Photos from this trip can be found here.
Finally crossed this back burner peak after having to put it off for several years due to other plans.
Most reports indicated the most efficient approach was the Deception Creek Cut-Off Trail just before end of road 6830. This was the exact same approached we took when both pups and I climbed Spark Plug and Surprise Mountains three years ago. The cut-off trail descended a few hundred feet and joined up with Deception Creek Trail at the bottom.
Getting bottom of the the valley to Deception Lakes was uneventful and views were scarce. Weather turned out worse than forecast, and by the time we passed the lakes, the little sunshine we’ve had along the way got swallowed up by clouds rolling in from the west. Visibility had also decreased drastically by the time we got to the southwest ridge.
West of the ridge was less steep but the shrubs and short trees on the crest made it impossible to traverse. East face was steeper but with a ton of solid granite rocks and slabs with good holds providing a much enjoyable traverse. Too bad when we did finally make it to the summit of this peak our views were minimal. Clouds to the north were less stubborn and would occasionally break up to reveal the beautifully shaped Square Lake, which looked way bigger than on the map. Northeast of this peak was steep, and the basin below still had quite a bit of snow left from winter.
On the descent pup and I went down the west face to check out a couple of tiny lakes nestled in a two of several small basins. The upper lake at 6,100′ looked to be a great camp spot with sandy lake shore, but the lower lake at 5,700′ was nearly dry and a tad muddy when we walked across it. It drizzled until we got back to Deception Lakes, where the rain began to fall harder.
Just as we were exiting the lake basin, several kids from a youth group camped down by the lakes stopped us and asked questions about the pup. They were very fascinated by the fact I took a dog up the mountain with me.