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Tall Hiker Man
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PostSun Sep 09, 2007 12:55 pm 
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Thanks for all the great reports on this area!

Myself and 2 friends decided to make this loop a dayhike. We figure approximately 28 miles. The final 10 miles, on the trail from Buck Creek Pass down to Trinity is a wonderful, flat highway, which makes the many miles easier on the feet, ankles, knees, back or whatever hurts for you after that many miles.

We started off at the Little Giant Pass trailhead at 6:30am. This trail breaks into some beautiful meadows & views after a few miles.

Little Giant
Little Giant
The Pass is in sight!
The Pass is in sight!
Views to the South
Views to the South

However, those views seem mundane after you get a peek of the other side, the beautiful Shangri-La we call the Napequa!

The Napequa in all its glory!
The Napequa in all its glory!

We made it to Little Giant pass at 9:00 and spent some quality time up there. Then we headed down the other side. I'd heard some reports that this trail was exposed in places and can confirm that there are some spots where a trip could mean a bit of trouble. I didn't worry about that too much because I was too busy trying my darndest to capture the amazing beauty with my camera. Note to self: Become a better photographer!

We relaxed a while on a rock on the valley floor and then began chugging up the trail.

Napequa
Napequa
Clark Mtn. Glaciers
Clark Mtn. Glaciers

After a couple miles we ran into Whitebark and his 2 friends (see their wonderful trip report w/ amazingly good cell phone pics!). We both thought we had the whole valley to ourselves. They gave us some great beta as to where the High Pass trail began. So we avoided the fate that Gratenate suffered. We crossed the N. Fork of the Napequa and stayed on what seemed like the main trail. after a couple hundered feet, it veered up and we were on our way to High Pass. Boy were we happy to not be carrying overnight packs at this point.

High Pass Trail
High Pass Trail

Without a pack, this very steep, brushy ascent was actually pretty fun!

The High Pass Trail from the Napequa
The High Pass Trail from the Napequa

Soon, we broke out into the basin. What a place! We stopped many a time to gaze behind us at Clark Mtn & friends. Just plain beautiful peaks.

North Fork Napequa Basin
North Fork Napequa Basin
North Fork Napequa Basin
North Fork Napequa Basin
North Fork Napequa Basin
North Fork Napequa Basin
High Pass area
High Pass area

Here we began the futile and comical game of "figure out where High-Pass is." Every saddle we reached was to be High Pass, yet was not. The high terrain near High Pass bends and folds and teases, all while showing off just ridiculous, diverse and beautiful views in every direction. A real treat.

Triad lake
Triad lake
High Pass
High Pass
Triad lake
Triad lake

We reached High Pass and looked down to Buck Pass. We were not all all suprised that the views were beautiful in that direction too! I was a bit sad to be leaving the beautiful views of Clark Mtn behind. But Glacier Peak was easing my pain very effectively!

Glacier Peak
Glacier Peak
Glacier Peak
Glacier Peak
Glacier Peak
Glacier Peak

Not too long after that we were down at Buck Pass. Many luxurious campsites there.

Buck Pass
Buck Pass
Buck Creek Trail
Buck Creek Trail

From Buck Pass, we chugged down the wonderful trail, donning headlamps with a few miles to go. We were back at our car at 9:30. The final treat of the trip was the black bear cub that ran out in front of our car along the Chiwawa Road. Luckily, and perhaps suprisingly, I was on top of my game even after the long day, and didn't hit it. It jogged in front of our car along the road for a good 20 yards while we enjoyed it!

It was a great end to a great day.
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gratenate
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PostSun Sep 09, 2007 1:47 pm 
Quite the Day Hike
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I would not have thought to try this as a day hike loop.  Kudos to you for the bold vision (and sturdy legs...and rubber feet)!! up.gif

I guess the trail down from Little Giant is a bit exposed in areas.  Didn't think too much about it because I was so enamored with the views.

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Nate

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peteK
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PostSun Sep 09, 2007 10:33 pm 
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How was the snow patch at High Pass?  Did you need an axe, or is there a way to bypass it above or below if it's icy?  Amazing pictures!  Might give that loop a go this weekend as an overnighter.
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Tall Hiker Man
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PostMon Sep 10, 2007 6:11 am 
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There were a few snow patches, only one that I worried about. My buddies, who are both very experienced climbers, crossed it. I went up and around, which was perhaps a 1 minute detour.

None of us had an axe. The other snow patches didn't seem very dangerous in that they weren't very steep or long.
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gratenate
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PostMon Sep 10, 2007 10:57 am 
Snow patchs
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The only snow patch I thought was at all threatening was just after crossing High Pass above Triad Lake.  I put my boots on to cross and skate/skied across it at an angle.  It took about 15 seconds to cross and about 5 minutes to put my boots on.  The snow was soft as it was mid day.  No ice axe necessary and it could be bypassed entirely as Tall Hiker Man notes.

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Nate

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Tall Hiker Man
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PostMon Sep 10, 2007 11:07 am 
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gratenate wrote:
The only snow patch I thought was at all threatening was just after crossing High Pass above Triad Lake. 

Yep, that was the one.
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Davidą
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PostMon Sep 10, 2007 9:50 pm 
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28 miles in one day!  borank.gif

That's about what I did on Friday/Saturday and my feet still hurt.

Awesome trip report to a cool area!

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Warning! Posts may contain traces of sarcasm.

Hiking Website: http://members.shaw.ca/karenanddavid/Index.htm
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Matt
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PostTue Sep 11, 2007 8:08 am 
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Very impressive for a day trip.

I like image 4296.  It looks like waves of grasses washing up against the mountains.

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“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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wildernessed
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PostTue Sep 11, 2007 8:16 am 
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Awesome ! eek.gif Clark is a beautiful mountain. hockeygrin.gif
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Napequa, High Pass, Buck Creek 9/3
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