Monday, July 11, 2016

Polallie Ridge - PCT - Waptus River loop, Alpine Lakes Wilderness

A largely-pessimistic forecast and some last-minute plan changes put me out in the central Alpine Lakes Wilderness up the Salmon La Sac road. This loop (~27m, 6,200' gain), outside of the first climb, has a lot of runnable terrain and worked out as a good training run on a mediocre weather day when views were unlikely to be had in more ambitious locales.

  • Polallie Ridge: first 2.5m have been cleared. Beyond, there are intermittent blowdowns with the exception being .5m of solid blowdowns on the descent, northbound, down to Waptus Pass (photos below). 
  • PCT: four blowdowns and some light brush starting at 3700' (on descent).
  • Waptus River: handful of blowdowns, overall trail is in good shape if not a little rocky from horse wear. The ford is knee deep but slow and clear. 
Four different Wilderness areas the last four weekends
Columbine on Polallie Ridge
Diamond Lake
First meadow on Polallie Ridge, Hour Creek headwaters
Second meadow, unnamed creek headwaters
Polallie Ridge trail and former lookout site
Former lookout site
Beginning of blowdowns past the old lookout on descent to Waptus Pass
Oh yeah...
Frog in Quick Creek at Waptus Pass
Some backpacker is going to be upset
Waptus Lake from the PCT
PCT looking toward Mt. Daniel in the clouds
Spade Creek falls
Waptus River ford

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