Forum Index > Trip Reports > Lost Peak, Three Pinnacles, Many Trails, Johnny Peak, 9/20/20
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Eric Gilbertson
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PostMon Sep 21, 2020 9:01 pm 
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Lost Peak (8,464ft), Many Trails Peak (8,241ft), Johnny Peak (8,211ft) , Three Pinnacles (8,124ft)

Sept 20, 2020, 2:15am – 8:45pm

33.5 miles, 12,300ft gain

The smoke finally cleared out of the mountains after the rain Friday and Saturday, so Saturday evening I drove out to the Billy Goat trailhead and went to sleep in the back of the car. Some pesky trailhead mice somehow snuck in and kept me from sleeping for a while rustling around, but I managed to get in a few hours of sleep.

I got up at 2am and was moving soon after. My plan was do do a big loop hitting some WA top 200 peaks with a long and fun ridge run (I got good excellent beta for these peaks from trip reports from Milda T, FWB, John P, Scott R, and Dan L). I was excited to be back in the area around Lost Peak, since I remember that feeling like one of the most remote places in Washington the last time I’d been there in 2018.

The route
The route
Cougar Lake
Cougar Lake
Socked in on the NW ridge of Many Trails
Socked in on the NW ridge of Many Trails

I was a bit worried the trails in the area would be in tough shape after the 2018 McCleod fire, but luckily that was mostly not the case. I started by hiking up the Hidden Lakes trail, and after a few hours happened upon three tents pitched right in the middle of the trail near lucky pass. I tiptoed around them, and that turned out to be my closest encounter with other people the whole day.

By sunrise I was at Cougar Lake and started up my first peak, Many Trails. I went to the west end of the lake and waded across the inlet in thigh-deep water. From there I bushwhacked steeply up to the northwest ridge, then followed the ridge to the summit. Interestingly, despite the name, Many Trails peak in fact has no trail leading to it. I took a break on the top as dense clouds enveloped the summit. It turned out my friend Fred was the last person to sign in over a year ago.

Looking over towards Pass Butte
Looking over towards Pass Butte
Johnny Peak from Johnny Lake
Johnny Peak from Johnny Lake
Lago in the distance
Lago in the distance

I soon followed the ridge south as the clouds cleared. The Johnny Creek valley below had escaped the McCleod Fire and the larch trees were turning bright yellow. I followed Scott Rice’s GPS track and dropped down off the ridge before Pt 7850, then traversed over to Johnny Lakes. That would have been an awesome place to camp if I’d brought overnight gear, but I was just doing a day trip. I filled up 3 liters of water at the lake in preparation for a long waterless ridge traverse.

From the lake I hiked up to the saddle south of Johnny Peak, then traversed a bit on the west face and easily up to the summit. It appears “Trailblazer” is the name Fay Pullen gave the peak in the summit register, though Johnny Peak is the name on peakbagger. It’s interesting that the word “trail” is in multiple peaks up there that don’t actually have trails to them.

Pass Butte panorama
Pass Butte panorama

I descended the ridge south, then scrambled over Pass Butte and along to Lost Peak by 2:30pm. There were excellent views across the valley to Lago and Ptarmigan Peaks, and I had fond memories of topping out on Lost Peak at sunset one July day in 2018 after climbing Blackcap, Osceola, Carru, Lago, and Ptarmigan in a big loop. Luckily I still had a few hours before sunset this time

It was a fun ridge run south of lost, over a few minor bumps, to the summit of Three Pinnacles. I was surprised there was no cairn on the summit, but there is now. I tagged the Middle Summit, which is apparently only 1 ft shorter than the north summit, then descended down the east ridge. I followed the ridge to just before point 6638, then descended a few thousand feet of trees and talus to the Lost River. Interestingly the river bed was completely dry.

