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Tom
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Joined: 15 Dec 2001
Posts: 16811 | TRs | Pics
Tom
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PostWed Sep 01, 2021 12:04 am 
It had been 15 years since I visited Crater (and Chaval) Lake and I was looking forward to 3 days to savor this area again.  I was surprised to find 12 vehicles parked at the end of the Tenas Creek road.  The last 2 miles are a tad overgrown, but nothing that won't buff out.  I parked in one of the last spots on the side of the road, leaving the trailhead around 11 AM and making it to Boulder Lake a little after 1:30.

Parking lot full
Parking lot full
Falls
Falls
Fireweed
Fireweed
Tarn below Boulder
Tarn below Boulder
Arriving at Boulder
Arriving at Boulder
Boulder Lake
Boulder Lake

Took a couple panos and then enjoyed a sandwich at the far side of the lake before heading up to Pear.  I crested the ridge above Toketie a little after 3:30 and scrambled the back side of Hurricane Peak, eventually gaining the knife edge ridge in the direction of Crater.

Boulder Pano
Boulder Pano
Boulder Pano from Lunch Spot
Boulder Pano from Lunch Spot
Arriving at Pear
Arriving at Pear
Ascending from Pear
Ascending from Pear
Tarn on ascent to Ridge
Tarn on ascent to Ridge
Looking back to Boulder
Looking back to Boulder
Toketie and Buckindy
Toketie and Buckindy
Hurricane to Glacier
Hurricane to Glacier
Approaching Kawkawak
Approaching Kawkawak
Traversing above Kawkawak
Traversing above Kawkawak
Dome to Glacier from above Kawkawak
Dome to Glacier from above Kawkawak
Chaval and Crater
Chaval and Crater
Knife Edge Ridge
Knife Edge Ridge
Ridge walk
Ridge walk
Kawkawak and Toketie from Ridge
Kawkawak and Toketie from Ridge

I noticed I had cell coverage on the ridge so called my wife to let her know all was well, and I was thinking about adding an extra day to take my time and not rush things.  She asked if I had checked the forecast, and mentioned the weather was turning.  The forecast now showed it clouding up on my third day, but the next day was mostly sunny so wasn't too worried. Instead of leaving the ridge at the high point and descending towards Crater, I decided to continue running the ridge then drop down to the small lake above Crater.  I was rewarded with some beautiful light as the sun set while heading down to camp.

Looking Back to Toketie and Kawkawak
Looking Back to Toketie and Kawkawak
Buckindy to Dome
Buckindy to Dome
Looking Back to Toketie from Ridge
Looking Back to Toketie from Ridge
Occasionally dropping off to east side of ridge
Occasionally dropping off to east side of ridge
Ridge to 6078' and beyond
Ridge to 6078' and beyond
Approaching 6078'
Approaching 6078'
From whence I came
From whence I came
Ridge from 6078'
Ridge from 6078'
Shadows falling
Shadows falling
Glacier to Sloan
Glacier to Sloan
Snowqueen to Buckindy
Snowqueen to Buckindy
First Views of Crater and Upper Tarn
First Views of Crater and Upper Tarn
Buckindy
Buckindy
Snowqueen
Snowqueen
Glacier Peak
Glacier Peak
Sunburst
Sunburst
Sunset
Sunset
Three Fingers and Whitehorse
Three Fingers and Whitehorse
Crater Lake and Upper Tarn
Crater Lake and Upper Tarn
Descending to Upper Tarn
Descending to Upper Tarn
Looking back to 6078'
Looking back to 6078'
Arriving at Upper Tarn
Arriving at Upper Tarn

The next morning I wasn't sure of the best way to get down to Crater.  I scouted the gentler topo lines to the north but wasn't too excited by the brush, so opted for the talus on the south.  However, after scouting that option I couldn't find a reasonably safe way to get down to the talus, so backtracked and relented to battling the brush, which culminated in a vine maple belayed butt slide on wet slabs.  By the time I got down to the lake I was quite relieved to have made it, only to discover I had lost my sun hat somewhere along the way.  I wasn't about to go back up to find it.

