Scottish Lakes High Camp (Oct 7-9, 2016)

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scottish_lks_coverConditions: cabin camping
Gear: overnight gear
Map:  USGS Chiwaukum Mountains
Area: Leavenworth, WA
Reference: n/a
Stats: 6.4mi, 1559' gain (round trip)

Iíve  heard about High Camp for many years but somehow never found my way up there. Itís a place, Iím told, more popular to visit in Winter. This trip would be a late season trip, a girls trip, the last weekend the High Camp is open before shutting down for a couple of months while the snow pack builds and the camp reopens for Winter.

Elle suggested the destination, Suzanne graciously stepped in to do the hard part, the herding of the catsÖthe planning and making reservations. The GPS group (Girls Planning Session) was Suzanne, Elle, Barb, Carla, Coleen, Gwen, Yoko, Tisha, and myself. Gwen and I arrived first, around noon on Friday. We were followed soon after that by Suzanne, Carla, Elle, Barb, and Tisha. Yoko and Collen arrived early Saturday morning.

After Gwen and I arrived, we dropped our gear in one of the cabins (Painbrush and Columbine) and then packed up our day packs to try to eek in a short hike before dinner. We headed first up to Lake Julius and then further on to Loch Eileen. We had light rain off and on the way up to the lakes. We started to see some larches right before reaching Loch Eileen but the trees just get started here and higher up (towards Donald Lake) they seem to take over. It would have been nice to continue up higher but Gwen was on dinner duty so we wanted to be back early enough that she could do some prep. When we got back to Paintbrush (the larger of the two cabins) we found Tisha, Suzanne, Elle, Carla, and Barb and a nice toasty fire in the stove. Gwen prepped up a great dinner of spaghetti and others brought some sides. After dinner we all cozied up around the table, with card games and wine, and stayed up until it was time for quiet hours (9pm). Back at Columbine Gwen and I took the upper loft area and Suzanne, Elle, and the two dogs had the ground floor. It rained off and on all night and we hoped it would clear by morning.

Saturday morning came and we had a slight break in the weather. It was still pretty cloudy but at least the rain held off. I decided to stay back in the cabin to relax and read. Gwen headed up McCue Ridge by herself. The rest of the ladies headed up towards Loch Eileen to do a large loop around the High Camp. While it wasnít raining as they left, about 90 minutes later the rain came and stayed until all were back right around dinner timeÖall soaking wet. After hanging up wet gear to dry we had another awesome potluck dinner (soooo much food) and then we all headed back to our cabins for another night of rain.

Sunday morning came and we gathered back in Paintbrush for breakfast. Gwen and I had booked spots on the noon shuttle down to the cars. The rest of the ladies had put gear onto the 10am shuttle (which the driver took down to their cars) and they hiked out the 6 miles back to the cars. This was a really nice, relaxing weekend of catching up with some friends.
Scottish Lakes Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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