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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 1716 | TRs
Location: Welcome Pass
Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver
PostWed Jul 04, 2007 9:39 pm 
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EXPANSIVE!  (The basin - hopefully not my waistline!) I needed to "get lost" - Hiker Jim (bless his heart - thank you, thank you, a truly special friend in need) dropped everything on Friday, June 29th, researched at the last minute several options (the driver's requirements:  flowers, peaks and aimless wandering) and came up with Horseshoe Basin in the Pasayten.  Neither one of us had ever been there - but recent reports indicated that there was no snow, making a longer outing doable, with minimal equipment.  The weather prediction was good - only Monday looked to be a little iffy.  It would be a long drive - but well worth the effort.
For those who want the beta up-front - peaks included in order of ascent:
Rock Mtn.: 7660' (approx.) 07/01
Not Haig Mtn. but pt2395 - we are calling Sadie's Summit! :  7900' (approx) 07/01
Unnamed Summit (Sadie's Tail): 7800' (approx) 07/01
Armstrong: 8140' - 07/01
Arnold: 8090' - 07/02
Horseshoe Mtn.: 7956' - 07/02
Pick Peak: 7650' (approx.) - 07/02
Windy Peak:  8334' - 07/03
Topaz Mtn.: 7785' - 07/03
Pick Peak (again): 7650' (approx.) - 07/03
One thing you find out pretty quickly with all of the "peaks" in the Basin - you don't really need a trail!  Those broad shoulders/ridges make "walk-ups" easy.  Now, there are a few that offer some challenges, such as Haig, Windy and Topaz - but, hey, that makes it more interesting!

Day One - June 30
Leave Seattle about 7:10 a.m. on June 30.  Head across North Cascades Highway (20), through Winthrop, Twisp, etc. Out of Omak head north on 97 - you can either turn left at the US Bank in Tonasket (Bridge Street, I believe) because you really have to look for the sign that says "Loomis" - in 3 blocks go across the bridge and then take an immediate right at the "T" to head North/Northwest to Loomis; or you can go to Ellisforde on 97 and take a left at the sign that says "Loomis" - however, at the "T" here go LEFT, not right!  We wound up in Oroville!  However, pressing on, we righted our wrong and passed through lovely little Loomis - lots of wonderful orchards and a visible "ancient" aqueduct system along the hillsides.  Continue on through Loomis until you reach the Toats Coulee Road (FS 39).  An amazing road.  Virtually a two-lane paved highway (well, most of the way - a brief gravel part).  Just beyond milepost 36 you will see the sign to "Iron Gate."  We were nervous that the road would be awful - warnings said you needed a high clearance vehicle.  But it really wasn't a problem.  You travel about 6 miles on this road to the Iron Gate Trailhead.  We arrived about 2:00 p.m.  (P.S.  Go back via Hwy 97/dropping to Wenatchee and then across Blewitt to I-90 - saved us at least 1 1/2 hours, even though the distance may be longer - 300 miles on the way back.) The parking lot was crowded with about a dozen vehicles and several horse trailers.  A couple of women were unloading from a car as we arrived.  They were headed in for a "mere" overnight!  Doesn't do justice to the place.  But, they wanted somewhere snowfree and were willing to travel a distance to get it.  Remember, this area was severely burned last October (2006) and we weren't sure what to expect.  We loaded up and were on the trail about 2:40 p.m.  You need a parking permit - but no wilderness permits were in evidence  hmmm.gif   The trail starts innocently through some nice pine and fir.  In a short distance (3/4 mile?) you have options.  You can take the Clutch Creek Trail heading West/Southwest and skirting Windy Peak; or you can take the Arnold/Fourteen Mile trail heading East/Northeast to Sunny Pass.
One route to Sunny Pass
One route to Sunny Pass

We chose to stay on the main Sunny Pass Trail that was quoted as either 4+ or 5 miles.
On the trail to Sunny Pass - Windy Peak ahead
On the trail to Sunny Pass - Windy Peak ahead