Leaving Upper Tarn
Leaving Upper Tarn
Upper Basin
Upper Basin
Crater Lake and Island from Upper Basin
Crater Lake and Island from Upper Basin
Upper Tarn and 6078'
Upper Tarn and 6078'
Bon Voyage to Brushy Exit
Bon Voyage to Brushy Exit

After rafting over to the island I decided to cool off with a refreshing swim and set up camp, banking on the weather holding the next day to move camp up to Chaval.  Savored the island berries and spent the day fishing (which was consistent with prior experience, mostly 10-12" cutts, but occasionally surprised by a lunker).

Rafting to Island
Rafting to Island
Island Camp Tarn
Island Camp Tarn
East End of Island
East End of Island
Diving Rocks
Diving Rocks
Berries
Berries
Occasional Lunker (I let him go)
Occasional Lunker (I let him go)
My Shadow
My Shadow
Looking toward Inlet
Looking toward Inlet
Looking toward Outlet
Looking toward Outlet
Light fading
Light fading
Potato Soup and Combo Pizza
Potato Soup and Combo Pizza
Reflection in Island Camp Tarn
Reflection in Island Camp Tarn
Sunset from Island Camp
Sunset from Island Camp

Before heading to bed I opted for a forecast on my inreach mini which indicated cloudy and cooler for the next 2 days with some sun.  However, the next morning I awoke to thick fog and clouds.  After packing up and rafting over to the outlet I could feel light rain and the wind picking up, so decided to call it.  Got soaked to the bone by the wet brush on the way out and put on every layer I had to stay warm while navigating in windy and white out conditions to gain the ridge with assist from the GPS.  While I was somewhat disappointed to be cutting things short, my waterlogged boots reminded me every step of the way back that I had made the right call, and I gained an appreciation for how Hurricane Peak might have gotten its name.

Morning views
Morning views
Kawkawak in clouds
Kawkawak in clouds
Back side of Hurricane Peak
Back side of Hurricane Peak
Boulder
Boulder
Looking back to break in ridge
Looking back to break in ridge
Descending to Pear
Descending to Pear
Only 1 other vehicle owner braving it
Only 1 other vehicle owner braving it

kite, ozzy, puzzlr, runup, raising3hikers, williswall, Dave Weyrick, Gil, Magellan, Schroder, JimK, Slim, GaliWalker, Nancyann, rubywrangler, pjhorst, Sculpin, flatsqwerl, zimmertr, RichP, half fast, reststep, neek, Chief Joseph  awilsondc, KascadeFlat
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Chief Joseph
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Chief Joseph
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PostWed Sep 01, 2021 1:22 am 
Looks like about as much fun as can be had going solo...and good on you for letting the lunker go, maybe I will catch him someday.

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Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Tom
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Tom
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PostWed Sep 01, 2021 1:59 am 
I switched to a single barbless hook as I wasn't planning on keeping or eating any, although I was tempted by the cedar plank someone left with the firewood pile at the island camp.  It's there waiting for you as well if you catch him. wink.gif

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RichP
here and there



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RichP
here and there
PostWed Sep 01, 2021 6:42 am 
Looks lovely, Tom. Glad it worked out for you. It wouldn't be a good Cascades trip without some rain and low clouds.  wink.gif

Chief Joseph
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Sculpin
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Sculpin
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PostWed Sep 01, 2021 8:16 am 
For all the talk about disappearing glaciers and snow-free alpine, the snow on Kawkawak Lake still looks the same as it did 30 years ago.   huh.gif

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Between every two pines is a doorway to the new world. - John Muir

Magellan
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Bowregard
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Bowregard
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PostWed Sep 01, 2021 10:19 am 

I love this photo from the ridge.

It has the meadows, snow filled lake, and Glacier in the distance all well framed in the scene. And the photos leading up to it allow anyone to picture the route even if they have never been there before.

Thanks for sharing a great trip.

Tom
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Slim
This space for rent



Joined: 31 Aug 2004
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Slim
This space for rent
PostWed Sep 01, 2021 10:39 am 
Great report!

re:ridge walk - are there any sketchy spots on the traverse ?  Or is it pretty straightforward if you stay on-route ?

