Forum Index > Trip Reports > Lemool, Bulls Tooth, Doughgob, Frosty, and Snowgrass failure - 6-7 oct 2020
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
kitya
Fortune Cookie



Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 622 | TRs
Location: Duvall, WA
kitya
  Top

Fortune Cookie
PostThu Oct 08, 2020 10:16 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I hate camping and I never camped more than one night and I never do it more than once a year. Or, more honestly, I envy all your wonderful long trips, but for me it is just too hard. My backpack is already super heavy for day trips and I just get super tired when I need to haul all my overnight gear and food too. So whenever possible I try to go for very long day trips instead. But than a year passes and I forget how heavy my overnight backpack is and I make a mistake of going on another overnight trip again!

This trip started on the Mill creek road, where Stevens Pass nordic center is and the backside of Stevens Pass downhill ski area. The road is quite good in the beginning, but quickly gets rockier and rockier. You can probably drive it all the way to the end if you into this sort of thing. But it is kind of scary. So I stopped driving my Rav4 about a mile before PCT intersection and walked the road instead. Typical road conditions:


It was actually a pleasant road walk with fresh air, smell of wet forest and mushrooms and fall colors. Also some very aggressive signs from Stevens Pass ski resort.


Soon me and Cookie reached PCT and walked past unimpressive lake Susan Jane and larger lake Josephine. Soon we left PCT and dropped all the way down to Icicle creek valley. Many pikas kept us company.


From Icicle creek it is steep up again to Chain lakes and our first objective Lemool. Did I mention I hate extra heavy overnight gear under the heat of mid-day sun? Thankfully Lemool is rather easy walk up on steep grassy slopes. We found a small register placed in 2005 and signed this year by John a few days before us.


Great views of Chain lakes from Lemool


Back on the trail we went to the first Chain lake and than circled around second and third and used grassy slopes to get to the summit of Bulls Tooth. Again following John it seems like.


Now we have a view down to Chain lakes


From there instead of going down same way, we dropped into the rocky area for Cookie to find some snow


And than traversed under the cliffs to get to Chain lakes/Doelle lakes pass.


We used the trail to get down to first and than second Doelle lakes just as the sun was setting and enjoyed some views of Big Chiwaukum and Snowgrass in the sunset.


We camped overnight near the lake on a flattish but slopping rock to avoid harming any vegetation.


Interestingly pikas talked all night quite loudly next to my and Cookie's tent.

Sunrise was beautiful as we went up to Doughgob.


Doughgob register was only placed last year and now only has two entries.


Lots of fresh juicy blueberries everywhere. Next we dropped back down to lower Doelle lake and traversed through pretty autumn foliage towards Frosty. I didn't find any register on Frosty peak, but there is a cairn marking the summit. Easy walk up, but nice views.


Next I decided to visit Snowgrass from Frosty pass. It looks near. But this is deceiving. It is a massive mountain and it was still very far.


Suddenly Cookie dropped to the ground and started rolling in the grass. I was surprised, because this is not like her. I understand rolling in snow, but grass? Why Cookie?

So I looked at the grass closer and wow - all over the spot she rolled in the grass is intermingled with bear's hair. Does it mean Cookie really likes the bear's deodorant and wants some of it or is it a special rolling spot where all animals just want to roll and leave their hairs because the spot is very important?


Snowgrass was so beautiful. So much grass. So many little lakes and tarns and streams. Some fresh soft snow. Even though I failed, I loved every bit of this ridge. We got to just 300 feet to the summit, but than the ridge became so narrow and full of cliffs. This:


The right way would be go back down, find a way to drop to the other side and scramble around the cliffs on the rocks, but we were running out of time, so I had to ask Cookie to go back.


On the way back we wanted to save time and use the old Frosty creek trail that Downhill wrote about before. Finding the start of it was very easy. In fact it is marked using red tape. The trail is actually brushed and supposedly is in great condition except a small area of downed trees. The only problem is that these down trees are blocking the way almost instantly and me and Cookie decided we can just go down around them and find the next switchback of the old trail. Sadly we never did. Instead we continued through brush and downed trees and side alder and devils club all the way down to Icicle creek. It was super miserable. Worst idea ever. With overnight pack too frown.gif Last 500 feet I wanted to cry. The icicle creek was so near, I could hear it. But it was like trying to go through a 500 feet wide wall of swamp, downed giant trees, maple, devils club and side alder. Each inch was a fight. I really didn't know if I can make it. Finally we managed to claw our way up around some giant log and got to the creek. We were lucky to cross it using logs and scramble steep rocky banks on the other side to finally get back on the trail and quickly walked to the Icicle creek trailhead just around sunset.