In a short distance, we came across three guys heading out with FOUR 5 gallon buckets of fresh Morels!!  We couldn't convince them to let us test them out for them.  We plugged on until the nice green "forest" opened up into a green meadow that lead straight into a burn area.  Stark and shocking.
Through the burn
Through the burn
Trail through the burn
Trail through the burn
Windy Peak above the burn
Windy Peak above the burn

It was eerie to walk through this area - even crossing Clutch Creek.  You could seem some evidence of new growth and grasses, but it is pretty charred.  After about 3+ miles you begin to see some green again.
Sunny Pass ahead
Sunny Pass ahead

We saw the two women again that we had met at the parking area - they were just below Sunny Pass and decided they would camp there for the night.  We had seen two guys camped about 300' below the summit as well.  Our destination for tonight, however, was another 2 1/2 miles away through Horseshoe Basin and Louden Lake.
Jim at junction at Sunny pass - Windy Peak trail to left, Horseshoe Basin ahead (Armstrong in the background)
Jim at junction at Sunny pass - Windy Peak trail to left, Horseshoe Basin ahead (Armstrong in the background)
Iron Gate to the right; Scheelite Pass to left (North) from Sunny
Iron Gate to the right; Scheelite Pass to left (North) from Sunny

We would save this juncture for later in our journey.
Trail sign to Windy from Sunny Pass
Trail sign to Windy from Sunny Pass
Louden Lake from Horseshoe Basin trail heading west
Louden Lake from Horseshoe Basin trail heading west

Well, Horseshoe Basin didn't disappoint!  Requirement #1 - flowers:  there were fields and fields of lupine, Indian Paintbrush, the typical field flowers and then throw in a few more here and there (one for you, Quark!):
'Whiskers
'Whiskers
Globe Flower
Globe Flower
White Rein Orchid
White Rein Orchid
Azalea-like flower in the area around Smith Lake
Azalea-like flower in the area around Smith Lake
Moss Campion
Moss Campion

There were lots and lots more - Shooting Stars, wild strawberries, Marsh Marigolds, etc. etc.  Probably will be even more spectacular in another week.

Note:  This is a GREAT time to be in the Basin.  There is plenty of water - which there won't be by August.  In fact, Louden Lake will dry up - or so we have heard, there are mixed reviews on this.  Plus, this area is totally open and with very few patches of snow, which is amazing at 7,000'!  But the bugs can drive you buggy.

Requirement #2:  Peaks.  We managed to hike/climb/scramble 8 named peaks and 1 unnamed peak - all of them at 7600' or better!
Louden in foreground, south slope of Armstrong Peak and Arnold Peak beyond
Louden in foreground, south slope of Armstrong Peak and Arnold Peak beyond

We got into what would be our camp area for two nights at about 5:30 p.m. and got things set up and arranged.  We noticed that there were at least 3 other campers in our vicinity today (Saturday) - far enough away that it wasn't a bother, but visible none-the-less/  It was breezy and had clouded over by the time we reached Louden.  The only night I would need my down jacket.  And bugs weren't an issue.  Water was plentiful.  The driver was feeling pretty punk (not easy to cry and hike at the same time) so she headed to the tent while HJ did a little scouting around the lake area.

Day Two - July 1
WARNING:
Bug man of Louden Lake
Bug man of Louden Lake

Ahh yes, bugs.  They are alive and well.  Be prepared for this.  Even though the weather was gloriously sunny - with puffy clouds - the winds were light and the bugs were heavy!  Neither of us had a bug hat or suit.  Mistake.  We didn't waste time eating before we headed out for:

Requirement #3 - Aimless wandering.  And we did.  We decided to head up to the summit of Rock Mountain, which was just behind our campsite - headed straight up (no trail).
Jim on approach to Rock Mtn.
Jim on approach to Rock Mtn.
On top of Rock
On top of Rock

