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Trip Report    

Old Desolate

  • Tue, Sep 9, 2014
  • Old Desolate
  • Scrambling

Trip Date: Sep 6 & 7, 2014
Total miles: ~25
Total elevation gain: ~6800

Day 0 - Friday. Obtained permits and rode bikes 5.5 miles to campground. Took about 1 hour with several breaks.

Day 1 - Saturday. We left the campground around 7:45 and headed up the Wonderland trail. The lower crossing of the Carbon River was just fine. We took a short detour to cross the suspension bridge on the upper crossing. We continued to follow the trail until we got the 6000' saddle above Mystic Lake. Just off the trail is a bootpath that heads in the general direction of Mineral. We dropped our packs, and continued on to the summit. Summit register is in good shape and goes back to 1987. On the way back from Mineral we took a shortcut to the Wonderland and hiked up to get our packs. From there we headed back down the Wonderland to about 5800' (stopping to fill water at a small stream). We headed up Old Desolate by following the gully to the left (north) of the ridge. I found the best rocks were in the far left (also running water). Upon reaching Moraine Park (looks like great camping), we put our helmets on and headed up the very loose scree of Old Desolate. The rock here is some of the loosest I have encountered. We followed goats the whole way up. We reached the summit around 4:30pm, signed the register (another old, but still good one), and started to head down towards Vernal Park. Rock here was also loose, so the going was slow. Also tried to avoid the snow fields which looked inviting, but were rather steep with poor runouts. Around 7pm we reach the northwestern part of Vernal Park ~6000' and decided we would camp here. We found running water about 200' below this location.

Day 2 - Sunday. We left camp around ~8am and headed up towards Crescent. Upon reaching the ridge we dropped our packs once again and made for the summit. The summit register appears to have been destroyed, all I found was bits of plastic. Went back to our packs, put our helmets on, and began the slow descent (once again more loose rock and snowfields that were to be avoided). We filled up water at the tarns and headed up the bootpath towards Tyee. We dropped our packs in the shade around 5800'. We brought our helmets for this peak (good idea). The Tyee ridge is nice and flat, but to summit Tyee, you must descend about 200' to the north and wrap around the summit block of Tyee. Sadly this summit register has seen better days, it goes back to the eighties, but was a wet mess. Maybe someone can dry it out, as it still had blank pages in it. Returned to our packs and hiked back out to the campground, picked up our bikes and arrived back at the Carbon River entrance around 5pm. Burgers and ice cream at Wally's drive in on the way home to make up for some lost calories on the trip.

A very memorable trip, all 4 summits are worthwhile, if seldom visited, peaks. We saw no other people while not on the Wonderland.

 

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Tom Girard
Tom Girard says:
Mon, May 23, 2016 11:47 AM

<p>Trip Date: Sep 6 &amp; 7, 2014 <br />Total miles: ~25 <br />Total elevation gain: ~6800 <br /> <br />Day 0 - Friday. Obtained permits and rode bikes 5.5 miles to campground. Took about 1 hour with several breaks. <br /> <br />Day 1 - Saturday. We left the campground around 7:45 and headed up the Wonderland trail. The lower crossing of the Carbon River was just fine. We took a short detour to cross the suspension bridge on the upper crossing. We continued to follow the trail until we got the 6000' saddle above Mystic Lake. Just off the trail is a bootpath that heads in the general direction of Mineral. We dropped our packs, and continued on to the summit. Summit register is in good shape and goes back to 1987. On the way back from Mineral we took a shortcut to the Wonderland and hiked up to get our packs. From there we headed back down the Wonderland to about 5800' (stopping to fill water at a small stream). We headed up Old Desolate by following the gully to the left (north) of the ridge. I found the best rocks were in the far left (also running water). Upon reaching Moraine Park (looks like great camping), we put our helmets on and headed up the very loose scree of Old Desolate. The rock here is some of the loosest I have encountered. We followed goats the whole way up. We reached the summit around 4:30pm, signed the register (another old, but still good one), and started to head down towards Vernal Park. Rock here was also loose, so the going was slow. Also tried to avoid the snow fields which looked inviting, but were rather steep with poor runouts. Around 7pm we reach the northwestern part of Vernal Park ~6000' and decided we would camp here. We found running water about 200' below this location. <br /> <br />Day 2 - Sunday. We left camp around ~8am and headed up towards Crescent. Upon reaching the ridge we dropped our packs once again and made for the summit. The summit register appears to have been destroyed, all I found was bits of plastic. Went back to our packs, put our helmets on, and began the slow descent (once again more loose rock and snowfields that were to be avoided). We filled up water at the tarns and headed up the bootpath towards Tyee. We dropped our packs in the shade around 5800'. We brought our helmets for this peak (good idea). The Tyee ridge is nice and flat, but to summit Tyee, you must descend about 200' to the north and wrap around the summit block of Tyee. Sadly this summit register has seen better days, it goes back to the eighties, but was a wet mess. Maybe someone can dry it out, as it still had blank pages in it. Returned to our packs and hiked back out to the campground, picked up our bikes and arrived back at the Carbon River entrance around 5pm. Burgers and ice cream at Wally's drive in on the way home to make up for some lost calories on the trip. <br /> <br />A very memorable trip, all 4 summits are worthwhile, if seldom visited, peaks. We saw no other people while not on the Wonderland.</p>