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Tomlike
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PostMon Apr 01, 2019 3:55 pm 
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I'm seeking information about the Boundary Trail in the Pasayten, specifically from Cathedral Lakes west to the PCT.  First hand knowledge of anything regarding overall trail quality, off-trail scrambles, water, alternate routes, summit camps, sekrit stashes of beer, etc.  Thinking about a late August/early September trip.
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RichP
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PostMon Apr 01, 2019 7:43 pm 
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WTA is doing a BCRT trip Starting July 15 so the trail will receive some attention this year.

The crew will enter from Canada so should hit some of the more remote areas.

Some good side trips I can think of are Bald Mtn and Sheep Mtn. Ramon Lakes are tucked away on the north side of Sheep Mtn.

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cascadetraverser
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PostWed Apr 03, 2019 4:01 pm 
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I did it in the 90s when there weren`t extensive fire scars and you could drop down to Ross Lake on the Three Fools Trail (As outlined by Spring and Manning).  A lot has changed.  Back then, Quartz Lake and Ramon Lakes were great side trips and the finish from Alison Pass to Elbow basin and down to Ross Lake were really cool.  If you have extra time or fancy doing the full East to West hike, then arrange for a boatride from Lightning creek to Little Beaver and hike from there over to Hannegan Pass.  It took me 16 days with a really heavy pack to do the full trip.  I am sure you could go faster....
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Nancyann
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PostWed Apr 03, 2019 9:27 pm 
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The section of Boundary Trail from Cathedral Lake to Spanish Camp travels primarily through a very extensive burn, although thankfully, the beautiful section between Cathedral Pass and Cathedral Lake was spared. The Forest Service crew and WTA did a fantastic job of clearing the downed trees on this section early last summer. However we were told that the Boundary Trail west of Spanish Camp was heavily damaged by the Diamond Creek Fire and I doubt that WTA made as much progress as they had hoped for.
Sadly, the Diamond Creek Fire damaged the trail to Ramon Lakes. Maybe WTA will get up there this year, but it will never be as lovely as it was when we did it in July of 2017. (See my TR “Pasayten Wildflower Paradise, Billy Goat to Ramon Lakes 7/13 to 7/17/17) We were very fortunate to finish our trip just a few days before the Diamond Creek Fire began.
Were you planning on starting your trip at Iron Gate? If so, my TR from last July “The Boundary Trail:Iron Gate>Spanish Camp and an adventure at Crazy Man Pass” might interest you.
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rstoddard24
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PostThu Apr 04, 2019 12:51 am 
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Nancyann - how is the Boundary Way trail condition from the Windy Peak trail junction to upper cathedral lake? It seems that is in between burn areas, but doesn't seem to be traveled much. I looked at your report - photos look beautiful!
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Nancyann
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PostThu Apr 04, 2019 8:42 am 
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It is indeed a beautiful stretch of trail. The Forest Service had recently cleared it and our timing was pretty good; we passed the first outfitter bringing in a large group when we got to Andrews Pass. I think we are going up there a week earlier this year though because the wildflowers were a little past their prime.
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Tomlike
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PostThu Apr 04, 2019 12:17 pm 
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Fantastic info everyone, thank you!

Tentative plan is Thirtymile trail head -> Chewuch River trail -> Tungsten Creek trail ->Boundary Trail -> PCT -> Devil's Ridge/Devil's Dome -> Ross Lake -> taxi

I've never been up in this area, so if anyone has suggestions to modify the route I would love to hear it.

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we were told that the Boundary Trail west of Spanish Camp was heavily damaged by the Diamond Creek Fire

this is definitely what I am looking for, thank you.  I hope to see some reports by August this year to get a better assessment of trail conditions.
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wanderwild
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PostThu Apr 04, 2019 3:08 pm 
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Nancyann wrote:
it will never be as lovely as it was when we did it in July of 2017.

As someone who has yet to get up to that area, and who was actually planning a trip a few weeks out when the fire hit, this SO depressing.

