2018/7/1 – Mount Daniel II (Middle + Main Summits) / 丹尼爾山之二 (中峯+主峯)

The glorious one
The glorious one

Photos from this trip can be found here.

For Mount Daniel East Peak trip, check out this post.

This finally happened eight years after our initial visit! It had been confirmed in a recent conversation that my friend and I never actually made it to the main summit in that one terrible whiteout. Nice to revisit and cross the mountain off my redo list. This time yellow pup graciously offered to accompany me on my quest for the true summit.

After yesterday’s short conditioner, we drove to Tucquala Meadows and car camped at the trailhead for an early start. Our arrival didn’t seem to faze the several deer hanging around the area. They obviously had gotten accustomed to seeing humans…and junk food. At times they were getting a little too close for comfort even with the pup around. About two dozens cars in both parking lots combined.

Squaw Lake
Squaw Lake

Photos from this trip can be found here.

We had hiked the Cathedral Pass Trail two years ago on the way to Lynch Peak and Dip Top Peak. Dip Top Gap had one of the best camp spots, with front row seat view of the imposing Mount Daniel and Pea Soup Lake. Snow patches before Squaw Lake, followed by small snow fields between the lake and junction with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).

Snow free past the junction and all the way around west of Cathedral Rock, then more snow before reaching Peggys Pond. Several tents by the pond as we quickly hiked passed. The only group of campers we saw had a campfire going. Guess they didn’t take the “no campfires above 4,000/5,000 feet” restrictions that seriously.

Cathedral Rock with Peggys Pond
Cathedral Rock with Peggys Pond

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Lots of boot tracks in the snow and no route finding issues in getting onto the east ridge. Three skiers were spotted skiing down the east basin as we ascended the ridge. Two groups came down when we arrived at the 6,960′ saddle above Circle Lake. I chatted with another group of two on the east slopes toward east peak. Crampons were used through this section.

The notch between east peak and Point 7662 provided access into the west side. We then traversed the steep southwest slopes of east peak to the west saddle at 7,640′. From there we climbed a short distance onto middle summit’s southeast ridge. With crampons off, we traversed the ridge on some scree and lots of talus up to the middle summit.

Main (left) and middle summits
Main (left) and middle summits

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Up until now the sun had been going in and out of the clouds. Visibility wasn’t great, but I sure was glad there were no signs of rain despite iffy weekend weather forecast. From middle summit we got an obscured look at the main summit to the west. Voices were heard coming from the main summit.

A quick photo break and we were off to our final destination–main summit! Clouds made it hard to tell how close the main summit was, but it only took us 10 to 15 minutes to get there. Voices we heard were those of the three skiers getting ready to ski down Lynch Glacier. I left snow gear at the base of the summit block and proceeded to scramble to the top.

Lynch Glacier with Peak Soup Lake
Lynch Glacier with Peak Soup Lake

Photos from this trip can be found here.

It got windy really fast after we summited. Fast-moving clouds made it possible to catch a glimpse of nearby high points every so often. Sky above us even cleared up a few times, but the clouds never lifted to provide a panoramic view of the area. Again, I was just glad that the rain never came and we were at least able to see some things from the top!

We spent a good while on the summit waiting out the clouds to get some decent photos before heading back down. Before long we were back at Peggys Pond and uneventfully headed down the trail back to Tucquala Meadows.

Thanks for another great day
Thanks for another great day

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Access: Cathedral Pass Trailhead
Gear: helmet, ice axe, crampons

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