Looking towards Lost and Three Pinnacles
Looking towards Lost and Three Pinnacles
Colorful larches north of Lost
Colorful larches north of Lost
Looking back up at Three Pinnacles
Looking back up at Three Pinnacles

The river bed was almost like a wide trail, which I followed upstream to Drake Creek. There I bushwhacked a bit until I found the abandoned Drake Creek trail. The trail was followable for a little while, but then disappeared in the burn zone. Luckily I was able to bushwhack up the rest of the way back to the Hidden Lakes trail by sunset. I then hiked back in the dark, reaching the car by 8:45pm. It was a long drive home but M&Ms and Red Bull helped me stay awake til 2am when I got back to Seattle.
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Fletcher
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PostMon Sep 21, 2020 10:14 pm 
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Nice Eric! I never really thought of looping those like that, but I think I will now! Just to further orphan my worst orphan, Dot Mountain.
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awilsondc
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PostTue Sep 22, 2020 11:46 am 
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Eric Gilbertson wrote:
I was surprised there was no cairn on the summit, but there is now. I tagged the Middle Summit, which is apparently only 1 ft shorter than the north summit

Well, now it's two feet shorter!  lol.gif  Another strong effort Eric, well done!  I need to make it out there some day. I haven't done much at all in that area.  Looks cool!
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ozzy
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PostTue Sep 22, 2020 6:13 pm 
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Sweeeet loop man! rocker.gif  Three Pinnacles has been on my radar. Thanks for the awesome route intel! Cheers!

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Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer. -Arnold
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RichP
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here and there
PostTue Sep 22, 2020 6:44 pm 
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Was the register placed by the Cliff Lawson/Dan Sjolseth party still on Three Pinnacles?
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Eric Gilbertson
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PostWed Sep 23, 2020 7:31 am 
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I didn't find any register on either the north or middle summits of Three Pinnacles. I didn't check the south.
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RichP
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PostWed Sep 23, 2020 7:54 am 
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That's too bad. Here is a pic for posterity in case it was destroyed.

Summit register Three Pinnacles North
Summit register Three Pinnacles North
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Alden Ryno
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PostWed Sep 23, 2020 1:27 pm 
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Thank you for sharing! I enjoy the Pasayten terrain/landscape and I had wondered about feasibility of tagging Lost from the east, if I hadn't gotten it with the other Pasayten T100.

That ridge goes for a long time!

And Fletcher, Dot is certainly one that is REALLY rough to have orphaned 😅 Johnny and Rolo crossed my mind while I was out there earlier this year, but the rest of those peaks were more than enough.. Not sure of your thoughts on how you'll get it, but going down the MF Pasayten to Tamarack Ridge, then south of Ptarmigan has been done by a party or two this year and they said it was "pleasant," albeit lengthy.
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Eric Gilbertson
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PostWed Sep 23, 2020 8:39 pm 
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According to peakbagger (link to map), Dot is actually the most remote point in the Pasayten Wilderness Complex! (or, at least a point about 1km away on the northwest slope of Dot.

I think that most remote point is probably a worthy destination even by itself.
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Brushbuffalo
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PostWed Sep 23, 2020 8:51 pm 
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Alden Ryno wrote:
going down the MF Pasayten to Tamarack Ridge, then south of Ptarmigan has been done by a party or two this year and they said it was "pleasant," albeit lengthy.

The route that way is indeed long but pleasant and never exceeds class 2 as far  Ptarmigan summit. We decided not to proceed to Dot but it looks easy and direct from Ptarmigan, longer but probably easier than 'Dot-ing' from the south.

