Forum Index > Trip Reports > Pistol ~ Three Pinnacles ~ Lost ~ Johnny ~ Many Trails ~ 8/29-31/21
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Fletcher
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Fletcher
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PostWed Sep 01, 2021 1:29 pm 
Fred and I exercised some masochism in the Pasayten this week. The plan was to link up Pistol, Three Pinnacles, Lost, Johnny, Many Trails, Dot, Rolo and Wildcat as a traverse from Monument Creek TH to Slate Pass. We completed most of the trip but bit off a little bit more than we could chew for our three day itinerary.

On the drive out on Sunday morning, I saw a mountain goat in the tunnel on Highway 20 just past Newhalem and a badger on Harts Pass Road just after Dead Horse Point. I met Fred at Slate Pass where we left his car and drove back down to the Monument Creek TH. After a quick 4 mile flat hike along the Lost River, we crossed Eureka Creek, filled up on water, and began the long climb up the Monument Creek Trail until ~6600 feet. From there we followed Pistol Peaks' south ridge up to the south peak, and eventually the main summit at 7802'. We found a Fay register from 2009 that had not been signed until Eric E was up there 8 days before us! Crazy that it sat up there for 12 years without an entry.

Pistol
Pistol
Pistol Reg
Pistol Reg
the next leg of our journey
the next leg of our journey

Instead of dropping back down to the trail and Pistol Pass, we thought that we might be able to drop Pistol's NE ridge for a more efficient descent into the Monument Creek Valley. The ridge went at exposed class 3 with just a few 4th class moves. 600 feet below the summit, we hooked a hard left (west) and skirted below Pistol's impressive northern cliffs to the talus basin below. Bingo!

short class 4 down-climb descending Pistol
short class 4 down-climb descending Pistol
Fred making his way down the ridge
Fred making his way down the ridge
Choss below Pistol
Choss below Pistol

At 6000 feet, we entered brushy forest and descended directly north until we hit the creek draining from Lake of the Woods. We found short sections of trail down burned out forest until hitting Monument Creek at 4500 around 5pm. Here, we loaded up on 5 liters of water apiece and fueled up for the grueling 3300 ft climb up to our planned high bivy at the notch just north of Three Pinnacles.

looking back at the ridge we dropped
looking back at the ridge we dropped
first section of many through burned out forest
first section of many through burned out forest

The climb up to our bivy to finish off our first day was tough. We found a few decent spots to shack up with a little bit of rock gardening at dusk. Sleep came easy right after dinner and the night was dead calm.

tough climb to finish off the day
tough climb to finish off the day
Looking back to Pistol
Looking back to Pistol
Three Pinnacles from just above the bivy
Three Pinnacles from just above the bivy

Up early on Monday morning, we ran up Three Pinnacles first thing. We made sure to run over to the middle summit as well, as the USGS measured it as being only one foot shorter than the north peak. I was bummed out that we were unable to locate the 1981 Cliff Lawson register. We then cruised back to our bivy spot, packed up, and set out for Lost Peak.

sunrise
sunrise
dawn
dawn
Lake to Ptarmigan
Lake to Ptarmigan
Fred slogging Three Pinnacles
Fred slogging Three Pinnacles
traverse to Lost
traverse to Lost

Less than two hours later, we were on Lost Peak. It was fun to see my register entry from 7 years ago as well as the entries from many friends. We took another moderate break on this summit before descending to the uppermost Johnny Lake.

Johnny and Many Trails from Lost
Johnny and Many Trails from Lost
more chossy descending
more chossy descending
uppermost Johnny
uppermost Johnny

We refilled for another long section of travel, made the short climb up to Johnny's NE ridge, dropped our packs, and scrambled up Johnny. This peak was more involved than I thought with a lot of exposed class 3 and a few 4th class moves. Fun stuff!

Johnny's NE ridge
Johnny's NE ridge
Fred showing me the way
Fred showing me the way
Many Trails from Johnny
Many Trails from Johnny
Johnny Lakes
Johnny Lakes

Back at our packs, we promptly set out for Many Trails. The ridge between Pt 7556 and Pt 7650 is really complex. After failing to find a good way through here (although Fred had been before) we quickly made the decision to drop 400 feet off of the west side of the ridge to bypass this section as it was getting late in the day. The 600 foot climb to regain the ridge in the afternoon heat was brutal. Beyond this, the ridge run to the summit of Many Trails went by quickly.

a giant larch
a giant larch
afternoon sun
afternoon sun
looking NE
looking NE
summitshot
summitshot

We scored some cell coverage on Many Trails and saw that a cold front was moving in overnight. This bolstered my feeling that Dot was probably biting off more than we could chew. Reluctantly, we decided to bail on Dot, and make our way as far along toward Shellrock Pass as we could that evening. We descended back down Many Trail's south ridge a couple hundred feet, then dropped straight down westerly into the Ptarmigan Creek Valley.