Didn't take us long to reach the false summit and then the summit of Rock - a little snow remained, but barely.  We figured the summit was 7660' or thereabouts.  Originally, we had thought we would go to Armstrong from Rock, but, well, plans change.  What the Haig?  After all, we were aimless, so we headed down the Northwest slope of Rock (into a bog, I might add) and through a burn, walked across the trail that leads on to Cathedral Pass/Lakes and up the south flank of Sadie's Summit pt. 2395m  - a dandy little summit at about 7900'.
"Sadie's Summit" or pt. 2395m to the North of Rock
"Sadie's Summit" or pt. 2395m to the North of Rock
Route up to "Sadie's Summit"  pt. 2395m
Route up to "Sadie's Summit"  pt. 2395m
Rock Mtn from  "Sadie's Summit" pt. 2395m- Topaz to the right
Rock Mtn from  "Sadie's Summit" pt. 2395m- Topaz to the right
Jim on top of "Sadie's Summit" pt. 2395m
Jim on top of "Sadie's Summit" pt. 2395m

We even got a little surprise
Glacier "peaking"
Glacier "peaking"

From here, we weren't quite sure what we were going to do.  But there did appear to be an interesting couple of "bumps" to the West and the North of  Sadie's Summit pt. 2395m - they looked like we could scramble them, and soon, we were headed to the first bump to the west - easy enough, but the route to the northerly bump looked a bit more challenging
Looking from  Sadie's Summit pt. 2395m to ridge out to northern "tail"  (notice striped rocks on steep eastern slope)
Looking from  Sadie's Summit pt. 2395m to ridge out to northern "tail"  (notice striped rocks on steep eastern slope)

Oh, but not to be daunted, we went low beneath this bump and around and climbed back up to the ridge that we had seen from the western bump and sure enough, we found what seemed a reasonable route - and viola - look what we ran into!
Boundary marker on the ridge to  Sadie's Summit pt. 2395m northern spur
Boundary marker on the ridge to  Sadie's Summit pt. 2395m northern spur
Looking west - US/Canada boundary obvious - and continuing off into the mountains
Looking west - US/Canada boundary obvious - and continuing off into the mountains
Boundary marker
Boundary marker
Boundary marker
Boundary marker
Boundary marker
Boundary marker

Look carefully at these close-ups (more on that in a minute).  So we saw what looked to be a reasonable route towards the northern "bump,"
Looking to (previously) unnamed northern spur or "tail" of Sadie's Summit pt. 2395m
Looking to (previously) unnamed northern spur or "tail" of Sadie's Summit pt. 2395m

(complete with a cairn for trail idiots!) which it turns out is actually in Canada - so Jim coined it "Sadie's Summit" - she never got to Canada.  And here it was Dominion Day and all and we had traveled into Canada (didn't have my passport on me) and had our lunch on the Summit - a wide and fun plateau.  It was lovely.  Sunny, partly cloudy, enough of a breeze to keep the bugs down.  Read a little.  Then we started back.  We explored other possible routes, but they seemed to dead end, so we stuck with our original scramble and came back upon the boundary marker where we notice a bullet hole in the marker - we hadn't remembered a bullet hole when we were there initially - mild panic set in!  We didn't remember hearing any gunshots - but . . . . so, Jim quickly checked his pics and noticed that, indeed, there was a bullet hole in the marker when we were first there!  Whew.  We continued our down-climb uneventfully back to camp.  We lounged around a bit - but decided we needed some more aimless wandering.  So, off we headed towards Smith Lake.  That would mean that we had to head back on the Horseshoe Basin Trail and then veer towards the Smith Lake Trail and away from the Sunny Pass Trail right about the Horseshoe Pass area.  It was a rather easy trail, good thing, because we weren't up for much more up and down.  As we walked along, we came upon two guys (day hikers) heading out.  They both had small revolvers around their waists.  They were camped just below Sunny Pass - we had passed them on our way in - looked like they just had a lean-to.  They were going to walk over to Louden Lake.  We continued on to Smith Lake and saw a campsite with three hikers - two gals and a guy - they had camped at Sunny the day before and were heading out on the 3rd.  Smith Lake apparently stays full during the summer and has fish, but it's not terribly impressive.
Smith Lake with Horseshoe Mountain in background
Smith Lake with Horseshoe Mountain in background

One thing we noticed in several areas was this mud-like "paste" on the trees in the area - have no idea what it is.
Weird "paste" on pines and firs in the Pasayten
Weird "paste" on pines and firs in the Pasayten