Total trip ended up being 35 miles and 13000+ feet gain in two days. I really loved how peaceful it was. In 2 days I never met any single person. No hunters, no trail runners, no backpackers. I took my mask with me in case I needed to pass someone on the trail, but never needed it, because nobody was there. Not a single soul. Only pikas and squirrels. And this area is not even a long drive. In these days of busy trails it was very nice to see all these hills and lakes without anyone around.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Waterman
Member
Member


Joined: 21 Mar 2015
Posts: 364 | TRs
Location: Big Snow Quadrangle
Waterman
  Top

Member
PostFri Oct 09, 2020 12:07 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Nice area for a overnight in the fall.
Most of us have done what you did in thinking that we will intersect a trail if we do "this".
Thats what makes the trip memorable.

--------------
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Sculpin
Member
Member


Joined: 23 Apr 2015
Posts: 717 | TRs

Sculpin
  Top

Member
PostFri Oct 09, 2020 7:51 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
It took me 45 minutes to drive from Stevens Pass to the same place you parked (I stopped too) on the Mill Creek Road, because that road is stupid slow.  I estimate that I could have walked from the pass to the same point in about an hour, which would have been a lot more fun.  The Mill Creek Road is useless!

You started at Mill Creek and came out the Icicle?  huh.gif  That is a long car shuttle.

--------------
Between every two pines is a doorway to the new world. - John Muir
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
rbuzby
Attention Surplus



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 846 | TRs

rbuzby
  Top

Attention Surplus
PostFri Oct 09, 2020 7:59 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Sculpin wrote:
The Mill Creek Road is useless!

You can park less than a half mile from a connector trail that goes from the road to the PCT. Instead of hiking or 4 wheeling the road all the way to where it crosses the PCT. Cuts off at least 2 miles of hiking up from Stevens.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Type E
Member
Member


Joined: 19 Aug 2006
Posts: 1356 | TRs

Type E
  Top

Member
PostFri Oct 09, 2020 8:01 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I still remember being bogged down in that swamp Wondering if I would be able to cross the Icicle if i could ever get to it . Nice trip, Glad you had nice weather . I have not been so fortunate on my few trips to Chain Lakes

--------------
Please follow me at: http://alpinelakesaficionado.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Alpine Pedestrian
Member
Member


Joined: 24 May 2007
Posts: 174 | TRs
Location: Stevens Pass
Alpine Pedestrian
  Top

Member
PostFri Oct 09, 2020 8:22 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I always like your trip reports because of the wonderful photos.  These are fabulous.  Your first register shot on Lemool under Fay Pullen's name is CC's and my sign-in on September 1, 2006.  We did a similar trip but took 6 days going on to Augusta Lake and coming out on the Hatchery Creek trail.  We skipped Doughgob.  That Mill Creek Road was a bad memory and is even worse now.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
kitya
Fortune Cookie



Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 622 | TRs
Location: Duvall, WA
kitya
  Top

Fortune Cookie
PostFri Oct 09, 2020 8:43 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Sculpin wrote:
You started at Mill Creek and came out the Icicle?  huh.gif  That is a long car shuttle.

Yep, car shuttle works only if you have someone who wants to be/come from Leavenworth anyway and give you a ride out!

rbuzby wrote:
You can park less than a half mile from a connector trail that goes from the road to the PCT. Instead of hiking or 4 wheeling the road all the way to where it crosses the PCT. Cuts off at least 2 miles of hiking up from Stevens.

I was not aware of the connector trail! I must have not noticed it and walked past it. But every road without cars is kind of just a wide trail anyway, so walking the road was not too horrible really.

Type E wrote:
I still remember being bogged down in that swamp Wondering if I would be able to cross the Icicle if i could ever get to it . Nice trip, Glad you had nice weather . I have not been so fortunate on my few trips to Chain Lakes

That swamp is horrendous. Next time I better use the new trail, if I cannot find the old trail, but going through that swamp is not worth it. Glad we both made it through! I was also not sure if I even could.

Alpine Pedestrian wrote:
We did a similar trip but took 6 days going on to Augusta Lake and coming out on the Hatchery Creek trail.  We skipped Doughgob.  That Mill Creek Road was a bad memory and is even worse now.

6 days sounds so fantastic! I have never been on a backpacking trip longer than one night in my life. It must be hard to carry everything for 6 days! Wow!
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
fyodorova
Member
Member


Joined: 29 Apr 2012
Posts: 85 | TRs

fyodorova
  Top

Member
PostFri Oct 09, 2020 9:19 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Nice! We spent 2 nights at Chain Lakes in July. I thought it would be a beautiful place for fall colors and your photos prove it.

