Monday, October 10, 2016

Eagle Cap Wilderness, Oregon

Following our trip in Great Basin National Park, there appeared to be a 24-hour weather window in the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon. Neither of us had been to the Eagle Cap Wilderness so it seemed like an obvious choice for our next two days before heading back to Seattle. Even though it's a long drive from almost everywhere, it's an area I definitely want to visit again in 2017.

Ben did some quick research during drive times and our route was as follows: East Fork Wallowa River, side trip to summit Aneroid Mountain 9702', short cross-country route past Dollar Lake to Tenderfoot Pass, Polaris Pass trail, Glacier Pass trail to Moccasin Lake where we camped, hike out West Fork Wallowa River. 

Besides some short snow flurries on the first day the 24-hour window was on the mark. We woke up Tuesday morning and it promptly snowed an inch, so we hiked out instead of going up Eagle Cap in a no-view snow cloud.

Our Eagle Cap Wilderness route
Meadows before Aneroid Lake, East Fork Wallowa River trail
Nearing Aneroid Lake
Bear prints on the East Fork Wallowa trail
Aneroid Mountain 9702': walk-up route on climber's right; some short scrambles if going direct
Starting the climb up Aneroid
Bonny Lakes, from the summit of Aneroid
Looking west from the summit of Aneroid
Aneroid and Roger Lakes, from the summit of Aneroid
Aneroid benchmark
Deer acting like goats 
Ben on the way to Polaris Pass
Elk on the mid-ground ridge; we heard the bugling before we could see them 
Ben's photo; on the way to Polaris Pass
Polaris Pass; definitely starting to snow
Ben descending from Polaris Pass
It wouldn't be a fall trip with Ben unless it snowed!
Upper West Fork Wallowa River drainage
Frazier Lake
West Fork Wallowa headwaters
Approaching Glacier Lake, upper West Fork Wallowa
Glacier Lake
Sunset lights up the clouds around Glacier Peak (OR)
Our shelter on Tuesday morning, at Moccasin Lake
Hiking out through the Lakes Basin area
Always nice to stay dry on crossings this time of year
Obligatory Wilderness sign; a new one for me

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