We headed back to our campsite at Louden - passed the two pistol-packers again and got back to our tent to get ready for dinner.  We noticed that EVERYONE that had been camped around the Lake was now gone!  We figured it was a good evening for a walk up Armstrong to see what we could see.  Our original plan was merely to reach the American summit.  But, aimless walking leads to many things.  Up we headed on the south side of Armstrong, reaching the eastern ridge and then heading towards the American summit - which wasn't far from Boundary Marker #104
Jim crossing the vast expanse of the "tundra" between the American and Canadian summits of Armstrong
Jim crossing the vast expanse of the "tundra" between the American and Canadian summits of Armstrong
Boundary marker 104 on eastern flank of Armstrong (looking north/east)
Boundary marker 104 on eastern flank of Armstrong (looking north/east)

Well, heck, we already had crossed illegally into Canada once today (merely celebrating Dominion Day) so we thought, why not cross over to the higher Canadian summit - let me tell you, the distance between the American and Canadian summits is vast - it is an amazing tundra-like, wide open field between the two - probably close to a mile.
Cairn on the "higher" Canadian peak of Armstrong
Cairn on the "higher" Canadian peak of Armstrong
Marker #103 looking east across the vase expanse of Armstrong
Marker #103 looking east across the vase expanse of Armstrong
The driver on the Canadian summit of Armstrong
The driver on the Canadian summit of Armstrong
Looking west to "Sadie's Summit" pt. 2395m  and the tail
Looking west to "Sadie's Summit" pt. 2395m  and the tail

By now, it was getting late - maybe 9:00 p.m. and we figured we probably should head back towards camp - maybe a mile or so away down off the summit.  As we were headed down, Jim said, "Look at those clouds."  Well, he was looking to the south, but I turned to the west and WOW - I started running to the western ridge - Jim in chase behind me:
The beginning light show looking West on July 1 from Armstrong
The beginning light show looking West on July 1 from Armstrong
ohhhhh
ohhhhh
Ahhhhh
Ahhhhh

It was spectacular! What a light show.  It was getting dark by the time we reached the lower part of Armstrong - but easy enough to find our way back to camp.

Day Three - July 2
Another spectacular day in store.  The sun was up and shining brightly by 6:00 a.m. - but we didn't roll out of the tent until about 7:00 a.m.  Again, the wind was calm, so the bugs weren't.  This was wash day.
Bath time at Louden Lake on July 2
Bath time at Louden Lake on July 2

Driver had already washed her hair (brain freeze in the cold creek water!) and we prepared for another aimless day.  Arnold was in our sites today.
Arnold from the eastern shoulder of Armstrong - wide meadow between
Arnold from the eastern shoulder of Armstrong - wide meadow between
Looking down steep slope of Arnold and Southwest to Armstrong and Rock beyond
Looking down steep slope of Arnold and Southwest to Armstrong and Rock beyond

One of the things we realized in our wanderings is the vastness of the "peaks" we were exploring.  While many of them appear to have true summits, once you get there, they end up being wide plateaus and then they have these branches or extensions, where you can just keep wandering and wandering.  I don't know how many times Jim had to put up with me saying, "let's just go a little farther this way . . ." which might mean descending or climbing to another bump - it seems that one ridge connects to another!  Arnold was no different.
Looking east from Arnold
Looking east from Arnold
Soehumption Gap between Arnold and Armstrong to the west
Soehumption Gap between Arnold and Armstrong to the west
Trail "marker" on Arnold (looking North)
Trail "marker" on Arnold (looking North)
Louden Lake and Rock Mtn. as seen from shoulder of Armstrong
Louden Lake and Rock Mtn. as seen from shoulder of Armstrong

Between Arnold and Armstrong is a marshy area and we did our best to avoid it on our way back to camp, but we still managed to squish our way through some of it.  Probably in a few weeks this will all be dry.  We decided we would break camp and head back to Sunny Pass and set up camp somewhere near the pass (at 7200') so we wouldn't have to lose much elevation if we were going to do Pick, Horseshoe and Windy peaks.  So, after our explorations of Arnold, we had a little lunch, packed up and headed towards Sunny Pass.
Heading East/Southeast through Horseshoe Basin back to Sunny Pass - Pick Peak in the distance
Heading East/Southeast through Horseshoe Basin back to Sunny Pass - Pick Peak in the distance