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"Our flapjacks sell like hotcakes"
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Tom
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Tom
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PostWed Sep 01, 2021 11:09 am 
Sculpin, it seems meltout for lakes this year isn't much different than normal due to the initial snowpack.  The glaciers seem to have been impacted more by this summer's heatwaves.  I'm guessing different factors at play, especially once snow melts and bare glacier is exposed as opposed to lake water warming up.  Also seems to have been a lot more avalanche activity this winter / spring to the extent Kawkawak is a collector.  Actually, a motivating factor to revisit Chaval Lake was ozzy's shot down from the peak which showed avalanche debris and I was curious to compare to 15 years ago.

Slim, the last time I went with BPJ he indicated the ridge felt exposed.  I thought to myself, really?  Didn't bother me in the least, I have at least 2' on each side of me.  It's funny how impressions change with age.  This year I had more pucker factor in spots, perhaps I didn't choose the best option, but would say it's no more than class 3 to the high point before heading down to Crater, and for the most part class 2.  Beyond the high point continuing on the ridge wasn't too bad, with options to drop down to get around something if you didn't like it, just a little more tedious.  I knew the ridge went the whole way as I remembered a TR from Guiran where he ran the ridge on an attempted high traverse to Snowking.

ozzy
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Tom
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Tom
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PostWed Sep 01, 2021 12:18 pm 
FWIW, here's a pic I found by Dayhike Mike.  This was from his attempt of Mt. Chaval with Edd in the fall, looking back to Crater and the ridge route from Hurricane for reference.


Chief Joseph
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Magellan
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome
PostWed Sep 01, 2021 12:26 pm 
Gorgeous photos from a fun sounding trip. I wonder if Kawkawak had ever fully melted out. Maybe 2015...

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Tom
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Tom
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PostWed Sep 01, 2021 1:08 pm 
Several years ago I went on a trip with Dayhike Mike, Swedish Hiker, and their new dog "Whippet".  We night hiked in to Boulder, with the plan to continue on to Crater the next day.  I noticed any time we got of trail the dog would start to whimper.  By the time we crested the ridge above Toketie the dog was having none of it so we bailed and headed down to Toketie.  Took a lot longer to drop down than it looks and personally I wasn't impressed.  I know Toketie means "pretty" in Chinook, but in my language it refers to "waste of time".  lol.gif  The next day we headed back up via Kawkawak.  I recall Kawkawak being close to snow free that year.

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Backpacker Joe
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Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob
PostWed Sep 01, 2021 4:02 pm 
Great trip and report.  Brings back wonderful memories.  Tom is being KIND!  I seemed ok running that ridge on the way in, but on the way out I was scared sh**less!  I was nearly paralyzed.  Never felt like that before or since.  Tom was very patient with me.  I appreciated it then, and now.  Thanks for posting Thomas.

--------------
"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

Abraham Lincoln

Tom
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Randy
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Randy
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PostWed Sep 01, 2021 5:17 pm 
Great looking terrain. Thanks for the TR.

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Chief Joseph
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Chief Joseph
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PostWed Sep 01, 2021 5:20 pm 
Tom wrote:
Took a lot longer to drop down than it looks and personally I wasn't impressed. I know Toketie means "pretty" in Chinook, but in my language it refers to "waste of time". lol.gif

I also noticed that Pear lake is pretty much a Pond...the forest gnome is always going on about Toketie as well, thanks for bursting that bubble without actually having to go there.. "Sometimes a Fantasy"...smile.gif


Backpacker Joe wrote:
I was scared sh**less! I was nearly paralyzed.

I had that feeling on Pugh last year past Stujack pass and crossing the saddle. My friend who had been up there twice said, "Come on!"....I was like F' that, but of course followed shortly after. If I do Pugh again it's trail runners for me, not heavy, cumbersome boots.

--------------
Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Tom
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Tom
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PostWed Sep 01, 2021 5:36 pm 
I know Gnomie seems to have a soft spot for Toketie.  Seems to me if you're going to put in the effort to crest the ridge from Pear, no sense to drop ~1000' of elevation.  Kind of like filling up on salad at the buffet when there's prime rib, lobster, and kind crab legs.

Chief Joseph
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