Looking for an overnight trip with the best chance of sunshine and minimal bugs, we chose Highchair Mt. Jim K had done this trip twice before as a dayhike, and was willing to return with us to do it as a backpack trip. He knew of a small meadow just 800ft. below the summit which had a tarn, the only possible place to camp on Blackjack ridge. But we did not know if the tarn would be dry by now or not. We figured that we could drop off the south side of the ridge to find water, if necessary, but were really hoping for that tarn to still be there.
Anyway, trail 1565 gains elevation quickly, but it is very smooth and well graded. Around 5900ft. we broke out of the trees in a beautiful silver forest. When we reached Blackjack ridge we turned right, going off trail, up the ridge to the summit of Bootjack.There is a pretty good boot path here. We enjoyed the views for almost an hour before descending toward Highchair, which is a beautiful red mountain.
It was so nice to not have to worry about route finding. Jim K knew the way! We went to the left side of the first bump, and went over (slightly to the left) the second bump. The ridge then turned westerly, and soon the grassy ridge turned to red rock. This was the stickiest rock we have ever scrambled! It was very solid. Then about 800ft. below the summit we found the small bench with a meadow. There was still water in the tarn! Upon closer inspection we saw that the tarn was filled with hundreds of tadpoles! Oh well!
After setting up camp we headed west toward the summit, and to our surprise found a small creek. We were thrilled! No tadpole water tonight. We regained the ridge and followed it to the summit on good rock. The views were fantastic! Highlights were the Cradle, Mt. Stuart, Cashmere, Ingall Peaks, Mt. Daniel, etc. We stayed on the summit for 1.5 hours. Jim K did not want to leave the bug free summit. The only bugs on this whole trip were in the meadow where we were camped, but they were not too bad even there.
We awoke Sunday to clear skies, and had nice hike out.
Elevation gain: 5600ft (RT)
Distance: 11 miles RT
-------------- This thing called work is interfering with my play
I'm glad you guys didn't have to drink that tadpole water!
I like the last three action photos
-------------- ♫ You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. And you're the one who will decide where you'll go. Oh the places you'll go. - Dr. Seuss
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