Forum Index > Trip Reports > Peggy's Pond + Circle Lake: Aug 28-29, 2021
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fourteen410
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fourteen410
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PostSun Aug 29, 2021 11:53 pm 
Finally got the smoke and cloud free weekend I'd been waiting for. Headed up Saturday morning to the Cathedral Rock TH. FS 4330 was in its usual poor shape. Several miles up the road, a woman was flagging vehicles down to alert them about her three missing friends. It sounds like they had attempted to hike to Gallagher Head Lake on Friday but failed to return after the group split up. Hopefully they were found.

Arrived at the very crowded trailhead around 11:15. Vehicles were parked over half a mile down the road, leaving just enough room for one car to pass by. This made for some interesting maneuvering when encountering a vehicle headed in the opposite direction.

Left the TH shortly thereafter and made good time up to Squaw Lake. Took a break here to allow for some pooch cool-off time. Then it was onward to Cathedral Pass, where the views never get old. Dropped down a quarter mile to the Peggy's Pond turnoff and followed the bootpath along the cliffs. Some people are wary of this bootpath, but I had no issues. After one last 200' grunt, I arrived at Peggy's Pond. Yikes, this place was crowded. I continued past the pond and found a nice private campsite near Hyas Creek. Had no issues with bugs at all, which was a welcome change from previous trips this summer.


After a refreshing catnap, I headed up the SE shoulder of Daniel before turning off toward Circle Lake. A mile later, I arrived at the shores of beautiful Circle Lake. There were a surprising number of parties camped here - much more than I expected. Dusk was approaching, so I snapped some pics and filtered water from the outlet before heading back up. Made it back to camp just after sunset. Temps were pleasant all night.


Packed up camp and headed out just after 9am Sunday morning.


Shortly after I left the pond, I was unfortunately hit with a panic attack. I have a well managed anxiety disorder, but every now and then, an attack will sneak up on me in the backcountry. It's hard to understand the sheer terror of these if you've never experienced one. To sum it up - your heart races uncontrollably, your legs feel like noodles, and you feel lightheaded and nauseous, all while grappling with an irrational, intense fear that you are going to die. It is a true physiological reaction: my resting heart rate was 132 BPM. So needless to say, the trek out was a real struggle. As I was tossing my cookies, a group of several guys from Spokane came down the trail and asked if I was ok. They offered to walk with me for a few miles, which was a real lifesaver. Not long after, I slipped and busted my knee, further bruising my ego. While painful, I was still able to walk on it. I parted ways with the guys shortly after Squaw Lake and slowly picked my way down the trail. Before too long, I reached the welcome sight of the bridge over the Cle Elum River. Hooray!


Despite the struggle on the way back, it was still a fantastic trip. To quote a thru hiker I met on the trail: "you sure are lucky to live here". I couldn't agree more  up.gif

day_hike_mike, Chief Joseph, Lindsay, GaliWalker, Slim, zimmertr, triad, HitTheTrail, jaysway, Sculpin, awilsondc
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HitTheTrail
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PostMon Aug 30, 2021 8:58 am 
What a trooper! up.gif  I admire your dedication to getting out and determination while out there. I am sure this episode will not slow you down.

fourteen410
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zephyr
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Joined: 21 Jun 2009
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zephyr
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PostMon Aug 30, 2021 9:25 am 
fourteen410 wrote:
Shortly after I left the pond, I was unfortunately hit with a panic attack. I have a well managed anxiety disorder, but every now and then, an attack will sneak up on me in the backcountry. It's hard to understand the sheer terror of these if you've never experienced one.

Good grief!   This sounds terrible.  And I thought I had difficulties when hiking.  Sorry to hear this.  These occasional episodes would be dreadful to experience at any place let alone far from home in the wilderness.  It's obvious you're a trouper from all the many places you go and as often.  Having this issue lurking shows how courageous you really are.  Sorry to hear about the fall on your knee too.  Hang in there.    ~z

fourteen410
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rbuzby
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rbuzby
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PostMon Aug 30, 2021 1:08 pm 
This is either a good year for Gentian, or I just started noticing it.

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babylero
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babylero
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PostThu Sep 02, 2021 10:19 am 
Sorry to hear about the panic attacks. I've had them off an on most of my adult life, but never in the backcountry.

I climbed Daniel via Cathedral in July and the crux of the whole route was the sidehill bootpath between Cathedral Pass and the Pond. Also that steep uphill dirt just below the lake. The Ridge run up to Daniel was more exposed in one or two areas but totally secure when it was.

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Backpacker Joe
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Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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Backpacker Joe
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PostSat Sep 04, 2021 6:26 pm 
Wonderful report and pics.  Thanks for posting.  I love those Circle Venus Spade trips.

--------------
"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

Abraham Lincoln
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Chief Joseph
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Chief Joseph
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PostSun Sep 05, 2021 11:08 pm 
Some amazing photos there!  up.gif

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Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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