Forum Index > Trip Reports > Trico area lakes - September 26-28, 2022
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ALW Hiker
lakebagger



Joined: 27 Jul 2021
Posts: 52 | TRs | Pics
Location: Redmond, WA
ALW Hiker
lakebagger
PostTue Oct 04, 2022 5:01 pm 
Another lakebagging adventure near Mount Daniel. This time a friend and I were on the east side in the Trico / Granite / Tuck and Robin area. We spent two nights camped above Robin Lakes. Day 1: TH to Robin Lakes We took the usual route from the Deception Pass TH to Tuck and Robin Lakes. The climb to Tuck and then Robin are not long, but they sure pack in the elevation! I enjoyed the section between Tuck and Robin a lot more - still steep, but a lot more interesting scrambling and climbing over rocks, vs. all the steep dirt and roots getting to Tuck. Plus, with the fall colors and increasing views, the scenery getting to Robin is a lot more interesting. Along the way, of course, we passed Hyas Lake, Tuck, Tuck's Pot, and the beautiful Robin Lakes. We found an excellent camp site in the broad ridge north of Robin Lakes.This was a dry camp, but only a 2 minute walk from the ridge top where we had great views to Daniel, Hinman, and Lynch.
Hyas Lake and Lynch Peak
Hyas Lake and Lynch Peak
Steep dirt up to Tuck
Steep dirt up to Tuck
Tuck
Tuck
Tuck's Pot
Tuck's Pot
Enjoying the colors up to Robin
Enjoying the colors up to Robin
Some views of Daniel
Some views of Daniel
Ascending the slabs
Ascending the slabs
Lonely larch
Lonely larch
Lower Robin
Lower Robin
Lower Robin
Lower Robin
Upper Robin and Granite
Upper Robin and Granite
A weasel we saw near camp
A weasel we saw near camp
Boulder Meadows Camp
Boulder Meadows Camp
Sunset over Lynch and Daniel
Sunset over Lynch and Daniel
Day 2: Lakes below Trico east face This was our hard day, though we had plenty of time to relax throughout, and got back to camp about 10 hours after we started. We visited all the off-trail lakes on the east side of Trico Mountain including Granite Mountain Potholes (the lower two lakes), Lake Phoebe, Lower Phoebe Lake, Jungfrau Lake, and Shoal Lake. I think Granite Mountain Potholes was my favorite, though Jungfrau Lake was also stunning with the fall foliage and dramatic cliffs to the west.
Sunrise over Granite
Sunrise over Granite
Sunrise looking toward Leland Creek
Sunrise looking toward Leland Creek
Daniel at sunrise
Daniel at sunrise
Getting to Granite Mountain Potholes we took a gully directly south of the middle lake. This went quickly, but it was pretty loose and we knocked a few rocks down. On the way back, we found the obvious trail up the gully between the lower and middle lakes. The cliffs and giant rock at the lower lake are impressive - great place to practice your cliff jumping!
The gully we took down to Granite Mountain Potholes
The gully we took down to Granite Mountain Potholes
Lower lake
Lower lake
Middle lake
Middle lake
To get down to the Lake Phoebe Basin we took the large rocky gully NW from the middle pothole. This went fine but was a long, tedious slog through some very big rocks. When we got further down we tried to stay more to the sides of the gully on some firmer rock and dirt, which worked fine. There was a decent sized snowfield about halfway down, but it was way to hard to risk walking on, not to mention the giant moat all around it. We went around Lake Phoebe on the east shore - this was probably the brushiest part of the entire day, but we made it to the outlet before too long and followed that to Lower Phoebe.
Portal to the great unknown
Portal to the great unknown
Descent gully to Phoebe
Descent gully to Phoebe
A few large rocks in here
A few large rocks in here
Lake Phoebe
Lake Phoebe
Lake Phoebe
Lake Phoebe
Unplanned geometric goodness
Unplanned geometric goodness
Phoebe from outlet, also you can see the descent gully and the alternate ridge/cliffs route
Phoebe from outlet, also you can see the descent gully and the alternate ridge/cliffs route
Lower Phoebe Lake
Lower Phoebe Lake
From there we made a beeline for Jungfrau Lake, through some nice meadows and along the base of some talus fields to the west. This was a nice route with minimal brush and some nice little streams and only a few rock fields to cross. Jungfrau was gorgeous with lots of fall color in the meadows and striking cliffs to the west. From Jungfrau, we followed a gully next to the outlet (not the outlet gully itself) past a horseshoe-shaped tarn and then on to muddy Shoal Lake. From here it was easy to get back to Lower Phoebe Lake, where there was also a very nice shallow but clear tarn in a large meadow.
Staying below rocks on the way to Jungfrau
Staying below rocks on the way to Jungfrau
Meadowy awesomeness
Meadowy awesomeness
More meadows with water
More meadows with water
Jungfrau Lake
Jungfrau Lake
Jungfrau
Jungfrau
Horseshoe tarn, looking sort of marshy
Horseshoe tarn, looking sort of marshy
Shoal Lake - full of mud
Shoal Lake - full of mud
Shoal Lake
Shoal Lake
Very nice unnamed tarn next to Lower Phoebe
Very nice unnamed tarn next to Lower Phoebe
Tarn outlet
Tarn outlet
Tarn meadows
Tarn meadows
On the way back up, we tried to stay up on the ridge above Lake Phoebe. This worked in places, but was also a bit brushy and with some steep sidehilling in parts. We went up the east side of the rock field next to Phoebe (we came down on the west). I hopped up to the saddle and peeked over to Leland Creek, where it looked like an easier gully would go back up to the Granite / French saddle. However, this was sort of out of our way, and would have bypassed Granite Mountain Potholes, where we wanted to stop for a swim.
