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Trip Report    

Summit Chief Mountain

Great conditions - plenty of snow and the weather was near perfect. It's a long trip (~29 miles RT) leading to excellent views from the summit. Mosquitoes on the Pete Lake trail, not so bad elsewhere. Many species of flowers, culminating in lots of glacier lilies just before the start of the snow. Camping at Vista Lakes worked nicely - there was some open water so we did not need to melt snow and some bare rock for a kitchen area. Our party was small and reasonably strong, but to have success in two days would require greater luck in route-finding.

There were some challenges with navigation - some on-line photos indicating where the route crosses the south ridge are inaccurate {the real crossing isn't visible in those photos}. We wrongly ascended a steep snowfield (good snow conditions), had to drop down and traverse a rocky rib to the proper gap in the ridge. The final gully (as with a number of areas not covered with snow) was a nasty dirty loose scree mess - fortunately not very long. Then you go around the corner and the final way is on decent talus. We saw no sign of any summit register.

I've seen trip reports (nwhikers) where this trip was done later in the year. I'd be reluctant to do this trip where there would be more unstable dirty scree.