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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Caroline Peak

This was an enjoyable attempt, but we failed to reach the summit for various reasons.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • There are a number of trees down between Gem Lake and Lower Wildcat Lake.   Various stream crossings were not too difficult.

The hike as far as Gem Lake was uneventful; to save energy, we didn't go very fast; it took close to 3 hours from Alpental.  Between there and Lower Wildcat Lake, there were a number of trees to climb over.  We spent a little time looking for the path to Upper Wildcat Lake; it crosses the inlet stream near where the main trail reaches the lake.

Getting to the ridge above Upper Wildcat, we allowed ourselves to get too far to the right in order to get into open forest rather than talus.  This got us into some unnecessary bushwhacking and unnecessary elevation gain.  There is a rock outrcropping visible from the lake that we went to the right of  but should have stayed left of, as we discovered on our return.  Once we got to the section of the ridge we had hoped to arrive at, we found that there was enough vegetation to prevent us from staying on top of the ridge; I was expecting more open terrain in this area.  We eventually discovered that the most efficient way to travel at least part of the ridge is to follow game trails just off the ridge to the north.

At 2:00 we were still fighting through brush on the ridge, and some of us were getting pretty tired, so we decided to turn around.  The mistake we made in getting to the ridge cost us close to 2 hours.

I may try this one again next year as a 2 day trip with a camp at Gem Lake.

 

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