Just as the two previous days, the morning was sunny and lovely, but the clouds started moving in by 2:00 p.m.  Not threatening, but definitely not the clear skies of earlier.  As we were nearing Sunny Pass, we saw a guy up off the trail about 50' and we said, "Hello" and what to our wondering eyes should appear?
Slugman and Daisy
Slugman and Daisy

- to which Jim said, "Oh my gosh, Slugman!"  And we stopped and talked a while.  Slugman noted that he didn't have any pics of himself on his adventures, so the Driver took one of him with Daisy (who was well-stocked with food and more in her pack).  Sluggo wasn't sure where he was headed.  He had stayed at Sunny Pass the previous night and was thinking he might go up Armstrong.  We wished him well and we headed on our way. We found a nice little knoll above the trail and not far from some water and set up camp.  The Driver headed down to the burbling brook and got some water where she ran into a couple headed into Horseshoe Basin for 5 days.  We exchanged information and parted ways.  Not wanting to let any grass grow under our feet (nor bugs to feast on us) we headed out to conquer Horseshoe Mountain (7956') - or, as Jim kept calling it, "Snowshoe Mountain" - can't get away from that ol' snowshoe feeling.  We headed straight up from the Pass and actually ran into the Arnold/Fourteen Mile trail and followed it switchbacking up the ridge for quite a while, until it continued south and we split off and headed East/Northeast towards the summit of Horseshoe.
Horseshoe Mtn. summit from Albert/14 mile trail
Horseshoe Mtn. summit from Albert/14 mile trail

Again, another vast high plateau that seemed to go on forever.  We traversed a little lower than our route up to the summit and came across the Arnold trail again, leaving it when we reached the Pass and headed back to our campsite on the west side of Sunny Pass.  We decided to take a break from our aimless wandering - the Driver read, HJ took a snooze while the mosquitoes circled the tent drooling.  Again, the wind didn't cooperate with us.  Around 7:00 p.m. we decided we should probably eat another gourmet meal (thanks for the Raspberry Crumble, HJ - you're quite the cook!)
Roughing It
Roughing It

and for our evening stroll, we decided to head up Pick Peak (this would be number 6 of the named summits).  Fortunately, it was only about 7660' - about 450' above our campsite, so we could head due south from camp and reach the summit.
Pick Peak summit
Pick Peak summit

It was a cloudy evening - a little wind - but not enough to discourage the bugs.  We wandered around on Pick for a while - up and down - and disappointed with no sunset of note, we headed back to camp about 9:20 p.m.

Day Four - July 3
Another fabulous morning, with the sun shining brightly.  Windy Peak was in our sites today.  We knew that at the trail junction just below Sunny Pass
Trail sign to Windy from Sunny Pass
Trail sign to Windy from Sunny Pass

we would have to descend about 650' feet - it would be mainly through burn
"Hell Canyon" looking towards Windy Peak
"Hell Canyon" looking towards Windy Peak

but the trail was easy enough to find.  We passed the junction trail that would lead to the Tungsten Mine area, about 3/4 of a mile below Sunny Pass.  We continued on.  There is water now - don't know for how long.  You finally reach the low point and then start climbing up the 1700' necessary to gain the summit of Windy.  At about 7600' you are just below a pass (and finally back into some green trees - mainly Larch - probably beautiful in the Fall) and the juncture for a side trip to Topaz
Spelling lessons required!
Spelling lessons required!
Trail junction for Windy and Topaz
Trail junction for Windy and Topaz

but, for now, we were on a mission.  As we reached the Pass, the terrain definitely changed, low pine "shrubs" and "pebbly" rock-sand.  Reminded me more of areas in the Colorado Fourteeners.
Windy Peak Trail looking North/northeast
4 labels
Windy Peak Trail looking North/northeast

