Sunday, September 13, 2015

Stetattle Ridge North Peak, North Cascades National Park

I almost never repeat trails/routes. Yet, somehow, I found myself on Saturday morning parking in Diablo and starting up the Sourdough Mountain trail to access Stetattle Ridge...for the third time...in the last 12 months.

I took the route adjacent to Sourdough creek up (probably the most direct of the three slightly-different routes I've done to reach Stetattle) to the saddle at the class 3 step which I scrambled for the first time instead of bypassing it on the west. It's two high-step mantle moves and otherwise is class 2. While I had grand ambitions of doing Elephant Butte in a day, I reached the high point of Stetattle (6728') at 3:50 elapsed and still had 3-5 more miles of cross country with 2500'+ of gain and descent (before repeating it all back). I wasn't quite convinced I should commit to a probably 16-hour day, so I turned around and strolled all of the ridge to the Sourdough lookout.

A mother bear and cub have been travelling the entirety of the ridge as well as I followed their tracks through four tarns spread over the whole ridge before running into them on the summit of 6728'. Almost all of the tarns were recharged with the recent storm so there is a decent amount of water up there. If someone goes up soon the register on 6728' needs to be replaced and the wet register dried and cataloged.

Wonder how long it'll be before I'm back for a fourth trip up...

Tarn on southern Stetattle 
Looking south at the Colonial-Snowfield group and beyond to all the peaks up the Thunder Creek drainage
Davis Peak's north face
Northbound on Stetattle
Bear tracks
The Roost, Thornton Peak, Triumph
North unit of the North Cascades from 6495' on Stetattle Ridge; loaf-shaped feature center-right is Stetattle high point 6728'
More bear tracks
Mama on left, cub on right
Onward to 6728'
Mama and cub (on rocks center-right) on the summit of 6728'
Pano from 6728'; labeled picture below
1. Davis Peak, 2. The Roost, 3. Thornton Peak, 4. Triumph, 5. Glee Peak, 6. Mount Despair, 7.  McMillan Spires, 8. Southern Pickets: Terror, Twin Needles, Mustard Spires (Himmelgeisterhorn, Ottohorn), 9. Mt. Baker, 10. Mt. Shuksan, 11. Elephant Butte, 12. Northern Pickets north end (Ghost Peak, Crooked Thumb, Challenger), 13. Luna Peak, 14. Bear Mountain, 15. Tradition Peak, 16. Redoubt, 17. Mox Peaks, 18. Spickard  

Looking back south down Stetattle from 6728'
Rarely-seen Nohokomeen glacier on Jack Mountain
The Southern Pickets (labels above) 
Azure Lake and Stetattle Creek
The register on 6728' is ruined with water damage; needs replacement and cataloging
Lone goat on Stetattle
Big Beaver Creek and wetlands
Another good track I missed on the way out
Tarn on southern Stetattle
Sourdough Lake
Sourdough Mountain lookout 
Diablo Lake, Colonial-Snowfield group and the Thunder Creek drainage


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