Pasayten Wilderness (Oct 1-5, 2004)

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pasayten_wilderness_coverConditions: Backpack
Gear: overnight gear
Map: USGS Bauerman Ridge, USGS Remmel Mountain
Area: Pasayten Wilderness
Stats: about 47, 12,575 gain (round trip)

JimB planned this trip and given the itinerary there were lots of takers. Thankfully we were just under the legal limit for the area (12). The group consisted of: JimB, Ace, SuzanneR, SteveF, JulieE, MikeC, Randy, JohnH and JohnM. The route Jim planned was up the Chewack to Tungsten Mine, over to Cathedral Pass, looping down towards Remmel Lake and over to Four Point Lake and out Coleman Ridge. Wow!

Day 1: We drove up to Winthrop and then over to the Cathedral Driveway TH (5600' along FS300). All of us packed up...we were on our way hiking down to the Chewack River trail and then up it towards Tungsten Mine. Give the long drive out, we camped until it seemed late enough (about 5900'). We eyed an adequate site to camp off trial, ate dinner and then hunkered down for the night.

Day 2: We continued up the Tungsten Creek trail to the Boundary trail. We dropped packed at Tungsten Mine and poked around a bit. The mining relics and the beauty of the surrounding area had us all taken in. A bit further up the trail we dropped packs again and hiked up the gentle slopes to the top of Wolframite Mtn. Then back to the packs we continued on up to Apex Pass where some in the group couldn't pass up another easy summit. Then we were off towards Cathedral Pass. The views of the approaching peak as the trail rounds the basin are stunning, especially with the Fall colors at peak. I waited down at the pass as most in the group decided to climb up Cathedral Peak. Then as the group reassembled, we headed down towards Upper Cathedral Lake and made camp.

Day 3: After breakfast we made the short and easy trip down to Lower Cathedral Lake then back on the main tail we headed southward through Cathedral Basin. We dropped packs at the side trail up Amphitheatre Mtn and most of the group headed up 1300' to the top. Then rejoining the trail and our packs waiting down below we headed over to Remmel Lake. Wow...Remmel Lake is a huge lake and all of us commented that it seemed like a municipal park setting instead of a remote lake in a Wilderness area. We dropped packs, soaked tired feet and generally had a nice break enjoying the views. But, we had to keep going, we picked up packed and headed down the Remmel Creek trail on the far side of the lake which was in pretty sad shape form the multitude of horses churning up the dirt. It was a pretty huge sucking mud hole. Part of the group continued down the trail and then headed up trail to Four Point Lake. Our part of the group went cross country, via a "short cut" that went over a 7400' saddle above Four Point Lake. We dropped packs, made camp, and less than an hour later then rest of the group arrived. A nice fire that night helped to not make the chilly temps more bearable, we had a great time chatting and laughing the night away.

Day 4: Up early, we hiked down a short ways to the abandoned Coleman Ridge trail and then took a side trip up Remmel Mtn, another former lookout site. Long gentle switchbacks made for easy progress p to the summit. After a long stay, it was time to head back down to the Coleman Ridge trail where we wandered through beautiful larch trees and charred and sooty fire burned forest. We headed east on the Fire Creek trail, through beautiful forest and long grassy meadows. Heading east on the Fire Creek trail we crossed the Chewack River and found a grassy clearing in the trees with cut logs for sitting and a fire ring that made for a great campsite.

Day 5: We were up early, and like a marching army of 11, I was amazed how efficiently we all work up, had our breakfast, got packed up and were on our way up the last few miles of trail, uphill, to the trailhead.

More information on the lookout: This is a former lookout site. The was a ground-mounted Region-5 cab built here in 1930 and it was destroyed in 1952.
Pasayten Wilderness Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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