Forum Index > Trip Reports > Stetattle Ridge - Sept 26-28
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Schroder
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Joined: 26 Oct 2007
Posts: 4781 | TRs | Pics
Location: on the beach
Schroder
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PostTue Oct 09, 2012 11:23 am 
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We had planned since early in the year to spend 4 days in the Enchantments on the last week of September - I had even postponed knee surgery until after the trip.  The Wenatchee fires changed everything so we bailed and decided to look for clearer air north to salvage the week.  After tossing around a few options we decided on Sourdough Mountain and Stetattle Ridge. The weather forecast looked fantastic as we headed out.

We went to Marblemount in the afternoon and picked up a permit and a bear canister (not required but they did some arm twisting).  We stopped at Mondos for some fantastic burgers and then headed to the Diablo Campground for the night.  We got started at daylight and made our way slowly to the lookout with heavy loads.

steep trail up Sourdough
steep trail up Sourdough
first stop 2000' up
first stop 2000' up
Ross Lake up to Hozomeen
Ross Lake up to Hozomeen
Sourdough Lookout
Sourdough Lookout
looking up Stetattle Ridge
looking up Stetattle Ridge

We took a long break at the lookout and then started up the ridge to get into the backcountry zone to camp. The weather was fairly clear in the area but pretty thick with smoke to the south. That evening the smell of smoke was pretty heavy. Just after we set up camp, a brief shower came through to our surprise. So much for the forecast.  At least it cleared the air for most of the next day.

algae
algae
lookout & Ruby Pk
lookout & Ruby Pk
summit of Sourdough
summit of Sourdough
filtering water
filtering water
getting ready for sunset photos
getting ready for sunset photos
Jack Mtn
Jack Mtn
Ross Lake
Ross Lake
looking up Big Beaver - Spickard & Redoubt
looking up Big Beaver - Spickard & Redoubt
Snowfield & Pyramid
Snowfield & Pyramid
rainbow over Jack Mtn
rainbow over Jack Mtn
cloudy sunset
cloudy sunset

We headed over to the tarns at the head of Sourdough Creek and noticed that many of them were dry except the largest two. The snow patches remaining had lots of algae so we were a little concerned about water along the ridge.  The ridge went slowly. The ups and downs seemed far more numerous and steeper than they appeared on the map. We had lots of time, though, and no specific goal in mind. If we made it to Elephant Butte, we'd be very satisfied.

sunrise over Crater Mtn
sunrise over Crater Mtn
tarn
tarn
McMillan & Fury
McMillan & Fury
Sourdough tarns
Sourdough tarns
Colonial, Snowfield & Pyramid
Colonial, Snowfield & Pyramid
Sourdough Lake & looking back
Sourdough Lake & looking back
rare clear view of the Pickets
rare clear view of the Pickets
Luna
Luna
looking toward McMillan Spire
looking toward McMillan Spire
getting hazy again
getting hazy again
more up
more up
top of Pt 6366
top of Pt 6366
second camp
second camp
looking across Diablo Lake
looking across Diablo Lake
sunset over McMillan
sunset over McMillan
sunset over McMillan
sunset over McMillan
looking southwest
looking southwest

We saw some large snow patches with water below them before Point 6728 on the ridge so we decided to make our second camp there. After some discussion, we decided to pack light the next day and do a day hike as far north as we could get.  The sky at sunrise changed our plans.

We awoke to a pink sky and could see rainbows over Luna and Triumph. We were on the southern edge of a weather system moving our way & we would soon be in rain.  After further discussion, we decided to pack up and start heading back. If the weather improved dramatically, we'd spend another night back at the tarns. It didn't.

sunrise
sunrise
sunrise
sunrise
sunrise over the Pickets
sunrise over the Pickets
sunrise
sunrise
rainbow by Luna
rainbow by Luna
Fury & Elephant Butte
Fury & Elephant Butte
sunrise over the Pickets
sunrise over the Pickets
McMillan Spire
McMillan Spire
Trapper & Triumph
Trapper & Triumph
sunrise over the Pickets
sunrise over the Pickets
heading out
heading out
south
south
smoke in the valleys
smoke in the valleys
smoke in the valleys
smoke in the valleys
looking east; raining
looking east; raining
down...
down...
...and up again
...and up again
looking north
looking north
another shower
another shower
heading south
heading south
almost back to the tarns
almost back to the tarns

It stopped raining in the middle of the morning but it didn't look good enough to make us stay.  We could see that the lookout was open as we were coming back along the ridge so we decided to head back over there, rather than followi the old trail down, and get a look inside the building.  The old trail from the tarns up to the top of Sourdough is pretty amazing - complete with switchbacks and retaining walls. Some of the trail has trees in the middle that force you off the tread, so it's been abandoned for many years.

Sourdough tarns
Sourdough tarns
Colonial, Snowfield, Pyramid
Colonial, Snowfield, Pyramid
Holy Bear Crap!
Holy Bear Crap!
back on Sourdough
back on Sourdough
Skagit Valley
Skagit Valley
old trail
old trail
Skagit Valley
Skagit Valley

Back at the lookout, we met Dana who tried to get tool belts on us as soon as we appeared. We politely declined but she was still kind enough to give us a grand tour. They're doing a great job at restoration.

Sourdough Lookout
Sourdough Lookout
Sourdough Lookout
Sourdough Lookout
Sourdough Lookout
Sourdough Lookout
Sourdough Lookout
Sourdough Lookout
Sourdough Lookout
Sourdough Lookout
Dana showing the lightning rod
Dana showing the lightning rod
Sourdough Lookout
Sourdough Lookout
the car's all the way down there?
the car's all the way down there?
Diablo Lake
Diablo Lake

In spite of the less than stellar weather for photos, we had a great time.
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iron
getting old



Joined: 10 Aug 2008
Posts: 5529 | TRs | Pics
Location: kenmore
iron
getting old
PostTue Oct 09, 2012 11:43 am 
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looks like the bears know where to find the berries!

--------------
man, you go through life, you try to be nice to people, you struggle to resist the urge to punch 'em in the face, and for what?

--- moe sizlack
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BigSteve
mere tourist



Joined: 06 Mar 2007
Posts: 11057 | TRs | Pics
Location: here now
BigSteve
mere tourist
PostTue Oct 09, 2012 12:26 pm 
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Nice pics.  Love that place.
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 3974 | TRs | Pics
Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostTue Oct 09, 2012 12:32 pm 
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Beautiful dramatic light you had on the Pickets in the evening.

--------------
“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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stetattleboy
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Joined: 16 May 2011
Posts: 86 | TRs | Pics
Location: stan vood
stetattleboy
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PostTue Oct 09, 2012 2:13 pm 
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that picket sunrise pano is gorgeous. nice job.
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cascadetraverser
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Joined: 16 Sep 2007
Posts: 881 | TRs | Pics

cascadetraverser
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PostWed Oct 10, 2012 12:26 am 
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That is such a great place!  Awesome photos....
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Stetattle Ridge - Sept 26-28
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