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MangyMarmot
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PostSun Oct 11, 2020 7:56 pm 
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My son, Devin, And I made it out to the Chelan Sawtooths for an overnighter last weekend. We hiked up from the Crater Creek trailhead to Cooney Lake. The trail is in excellent condition. We were passed by many mountainbikers heading up to the high country. The fall colors were spectacular. There was some smoke in the air so long distance views were limited.

Switchback
Switchback
Switchback and Cooney Lake
Switchback and Cooney Lake

We went up to the pass above Cooney Lake and then up the ridge to Switchback Mountain. From there, we turned North and just followed the ridge. Next peak was Martin. We ate lunch, enjoyed the views, and chatted with other hikers. then came Cheops, Horsehead and Bigelow. Bigelow was the only peak on this trip to have a summit register. With each peak, the views were a bit different, with various lakes and valleys coming into and out of view. After Bigelow, we planned to drop down to some tarns to have access to water for dinner and breakfast, but as we descended to the col between Bigelow and Crater Peak, we found snow patches right on the ridge. No need to descend. We camped right there and enjoyed a colorful sunset and sunrise due to the smoke.

Martin
Martin
Cheops
Cheops
Boining Lake
Boining Lake
Bigelow
Bigelow
Sunset
Sunset

Next morning we were surprised to find that the smoke was still there to the East, but had cleared out from the West. We now got good views of the Cascades. We packed up camp and headed up to Crater Peak, then onward down the ridge to Libby Peak. Libby Peak had the best views of the whole trip. I dropped my pack at Libby and cruised over to Hoodoo and back. Moving over large talus is more fun without a pack. Despite the formidable look of the route from Libby, it was not bad at all.

Crater Peak
Crater Peak
Raven Ridge
Raven Ridge
Star, Courtney, Buttermilk and Oval
Star, Courtney, Buttermilk and Oval
Libby Lake
Libby Lake
Hoodoo
Hoodoo

After getting back to Libby, we shouldered our packs and headed East to the Raven Ridge summit. Then it was down the hill to Crater Lake and down the trail back to the car. The trail from Crater Lake starts much farther North than is shown on the map so we didn't find it. We ended up traveling cross country for a while until we stumbled upon it down the valley a ways.

Larches
Larches
Crater Lake
Crater Lake

This turned out to be a great fall trip. The weather was good, the views were spectacular, and there were lots of brilliant fall colors.
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Fletcher
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PostMon Oct 12, 2020 7:53 am 
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Excellent Dave, glad you got out there with your son!
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raising3hikers
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PostMon Oct 12, 2020 7:57 pm 
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Fletcher wrote:
Excellent Dave, glad you got out there with your son!

Agree, way to get out with your son and nice larch pics!

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Eric Eames
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Michael Lewis
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PostTue Oct 13, 2020 9:57 pm 
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What was the hardest move getting over to Hoodoo? I was hoping to hike that line and your route sounds great. Thanks for sharing this
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John_B
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PostWed Oct 14, 2020 7:54 am 
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Michael FYI it looks like the Sawtooth picked up a decent amount of snow in this last storm.  I haven't heard any reports on how much but I'd guess 8 inches or more.
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Michael Lewis
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PostWed Oct 14, 2020 11:25 am 
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While I do enjoy larches in snow, powder over giant talus is less fun. Realistically I won't get out there until next year so I'm hoping for future beta. Did it go at class 2/3/4?
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MangyMarmot
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PostWed Oct 14, 2020 3:35 pm 
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It was mostly class 2 with a little bit of class 3. The ridge gets scrambly and exposed near Libby peak. You can drop down to the West side. Not a great deal. Perhaps 100 or 200 feet under the ridge. There is a little bit of class 3 there but it's mostly class 2. Aim for the notches in the buttresses coming down the ridge to get to the next gully. Eventually the ridge mellows out and you can get back on the ridge and follow it the rest of the way.
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