tarn 5020 where i camped
duckbush arm is calling me
duckbush arm is calling me
sunset on steel and duckabush from camp
sunset on steel and duckabush from camp

Wednesday morning was gorgeous. While eating breakfast I considered my next move. I was supposed to camp at Lacrosse pass, but I had woken up thinking of Duckabush arm. It was calling to me. I really wanted to check out the lake at the base of the Duckabush glacier.  And it appeared that I could go up and south on the ridge and around Overlook peak as a shortcut to O'Neill pass. That would put me further away from Lacrosse pass, but I could loop the other direction and camp at Anderson pass instead. I decided to give it a try. 

sunrise
sunrise
gorgeous morning above ridge tarn camp
gorgeous morning above ridge tarn camp
morning on the ridge, lacrosse basin and anderson in the distance
morning on the ridge, lacrosse basin and anderson in the distance
5100 tarn and duckabush
5100 tarn and duckabush

I headed back up to Island tarn, passing through a large dry tarn/bear highway. I turned left/up and then headed S on the ridge.  Passed a couple more tarns with water and a bootpath leading W straight down to the O'neill pass trail.  From the saddle between pt 5433 and Overlook, I followed deer tracks across a couple steepish slopes until I hit gentler heather slopes on the SE side. I was only about 100' from the south summit so I scrambled up for a quick look, then backtracked and descended moderately steep meadow to the O'neill pass trail. I believe there is a bootpath that leads back to the trail from the upper reaches of Overlook, but I didn't see it until I was on Duckabush arm later. Once I hit the trail, a <10 minute walk brought me to the pass.

dry tarn traffic
dry tarn traffic
looking back at island tarn 5140
looking back at island tarn 5140
climbing toward pt 5440
climbing toward pt 5440
views behind
views behind
overlook peak
overlook peak
following deer tracks across overlook SW slope
following deer tracks across overlook SW slope
meadow SW of o'neill pass
meadow SW of o'neill pass
overlook S summit view
overlook S summit view
o'neill pass
o'neill pass
overlook peak
overlook peak

A ~20 minute walk up the ridge on another bootpath brought me to the lake. So pretty! And also, sad.

crossing a rocky basin on duckabush arm
crossing a rocky basin on duckabush arm
duckabush glacier lake
duckabush glacier lake
pretty polished slabs at the lake
pretty polished slabs at the lake
duckabush glacier lake
duckabush glacier lake
duckabush glacier lake
duckabush glacier lake

After an hour at the lake, I headed back down to O'neill pass and then west. The trail was probably scenic, but I was mostly too busy eating my weight in huckleberries to notice. I can't remember ever having huckleberries so good that they made the nearby blueberries seem disgusting by comparison, but these did. I stopped to fill up water at the junction with the Enchanted Valley trail since Anderson Pass is dry except for one quickly disappearing puddle, and then slogged 1200' up to the pass. There are several nice campsites here if you don't mind hauling water up and sleeping in the middle of the bear equivalent of an all-you-can-eat-buffet. I didn't see any bears there, but a very loud crash in the brush/berries not far from my tent woke me at 5am... so I'm sure they're around.

o'neill pass trail
o'neill pass trail
hazy quinault valley
hazy quinault valley
upper white creek basin, less hazy today
upper white creek basin, less hazy today
white glacier outflow stream
white glacier outflow stream

The hike out was uneventful and relatively quick. I woke up happy about a day of cruising downhill... and a few hours later discovered that the West Fork Dose trail goes uphill both ways. Luckily I had a pint of huckleberries from Anderson pass, and thoughts of car beer and pizza to keep me going!

for lunch later
for lunch later
dose confluence from the high bridge
dose confluence from the high bridge
dosewallips river downstream from dose forks bridge
dosewallips river downstream from dose forks bridge
cascades along the upper dose road
cascades along the upper dose road
signs of 2020
signs of 2020

~55 miles,13,650' gain
Many more photos
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meck
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PostTue Sep 15, 2020 4:36 pm 
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Neat trip RW!  I love that terrain up there, those heather meadows and tarns are some kind of heaven.  Your only mistake was posting too many good photos ;-)  I'm glad you got the views you did with the smoke around.