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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Tautvydaite
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PostFri Sep 25, 2020 9:12 am 
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Eric's trip makes for a good loop to ascend these peaks, as per my recommendation.
https://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ascent.aspx?aid=789661

My route description for Three Pinnacles, (Lost), Johnny Peak/Trailblazer Peak, and Many Trails via a Lost River Loop from Billy Goat Corral TH:

On 2015-09-21, a late start at Billy Goat Corral TH. Hiked trail #477 westerly to Eight Mile Pass, then continued westerly on #477 to Drake Creek Trail #459 (faint tread) and went south to the Lost River Gorge and camped in the dry riverbed (camp 1). Day 2: 2015-09-22, started in the Lost River Gorge/confluence with Drake Creek and went downstream (south), searching slopes to the west for a way up and out of the gorge to gain the high ridge of Three Pinnacles above. We ascended the first Y gully to the south of point 5121 (east of point 6638) and took the right fork of the Y to the ridge, through short cliffs and steep slopes, then gained the ridge south of point 6638 and traversed southerly, then ascended westerly to the south ridge of Three Pinnacles, then turned northerly and scramble/hiked over Middle Pinnacle and North Pinnacle (did not climb the southernmost Pinnacle, point 8082), and stayed on the ridge crest on high ridge ramble to Pass Butte Pass (traversed on south flank of Lost Peak because we had already climbed it). From Pass Butte Pass we scrambled/down climbed to Johnny Lakes and set up camp near Lake 6825. On day 3 2015-09-23 we climbed Johnny Peak/Trailblazer Peak and returned to Johnny Lakes, packed up our gear and filled our water bags and water bottles (4 liter bag plus 2 1L bottles; and a 6 liter bag and one 1L bottle) and traversed steep slopes towards point 7850 until we found a 4th class "gully" of steep, clean (ish) rock to climb that took us to the ridge that leads to Many Trails (we ascended the first creek north of point 7850, and climbed really nice 3rd/4th class steep rock, with overnight packs and 6 (me, because I carry a big camera: my ball and chain) and 7 (Dave) liters of water to the Many Trails Ridge). On the ridge we had to scramble past a couple of gendarmes and teetering rock towers before attaining more 'walkable' terrain to the Many Trails summit. After walking up and over Many Trails, we found a beautiful camp at 7,200' on the ridge N Ridge of Many Trails Peak (no water on this ridge; that is why we carried it up!). On Day 4 2015-09-24 we made a steep, complex descent to the Lost River via Many Trail's NE Ridge (the first ridge west of Johnny Creek). This descent is not recommended. It is better to descend the broad, less steep NW ridge that descends towards Hidden Lakes which would also be a feasible ascent route (note: all off trail travel; must carry all water). After reaching the Lost River we forded it, and quickly found trail #477 and hiked the Lost River Trail over Lucky Pass and Eightmile Pass back to Billy Goat corral and drove to sister's house in Winthrop to spend the night. (party of two: Milda Tautvydas and David Salinger)

GEAR: map, compass, altimeter, hiking poles, MSR water bags (a 4-Liter and 6-Liter bag, for two people). No GPS.

Dot is best climbed as a traverse from Lago to Ptarmigan, as per my report on Peakbagger.com
https://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ascent.aspx?aid=789662

