Ice Lakes (Sep 4-6, 2004)

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ice_lks_coverConditions: Backpack
Gear: overnight gear
Map: USGS Trinity, USGS Holden,
Area: Entiat Mountains

Once again...another most excellent trip coordinated by JimB.

Our group, JohnT, SteveF, Jim, Kathleen, DeborahD, Beth, and I headed out to do the classic Carne Mountain High Route from Carne Mtn Basin to Leroy Basin. My first high route adventure.

Ice Lakes really are the highlight of the trip but the whole route does qualify as "classic".

Day 1: The day was cold as we hiked up the Carne Mtn trail. Up in the basin we took a break to soak in the views and sang the Doxology which seemed so appropriate the for serene views. Then it was up to the ridge soaking in the views as we headed over to Box Creek Basin. Bad news...I wasn't feeling well....really not feeling well. The group took a break, I got some rest and water and then we continued on...ugh...find a rock....barf.... This isn't good.... Steve called to the rest of the group and then sat with me until I could move again. We arrived at Box Creek Basin, a bit delayed, around dinner time. I hunkered down in my tent sick, achy and unable to eat (flu?) while the rest of the group enjoyed a late dinner. Rain arrived and continued off an on all night and into the morning.

Day 2: It was cold, but at least the skies were blue and at least I was feeling a bit better. Tired and muscle sore but no longer nauseous. We continued up through the meadows above Box Creek Basin and over the 700' pass. We stayed high (not dropping into Chipmunk Creek Basin) and hit a 7400' saddle west of Pt8017. We continued to stay high, avoiding the screen slopes between us and Ice Lks Pass, and headed up what looked like and easy slope to the east. It worked and we found ourselves on a ridge looking down at Ice Lakes. We made camp at Upper Ice Lakes, arriving around lunchtime. Steve, Jim and Beth headed over to South Spectacle Butte while the rest of us explored around the lakes. This worked for me since I was still recovering from my bout the day before.

Day 3: We broke camp and hiked back up to Ice Lakes Pass, dropped packs and headed up Freezer Peak. Back at the pass we picked up packs and headed down a boot patch to a 6840' saddle looking over the Leroy Creek drainage. We were now back on the high route which took us down the south fork of Leroy Creek and...a washout. We split up looking for the trail on the other side. Some going high, some low. Then we hit the huge erosion gully below 7 Fingered Jack. To say this is a gully is being kind. It looked like a mini Grand Canyon. JimB estimated it at 30' deep. We tried crossing higher up but the sides of the gully were steep and loose. Jim and Beth headed downhill looking for a better crossing, found one (about 200' downhill), and then met us on the opposite side of the gully higher up (instructing us to follow where they had come from). The rest of the day was spent hiking over to Leroy Creek Basin. We arrived there and dropped packs for a break. Beth and Steve sorted through gear and continued on to climb Fernow (coming out the next day) while the rest of us hiked down to the Phelps Creek TH by dinnertime.
Ice Lakes Slideshow

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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