dropping into Ptarmigan Creek
dropping into Ptarmigan Creek
looking back up the way we came
looking back up the way we came
Johnny
Johnny

The Ptarmigan Creek Trail is mostly gone, although we came across a remnant of it a time or two. The valley is mostly waist to chest high fireweed most of the way up to Butte Pass although a few section of brushy forest did survive the fire a few years ago. Headlamps came on before the climb up to Butte Pass. We finally called it a night at the tarn 800 feet below Shellrock Pass at 10:15. It had been a long and hard day.

hiking up the Ptarmigan Creek Valley at dusk
hiking up the Ptarmigan Creek Valley at dusk

I crawled out of the bivy around 2am to pee and was greeted with frigid winds and a slight dusting of snow. It snowed intermittently until we got up at 5:30. We were hiking up towards Shellrock Pass at 6:20 in near freezing temps. It was nice to hike through the Upper Eureka Creek Valley again as I am fond of the area having been in here twice during my Bulger Rounds. The weather seemed to be clearing as we made our way toward Lake Doris and I began to accept my fate that Fred was going to make me traverse high over Rolo and Wildcat on the way back to the car.

Pistol and Lake
Pistol and Lake
Three Pinnacles from near Shellrock Pass
Three Pinnacles from near Shellrock Pass
a socked in Osceola, Carru, and Lago
a socked in Osceola, Carru, and Lago
clearing above Eureka Creek and Robinson
clearing above Eureka Creek and Robinson

Upon arrival at the pass between Lake Doris and Freds Lake, the weather had deteriorated again and it was once again snowing. We agreed to save Rolo and Wildcat for another trip and hike out the trail. I was exhausted and relieved.

the snow returns
the snow returns

The remaining ~10 mile hike out up to Slate Pass was brutal, as it always is. We made quick work of the it, suffering all the way to Slate Pass by 3:30pm, about 8 hours after we left our bivies.

Fred at the middle fork crossing
Fred at the middle fork crossing
Rolo and Wildcat
Rolo and Wildcat
Devils and Robinson
Devils and Robinson
the last bit of suffering
the last bit of suffering
Slate Peak
Slate Peak

It felt good to once again be chewed up and spat out by my beloved Pasayten. I cant wait to do it again.  dizzy.gif

~44.6 miles
~19,400 ft of gain
~3 days
~174/200

bubblehead, Nancyann, geyer, Eric Gilbertson, BensonM, ozzy, RichP, Gimpilator
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Dansjolseth
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PostWed Sep 01, 2021 2:58 pm 
When Cliff Lawson and I made the FA on Three Pinnacles in 1981 Cliff mentioned we should try for Pistol as he thought it had not been climbed.  We returned late the fall of 1981 to climb Pistol and found we were not the first.

ozzy
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raising3hikers
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raising3hikers
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PostWed Sep 01, 2021 5:25 pm 
that's a lot of ground to cover over 3 days.  nice work up.gif  so cool you got pistol pks on the way in, that register needed some more action.  bummer about the original register on 3 pinnacles not there anymore.  looks like you got some more pasayten slogging in your future

--------------
Eric Eames
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Midnight Slogger
'Schwack Job



Joined: 04 Aug 2017
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Midnight Slogger
'Schwack Job
PostThu Sep 09, 2021 7:57 pm 
Incredible amount of territory you two covered here--super strong work!

raising3hikers wrote:
looks like you got some more pasayten slogging in your future

Sloggin' is just the name of the game when you're an Orphan Daddy...

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Fletcher
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Fletcher
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PostThu Sep 09, 2021 9:44 pm 
What’s happens to the orphan daddy when all of the orphans have found a home?

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iron
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iron
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PostThu Sep 09, 2021 10:12 pm 
Fletcher wrote:
What’s happens to the orphan daddy when all of the orphans have found a home?

they start looking to do quad highpoints like the oracle

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RichP
here and there



Joined: 13 Jul 2006
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RichP
here and there
PostFri Sep 10, 2021 10:53 am 
Bummer about the original register on Three Pinnacles if it's lost. It was in perfect shape in 2010. I notice from subsequent trip reports it was deteriorating.


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Dansjolseth
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Dansjolseth
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PostFri Sep 10, 2021 11:03 am 
Rich,

Since the photos I had from that trip were destroyed in a fire at Cliff Lawson's home (he was keeping for me and the burn happened before I got them) could you send me a jpg or pdf image for my photo library?

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RichP
here and there



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RichP
here and there
PostFri Sep 10, 2021 12:22 pm 
Sure, Dan.

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