Forum Index > Trip Reports > Bearcat Ridge ~ October 2-3, 2020
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Fletcher
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Location: kirkland
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PostSat Oct 03, 2020 9:32 pm 
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I have thought for awhile that Bearcat Ridge might go nicely from Bear Creek Basin but had never seen or heard of anyone going that way. When Milda posted about her route last week, I knew I had to do it for one of this year's few larch trips. Luckily Selena and Kyle agreed to come with me and after the long drive to the trailhead, we were hiking around 9am on Friday. The skies were very hazy but the air did not seem hazardous to breathe.

fall colors on the first few miles
fall colors on the first few miles

Eight miles of delightful trail brought us to the junction with the Pyramid Mountain Trail and into the high country. The larches were looking near peak, as I suspected. We hiked one more mile toward Saska Pass, found a nice trickle to fill up on water, and turned uphill. We were aiming for the 7700 foot saddle between Emerald and Cardinal. Getting there was trivial.
entering the larch
entering the larch
Selena with Saska and Emerald
Selena with Saska and Emerald
route up to the saddle
route up to the saddle
hazy
hazy

From the saddle, we traversed some hard scree and dirt skier's left to gain the mellow rib that bisects the two upper forks of Bear Creek. As stated in Milda's report, this rib is super enjoyable walking, and we ended up following it down until about 7000 ft. From there we descended some slabby terrain with a few moderately difficult scramble steps to down climb and filled up on water to bring to our planned bivy at the Emerald-Bearcat saddle.
first look at Bearcat
first look at Bearcat
Bearcat with saddle bivy
Bearcat with saddle bivy
a short down climb
a short down climb

Just west of the Emerald-Bearcat saddle is a flat and larchy knob overlooking Emerald Park. This is a spectacular camp spot. We all laid out in our bivy's most of the evening, just enjoying being out on such a calm and pleasant evening for October. I slept comfortably all night with my sleeping bag on top of my bivy sack. Rockfall coming off of the north face of Emerald woke us all up multiple times. We woke with the sun and set out for the summit of Bearcat Ridge.

sunrise
sunrise
Bearcat from near camp
Bearcat from near camp
camp on the larchy knob
camp on the larchy knob
Emerald Peak
Emerald Peak

The route up to the summit of Bearcat from here is surprisingly easy. Milda's beta is much more detailed, but we basically just followed class 2 (with a few short 3rd class steps) up towards the towers of Bearcat Ridge. You must initially stay 100 feet or so below the ridge crest to avoid a steep drop off.
Pinnacle Mountain
Pinnacle Mountain
the route to Bearcat
the route to Bearcat
PeeWee on route
PeeWee on route
a short shrubby section
a short shrubby section
the moon
the moon
looking back down to camp
looking back down to camp
looking up towards the summit
looking up towards the summit
this ledge leads to easy access of the summit block
this ledge leads to easy access of the summit block
coming up the ledge
coming up the ledge

We kept following ledges mostly just south of the ridge crest until it was clear that we were near the summit. From there, the summit was a short and easy class 3 scramble. The skies had cleared a bit from the day before and the views were decent!
final scramble
final scramble
Bearcat Ridge summit
Bearcat Ridge summit
Cardinal, Emerald and Saska
Cardinal, Emerald and Saska
Mirror Mountain and Pk 7738 with Bonanza, Martin and the Devore Creek peaks
Mirror Mountain and Pk 7738 with Bonanza, Martin and the Devore Creek peaks
Clark, Buck, Glacier, Pinnacle, Fernow, Copper
Clark, Buck, Glacier, Pinnacle, Fernow, Copper
hazy Sawtooths
hazy Sawtooths
Bearcat Ridge summitshot
Bearcat Ridge summitshot
the new Bearcat register that Selena brought up
the new Bearcat register that Selena brought up