Staying above Phoebe
Staying above Phoebe
Meadowy saddle SE of Phoebe
Meadowy saddle SE of Phoebe
Alternate gully option to the SE
Alternate gully option to the SE
Alternate gully and French Ridge
Alternate gully and French Ridge
My hiking partner went back up the gully route that we came down. I was about 50% sure that there should be a way up onto the ridge to the east of the gully, though it was very cliffy almost everywhere. I took a ramp that led into the cliffs at about the 5600' level, and eventually found a way up. There some scary exposure here and I wished I had my microspikes to help with the hard packed duff in places. The worst part was a sloping dihedral section with heather on one side and rock on the other, with hard duff down the middle. The only way I made it up was by hanging on to handfuls of heather on the right while wedging my shoes against the rock on the left, and using a fifth point of contact (my butt) on the right side as well. It's not something I would repeat without spikes, nor would I recommend coming down this way without a rope. There might be an easier way through but once I got up above this section it was all easy going, so I didn't spend time looking for other routes.
Me heading left up the big ramp
Me heading left up the big ramp
There must be a way through here, right?
There must be a way through here, right?
Looking back down the first tricky move at the ramp below - a bit exposed but not difficult
Looking back down the first tricky move at the ramp below - a bit exposed but not difficult
The scrary crux dihedral - steeper than it looks here
The scrary crux dihedral - steeper than it looks here
Looking back from the top
Looking back from the top
Smooth sailing from here
Smooth sailing from here
High alpine loveliness
High alpine loveliness
Lower Granite Mountain Pothole
Lower Granite Mountain Pothole
My partner and I met back up at Granite Mountain Potholes and I had a chilling but refreshing swim in the middle lake. The hike back to camp on the trail and past various tarns and over to views down to Robin Lake was quite pleasant.
Taking a well-earned cool off in the middle lake
Taking a well-earned cool off in the middle lake
It's colder than it looks!
It's colder than it looks!
Found the trail back to Robin
Found the trail back to Robin
The lower tarn on the ridge
The lower tarn on the ridge
Fall grasses
Fall grasses
Day 3: Robin Lakes to TH via Trico Mountain This was our exit day, but on the way we stopped off at the upper Granite Mountain Pothole, then the summits of Trico Mountain, and finally paid a visit to Trico Lake on our off-trail route west to the PCT near Deception Pass. The Trico summit is not technical at all, as there is a nice trail and the west side of the mountain is not steep. However, the trail gets right next to some pretty scary gullies and cliffs, so you need to pay attention! All the maps say the north summit is higher, but we though the south one was. In any case, the views are awesome from both summits. We saw all the lakes we had visited the day before, except for Jungfrau which is out of site around the NE ridge.
Upper Granite Mount Pothole
Upper Granite Mount Pothole
Sharp cliffs of Trico
Sharp cliffs of Trico
Looking down a gully to our Phoebe route - Lake Leland far below
Looking down a gully to our Phoebe route - Lake Leland far below
Another gully shot
Another gully shot
Trico southern summit
Trico southern summit
Looking to the Trico (north) summit
Looking to the Trico (north) summit
Phoebes and Leland below
Phoebes and Leland below
Glacier et al
Glacier et al
Heading to the Trico north summit
Heading to the Trico north summit
I really enjoyed the route down from Trico Mountain to Trico Lake. We first hit the saddle between Trico Lake and Tuck Lake, which was beautiful. We followed the obvious gully from here to the shores of Trico Lake. Unfortunately, we got cliffed out by a 20' wall right at the lake that prevented us from reaching the west side, so we had to climb back up some sketchy walls about 100' to go around on the west side. We could have also gone all the way around the east and north sides of the lake, but that probably would have been longer.
Heading down the Trico W ridge
Heading down the Trico W ridge
Tuck - Trico saddle
Tuck - Trico saddle
Obvious gully is obvious
Obvious gully is obvious
More giant rocks
More giant rocks
A nice gully with no water in it
A nice gully with no water in it
Trico Lake
Trico Lake
The 20' impasse on the west side
The 20' impasse on the west side
Climbing back up
Climbing back up
Trico
Trico
Getting to the PCT was fairly straightforward and the brush wasn't too intense - just some moderate huckleberries in parts. The main issue was navigating a few north-south cliff bands between 5300-5500'. There were some other steep areas and a few smaller cliffy bits that were easy to avoid. We went straight west rather than attempting to follow the Trico Creek drainage, as that looked very steep at the top.
The path we found through a large cliff band
The path we found through a large cliff band
Steep stuff
Steep stuff
Easier
Easier
Sliding my way down just above the PCT
Sliding my way down just above the PCT
Made it to Deception Pass
Made it to Deception Pass
All in all, an excellent trip! We had hoped to also visit Granite Mountain and French Potholes, but that will have to wait for next year. And maybe we'll even find the elusive route down to Klonaqua Lakes next time and make a loop out of it.
A smoky finish at Little Hyas Lake
A smoky finish at Little Hyas Lake
Little Hyas and Lynch
Little Hyas and Lynch

