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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Oval & Star Peaks

Successful climbing larch outing in Sawtooth-Chelan Wilderness Area (Star, Courtney, Buttermilk, Oval).

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • West Fork of Buttermilk Creek trail used for hike in and out was in good conditions without blowdowns all way to the Fish Creek Pass. Climbing / scrambling routes while not very technical (no moves more difficult than class 3) did require careful foot and hands placements due to loose rock and big slick boulders (especially from Courtney to Buttermilk and then to Oval).

Party of 3 (after various cancellations caused by weather forecast) successfully summited Star, Courtney, Buttermilk, Oval while enjoying the golden larch beauty of the area. We started the  hike in on Saturday, 9/30 right after 11:00 AM, setup camp at Star Lake and climbed Star on Saturday, followed by Courtney, Buttermilk and Oval on Sunday. Weather exceeded our expectations offering us mostly sunny, cold (below freezing overnight) crisp days and some temporary snowy clouds enhancing the views beauty. Climbing / scrambling routes while not very technical (no moves more difficult than class 3) did require careful foot and hands placements due to loose rock and big slick boulders (especially from Courtney to Buttermilk and then to Oval). We packed our camp and hiked out on Monday, 10/2, making it back at the car right before 11:00 AM for a slightly less the 48 hour round trip (~10,000 feet total elevation in about ~24 miles).

Roads to get at West Fork of Buttermilk Creek were in great conditions. Found good camping spots close to Star lake and  having a fire pit and confirmation from ranger I talked with on Friday about fire ban being lifted in the area, encouraged us to make a small fire to help us get through freezing dinner time on Sunday night.

Golden Larches were pretty close to their peak and Saturday night snow dust enhanced their beauty even more.

Great late fall outing in a gorgeous area. Highly recommended.

 

 

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