Chain Lakes Loop (Sep 3-5, 2005)

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chain_lks_coverConditions: Backpack
Gear: overnight gear
Map: USGS Stevens Pass, USGS Chiwaukum Mountains, USGS Mount Howard
Area: Stevens Pass
Stats: about 26mi, 7000' gain

The plan for the weekend was our group (DeborahD, BethB, me, JimB, JulieE) to hike from Stevens Pass to Cascade Meadows (by Chain Lakes), then go over the gap to Doelle Lakes, over to Frosty Pass and then hike out. This was a shuttle trip so we brought two cars.

Day 1: We dropped one car off at the Whitepine Creek TH near Cascade Meadows and then drove back to Stevens Pass. Packed, we started hiking south along the PCT. Crossing over Tye-Mill Pass (5200') we continued on over to Lake Josephine. After lunch, we continued on the Icicle Creek trail down to the junction with the Chain Lakes trail and then it was a huff up the steepish trail to the lakes area and made camp. Jim and Beth headed off to tag some bumps while the rest of us enjoyed time in camp. It was time for dinner when Jim and Beth returned and we all watched a beautiful and gorgeous sunset light up the basin.

Day 2: After breakfast we broke camp and headed up to the 6200' pass between Chain and Doelle Lakes. We dropped down a bit on the other side and it was time for Jim and Beth to explore Bulls Tooth. The headed up grassy slopes to scope the area and route out. We watched and Jim and Beth roped up and decided to give it a try. They eventually found a route that worked on the south ridge. The two climbers eventually returned and we continued down on to Doelle Lakes (lots of social trails here) where we stopped for lunch. After lunch we headed down the upper meadow at the head of Doughgod Creek and then headed up and over to a saddle (5600') on Frosty Ridge. We found a faint trail to follow and were able to stay on it, eventually dropping to Frosty Pass (5700'). We continued down to Lake Margaret where we planned to camp with rain starting to fall.

Day 3: By morning the rain was gone and the sky was clear and blue, though it was cold. Back on the trail early, we headed back over to Frosty Pass and then hiked out by Wildhorse Creek trail.
Chain Lakes Loop Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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