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MangyMarmot
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PostSat May 13, 2017 8:41 pm 
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I've been really lazy about posting trip reports lately, so I thought I should put one up.

On Sunday the 7th, I ventured into the mountains. I decided on Mt. Roosevelt. I had been there a couple of years ago, but our attempt failed due to steep snow and the poor decision to leave our crampons behind. I was determined to come back and finish the job. This time with crampons.

I hadn't been to the pass in a while, so I wasn't sure how much snow I would find. I also wasn't sure how the crampons would work with my tele boots, so I took my snowshoes instead. Turns out there was no lack of snow around Snoqualmie. I parked at the upper Alpental parking lot and took the winter trail to Source Lake. The day started out partly cloudy as I headed toward Chair Peak, and over the ridge to Snow Lake. Snow lake was still well frozen over, so I just hiked right over the lake. Then up Roosevelt to just below the final section up to the summit block.n Somehow, this section looked steeper than I remembered. I started up and got to the first rocks and looked at the traverse to the trees. It looked awfully steep. Below the trees was a small cliff band, then more steep snow. I stood there and thought about it for a while, then I reluctantly backed down. Perhaps with a rope and some slings, the tees could be used to protect most of the route, but I had neither with me.

Pineapple Basin
Pineapple Basin
Snow Lake fron the foot of Roosevelt
Snow Lake fron the foot of Roosevelt
Looking up the summit block of Roosevelt
Looking up the summit block of Roosevelt
Kaleetan and Roosevelt
Kaleetan and Roosevelt
Chair Peak
Chair Peak
Looking East from Roosevelt
Looking East from Roosevelt

I hiked up to the northern sub-summit, took out my lunch, and contemplated another failure. The view from the sub-summit is excellent. I watched a couple of skiers skinning up to Chair Lake, and  over toward Melakwa Pass. I took many photos of peaks in all directions. Then my gaze landed upon Caroline. It was about 11 am. There was still a fair amount of daylight. I thought "wonder if I can make it all the way over there and back before it gets dark." I figured it was worth a try. If I didn't make it, at least I would explore the Wildcat lakes.

I packed up my stuff and headed down the gully between Roosevelt summit, and the Northern sub-summit. At first the going was easy in soft snow. Then, I got into a section with very firm, wind-scoured surface.Wish I had put on my crampons and taken out my axe earlier, but there was no good place to do it here with poor footing. At least the runout didn't look bad. It would be an exciting slide down, but it leveled out below with no dangerous looking obstacles. In the end I got down fine with no unplanned sliding. I continued down the valley to Lower Wildcat Lake, then up to Upper Wildcat Lake. By now, the snow was getting really soft. The snowshoes were starting to slide on the soft surface snow. Without them, it was all postholing. Upper Wildcat was still frozen enough to walk across, but was starting to show small signs of melting out.  I found a snow filled gully that headed up to the ridge between Caroline and Wild Dare. The snow was so soft, I was kicking steps with my snowshoes on. Surprisingly, the snow was stable. No sign of fresh slides.

Caroline above Upper Wildcat Lake
Caroline above Upper Wildcat Lake
Alpine Lakes Peaks from Caroline's North ridge
Alpine Lakes Peaks from Caroline's North ridge
Looking North-East from Caroline's summit. Upper and Lower Wildcat lakes are at the bottom of the image.
Looking North-East from Caroline's summit. Upper and Lower Wildcat lakes are at the bottom of the image.
Preacher
Preacher
West side of Roosevelt, and the gully I came down.
West side of Roosevelt, and the gully I came down.

I followed this ridge up to Caroline's summit block. This side was steep. The West ridge was full of cornices, so I traversed under the summit block to the East ridge, then up the East ridge to the summit. Barely got there before my turn-around time. A summit at last. Not much time to enjoy it though. I had a long way to go to get back to the car.

Upper Wildcat Lake and Wright Mountain
Upper Wildcat Lake and Wright Mountain

I followed my tracks back to Upper Wildcat Lake, then Lower Wildcat Lake. Lower Wildcat was showing more signs of melting. There were a number of large open areas near inlet streams, but most looked solid enough, so I walked across. Then it was up to the ridge between Gem Lake and Roosevelt, and back down to Snow Lake. Then over snow lake, over the ridge to Source Lake, and back to the car as dusk was settling in. Despite the failure on Roosevelt, it was a good day. Surprisingly, the only people I saw all day were the two skiers heading up to Melakwa Pass.
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RichP
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here and there
PostSat May 13, 2017 8:51 pm 
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Caroline is a heck of a day trip, especially after your attempt on Roosevelt.
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zephyr
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PostSun May 14, 2017 9:02 am 
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MangyMarmot wrote:
Then up Roosevelt to just below the final section up to the summit block.n Somehow, this section looked steeper than I remembered. I started up and got to the first rocks and looked at the traverse to the trees. It looked awfully steep. Below the trees was a small cliff band, then more steep snow. I stood there and thought about it for a while, then I reluctantly backed down. Perhaps with a rope and some slings, the tees could be used to protect most of the route, but I had neither with me.

If you go back in later season--even no snow, you might take an ice axe.  There's a lingering snowfield.  Plus the ice axe comes in very handy going up the very steep grassy, heather, dirt slope and for self-belay going back down. 

MangyMarmot wrote:
Then it was up to the ridge between Gem Lake and Roosevelt, and back down to Snow Lake. Then over snow lake, over the ridge to Source Lake, and back to the car as dusk was settling in. Despite the failure on Roosevelt, it was a good day.

Well, certainly!  No doubt about this.  Quite the accomplishment.   up.gif   ~z
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awilsondc
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PostSun May 14, 2017 9:42 am 
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MangyMarmot wrote:
Kaleetan and Roosevelt
Kaleetan and Roosevelt
Chair Peak
Chair Peak

Rad!  stun.gif  That is a heck of a day trip in these conditions, looks like fun, and looks like the weather cooperated for you too which is a bonus.  Nice trip!  up.gif
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostSun May 14, 2017 10:45 am 
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awilsondc already quoted the two pics, but damn Kaleetan and Chair look cool from that vantage!
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Fletcher
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PostSun May 14, 2017 11:40 am 
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Glad you posted this! That is some serious mileage to do in those conditions, especially on snowshoes!
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



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PostMon May 15, 2017 10:12 pm 
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MangyMarmot wrote:
West side of Roosevelt, and the gully I came down.
West side of Roosevelt, and the gully I came down.

I am envious of your trip that included a route down this valley. I have thought about doing a loop around the N Roosevelt summit many times just to experience this spot. But you did a lot more than that -- congrats on making it all the way to Caroline. I bet it was more work than you let on in your report!  up.gif

--------------
Mid Fork Rocks flickr
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Bernardo
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PostTue May 16, 2017 12:49 pm 
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Yes, that's a nice Cascades hike.  Try something, make a tough decision, move on to another adventure.  Get home to tell the story.
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Roosevelt attempt, Caroline - 5/7/17
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