At one point, you think the trail (which is well-marked with cairns) is headed in the wrong direction - you end up between the two visible bumps that lie just to the west of Windy's ridge and you traverse across the western ridge of Windy
Windy Peak from  below
Windy Peak from  below

a very easy trail to follow.  At what seems to be the bottom of the western ridge, you can choose to head straight up the ridge
Heading straight up (rather than taking the trail!) Hiker's packs waiting
Heading straight up (rather than taking the trail!) Hiker's packs waiting
Straight up to Windy (take the trail!!!)
Straight up to Windy (take the trail!!!)

where we saw the backpacks of three hikers - which turned out to be our  acquaintances from Smith Lake - they were on their way out via the Clutch Creek Trail (they had spent the night at Windy Lake).  My advice?  Don't bother going straight up here (although we did) - just continue a little way staying on the trail - which comes to this juncture
Trail junction on Windy leading to Windy Creek and Clutch Creek/Long Swamp
Trail junction on Windy leading to Windy Creek and Clutch Creek/Long Swamp
Trail Sign
Trail Sign
Trail sign pointing west down the slope
Trail sign pointing west down the slope

It seems there are several ways to get to Windy Peak.  Which, it turns out that even though it is the 93rd highest peak in Washington at 8334' - is really a walk up (to where an old look out once was located) - with a minimal scramble at the top.
Windy Peak summit
Windy Peak summit
Trail up to Windy's summit
Trail up to Windy's summit
HJ on top of Windy
HJ on top of Windy
The Driver on Windy
The Driver on Windy

From the top, we could see the three hikers' route to Clutch Creek traversing south across the ridge line (and probably down through a an uncleared burn - would love to know how it was for hiking)
Looking south from Windy to trail that leads to Clutch Creek junction
Looking south from Windy to trail that leads to Clutch Creek junction

We also had some great views from up here
Mt. Baker "peaking"
Mt. Baker "peaking"
Cathedral Peak to the West
Cathedral Peak to the West

We had a light snack - the Driver read a little - the bugs weren't too bad, there was enough of a breeze and it definitely was cooler up here than it had been down lower, but then we decided to head down.
Scramble off of Windy
Scramble off of Windy

We got back to the juncture of the Chewuch/Topaz trail and said, "What the heck?"  Well, at least the Driver said, "Let's do Topaz."  HJ wasn't so convinced - not thinking we could make the scramble.  We followed the Chewuch Trail until the eastern ridge of Topaz intersected the trail and we headed west along the ridge.  When we got to within about 100' vertical of Topaz we pondered which direction to head.  Nothing looked obvious for getting up Topaz and some of the rock looked mighty unforgiving.  But, Jim tried a route around the south side of the peak and it seemed doable.
Jim heading to Topaz
Jim heading to Topaz

So, the Driver followed.  And, sure enough, as he made his way up, it became almost trail-like up through the boulders, providing a relatively easy route to the first summit (where HJ found a Buck knife!!! His souvenir).  We weren't really sure which was the highest of the summits, but we did the first two and there were two more to the West - passable to get to them, but we couldn't see an easy route to the top - so we called it good and said we had reached the highest point(s) at about 7900' - achieving named summit #8!!!  We headed back down and decided that we would take a detour to Windy Lake - it's just to the east of the trail at the first creek crossing below the Topaz juncture.  It was worth the 1/4 mile detour - campsites exist, but there is lots of burn in this area.
Windy Lake with Windy Peak to the South
Windy Lake with Windy Peak to the South

Then it was back through Hell Canyon.
Hell Canyon trail
Hell Canyon trail

Ohmygosh.  It was painful.  It seemed like it took us FOREVER to go the 500' back up to Sunny Pass!  Not a steep grade, just continuous!  When we got back to camp, the bugs were merciless.  Even though it was cloudy by now, the wind was virtually still.  We jumped into the tent - HJ for a snooze and the Driver determined to finish her book.  Finally, a little after 7:00 p.m. we surfaced again, ate a quick dinner and headed back up Pick Peak to hope for a sunset.  We got there a little too quickly - because the bugs were circling us and sunset was another 40 minutes off.  We wandered around the Pick Plateau (which by now we knew every inch of) and finally weren't toally disappointed with the sunset.
Sunset on July 3 looking South/Southwest
Sunset on July 3 looking South/Southwest
Sunset on July 3 looking north from Pick with Armstrong, Arnold, Horseshoe Basin and Sunny Pass in distance
Sunset on July 3 looking north from Pick with Armstrong, Arnold, Horseshoe Basin and Sunny Pass in distance

Back down to camp, clean-up and into the tent by 10:15 p.m.  The Driver finished the book!