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fourteen410
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PostTue Sep 15, 2020 5:59 pm 
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Fantastic! Bummer about the nomadic camp situation, but glad you were able to recover and repair everything  up.gif
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graywolf
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PostTue Sep 15, 2020 6:55 pm 
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Beautiful photos of a very special place.  Way to get it done - great trip report!

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The only easy day was yesterday...
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rubywrangler
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PostTue Sep 15, 2020 7:13 pm 
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Thanks graywolf!

meck wrote:
I love that terrain up there, those heather meadows and tarns are some kind of heaven.

I agree meck! My favorite kind of terrain. Very conducive to impromptu wandering as long as you can read a map.

fourteen410 wrote:
glad you were able to recover and repair everything

Lol. I've become something of an expert in finding and repairing leaks in my Thermarest out of necessity, due to my love of cowboy camping. clown.gif On this trip I discovered that Second Skin blister pads make a good patch if you happen to run out of the real thing. Much more effective for Thermarest repair than they are for blisters!
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resilient
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PostTue Sep 15, 2020 7:49 pm 
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Wow. Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures. I did the same lolipop starting and ending from Staircase earlier this year but I mostly stuck to established trails since I am still recovering from a busted knee. You have given me so many reasons to go back and explore some more. Those tarns above Hart, duckabush glacier lake, the way up to anderson from the moraine all look so beautiful that I might have to head back there next year.

I am super impressed that you went up the notch above white creek basin...that looked awfully steep when I was filling up water from the creek.
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awilsondc
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PostTue Sep 15, 2020 7:54 pm 
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Nice trip!  So much for sticking to established trails, huh!   lol.gif  1) I can't believe your tent blew away!  So glad it didn't go far... I've never had that happen before thank goodness.  2)  I can't believe you only saw one bear that entire time!  They're everywhere out there!  I'm jealous of all the berry picking, that must have been awesome.  I've been meaning to check out that area, might just have to do that in the next year or two.  Great report!   up.gif  up.gif
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rubywrangler
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PostTue Sep 15, 2020 9:47 pm 
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resilient, in my opinion those spots are definitely worth a return trip! Especially the Duckabush lake. If you've gone all the way to O'Neill pass, it's literally only 20 minutes further.

I debated about Fishers notch for quite awhile. In a way, it was laziness that made me do it. I read in a previous TR that it saves 7 miles of trail hiking to Lacrosse basin! I guess it was worth it, but I don't think it was a huge savings in time or effort.

Aaron, this is not the first camp that has blown away on me - I watched my tent fly off of ice pass from the summit of Maude about 5 years ago. Luckily it didn't go far that time either. embarassedlaugh.gif

I was surprised by the lack of bears too! I'm hoping they were just taking siestas when I was out and about, but I didn't even see much bear poop really. Just a lot of old footprints.

BTW, as I was hiking out, this thought occured to me: "this was like the opposite of Aaron's Olympics trip! Days wandering around the alpine and zero summits!" lol.gif
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Nancyann
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PostTue Sep 15, 2020 10:16 pm 
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Wow, what a gorgeous area to have five days to explore! I like how you are able to improvise and just enjoy rambling around the high country. So many beautiful pictures of an area that I probably will never get to see, thanks for taking the time to put together such a quality trip report!
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NBL
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PostWed Sep 16, 2020 7:34 am 
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I've never been in that part of ONP -- what a special place. Might have to add that to the 2021 summer itinerary. And will resolve to carry a blueberry jar for proper bloob binging.
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RAW-dad
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PostWed Sep 16, 2020 5:35 pm 
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Nice Plan B!  up.gif  up.gif
Duckabush Arm looks fun - never knew there was a lake up there.
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