Basalt Ridge (Oct 21, 2006)

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basalt_ridge_coverConditions: Day hike
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS Saska Peak, USGS Chickamin Creek
Area: Entiat
Reference: 100 Hikes in Washington's Glacier Peak Region: The North Cascades
Stats: approx. 11mi, 4669' gain (round trip)

This is my second failed try at Devils Smokestack. First time, thin ice on the rocks...this time...just plain tired! This is a long haul out there to tag this peak.

I was out in this area almost exactly two years ago with Jim, Ace and Don. It was in less than ideal conditions. At it's worst it was absolutely freezing cold, visibility of maybe 30 feet and on everything. Today was different. Jim and I wanted to give DSS another try.

This time Steve and Eric joined. We hit the trail at a decent time 8:30am-ish. The Basalt Ridge trail does a relentless assault of the ridge. The switchbacks are short and steep, some very steep. The trail meets the ridge north of Basalt Pk and continues onward and upward. It skirts the west side of Pt 6754 and continues north. There is a trail junction at Pt 7348 (with one trail heading SE toward Garland Pk).

We stayed on the trail continuing north on the ridge. At drops down the west side of the ridge a few hundred feet and then we looked for a spot on the ridge, a low spot to drop down into the basin south of DSS. We were looking for that magical C2 gully. We rounded pretty far east on the peak and found a gully that looked like it would go. Helmets donned we headed up.

I went up a few hundred feet before calling it quits. I wasn't feeling my best. The others continued on and on my way back to the trail junction below Pt 7348 I could see Eric, Jim and Steve on the summit. Eventually, at about 3:45pm the others met up with me and we began the long hike back out to the car.

The guys found the C2 gully on the way down.
Basalt Ridge Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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