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rocknclimb
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Joined: 10 Sep 2010
Posts: 402 | TRs
Location: Wenatchee Valley
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PostMon Jun 15, 2020 5:59 pm 
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Best view of the day
Best view of the day

Seems the Chatter Creek Trail has become my go-to location up the Icicle.  Not sure why as it's a bit steep, rocky, and hot on a sunny day.  Sunday would be my 7th and probably not last trip there.  Neil & myself headed up the trail by 8:45 with the summit of Big Lou as our goal for the day.  The trail is in decent shape with only a few fallen trees in the first 2.5 miles.  Crossing Chatter Creek at 4,400' was trivial with some decent logs.
Crossing Chatter Creek
Crossing Chatter Creek

At this point we left the trail and headed in the direction of the gully.  The gully isn't visible here, so make a mental note a 1/4 mile back for the correct line to take.
Into the Brush
Into the Brush
Starting up the gully
Starting up the gully

Gully was thankfully snow free, as that would be a post-hole nightmare in spring conditions.  Carefully worked our way up the boulders a few hundred feet until the "fisherman's" trail developed along the left side.
Large gully system
Large gully system
Neil in the gully
Neil in the gully

Hit consistent snow immediately above the gully at 6,400'.  This basin below Frigid is splendid with or without snow.  The route up to the ridge went well.  Parties can currently choose all snow, no snow, or a mix.  We stayed on dirt on the way up, but plunge stepped the snow on return.
Access line up to the ridge
Access line up to the ridge
Snow at 6,400'
Snow at 6,400'

Upon reaching the ridge I immediately regretted not bringing my crampons.
Frigid Peak
Frigid Peak

The Ida Lake Basin was completely snow bound, and the drop off the ridge looked steep.  Thankfully Neil was prepared and kicked in nice steps on a short exposed traverse leading to a much easier angled slope.  Somehow managed zero pics of Ida, but it is still frozen and will be for some time.  The slopes of Lou were bare which was nice, but the wind was howling and some snow was beginning to fall.  We made haste to the summit, but only stayed long enough to enjoy our summit beers.
Summit in the distance
Summit in the distance
Getting closer
Getting closer
Icicle Ridge & Valley
Icicle Ridge & Valley

We retreated our route back back down to Chatter Creek, and made the slog out to the truck.  The only thing open after 8 for food in Leavenworth was Heidleburger, but we were more than happy for that.  12 miles w/ 5,400' gained.  Another great day in the mountains!!!

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When asked "Why do you climb"?  Simply respond "Why don't you"?
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Fletcher
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Joined: 29 Jul 2009
Posts: 1605 | TRs
Location: kirkland
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PostMon Jun 15, 2020 6:04 pm 
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Nice running into you in town last night dude. Looks like a nice route once past all that talus!
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mtn.climber
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Joined: 29 Jul 2008
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Location: The Lost Horizon
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PostMon Jun 15, 2020 7:43 pm 
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Still lots of snow up there.  Surprised that Ida was still frozen over.
Good trip!

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Reach for the sky, cuz tomorrow may never come.

Live the life of love.  Love the life you live.
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cascadetraverser
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Joined: 16 Sep 2007
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PostTue Jun 16, 2020 7:28 am 
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I love that area and visited it multiple times as well a few years back.  Looks like a great ski destination for spring in the future.  Thanks for the TR.
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geyer
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Joined: 23 May 2017
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Location: Seattle
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PostWed Jun 17, 2020 2:49 pm 
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I went up Frigid and Big Lou the week before you! Did you have any ticks attack you? I had to swipe a few off of me and one of them got a free ride back to Seattle...
Nice area though
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raising3hikers
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Joined: 21 Sep 2007
Posts: 2055 | TRs
Location: Edmonds, Wa
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PostSun Jun 21, 2020 7:49 pm 
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I went up there yesterday and the chatter creek crossing logs were under water. A cold ford was had but that's the way it goes. Summited to views inside a cloud.

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Eric Eames
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