Monday, May 30, 2016

Bear Skull Mountain 7330', Pasayten Wilderness

After two trips on the East Bank of Ross Reservoir in 2013 I'd pretty much had my fill (Desolation Peak, Devils Dome Loop). Unfortunately, sometime this winter during a CalTopo browsing session I saw Bear Skull and Spratt mountains. I would have loved to do Spratt, but up on top of Bear Skull it was pretty obvious it was going to be at least an hour each way. Maybe in another year or two I'll go back...
  • East Bank Ross: well maintained.
  • Devils Dome: maintained only until the Wilderness boundary. 26 blowdowns from the boundary to Dry Creek Pass (majority are the same ones that were there in 2013). Snow free up to the pass at 5900', solid snow beyond. Streams flowing at ~4000', 4500' and 4700'. A few sections are becoming moderately brushy. 
A surprisingly decent day for wildlife too, considering how popular of an area it is: nice milk-chocolate-colored bear at 4800' on the Devils Dome trail, four deer, two very close pileated woodpeckers, lots of grouse up high, garter snake, two small falcons I couldn't get a good enough look at, lots of cougar scat on the Devils Dome trail. Not so good wildlife: picked three ticks off my knees (religiously checking all day).

East Bank Ross Reservoir Trail, nearing Devils Creek
The very cool Devils Creek bridge
Yay for Wilderness! Unmaintained beyond...
Lots of cougar scat around
Waterfall on lower Jack Mountain
Chocolate Lilies were plentiful
Balsam Root on the Devils Dome trail at 5100', Jack Mountain beyond
Jackita Ridge snotel
Snow starts exactly at Dry Creek Pass (30 yards ahead)
Stetattle Ridge, Southern Pickets, Fury, Luna, Prophet Ridge
Redoubt, Mox Peaks, Spickard, Custer, Rahm
Stetattle Ridge, Elephant Butte (r), Southern Pickets
Fury, Luna, eastern subpeaks on Prophet ridge
Redoubt, Mox Peaks, Spickard
Someone's helium balloon ended up at 6300' in the North Cascades...glad I found it   
Looking up at the last 900' vertical to Bear Skull's broad summit ridge
Jack Mountain and the Nohokomeen Glacier
Last bit to Bear Skull summit; fresh snow was dropping off the trees in the warm temps
Looking east toward the central Pasayten
Spratt Mountain and Hozomeen
Snickers AND the North Cascades

East (r) to north; the northwestern Pasayten and Manning Park (Canada)
Jack, Snowfield-Colonial Group, Pickets north to the Chilliwack Range
Bit of glissading down from Bear Skull
An extremely calm Ross Reservoir, in the afternoon
Devils Creek
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