Forum Index > Trip Reports > Eastern Pasayten Loop - July 14-17, 2022
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babylero
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babylero
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PostThu Jul 21, 2022 10:32 am 

I had been planning this trip for some time. My goal was to climb some T100 peaks and see the Alpine Tundra. The trip lived up to my expections.

Day 1: Four Point Lake and Remmel Mountain

After a long drive, I started at 10:40AM from Cathedral Driveway TH. It was already hot, in the upper 80s. Almost immediately two F-18s flew overhead, for that Wilderness Experience.

The first downhill section towards the Chewuch River had some large blowdowns to maneuver over, and two rangers were working on sawing out some of the biggest logs. I met a couple completing the end of a slightly different loop that covered the boundary trail and they told me a few horror stories about blowdowns and mosquitos ahead, so I took note of what to expect.

The section from the Chewuch to the Tungsten was in great shape, with abundant water. A few mild water crossings along the way, which I just walked through in my trail runners. I meet a group of about 10 youth backpackers eating lunch stated they were going to Robinson CreekÖ long way.

There were some mild blow downs between the Tungsten and the junction for the trail to Four Point Lake. That is where things got interesting. The crossing of the Chewuch was fine, about knee high, however once I got higher up towards Four Point Lake I encountered one of the largest blow down areas Iíve encountered. I ended up walking on logs above the ground for a good section to get through this area. Definitely some Type II fun.


There are some nice campsite at 4PL, and after some dinner I headed up towards Remmel. There is essentially a trail all the way and the turn off was marked with cairns. Lots of streams in the lower basin, but nothing crazy. I punched into a minor snow bridge over a small stream. There was one section of steep snow left across the trail but it could be by passed climbers right with moderate scrambling. It is likely gone by now if not very soon. You can probably get on the summit without using your hands if you wanted to. After a nice sunset I headed back to camp.


Day 2: Four Point Lake to Cathedral Pass

Even though I was only planning on 10 miles, this day ended up being more slow-going than expected. Getting up to the saddle above 4PL was easy but getting down to the Chewuch was an adventure. First there was a steep rock descent followed by more brush and minor bushwhacking than I expected and then a ton of deadfall in the final few hundred feet above the river. Again the river crossing was trivial, but I from here there was consistent deadfall until I got closer to Amphitheater. Here some of the best scenery of the trip began. The basin and meadows west of Amphitheater were just outstanding. From here I traveled cross country up to the summit of Amphitheater which presented no difficulties.


From there rather than descend to the basin and go around and up to Cathedral Lake, I decided to go over to the gully that drops down towards Cathedral Pass. There were some steeper snow in the gully but most of it was passable on loose sand and scree. At the bottom I was able to plunge step in very soft snow with good runout. I set up my tent away from Upper Mosquito Lake and took a run up to cathedral. I turned right at the prominent notch following cairns. I would argue there were at least two class 4 moves required to get up to the chasm area, but perhaps there were some alternate paths I did not see.

I found the chasm partially, but not completely, melted out, and decided not to attempt to cross the first gap because there wasnít a way down to the snow I felt comfortable soloing alone, it was either an exposed down sloping wet slab above a cliff or low class 5 or class 4 down climb to the snow. If I had brought a rope it would be a very short rap. There may have been a better way into the chasm, but I couldn't find it. As a tall person with long legs I was looking forward to seeing if I could simply step across the second chasm crossing. The views were still great from the false summit area so I headed back to camp after photos.


Day 3: Cathedral Pass to Horseshoe Basin

I started off at about 8:40 with an aim of hiking about 20 miles to get to Loudon Lake. Thankfully this part of the trail was in amazing shape. There were zero blow downs as I made my way towards Tungsten Mine, and took in the amazing views of Cathedral and Amphitheater from Apex pass. Tungsten mine was quite cool, and here I encountered two people, both wearing mountaineering boots and only one with a backpack (a very large one at that). After Tungsten, I made way towards Teapot Dome and east of here I encountered the worst blowdowns of the trip. I rather large section that has taken out the entire trail west of Loudon Lake and Rock Mountain. After some harsh language, I set my tent up east of the Loudon mosquito farm. After a nap, I headed up Armstrong to visit Canada and take in views of HSB. That night some fog and low clouds rolled in, illuminated by the large moon.


Day 4: Windy Peak and Exit

I started early, on the move by 6AM, and started out in the fog. At Horseshoe Pass I saw three horses in the fog illuminated by the rising in sun. Almost liked a staged sceneÖ Sunny pass was quite foggy, and I made way through the eerie burn area north of Windy Peak, thankful the first cool temps of the trip occurred on a long climb. Got on the Summit of Windy around 10 and the clouds started to burn off revealing some nice views of the burn and slopes. I made quick time down the Windy Creek trail and got back to the TH by noon. Nearly zero blowdowns on whole day made for a nice change and easy hike. There were some muddy sections, but nothing crazy.


brewermd, neek, Slim, YoDutch, LukeHelgeson, reststep, mtn.climber, Nancyann, ozzy, Walkin' Fool, rubywrangler, jstern  KascadeFlat
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mtn.climber
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PostThu Jul 21, 2022 9:53 pm 
Heading that way this coming week.  How bad was the bug situation?

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babylero
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PostTue Jul 26, 2022 10:09 am 
Bug headnet mandatory.

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neek
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neek
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PostFri Jul 29, 2022 10:34 am 
babylero wrote:
I found the chasm partially, but not completely, melted out, and decided not to attempt to cross the first gap because there wasnít a way down to the snow I felt comfortable soloing alone, it was either an exposed down sloping wet slab above a cliff or low class 5 or class 4 down climb to the snow. If I had brought a rope it would be a very short rap. There may have been a better way into the chasm, but I couldn't find it. As a tall person with long legs I was looking forward to seeing if I could simply step across the second chasm crossing. The views were still great from the false summit area so I headed back to camp after photos.

Hmm, this is my conundrum.  Would like to solo this area, but have heard varying reports on the crux, and am not sure I'd be comfortable with it.  Sounds like either more snow or less snow would have made things better for you?

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mtn.climber
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PostFri Jul 29, 2022 9:52 pm 
I just returned from Cathedral,  and others.  I found the chasm crossing easy.  I stepped down onto the chockstone and scrambled up the other side.  Lots of small finger/toe holds.  On the return, it's a very easy jump across.

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

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babylero
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babylero
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PostWed Aug 03, 2022 2:51 pm 
The second chasm crossing with the chockstone was not the challenge, it was the first crossing with snow.

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tforker
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PostFri Aug 05, 2022 12:28 pm 
Quote:
Getting up to the saddle above 4PL was easy but getting down to the Chewuch was an adventure. First there was a steep rock descent followed by more brush and minor bushwhacking than I expected and then a ton of deadfall in the final few hundred feet above the river.

Thanks for the nice trip report. Iím going in for the next week.

So did you go cross country - Iím assuming due north from 4PL and not back east down the trail to the Chewuck?  If so - did you go to the saddle east or west of peak 7704?


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