Shellrock Seven! Mount Carru, Lost Peak, Mount Lago, Dot Mountain, Ptarmigan Peak, Blackcap Mountain, Monument Peak and Lake Mountain from Shellrock Pass high camp. Day 1: on 08/24/2008, we drove from Seattle to Slate Peak and hiked via the Middle Fork Pasayten River Trail to Fred's and Doris Lakes, and down to the headwaters of Eureka Creek below Mt Carru (it was late; there was a bear in the basin; we set up camp). Day 2: on 08/25/2008, we climbed Mount Carru and moved camp to just below Shellrock Pass on the west side. There was ample water high in the basin north (NW) of point 7885. Day 3: on 08/26/2008, we climbed Lost Peak, RT from our Shellrock Pass high camp. We descended to the east on trail 484A to the junction with the Monument Creek Trail 484. Heading east, at ~6400' and before the trail lost too much elevation, we contoured, then made a rising traverse towards Lost Peak summit and ascended the peak. We returned to our Shellrock Pass high camp by the same route (approx). Day 4: on 08/27, from Shellrock Pass we climbed Mount Lago, Dot Mountain, and Ptarmigan Peak by staying on the north-trending ridge that runs from Shellrock Pass, over Dot, and up Ptarmigan Peak. The scrambling was fun, and not difficult. The ridge was mostly class 2 (Mount Lago, ~ some class 3). We descended Dot's North Ridge and ascended Ptarmigan Peak via the south face/ridge. For our return, we descended the SE slopes of Ptarmigan Peak (burned) down to Ptarmigan Creek, and we hiked the Monument Creek Trail back to our high camp at Shellrock Pass (sporty, lots of blow down after fire; relentless, actually). Day 5: on 08/28/2008, we climbed Blackcap from our Shellrock Pass high camp (a rest day); a very fun scramble. Day 6: on 08/29/2008, we climbed Lake Mountain and Monument Peak from our Shellrock Pass high camp by approaching as per Blackcap, then crossing through the notch in the ridge between Blackcap and Pt. 7885 and descending into the basin east of Blackcap. We descended into, and contoured around, the basin to below the steep slopes between Pt 7688 and Monument. We passed under walls of steep, broken rock until we found a broad, dirty gully with serious rockfall hazard that looked like the best way up. We groveled up 1,200 feet to gain the ridge east of Monument Peak. From the ridge we descended into the Lake-Monument basin. We first climbed Monument by descending, then contouring as high as possible, and crossed at the highest place reasonable to get from the east to the west side of Monument Peak's south ridge (steep walls on the east side of the ridge). Once we were on the west side of the south ridge, we ascended on tallus to the summit, staying on or near the crest of the south ridge. After summitting we reversed our route into the Lake-Monument basin, found much needed water, then we climbed Lake Mountain via its west slopes (hot!). We walked north on the Lake-Monument connecting ridge and returned to our camp at Shellrock Pass high camp per our approach route. It was a very hot day, with high mountain temps near, or over, 90F. Day 7: on 8/30/2008, we left our Shellrock Pass high camp to the west, and hiked out to our car at Slate Peak Lookout per our approach route. Party of two: Milda Tautvydas and David Salinger. Note: We created a "Shellrock Seven" circuit instead of a "Shellrock Eight" or "Shellrock Nine" because we climbed Osceola and Rolo (and Pasayten Peak) on 09/01 and 9/02 in 2001 as a party of three: Milda Tautvydas, David Salinger, and Nick Beer.

GEAR: map, compass, altimeter, hiking poles, MSR water bags (a 4-Liter and 6-Liter bag, for two people). No GPS.

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Leave No Trace

https://www.nps.gov/articles/leave-no-trace-seven-principles.htm

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/okawen/recreation/?cid=fseprd739027

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/okawen/alerts-notices/?cid=fsbdev3_053600#wilderness
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Stuke Sowle
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PostSat Sep 26, 2020 2:24 pm 
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Very enticing loop Eric!  Curious if there would be any reason to avoid doing it in the opposite direction?
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Eric Gilbertson
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PostSun Sep 27, 2020 7:42 pm 
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I chose this direction because I wanted to do the first 4 or 5 hours in the dark before sunrise to finish at a reasonable hour. This direction the first 15 miles are on trail, which I figured would be more efficient than bushwhacking or navigating above treeline in the dark going the other way. I thought if I were efficient I might also tag on North Craggy at the end, but I didn't end up having time for that.

The other advantage to this direction was I found a pretty good and long scree field to plunge step down from Three Pinnacles this way. But it is avoidable so the other direction would be fine too.
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timberghost
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PostMon Sep 28, 2020 5:36 am 
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Is Cliff and Dan still alive?
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Stuke Sowle
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PostMon Sep 28, 2020 5:42 am 
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Thank you Eric.  I should have mentioned that I will be looking at a later start so would rather hit the ridgeline quicker and exit in the dark on the long trail portion.  Sounds like would work as well.

Thank you for sharing this awesome route!
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Lost Peak, Three Pinnacles, Many Trails, Johnny Peak, 9/20/20
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