jaysway, HitTheTrail, Downhill, Lindsay, Slim, Lightning_bug, Randito, John Mac, Bramble_Scramble, Get Out and Go, rubywrangler, dave allyn, awilsondc, zimmertr  KascadeFlat
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KascadeFlat
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Joined: 06 Jul 2020
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Location: Eating peanut M&Ms under my blue tarp
KascadeFlat
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PostTue Oct 04, 2022 7:06 pm 
I love Love LOVE that shot of Phoebe and Leland framed by the gully. Amazing.

For a good time call: 1-800-SLD-ALDR.

ALW Hiker
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Bramble_Scramble
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Bramble_Scramble
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PostTue Oct 04, 2022 9:07 pm 
The tarns just northeast of Granite Mtn are worth checking out. If you're heading to Klonaqua I'd imagine you'd pass by them. Easy descent and then traverse from around 6640 on the north ridge of Granite. Also the tarns between the two Granite summits. If you're planning on hitting all the ALW lakes it sounds like you probably need to do a Paddy-Go-Easy-Robin Lakes loop. I've been planning on that one for a while. DayhikeMike has a report here from that trip and if you search there's at least one other.

jaysway, ALW Hiker
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Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 23886 | TRs | Pics
Location: Cle Elum
Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob
PostWed Oct 05, 2022 4:14 am 
Wonderful trip. Strong work. Brings back wonderful memories. I really appreciate you posting. These days Im living thru you guys and your great trips. LOL

"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
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ALW Hiker
lakebagger



Joined: 27 Jul 2021
Posts: 52 | TRs | Pics
Location: Redmond, WA
ALW Hiker
lakebagger
PostWed Oct 05, 2022 11:18 am 
Bramble_Scramble wrote:
The tarns just northeast of Granite Mtn are worth checking out. If you're heading to Klonaqua I'd imagine you'd pass by them. Easy descent and then traverse from around 6640 on the north ridge of Granite. Also the tarns between the two Granite summits. If you're planning on hitting all the ALW lakes it sounds like you probably need to do a Paddy-Go-Easy-Robin Lakes loop. I've been planning on that one for a while. DayhikeMike has a report here from that trip and if you search there's at least one other.
Thanks for the link, I believe I read that one when researching French Potholes. I definitely want to check out the tarns on both sides of Granite - looks like a nice route down to the French Potholes from Robin will pass by the western ones. I am sure I am not alone in saying those high-elevation tarns are some of my favorite scenery. After this trip I started thinking a Robin - PGE loop would make a lot of sense, especially if combined with Klonaqua. I need to stop and check out MM Lake too, which appears to be an easy climb up from French Creek. Not that I'm expecting much from that one, but sometimes they surprise you!

Bramble_Scramble
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