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Stefan
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PostMon Apr 08, 2019 5:52 pm 
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cascadetraverser wrote:
I did it in the 90s when there weren`t extensive fire scars and you could drop down to Ross Lake on the Three Fools Trail (As outlined by Spring and Manning).  A lot has changed.  Back then, Quartz Lake and Ramon Lakes were great side trips and the finish from Alison Pass to Elbow basin and down to Ross Lake were really cool.  If you have extra time or fancy doing the full East to West hike, then arrange for a boatride from Lightning creek to Little Beaver and hike from there over to Hannegan Pass.  It took me 16 days with a really heavy pack to do the full trip.  I am sure you could go faster....

Where is the Spanish Camp.  I am trying to locate that on the map.  Can't find.  Help please!

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Stefan
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PostMon Apr 08, 2019 5:53 pm 
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RichP wrote:
WTA is doing a BCRT trip Starting July 15 so the trail will receive some attention this year.

The crew will enter from Canada so should hit some of the more remote areas.

Some good side trips I can think of are Bald Mtn and Sheep Mtn. Ramon Lakes are tucked away on the north side of Sheep Mtn.

Do you know specifically where they are going to attempt to work on the trail?

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Nancyann
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PostMon Apr 08, 2019 6:30 pm 
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Spanish Camp is at the north end of the Andrews Creek trail right near where it intersects with the Boundary Trail.
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sooperfly
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PostMon Apr 08, 2019 6:41 pm 
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Stefan wrote:
Where is the Spanish Camp.  I am trying to locate that on the map.  Can't find.  Help please!

What Nancy said!   up.gif

Right here:   https://goo.gl/maps/DXWi6rRVs6m
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Stefan
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PostWed Apr 10, 2019 8:55 am 
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Thank you Nancyann and Sooperfly!

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markweth
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PostWed Apr 10, 2019 9:18 am 
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I did a big loop in the Pasayten last year, including some of the Boundary Trail. The loop was:

Iron Gate TH to Horseshoe Basin, Boundary Trail to Upper Cathedral Lake, then to Four Point Lake, then down the Chewuch and up Windy Creek then via Clutch Creek back to Iron Gate.

The section of the Chewuch I hiked was burned and not terribly scenic, but the trail was in good shape. The section of the Boundary Trail from Horseshoe Basin to Upper Cathedral Lake was in great shape and exceptionally beautiful in places. The section between Tungsten and Cathedral Pass was stunning. The old cabins at Tungsten were intriguing and I wish I'd spent more time there just hanging out and camped there, but I love old places like that so maybe I'm biased. But it was certainly a highlight for me.

Based on my experiences last year, I would strongly suggest starting at Iron Gate TH and then hiking into Horseshoe Basin and picking up the Boundary Trail there. That way you don't have to hike the burned section of the Chewuch and get in to some very beautiful country much more quickly than your proposed itinerary.
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Sallie4jo
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PostThu Apr 11, 2019 7:25 am 
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Doubt this will b much help..but..back in 87 my x and i back packed the 100 plus miles of the boundary trail in August.   We started at iron gate with too heavy of packs.  And this trip was absolutely splendid..and we saw very few people.   We had some great weater and we also had some very cold, wet and snow days too.  Snow in august out there seemed typical back then..often hiking at 5-7000 feet elevation.   Most of the crowd was at cathedral lakes..we camped at the lower lake as there were so may people.  I thoght apex pass was a beautiful place..quartz lake area..if u have time energy..Whistler basin is well worth a visit ..and for me i absolutely loved frosty lake area and pass.  We camped by the lake (had beavers then)..but there was then a great camp midway going up the pass that had water and views.  Frosty pass was lush with grass and deer..and there u looked back the 50 miles u had hiked..quite something..and crossin the oass u look out to the next..more rugged 3 fools trail.  Kinda fun crossing the ptc then moving west.  I think it was called circle camp, had water and beautiful view of 3 fools peak.  Joker mt basin is incredibly beautiful..and water was welcomed the.  The climb out of that basin i remember being both a grunt and very overgrown..getting up to elbow basin was quite wonderful..we had to go down aways for water.  Up there it was beautiful lonely country.   The down i think 3000 feet to 3 fools creek..a great campsite in the woods.  I unfortunately burned myself badly knocking a pot of boiling water on my legs...not good..and so glad the creek was there to get into.  So the last 21 miles out wasnt so great for me...ie no swims in ross lake. 
What i know..alot has changed since then..so many fires..and when it says unmaintained in the paysayten..believe it..its an amazing area ..not easy to get to..but worthy of the effort.

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