Dip Top Gap via Peggys Pond / 經佩姬池塘上斜頂缺口

I wanted a Mount Daniel do-over. But instead, the pup and I visited Dip Top Gap. So we went cross-country to avoid crowds on the Deception Pass Trail. We also climbed Lynch Peak and Dip Top Peak en route. I did a conditioner before the trip.

Dip Top Gap view of Mount Daniel
Dip Top Gap view of Mount Daniel

See more trip photos here.

Dip Top Gap at a Glance

Access: Cathedral Pass Trailhead
Round Trip: TBD
Elevation Range: 3360′-6680′
Gear: helmet, ice ax, crampons
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance

Cathedral Pass Trail

The pup and I left the trailhead early under a cloudy sky. Surprisingly, we didn’t see many people on the Cathedral Pass Trail. It’s the high season. So I thought more hikers would inundate the trails.

Later, we met two Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Section J thru-hikers at the junction. So I chatted with them for a bit. Afterward, we walked past Peggys Pond and then went uphill. We aimed for the 7000′ notch on Mount Daniel’s east ridge.

Cathedral Rock and Peggys Pond
Cathedral Rock and Peggys Pond

See more trip photos here.

Lynch Peak Climb

From the notch, we dropped down to 6400′. Then bypassed the buttress before us. We stayed at the same elevation through to the eastern end of Pea Soup Lake. The mountaintops had been in clouds. So I never got to see either one of our goals.

Slowly, the clouds dissipated. So I could see the south route on Lynch Peak finally. We enjoyed scrambling on slabs on the southeast face for a bit. Then we switched over go heather, with scree soon followed. It was hard to tell the high point on this broad and flat summit.

Jade Lake Basin down below
Jade Lake Basin down below

See more trip photos here.

Lynch Peak Summit

So far, we’ve had the incredible view of Mount Daniel. But seeing it from here was even more stunning. What an enormous mountain! Clouds had shrouded the Jade Lake Basin. So I never got a decent look. We hung out by the summit cairn for a while. Then we went down toward Dip Top Gap.

I read in reports that there wasn’t an easy way to get down to the gap. So the pup and I tested out the southwest ridgeline for a bit. But every direction we looked would end before cliffs. Later, we found a steep scree ramp leading down to an ice cave at the bottom. So that allowed us to get off the ridge.

Dip Top Peak from Lynch Peak
Dip Top Peak from Lynch Peak

See more trip photos here.

Getting up to Dip Top Gap

I didn’t like the idea of going under the ice cave at first. But lucky for us, we were able to bypass it entirely from the outside. Then from the other side, we hopped through boulders to get up to the gap.

Afterward, I set up our campsite in one of the two excellent bivy spots. Then we ate dinner and hung out in the tent. The views from the pass were minimal because of the low clouds. But everywhere else it was clear, of course!

A sun-kissed good night for Mount Hinman
A sun-kissed good night for Mount Hinman

See more trip photos here.

Dip Top Gap Climb

I killed time by looking at the maps of the area. But I occasionally looked outside for signs of clearing. But at one hour before sunset, the temperature inversion formed in the valley. Being above the clouds, we could see everything suddenly. So I grabbed my gear, and we left for Dip Top Peak.

Summit didn’t look that far away. So I knew we could make it up to the top before sunset. Shortly, we went up on the east ridge crest. But not before going through sleep slabs and wide ledges. Then just below the top, we came up to the high-exposure crux. But we had no issues crossing it.

Until tomorrow
Until tomorrow

See more trip photos here.

Dip Top Peak Views Plus Outro

Eventually, we made it up to the summit at 15 minutes before sunset. There was just enough time to savor the views we had missed. The top was narrow, with steep drop-offs on all sides. But it was wide enough to seat a party of three or four comfortably.

Mount Daniel and Mount Hinman were close together. But even with an ultra-wide lens, I couldn’t fit both in the frame because they were humongous. Shortly after sunset, we made our way down. But there was more than enough daylight to get back to camp before dark.

After sunset
After sunset

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Outro via Deception Pass

It was another beautiful night looking up at the starry sky. The next morning, we hung out at camp for a long time. Then I chatted with a few campers who came up from Jade Lake to see Pea Soup Lake. Afterward, we packed up and left the gap.

Later, we hiked out via the lower lakes. I met a friend from Instagram as she was going up the gap with her partner. The pup and I then continued hiking and went through Deception Pass to finish the loop trip.

Star trails over Dip Top Gap
Star trails over Dip Top Gap

See more trip photos here.

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