Forum Index > Trip Reports > Beating the heat in the Pasayten.  Wolframite - Apex- Amphitheater - Cathedral - Remmel
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rocknclimb
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PostSat Jul 30, 2022 2:14 pm 
Alpenglow on Amphitheater
Alpenglow on Amphitheater

This trip has been on my radar for a few years now, but other areas always seemed to have taken priority.  Now I wonder why as the Pasayten has never ceased to surprise me!  The trip was planned for the end of July hoping to beat out fire / smoke season, but early enough the bugs wouldn't be a terror.  Seems we would beat the fire season, but early reports from the area stated the bugs were already bad.  Furthermore, the area was under a heat advisory w/ temps in Winthrop > 100į. devilsmile.gif
Dad & I drove up Sunday afternoon in no hurry stopping at OSB for a couple beers and hoping to pick up dinner for the night.  Unfortunately their kitchen was closed, so we picked up a whole fried chicken from Hank's for later.  Made a stop at the Thirtymile fire memorial on our way as we had always wanted to see it angel.gif. Hit the trail around 5:30 Sunday at a leisurely pace.
Thirtymile TH
Thirtymile TH

The trail was in great shape up to our camp above Pocket Lake making for cruiser miles.  However, the mozzies had come out in full force.  Thankfully we purchased a $20 camp net off Amazon right before the trip.  This made our camps significantly more comfortable as we didn't have to stay in the tent to avoid the bugs.  The fried chicken that evening was AMAZING!  chicken.gif   Our plan ahead was to have early starts and get to camp before the the heat of the day.  This meant for short days & a longer trip, but seemed to have worked well for us.  On trail around 7:00 Monday headed for Tungsten Mine camp.  This is where we received our 1st warning about the Chewuch Trail above.  Young couple had just come down and said it was "absolutely awful" and "Don't try it".  We kinda blew it off and worked our way up the Tungsten trail.
The Tungsten mine area is really neat.  Tons of old remnants, bunk house, cookhouse, collapsed mine shafts.

Tungsten remnants w/ Saddle & Apex in the back
Tungsten remnants w/ Saddle & Apex in the back
Collapsed mine
Collapsed mine
Cookhouse
Cookhouse
Tungsten bunk house
Tungsten bunk house

Couldn't find the water source at the mine confused.gif So we continued west on the Boundary trail before finding a couple gents that were breaking camp.  Luckily enough we were looking for a camp and they happily offered it up.  This was also our 2nd warning of the Chewuch trail.  Wilderness rangers expressed to them the trail is impassable.  The 2 gents were hoping to make a loop but decided against it and returned via Tungsten.

Camp 2
Camp 2
Bug protection for camp
Bug protection for camp
Meadows below camp
Meadows below camp

Had ideas of doing Wolframite that afternoon, but decided it would be better in the morning without afternoon sun.  Instead we chilled under the bug net while millions of mosquitos swarmed outside.

No bugs in here (Just dirty @#$ feet)!
No bugs in here (Just dirty @#$ feet)!
Apex
Apex

Wolframite was a quick walk up Tuesday morning.  Fun to see a good portion of our route ahead.

Wolframite summit
Wolframite summit
Wolframite pano
Wolframite pano
Route ahead of us
Route ahead of us
Pasayten Wilderness
Pasayten Wilderness
Heading back to camp
Heading back to camp

Next objective for the day was Apex across the valley.  After working our way to Apex pass we dropped the overnight packs & made a run for the summit.  Views to the western Pasayten and Cathedral were stunning. There was 2 registers on top, but neither had a pencil curse.gif

Cathedral and Ampitheater
Cathedral and Ampitheater
Apex pass
Apex pass
Dad working his way up Apex
Dad working his way up Apex
Apex mountain pano
Apex mountain pano
Remmel mountain and the Pasayten
Remmel mountain and the Pasayten
Two registers with zero pens
Two registers with zero pens
Looking towards Cathedral pass
Looking towards Cathedral pass

From Apex it was easy mileage over to Cathedral pass.  The view of Cathedral is super cool from this vantage.

Cathedral pass getting close
Cathedral pass getting close
Cathedral Peak
Cathedral Peak

Setup camp at a nice tarn above Cathedral Lake and chilled under the camp net.

Cathedral pass
Cathedral pass
Camp life
Camp life
Cathedral Lake
Cathedral Lake
Amphitheater mountain from camp
Amphitheater mountain from camp
Cathedral and Amphitheater
Cathedral and Amphitheater

The views from camp were stunning, but nothing prepped me for the sunset ahead.  What a flipping place to be!

Sunset
Sunset
Sunset over Sheep Mountain
Sunset over Sheep Mountain
Amphitheater sunset
Amphitheater sunset
Sunset at camp
Sunset at camp
Damn!
Damn!