Day Five - Fourth of July
Happy Fourth of July!  Driver was ready to hit the road.  6:15 a.m. - but didn't surface fully until 6:30 a.m.  Ate breakfast and broke camp - on the trail by 7:40.  Practically sprinted down the trail.  Ran into a solo woman hiker headed to Cathedral Lakes.  Exchanged information.  Saw some mushroom pickers coming in - 3 different groups!  Back to the car by 9:10 a.m.  Ready to hit the road by 9:30 a.m.  It already was warm.  Of course, no report is complete without a before and after shot - especially after 5 days on the trail:
Clean-cut Kuresman (before)
Clean-cut Kuresman (before)
Grizzly Kuresman
Grizzly Kuresman

Stats:
Summited 8 named peaks - 1 unnamed in 3 days (Sorry, Opus!)
Approximately 11,500' gain (easy to reach 8300' when you start at 7200'!)
Approximately 47 miles
BUGS!
There is water - probably for another 3 weeks
No snow
Flowers and green slopes (probably gets very brown in August)
Three lakes
Thanks, Jim.  Sadie would have loved it!!!

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Four-paw buddy lets me tag along!
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Gil
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Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 3630 | TRs

Gil
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PostWed Jul 04, 2007 10:53 pm 
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Pretty darn nice!

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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 4075 | TRs
Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostWed Jul 04, 2007 11:42 pm 
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Great trip and a great place to roam.  I'm glad to see the environs of Horseshoe Basin itself weren't burned.  It was interesting for me top read a description and see pictures from a different time of year.  We were there in October 2004, when it was all gold and brown, rather than green.  BTW Loudon Lake was still there in October, but maybe that varies from year to year.

Can you put a list of your summits somewhere near the beginning of your TR?  It would make it easier to keep track of your roaming.

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“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Mega-Will
country bumpkin



Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 652 | TRs
Location: Deltana, AK
Mega-Will
country bumpkin
PostThu Jul 05, 2007 2:53 am 
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That high country around Arnold and Armstrong is one of my favorite places.  Welcome to the north slope!
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wamtngal
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wamtngal
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PostThu Jul 05, 2007 7:48 am 
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My group of 4 were on the same timeline as the two of you -- in fact, I'm sure we saw you on Saturday...were you camped on the northeast-ish (I think) side of Loudon, just above the lake? We were above the lake to the north below Rock Mtn, near the burn area above the lake on the 30th.

We headed down the Boundary Trail and over to Cathedral Lakes from the 1st to the 2nd; camping below Apex Pass, then back to Horseshoe on the 3rd and also exited from Iron Gate yesterday...

Our TR is coming tonight...back to work today...  frown.gif

Beautiful country, also our first time up there...could have done without the mosquitos, they were on the hunt Sunday night without that nice breeze that we all met on Saturday!

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Opinions expressed here are my own.
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GeoTom
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Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 3171 | TRs
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GeoTom
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PostThu Jul 05, 2007 7:50 am 
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Thanks SD (and Jim!).  up.gif

This area has intrigued me.  I am curious about going in late September/early October. Are there any water sources other than the various lakes that time of year?

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marionthegoat
That's a trail ??



Joined: 29 May 2007
Posts: 240 | TRs
Location: Ferndale, WA
marionthegoat
That's a trail ??
PostThu Jul 05, 2007 8:08 am 
5 stars
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This TR gets 5 stars from me !

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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 1716 | TRs
Location: Welcome Pass
Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver
PostThu Jul 05, 2007 8:25 am 
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Matt wrote:
BTW Loudon Lake was still there in October, but maybe that varies from year to year.