We hung out for a bit, then made our way back to camp. It took less than an hour.
a tower on Bearcat
a tower on Bearcat
an impressive face on Bearcat
an impressive face on Bearcat
Emerald-Bearcat saddle
Emerald-Bearcat saddle
looking back
looking back

We then, more or less, retraced our steps back up to the Cardinal-Emerald saddle on pleasant terrain. Such a beautiful walk in awesome fall weather.
a very large pine tree
a very large pine tree
larches and Cardinal Peak
larches and Cardinal Peak
descending back into Bear Creek Basin
descending back into Bear Creek Basin
looking back at Bearcat
looking back at Bearcat
one larch holding onto summer
one larch holding onto summer
one last look back
one last look back

The last 9.5 miles from the saddle back to the car went quick. We all got back to the trailhead by 3:40.

back into the NF Entiat
back into the NF Entiat
colorful
colorful

~24 miles
~6300 ft of gain
~155/200
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Gimpilator
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Joined: 12 Oct 2006
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Location: Edmonds, WA
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PostSun Oct 04, 2020 3:16 am 
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It's great to see those larches and a new register.   up.gif  up.gif

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https://www.youtube.com/c/Zogador
https://www.summitpost.org/users/gimpilator/25744
http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ClimbListC.aspx?cid=2650&sort=elevft&u=ft&j=-1&y=9999

Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
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Bluebird
suffering



Joined: 22 Jan 2014
Posts: 111 | TRs
Location: United States
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suffering
PostSun Oct 04, 2020 7:42 am 
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This trip was both scenic and therapeutic. I suspect this will be the first of many summits with a register dedicated to Jake- if you plan to visit a summit that may not have a register or that needs a fresh one, please do the same <3

larches come into view
larches come into view
traversing towards the bivy site
traversing towards the bivy site
looking from the bivy towards the summit
looking from the bivy towards the summit
cool rock tower waiting for a FA
cool rock tower waiting for a FA
evening views of Emerald
evening views of Emerald
chasm reminiscent of Cathedral. Lots of cliffs and towers on the ridge
chasm reminiscent of Cathedral. Lots of cliffs and towers on the ridge
fletcher on a tower
fletcher on a tower
sleepytime
sleepytime
summit scramble at top
summit scramble at top
kyle on the summit
kyle on the summit
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neek
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Joined: 12 Sep 2011
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PostSun Oct 04, 2020 8:06 am 
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Bluebird wrote:
This trip was both scenic and therapeutic. I suspect this will be the first of many summits with a register dedicated to Jake- if you plan to visit a summit that may not have a register or that needs a fresh one, please do the same <3

up.gif
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belowfellow
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Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 257 | TRs
Location: Seattle
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PostSun Oct 04, 2020 8:15 am 
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Looks like a great trip and too bad our paths didn't cross. I left a note for you in the Choral register, which will likely look pretty odd to the next visitor.

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"Wilderness is bliss"
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Tautvydaite
Milda Tautvydas



Joined: 25 Sep 2020
Posts: 6 | TRs

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Milda Tautvydas
PostMon Oct 05, 2020 11:10 am 
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It's good to read that you enjoyed the climb, and that you had a successful summit.

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Leave No Trace

https://www.nps.gov/articles/leave-no-trace-seven-principles.htm

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/okawen/recreation/?cid=fseprd739027

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/okawen/alerts-notices/?cid=fsbdev3_053600#wilderness
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ozzy
The hard way



Joined: 30 Jul 2015
Posts: 303 | TRs
Location: University place, wa
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PostFri Oct 09, 2020 5:08 pm 
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What a trip!! eek.gif Yall timed that one perfectly! Thanks for the awesome beta/pics this one is definitely on my list now! Love the register, cheers Jake! cheers.gif  Thanks for the TR!

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Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer. -Arnold
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MangyMarmot
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PostSun Oct 11, 2020 4:15 pm 
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Nice trip. Looks like you timed the fall colors perfectly.
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Bearcat Ridge ~ October 2-3, 2020
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