Forum Index > Trip Reports > Black Peak, Lewis & Wing Lakes 10/5-10/6/2020
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Pribbs
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Location: Sammamish, WA
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PostWed Oct 07, 2020 1:46 pm 
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GPS track Wing Lake to summit (perfect route!): https://www.gaiagps.com/public/JHcESa0cC5HkNayp1Yl63BMa

We arrived at the Rainy Pass trailhead at 12:30pm on a Monday, and it was completely full with cars parked on the highway. We drove through the lot anyways and got lucky with someone leaving. We made quick work up the crowded trail to Heather Pass, then hung a right onto the way trail to Lewis and Wing Lakes, leaving the crowds behind. We hiked through some pretty meadows and larches as we began to make the descent toward Lewis Lake. The trail is easy to follow but does cross some pretty large boulder fields. There are lots of cairns to follow though the cairns could be confusing since there are multiple routes through the boulder field marked by cairns. But they are all the same. Eventually the trail crosses a large creek then a bit more to Lewis Lake, which has a cloudy appearance due to the glacial sediments.


The trail wraps around the right side of the lake before climbing steeply up through tons of golden larches to Wing Lake. The trail passes a pretty giant wall of a terminal moraine of a former glacier, which is pretty cool to see.


About 1000 feet above Lewis Lake, we reached Wing Lake at about 4:30pm. This lake is even more impressive, lined with larches and at the foot of Black Peak. There was only one other pair of folks who arrived before us to camp, so there were plenty of campsites to pick from.


What began as a pleasant evening became a pretty windy night with some pretty strong gusts regularly, so I got very little sleep. Still we woke up to witness the glorious sunrise colors lighting up Black Peak and we set out for the summit around 7:30am.


We began by first hiking up the first small hill that was before the rockfield behind it, then found the bootpath and steeply ascended the rocks of the glacial cirque up to the giant terminal moraine above. From here there were two options. One was to go straight up through the bowl, where we saw tracks crossing the snow patches. The other was to go right and up the moraine along the right side of the bowl. We saw an obvious boot path marked by a cairn, so we picked this option, which proved to be great.


But regardless with which option you take through the bowl, they both end up on a really steep, nasty, loose climb up dirt and scree to reach the saddle at 8000 feet. But the views from the ridge were amazing, looking across to Goode, Buckner, and Logan.


From here we followed the cairns and boot path up the south slope, and into the giant gully where we stayed toward the right side to scramble up some pretty nice class 2-3 rock, avoiding the loose stuff to the left. The gully soon splits in two and here be sure to take the right fork. At the top of the gully you will come to a large flat area just below the summit.


From here continue to follow the cairns ALL THE WAY to the far end of the summit ridge, avoiding the temptation to go up too soon up tempting looking places. At the far end as you wrap around to the other side, you will come to the obvious class 3 final short gully to the top, which does have maybe 1-2 low-class 4 moves.


We reached the summit around 10am to enjoy the spectacular views that featured numerous surrounding Bulger peaks like Goode, Storm King, Buckner, Boston, Logan, Snowfield, Baker, Shuksan, Picketts, Jack, Dome, Glacier, etc etc etc.


We didn't stay long before we retreated back to the flat area on the other side of the summit ridge where we took a longer break, and met another person on a day trip, before heading back down to the lake.


We returned to camp at 12:15 and took an hour to pack up and rest before an enjoyable hike out through the larches back to Heather Pass, where we got back on the "hiking freeway" back to the trailhead, getting back at 4:45.


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Photos: https://www.facebook.com/PribbernowPhotography
Peakbagger: http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/climber.aspx?cid=20593
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rbuzby
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PostWed Oct 07, 2020 2:45 pm 
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Sweet pics!

Good job finding the easy scramble route.
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Alden Ryno
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PostWed Oct 07, 2020 3:09 pm 
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Stunning shots!

Black and Silver Star are (deservedly) the introduction to many North Cascadian love affairs.
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KascadeFlat
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PostWed Oct 07, 2020 4:55 pm 
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up.gif  up.gif  up.gif

Loooooove this area. When we climbed Black Peak we did it on the 4th of July and amazingly saw no other humans. The downside was that we did miss out on seeing the larches in their golden coats.

That scramble from the saddle up to the peak is good, clean, North Cascades alpine fun!

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For a good time call: 1-800-SLD-ALDR.
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Jesse_Frome
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PostTue Oct 20, 2020 1:20 am 
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Would you recommend an ice-axe if doing this one in late October?
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Pribbs
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PostTue Oct 20, 2020 6:20 am 
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Jesse_Frome wrote:
Would you recommend an ice-axe if doing this one in late October?

There should be lots of new snow by then, so yes.

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Photos: https://www.facebook.com/PribbernowPhotography
Peakbagger: http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/climber.aspx?cid=20593
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OutOfOffice
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PostTue Oct 20, 2020 11:37 am 
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Pribbs wrote:
Jesse_Frome wrote:
Would you recommend an ice-axe if doing this one in late October?

There should be lots of new snow by then, so yes.

Can confirm. Just did the Maple Pass loop on Saturday and the area is covered in ~1-2ft of snow.
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Black Peak, Lewis & Wing Lakes 10/5-10/6/2020
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