Wednesday was a low mileage day.  1st objective was Amphitheater.  Took the trail around the massive west ridge and worked easy slopes to the summit from there.  Spectacular high alpine Meadows and tundra all around.  Took a couple hours from camp at a slow pace.  We received great info about the Chewuch Trail from a group of 3 on our return to camp.  They informed us the worse only lasted 2 miles, but to be prepared to suffer a bit.  We decided we would push through the loop instead of returning after seeing them.
Amphitheater Meadows
Amphitheater Meadows
Dad heading up Amphitheater
Dad heading up Amphitheater
Remmel et al
Remmel et al
Amphitheater basin with Remmel in the back
Amphitheater basin with Remmel in the back
Amphitheater summit ahead
Amphitheater summit ahead
Dad on top of Amphitheater
Dad on top of Amphitheater
Amphitheater pano
Amphitheater pano
Cathedral from Amphitheater
Cathedral from Amphitheater
Pasayten Wilderness
Pasayten Wilderness
Summit views
Summit views
Peaks upon peaks
Peaks upon peaks
Amphitheater pano
Amphitheater pano
Nice spot for a break
Nice spot for a break
Filtered water every chance we had
Filtered water every chance we had

After a short rest we headed up Cathedral.  What a fun scramble!  The 1st Chasm is dry now and can be easily scrambled on a ledge to the left.  From there easy slabs lead to the chasm jump.  Look for the chokstone to the right.  A big step and stemming lead to the summit.  Register on top w/ no pencil or paper this time rolleyes.gif

Chasm jump
Chasm jump
Dad working his way up Cathedral
Dad working his way up Cathedral
Looking down at camp
Looking down at camp
First Chasm crossing. Exit is the ledge on the left side.
First Chasm crossing. Exit is the ledge on the left side.
Dad at the jump
Dad at the jump
Cathedral summit
Cathedral summit
Cathedral pano
Cathedral pano
Cathedral summit views
Cathedral summit views

Another beautiful sunset and spectacular star show was put on again! borank.gif

Sunset beginning from camp
Sunset beginning from camp
Amphitheater in sunset
Amphitheater in sunset
Golden hour
Golden hour
Spectacular
Spectacular
Sunsetting
Sunsetting
Amazing camp
Amazing camp
Alpenglow on Amphitheater
Alpenglow on Amphitheater
Sunset over Sheep Mtn
Sunset over Sheep Mtn

Thursday proved to be a long @#$ day through a bunch of &@#$ terrain.  The miles started great under a sunny sky and smooth trail down the Boundary & Lesamis.

Heading for Remmel
Heading for Remmel
Dad and Remmel
Dad and Remmel

Our final Chewuch warning came from a guy who had just finished the blow down section.  His only advice was "DON'T".  We continued on....The first mile isn't too bad, and the 2nd mile wasn't "awful".  The next 2 miles to the junction w/ 4 point lake is ridiculous with tree fall. Glad to have GPS in this section.

Beginning of our hell
Beginning of our hell
Leaving camp
Leaving camp
Hiking through the burn
Hiking through the burn
Ugh
Ugh

Took a long break at the junction deciding if we had the energy still for Remmel.  Too much work had been done, so we crossed the Chewuch and headed up the 4 Point Lake trail.

Crossing the Chewuch
Crossing the Chewuch

The first mile is deceiving.  A tree here and there, but nothing too bad.  The 2nd mile is nothing but a wall of trees everywhere you look.  It was exhausting and frustrating to fight through it.  Many F bombs were spewed.

Tree fall
Tree fall
Fighting through
Fighting through
"trail"
"trail"
@#$&
@#$&
Finding ways through
Finding ways through
No good way
No good way
Easier section
Easier section
Over and under
Over and under

After setting up camp and a short rest we headed for the summit of Remmel.  There is a climbers path from the lake, but it took us forever in the heat not to mention exhausted from fighting downfall for hours.  Kudos to my dad for suffering through everything Thursday on his....BIRTHDAY! balloons.gif  best.gif

Camp at 4 Point Lake
Camp at 4 Point Lake
Heading up Remmel
Heading up Remmel
Summit views
Summit views
Remmel summit
Remmel summit
Signing the register
Signing the register
4 Point Lk
4 Point Lk
yours truly
yours truly

Awoke Friday morning to missing trekking poles.  Found them 20-60 feet away from camp with the handles chewed up. We headed out of camp early knowing we had about 15 miles to the TH. The first mile down the trail was bad as expected, but after that it was cruiser down to the Chewuch.

@#$& that trail
@#$& that trail

From there it was just a long hot walk back to the Honda and more cold beers in Winthrop hink.gif  drink.gif
65 miles w/ 13,500' gained.
Another great time in the mountains!!!

--------------
When asked "Why do you climb"?  Simply respond "Why don't you"?