Can you put a list of your summits somewhere near the beginning of your TR?  It would make it easier to keep track of your roaming.

Yes, there seems to be some question as to whether or not Louden has water year 'round.  There are a couple of little "pond-lets" just to the east that may actually dry up.

And, done - I put the peaks at the front of the report with the elevations.
s.d.

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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 1716 | TRs
Location: Welcome Pass
Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver
PostThu Jul 05, 2007 8:27 am 
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meganerd wrote:
That high country around Arnold and Armstrong is one of my favorite places.  Welcome to the north slope!

We've already got our next trip planned!!!  I'd been over to the Chewuch area (Bill Goat) - but never this Basin.  Fantastic!  s.d.

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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 1716 | TRs
Location: Welcome Pass
Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver
PostThu Jul 05, 2007 8:31 am 
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wamountaingal wrote:
My group of 4 were on the same timeline as the two of you -- in fact, I'm sure we saw you on Saturday...were you camped on the northeast-ish (I think) side of Loudon, just above the lake? We were above the lake to the north below Rock Mtn, near the burn area above the lake on the 30th.

Our TR is coming tonight...back to work today...  frown.gif

Well, you're sorta' right on where we were camped, however, it was actually on the WEST side of the lake, south of the trail that heads west towards Cathedral and just below the North slope of Rock Mtn.  I think you were on the south side of the lake, too - although, there was someone camped on the north side of the trail on the southern slope of Armstrong that night, too.  Not us.

As to TR posting, I feel your pain - note the time when I got this hummer up!  It was late last night, but I was determined.  No other time to do it.  .s.d

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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 1716 | TRs
Location: Welcome Pass
Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver
PostThu Jul 05, 2007 8:32 am 
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GeoTom wrote:
Thanks SD (and Jim!).  up.gif

This area has intrigued me.  I am curious about going in late September/early October. Are there any water sources other than the various lakes that time of year?

Tom - probably not.  It's a very, very dry area.  Be prepared to pump or pack it!! It is gorgeous country, however.  s.d.

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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 1716 | TRs
Location: Welcome Pass
Sadie's Driver
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PostThu Jul 05, 2007 8:33 am 
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marionthegoat wrote:
This TR gets 5 stars from me !

10-Q!!  smile.gif  s.d.

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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 4075 | TRs
Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostThu Jul 05, 2007 11:26 am 
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I've been very curious to see what areas are burned or not.

I'd like to see any picutres that who how much of the valleys burned, and also in seeing whether the burn took out the larches higher on the sides of the peaks.  Also,  did the burn get into the valley between Windy & Haig, or only south of Windy?

If any of you have pictures that show the valleys from above (e.g from Windy, Horseshoe, or Haig), or that show the sides of the peaks, please post them.

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“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore



Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 14140 | TRs

Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore
PostThu Jul 05, 2007 12:01 pm 
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There are some secret water locations as well as that creek that runs alongside the horsecamp beyond Rock Mtn.  There's also a pipe that spits out springwater in that area.

Iv'e been there twice over Labor Day weekend and had no trouble with water.  This isn't to say that Setpt-Oct is waterless.

Smith Lake is not a good source - it's a horsecamp

Excellent TR, great photos, and I'm sure Sadie was with you in her own way.

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"...Other than that, the post was more or less accurate."

Bernardo, NW Hikers' Bureau Chief of Reporting
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TrailPair
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Joined: 17 Apr 2005
Posts: 1700 | TRs

TrailPair
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PostThu Jul 05, 2007 12:23 pm 
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That is a gorgeous area.  K and I were there 5(?) years ago....before the burn....on a July 4th weekend.  It was snowing when we got to Sunny Pass...and it froze solid over night.  We had our light summer weight sleeping bags and froze our tails off. lol.gif  But there is lots of room towander and lots of scenery that is different from the west slopes of the cascades. up.gif  up.gif

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This thing called work is interfering with my play
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Pasayten - Horseshoe Basin 8+ named summits- 06/30-07/04/07
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