Sunday, July 14, 2013

Central Cascades with DaveS and GregH

(Link to Dave's good photos from the trip as well as his other training from the week)

Old growth forests, lots of creek crossings, nice views, good climbs and the worst devil's club bushwhack ever. We had a little bit of everything yesterday out in the Central Cascades just west of Stevens Pass.

Our inverse lollipop: up Deception Creek to the pass, over to Marmot Lake, back to the pass and on the PCT to Surprise Mountain, summited, descended via the gap, out Surprise Creek, back to our start.
There were quite a few blowdowns on Deception Creek, especially between miles 3-6, or so. Most of the early crossings have footlogs, but later toward the pass it's just easier to ford everything.

Dave crossing Deception Creek (mile 7ish?).
Got up to the pretty meadows of Deception Pass and hung a right over to Marmot Lake, which along with little trout feasting on the bugs, looked perfect for an ice-cold dip.

Greg in the Deception Pass area.
Marmot Lake.
"Aid station" below Marmot Lake.

Sup Dave? PCT toward Deception Lakes; Mt. Daniel (r) and Cathedral Rock (l).

Looking north from Surprise Gap.

SE on the right, NW on far left, from the summit of Surprise Mountain, 6,330'. Some notable peaks: Mt. Stuart, far back right, Glacier to the north and Sloan in back left. 
Me, Greg, Dave.
Dave descending from Surprise Gap to Glacier Lake.
Tough to get back to Deception Creek from the Surprise Creek TH. We tried to go on the doubletrack under the powerlines which was awesome for about a mile, and then turned to absolute bushwhack. We made our way down to the RR tracks and made it the half-mile back to Deception Creek. We all had very intimate encounters with devil's club. RR tracks or highway 2 for the whole way would be much easier, but notably less safe.

It was an awesome day, and my last long run before White River (which Dave and Greg also are running). See you boys in two weeks!


  1. Glad to see you guys made it out. Sorry to hear you ran into devil's club. I'll know how to route people in the future when they ask. All your beta will get passed on.

    1. Thanks Chance! Hope you made it up and down Surprise OK and thanks for the info and questions. We didn't see the pair of sandals on the way out :)

  2. I actually didn't make it up to Surprise Mountain, because my radio died and I was on my 2nd pair of batteries for my locator beacon. I could have, but didn't want people worrying about my location on Sunday. Later on in the season I'll be up there. I missed the sandals on the way back too. Whoops. I did pick-up other trash, cut a blowdown on the PCT North, strung up some revegation signs, and did plenty of other work. If you guys have not done it before, the PCT north from Stevens Pass provides some excellent trail running too with gorgeous views. Good luck in White River.