We started hiking at Stevens Pass. This adds another up and down but probably not much more time than driving the Mill Creek road.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
kitya
Fortune Cookie



Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 622 | TRs
Location: Duvall, WA
kitya
  Top

Fortune Cookie
PostFri Oct 09, 2020 9:31 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
fyodorova wrote:
Nice! We spent 2 nights at Chain Lakes in July. I thought it would be a beautiful place for fall colors and your photos prove it.

We started hiking at Stevens Pass. This adds another up and down but probably not much more time than driving the Mill Creek road.

Going from Stevens Pass you pass a couple more lakes too, right? Are they pretty?

Mill creek road is not a fast drive indeed. Probably walking it faster than driving anyway smile.gif

The fall colors are not as fancy as some other places, because there are no larches, but I still liked the fall colors a lot! I could see some larches in the distance from SNowgrass only.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
fyodorova
Member
Member


Joined: 29 Apr 2012
Posts: 85 | TRs

fyodorova
  Top

Member
PostFri Oct 09, 2020 10:06 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
kitya wrote:
Going from Stevens Pass you pass a couple more lakes too, right? Are they pretty?

No lakes before Susan Jane. You go up a slope to a ski station kind of thing with a decent view south, then down an open slope that eventually meets the road. It's a real grunt back up that slope on a hot afternoon.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
triad
Member
Member


Joined: 20 Jun 2020
Posts: 28 | TRs

triad
  Top

Member
PostFri Oct 09, 2020 11:27 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Great photos! I love those types of high flat ridgelines, one of my favorite types of terrain to ramble around on

kitya wrote:
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Cyclopath
Faster than light



Joined: 20 Mar 2012
Posts: 4598 | TRs
Location: Seattle
Cyclopath
  Top

Faster than light
PostFri Oct 09, 2020 12:59 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Beautiful fall color, and mountains too!  It must have been a spectacular trip.  Cookie looks happy.

I'm amazed how reliably you run into little creatures on your adventures.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
kitya
Fortune Cookie



Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 622 | TRs
Location: Duvall, WA
kitya
  Top

Fortune Cookie
PostFri Oct 09, 2020 1:28 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Cyclopath wrote:
I'm amazed how reliably you run into little creatures on your adventures.

Yes, pikas and marmots and other squirrels are everywhere in the mountains! But they will be hiding under the snow when winter comes and I'll miss them until next summer.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Alpine Pedestrian
Member
Member


Joined: 24 May 2007
Posts: 174 | TRs
Location: Stevens Pass
Alpine Pedestrian
  Top

Member
PostFri Oct 09, 2020 2:16 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
kitya wrote:
It must be hard to carry everything for 6 days!

My pack doesn't weigh more than 22 pounds for the longer trips.  What are you carrying?  The basic approach to a lighter pack is (1) less stuff, (2) lighter stuff, and (3) multiple purpose stuff.  There are websites you can immerse yourself in to get ideas on "how to not pack your fears."  If you seriously want to try to lighten your pack, try an idea or two on your day hikes.  Just remember not to go "stupid light."
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
kitya
Fortune Cookie



Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 622 | TRs
Location: Duvall, WA
kitya
  Top

Fortune Cookie
PostFri Oct 09, 2020 3:17 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Alpine Pedestrian wrote:
My pack doesn't weigh more than 22 pounds for the longer trips.  What are you carrying?  The basic approach to a lighter pack is (1) less stuff, (2) lighter stuff, and (3) multiple purpose stuff.  There are websites you can immerse yourself in to get ideas on "how to not pack your fears."  If you seriously want to try to lighten your pack, try an idea or two on your day hikes.  Just remember not to go "stupid light."

I don't know actually! I don't have a weight scale large enough to weigh my backpack, but it feels heavy. Just my photo camera is already like 4 lbs I think. I also carry a two person tent (it is a small one, but for me and Cookie to fit in), sleeping pad, sleeping bag, gas, jetboil, food, dog food and cookies, medical kit, another small blanket for Cookie to sleep, knife, sunscreen, extra layers of clothes, dry bag, poop bags for Cookie, two headlamps, notebook, pencil, phone, gps, extra batteries, powebank and cables, epi pen, 3 liters of water for me, 1 liter for Cookie in a separate container, water filter, poles, hats, two sets of gloves, three sets of socks, gaiters and whatever else is in there, I don't even remember. I suspect it weights a lot more than 22 lbs.

I don't think I carry a lot because of fear, but I volunteer in SAR and we are always trained to carry a lot, like really a lot.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
  Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Trip Reports > Lemool, Bulls Tooth, Doughgob, Frosty, and Snowgrass failure - 6-7 oct 2020
  Happy Birthday uproar!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy