Forum Index > Trip Reports > Icicle Ridge (USGS Cashmere) 4/28/12
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostSat Apr 28, 2012 11:12 pm 
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Date: April 28, 2012
Destination:  Icicle Ridge7029 (USGS Cashmere)
Party:  Matt, yana, Steph Abegg, cartman, Schmidt Altibabe, Sadie’s Driver, Middle E, BarbE (and Gus the dog)

We followed the 4th of July Trail up to the summit of Icicle Ridge, departing from the trail in its upper reaches to proceed more directly up snow to the summit.

Icicle Ridge GPS Track
Icicle Ridge GPS Track

Driving from Seattle to Leavenworth was also a drive from cloudy damp cool springtime to dry warm sunny summertime.  Getting out of the car at the trailhead, we stepped into warm shirt-sleeve weather.  Quite a contrast from any of the other trips we’ve done this spring.

Another group was departing just as we arrived.  Some of them went all the way to the top in tennis shoes, and were once again departing when we arrived.

The trail was dry to about 4600 feet.  Going up, the view was dominated by Cashmere Mountain on the opposite side of the Icicle Creek valley.  Higher up, we also had views of peaks further up the valley, and a surprisingly good view of the Enchantments Peaks.

Circa 4800, we started going directly uphill in snow, but had to thread through a few rock outcrops.  Above about 5400, we came to more open and moderate terrain and proceeded up through amid the silvery trunks of the fire-killed trees.  We used snowshoes, but probably could have gotten by without them.

Cashmere
Cashmere
Dragontail, Colchuck & Argonaut come into view
Dragontail, Colchuck & Argonaut come into view
Gnarly silver tree trunk
Gnarly silver tree trunk
More silver trees
More silver trees
Hiking up onto the higher slopes
Hiking up onto the higher slopes
Summit rocks up above us
Summit rocks up above us

At the summit rocks, we took off the snowshoes and went up the righthand side.  Actually, we would have been wiser to swing out even further to the right where we could have stayed on easier terrain and avoided scrambling through some boulder piles.

But the only real challenge was stepping up onto the summit platform itself, which was about 4 feet above the surrounding rocks.  The easiest way was to reach up and grab an old iron anchor post from the former lookout, and step up on another iron piece that projected out of the rock halfway up.  It worked, but it made a rather awkward sort of half-pull, half-mantle up onto flat summit area.  Almost as much effort was invested in arranging the people on top to take photos of the next people arriving.  Steph took a very thorough series of each person successively arriving.

Steph & Yana at the summit
Steph & Yana at the summit
Summit arrival photography
Summit arrival photography
Barb pulling herself up
Barb pulling herself up
Barry & Suzanne arriving
Barry & Suzanne arriving
Tisha arriving
Tisha arriving
Everyone on top
Everyone on top

I was distracted by the summit arrival antics, and mostly forgot to take decent photos of the surrounding peaks.

Grindstone, Frigid, Big Lou & Big Jim
Grindstone, Frigid, Big Lou & Big Jim
Summit tea with the Stuart Range and Cashmere
Summit tea with the Stuart Range and Cashmere

The descent went easily on the snow, with only occasional post-holing.  Across the valley, clouds built up to make a dramatic frame behind the peaks, but all the summits stayed clear, and Stuart finally showed its crown.  Lower down, we skipped the rib we had ascended in favor of descending the wide snowy gully alongside it.  I got in about 600 feet of glissading.

Cashmere backed by clouds
Cashmere backed by clouds
Descending with Stuart wearing a high crown of cloud
Descending with Stuart wearing a high crown of cloud

Down near the road, glacier lilies and trilliums were blooming in the woods.

Does anyone know why some of the glacier lilies had red stamens instead of the usual yellow?

Glacier lily with yellow stamens
Glacier lily with yellow stamens
Glacier lily with red stamens
Glacier lily with red stamens
Trillium
Trillium

The warm weather and clear skies made the drive worthwhile.  This was a fun trip with quite a variety of people to enjoy it.  There was lots of photography, so hopefully others will add their photos.

Round trip stats:  8 miles, 4800 gain, 7:30 hours

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“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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StephAbegg
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StephAbegg
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PostSun Apr 29, 2012 4:16 am 
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Thanks Matt for organizing this trip. The sunny east side was a good choice for a day forecasted to be cloudy and maybe even rainy on the west side.

I've also posted a trip report on my website: http://www.stephabegg.com/home/tripreports/washington/northcascades/icicleridge

Everyone had their own summiting form...

Yana, "Grip and crimp"
Yana, "Grip and crimp"
Matt, "Mantle R, pull L"
Matt, "Mantle R, pull L"
Eric, "Slab purist"
Eric, "Slab purist"
Barb, "Knee works well"
Barb, "Knee works well"
Barry, "Hauling over"
Barry, "Hauling over"
Suzanne, "Pull R, mantle L"
Suzanne, "Pull R, mantle L"
Tisha, "Hang on!"
Tisha, "Hang on!"
Billy, "Swing it"
Billy, "Swing it"
Gus, "They left me just below so I wouldn't show them all up"
Gus, "They left me just below so I wouldn't show them all up"
Steph, "Get up first to take more photos"
Steph, "Get up first to take more photos"

A few other photos...

wood worm art
wood worm art
group photo on 7029 ft high point
group photo on 7029 ft high point
crux summit move
crux summit move
Dragontail, Colchuck, Argonaut, Sherpa, Stuart to the S to SW.
Dragontail, Colchuck, Argonaut, Sherpa, Stuart to the S to SW.
Cashmere Mountain dominates the view to the W
Cashmere Mountain dominates the view to the W

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http://www.sTePhaBeGg.com
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Yana
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Yana
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PostSun Apr 29, 2012 7:33 am 
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Thanks for the trip reports and great photos, Matt and Steph.

It was very nice to experience summer-like conditions for once. I carried a bunch of unnecessary stuff to the top but oh well. This was my first hike in over a month so I'll just call it training weight.  embarassedlaugh.gif


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PLAY SAFE! SKI ONLY IN CLOCKWISE DIRECTION! LET'S ALL HAVE FUN TOGETHER!
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RichP
sin rumbo



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RichP
sin rumbo
PostSun Apr 29, 2012 9:00 am 
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I had to kick steps in deep snow to reach that iron bolt last May 1st; looks like the snowpack is on its way out quicker than last year.
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BarbE
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BarbE
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PostSun Apr 29, 2012 10:07 am 
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An interesting and fun route, quite a change from the summer trail's easy switch backs and flower filled meadows.
Perfect temps and excellent company.  up.gif

scramble
scramble
first break
first break
up
up
Enchantment backround
Enchantment backround
Yana shows...
Yana shows...
how ...
how ...
easy...
easy...
this...
this...
..is
..is
another sitz method
another sitz method
Matt leaves summit block
Matt leaves summit block
leaving the summit
leaving the summit
post holing through the silver forest
post holing through the silver forest
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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver
PostSun Apr 29, 2012 10:35 am 
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RichP wrote:
I had to kick steps in deep snow to reach that iron bolt last May 1st; looks like the snowpack is on its way out quicker than last year.

And none-too-soon, Rich!  It was a GLORIOUS day out the Icicle

Our four were the last to leave for the summit. 
Third wave heading up . . .
Third wave heading up . . .

Before long, we caught up to the rest of our group (Matt, Yana, Steph and Eric). 
Crew is stil on dirt - this was a half dirt/half snow day
Crew is stil on dirt - this was a half dirt/half snow day

And began the trek UP!  (Matt, you should have called this trip report "The Infirmary Climb!"  Matt, Eric and the Driver spent most of the ascent hacking and coughing our way up!  Ahhh, Spring colds - what fun.) But, who could argue with the wonderful warm weather and great company?  Only a little nippy on the summit with the wind. 
A little scramble route for us
A little scramble route for us
Barb and Steph heading up
Barb and Steph heading up
Steep little ridge . . . .
Steep little ridge . . . .
Up we go
Up we go
Gusto and Barry heading up to the top of the ridge
Gusto and Barry heading up to the top of the ridge
Our destination ahead
Our destination ahead

Love everyone's documentation of the oh-so-graceful "butt swing" to the top of the summit - thanks Steph for NOT showing my final move! Once on the summit, the views were spectacular.
Tish on the summit
Tish on the summit
Barb, Steph and Eric on the summit
Barb, Steph and Eric on the summit
Steph, what are you doing?
Steph, what are you doing?
Now what is Steph doing???
Now what is Steph doing???
Glacier from the summit
Glacier from the summit
Barb and the Driver on the summit
Barb and the Driver on the summit

Too soon, it was time to leave.
Barry dropping down off of the summit
Barry dropping down off of the summit
Barb lowering from the summit
Barb lowering from the summit
Tish doing it HER way off of the summit
Tish doing it HER way off of the summit
Tish and Barb coming down off the summit block
Tish and Barb coming down off the summit block
Barbara practicing the "sitz" descent
Barbara practicing the "sitz" descent
Poser
Poser

Down below the summit, Yana took a break . . .
Yana Enchantingly sunning herself
Yana Enchantingly sunning herself
Eric heading down from the top of the ridge
Eric heading down from the top of the ridge
Silver trees, blue sky and snow . . .
Silver trees, blue sky and snow . . .

A little soupy coming down in the afternoon snow - but the glissades helped. Beautiful trip.