Nancyann, jaysway, reststep, ozzy, Bernardo, RichP, Tom, Mesahchie Mark, Gimpilator, runup, neek, RichardJ, HitTheTrail, Get Out and Go, jstern, fffej50  ngie
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Fletcher
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PostSat Jul 30, 2022 3:12 pm 
Great tour of a great area! But you orphaned The Pope!

mtn.climber
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rocknclimb
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PostSat Jul 30, 2022 3:18 pm 
Fletcher wrote:
But you orphaned The Pope!

Killing me bawl.gif  moon.gif   Was on the list the day we did Cathedral / Amphitheater.  Didn't know how far over the pass we needed to drop.  Just lost energy in the heat.

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When asked "Why do you climb"?  Simply respond "Why don't you"?
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Fletcher
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PostSat Jul 30, 2022 3:51 pm 
rocknclimb wrote:
Fletcher wrote:
But you orphaned The Pope!

Killing me bawl.gif  moon.gif   Was on the list the day we did Cathedral / Amphitheater.  Didn't know how far over the pass we needed to drop.  Just lost energy in the heat.

Thatís ok, do you remember when we orphaned Dot like 6 years ago?? Iím finally planning a return trip in the coming weeks to finally claim her.

rocknclimb
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HitTheTrail
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PostSun Jul 31, 2022 6:50 am 
Sounds like a father/son hike that will leave lasting memories. wink.gif

runup
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mtn.climber
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PostSun Jul 31, 2022 9:56 am 
Yes...a great trip with my son,  and a birthday hike that will stay burnt in my memory for awhile.

Derek pretty much covered the trip.  I'll just add a few pictures from my view.


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Reach for the sky, cuz tomorrow may never come.

Live the life of love.  Love the life you live.

ozzy, Tom
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ngie
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PostSun Jul 31, 2022 8:02 pm 
Wow.. that chasm jump looks dicey (almost like something out of an Indiana Jones film). I'm definitely going to find someone else to belay/lower that section with...

Re: Chewuch Trail: now I understand why some folks on my Strava went straight from Remmel to Amphitheater via a high traverse; that burn zone looks as bad as West Buttermilk was last year.

Happy birthday mtn.climber and congrats for both of you making such an awesome trek through that area! Three cheers!

mtn.climber
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mtn.climber
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PostSun Jul 31, 2022 9:05 pm 
ngie wrote:
Wow.. that chasm jump looks dicey (almost like something out of an Indiana Jones film). I'm definitely going to find someone else to belay/lower that section with...

Re: Chewuch Trail: now I understand why some folks on my Strava went straight from Remmel to Amphitheater via a high traverse; that burn zone looks as bad as West Buttermilk was last year.

Happy birthday mtn.climber and congrats for both of you making such an awesome trek through that area! Three cheers!

Ngie...Going up, I used the chockstone and easily mantled my way up.  On the descent, it's an easy downhill jumb back across.  I think anyone with longish legs can do it without jumping.

I also had the high route to Remmel on my Gaia.  But at that point, the Chewuch wasn't the nightmare it was soon going to become (going down from Cathedral).  And we only had a vague idea of how bad the Four Point lake trail was....but it was much worse than we thought.

Thanks for the bday wish.

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Reach for the sky, cuz tomorrow may never come.

Live the life of love.  Love the life you live.
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Flower Sniffer
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PostThu Aug 04, 2022 11:09 am 
Great report!  Last time we were up there we had 8 days of rain and snow, and one day (the last day) of sun!  How did you like that bug net?

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If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.
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mtn.climber
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PostThu Aug 04, 2022 12:46 pm 
Flower Sniffer wrote:
How did you like that bug net?

The best $20 I ever spent.  Allowed us out of the tent to relax/eat.  Not the easiest thing to set up, but I practiced at home, and got better at it each day of the trip.

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Reach for the sky, cuz tomorrow may never come.

Live the life of love.  Love the life you live.
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Flower Sniffer
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PostThu Aug 04, 2022 3:34 pm 
Thatís awesome!  There is a great appeal to the idea of eating dinner without a having to wear a head net!  😁

Iím going to order one!  Thanks for the great idea!

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If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.
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tforker
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PostThu Aug 04, 2022 5:57 pm 
mtn.climber wrote:
had the high route to Remmel on my Gaia.† But at that point, the Chewuch wasn't the nightmare it was soon going to become (going down from Cathedral).

Do you happen to have a gpx for the high traverse?  I'm planning on hiking these peaks next week and would love to bypass that downfall at least one time.

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mtn.climber
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PostThu Aug 04, 2022 6:45 pm 
tforker wrote:
Do you happen to have a gpx for the high traverse?† I'm planning on hiking these peaks next week and would love to bypass that downfall at least one time.


I don't have the gpx file.  But here's a screen shot from my Gaia.
Nick R. has the track posted on peakbaggers site.  Type in Remmel, then look for his report from 7/23 of this year.  You can download his track to your device.

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Reach for the sky, cuz tomorrow may never come.

Live the life of love.  Love the life you live.
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