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benneke
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benneke
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PostFri Jul 29, 2022 11:41 am 
I am interested in hiking the high route between Cedar Lake and Upper Cameron in the Olympics next week and am looking for some advice. Huge thanks to those who have posted detailed trip reports for the route, they are very helpful.

For the section in the map posted below, do people recommend going the higher route (red line) or staying low (blue line)? Is there a particular direction that would work better for this route? Should I bring crampons or spikes? I will definitely bring an ice axe just to be safe.


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brewermd
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PostSat Jul 30, 2022 10:35 am 
I hiked out of the Grand Loop yesterday.  On my last hump back up to Deer Park I met three older men going in to do that exact route (I did up and over Grey Wolf then out through the basin to Three Forks).  I had heard of that route so I asked about it.  They have done it multiple times before and said there was no real scrambling involved and where not carrying axes.  When I was up on Cameron 2 days ago the snow conditions did not require gear, most has melted out.

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RodF
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PostSun Jul 31, 2022 12:09 am 
Boomheist and I chose your low route (blue line), except near its west end where we intercepted your high route (red line).  Trip report with map is here.  The eastern part of your low (blue) route is an easy sidehill traverse through meadows.  The higher (red) shortcut over the ridge at the west end is easy to locate going west, and more difficult to locate going east, and is an easy and scenic alpine route which saves losing elevation and dropping down into forest.  We followed advise from Eric Thorson who'd posted a brief outline of the route here, and told us about this shortcut.

Your high (red) route would be pretty interesting, but involves additional 900' elevation gain and loss compared to the easier low (blue) meadow traverse at 5400 to 5500' all the way.  Likely more scenic, though!  If you have good weather, daylight and energy, go for it!

Ice axe is not needed.  Crampons or spikes might be helpful traversing the steep snowfield above the south bank of tarn 6370 (it is just east of Cameron Basin, just east of the ridge joining Mt. Cameron and Head Cameron).  I don't know how much of this snowfield remains this year, but it may be easier to climb higher above the tarn and traverse it on crampons, than to posthole through it's lower part in between boulders or risk slipping off it into the tarn.  Crampons may offer you more options, and safety.

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"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir
"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva

meck
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Tomlike
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PostMon Aug 01, 2022 11:21 am 
RodF knows the way!  my suggestion after doing this route is also to stay low and follow the game trails.  This picture is from the ridge W of Cedar Lake.  If you zoom in on the talus slopes below the cliff bands in the middle there are visible game trails that we followed around the corner. You'll then need to gain some elevation to be able to drop over the next ridge to the moraine.  Fun route!


RodF, mosey
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benneke
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benneke
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PostMon Aug 01, 2022 1:13 pm 
Thanks for the info! I will probably take the lower route to keep it simple. It seems like going westbound would be easier, as the crux looks like the ascent of the steep moraine below tarn 6370.

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Luc
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Luc
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PostTue Aug 02, 2022 5:45 pm 
+1 on the lower route. I hadn't even considered the higher route when I did this a few years back.

Good luck!

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benneke
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benneke
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PostThu Aug 11, 2022 12:05 pm 
Thanks everyone for all the helpful info! My partner ended up having a problem and we weren't able to attempt the route this year but I hope to get a chance to do it another time

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