Umm, Matt, about this:

Matt wrote:
(and Gus the dog)

notlistening.gif Gus has a problem with that . . . he's more than "just" a dog!!!   lol.gif  (but he does appreciate your sandwich.)

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Four-paw buddy lets me tag along!
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostSun Apr 29, 2012 10:59 am 
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Sadie's Driver wrote:
Umm, Matt, about this:

Matt wrote:
(and Gus the dog)

notlistening.gif Gus has a problem with that . . . he's more than "just" a dog!!!  lol.gif  (but he does appreciate your sandwich.)

Why would you think that being identified as "the dog" is a lower staus?  Maybe being the dog is a noteworthy rank, and all the rest are just a bunch of people.

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“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Middle E
no more moustache



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Middle E
no more moustache
PostSun Apr 29, 2012 11:21 am 
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I  came up here last October for the first time, but the summit block was entirely covered in rime ice so I didn't try to clamber up.  At least now I've been on the very summit!

View of Cashmere
View of Cashmere
Climbing up
Climbing up
Mt. Cashmere from Icicle Ridge
Mt. Cashmere from Icicle Ridge
Enchantments from Icicle Ridge
Enchantments from Icicle Ridge
North to Big Jim from Icicle Ridge
North to Big Jim from Icicle Ridge
Mt. Cashmere
Mt. Cashmere
Barb and Suzanne on the descent
Barb and Suzanne on the descent

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pithy yet insightful signature
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Hiker Mama
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Hiker Mama
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PostSun Apr 29, 2012 1:09 pm 
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That looks so fun!

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My hiking w/ kids site: www.thehikermama.com
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cartman
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cartman
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PostMon Apr 30, 2012 6:44 am 
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A great trip with a fine group, definitely picked the right place for sun.  Running into Oyvind, Tobae and Khanh at the TH just shows that great minds think alike.

Despite its readily accessible location, several of us had never done Icicle; it had a fun little finish to the top.  Great views of Cashmere and the 'chants.

Cashmere
Cashmere
Scrambling the ridge
Scrambling the ridge
Icicle
Icicle
Cashmere closeup
Cashmere closeup
Stuart
Stuart
Enchantments
Enchantments
Big Lou, Big Jim
Big Lou, Big Jim

Billy was being a little stubborn for posing...

Steph and Billy
Steph and Billy
Gotcha
Gotcha
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JimK
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JimK
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PostMon Apr 30, 2012 9:54 am 
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Looks like a fun time was had by all. Matt, we noticed the same red color on the few glacier lilies seen around the corner from you on the Icicle Ridge Trail.


Glacier Lily
Glacier Lily

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Hiking Northwest
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tigermn
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tigermn
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PostMon Apr 30, 2012 5:30 pm 
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Wonder how much longer before it becomes a posthole fest up there before it thaws out? Did that trail once in the summer. Never tried it with snow. Looks interesting though.

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My flickr photo site.
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the Zachster
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the Zachster
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PostMon Apr 30, 2012 7:25 pm 
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Great report and photos everyone! I especially liked Steph's summit style shots! lol.gif I'm hoping the snow will stick around a little while longer so I can get up there. It's a little too hot for the dog when the snow is gone.

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"May I always be the kind of person my dog thinks I am"
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostMon Apr 30, 2012 10:36 pm 
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Thanks to everyone for all the photos, especially Steph’s photos of each person arriving and BarbE’s sequence of Yana descending off the edge.


While we were on the Icicle Ridge summit, I found myself wondering how the lookout had managed to fit there.  The top was basically a big squared-off rock with vertical edges on all sides.  The anchors were right at the edges, so it seemed there would be no space to step out of the lookout anywhere.  I also wondered about two anchor posts that stood on a disconnected rock about 10 feet lower down.  What did they have to do with the lookout, and how would one even connect from one spot to the other?

cartman's photo showing almost the entire squared off top of the rock
cartman's photo showing almost the entire squared off top of the rock
Anchors on a rock below the lookout
Anchors on a rock below the lookout

The photo below from www.firelookout.com (earlier located by Steph) explains it.  The lookout filled the entire summit platform and even projected out over the edges a bit.  The lower anchors where the bottom end of a staircase for climbing up to it.

Established with a camp in 1914, this D-6 cupola cabin, built in 1929, was being staffed at the time of this 1963 photo, but was destroyed only 3 years later!
Established with a camp in 1914, this D-6 cupola cabin, built in 1929, was being staffed at the time of this 1963 photo, but was destroyed only 3 years later!

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“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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terpene
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terpene
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PostTue May 01, 2012 6:08 am 
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The red anthers on the glacier lilies is not that unusual. The anthers can be white, red, yellow, or purple, but they're all the same species. This could change with future DNA studies.
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