Lost Slam via Slate Pass / 經石板山道到失落滿貫

Many trails and not one to follow
“Many Trails” and not one to follow

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The Lowdown on Lost Slam

Lost Slam = Many Trails Peak + Johnny Peak (aka Trailblazer) + Three Pinnacles
失落滿貫=多路峯+強尼峯+三巔峯

Access: Buckskin Ridge Trailhead (#498) at Slate Pass
Round Trip: 56 miles
Elevation Range: 4,920′-8,241′
Gear: helmet
GPS Track: available

Logistics Overview

September 27-30, 2018

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3 > Day 4

Day 1 – Thursday, September 27
Approach to Upper Johnny Lake
Night 1 – Upper Johnny Lake

Day 2 – Friday, September 28
Many Trails Peak + Johnny Peak
Night 2 – Upper Johnny Lake

Day 3 – Saturday, September 29
Three Pinnacles
Night 3 – Monument Creek Basin Camp at 7,200′

Day 4 – Sunday, September 30
Exit


This group of peaks along the Lost River Gorge would have been our Labor day weekend trip, but instead mother nature had other plans. McLeod Fire in mid August forced the closure of many roads and trails near Mazama, WA, which in turn cut off the direct access and the much shorter approach via Eightmile Pass.

While closure order was still in effect this week, pup and I sought the alternate, albeit longer, approach via Slate Pass. Coincidentally the approach was also the reroute for Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) thru-hikers due to Holman Fire. Along the way, we met many of them finishing up the last stretch of their long journey.

Day 1

Approach to Upper Johnny Lake

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3 > Day 4

Meandering through
Meandering through

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Back to Middle Fork Pasayten River Valley

First time pups and I hiked the 17 miles to Slate Pass was five years ago en route to climbing a few of the Washington State Top 100 peaks. We’ve since hiked the Middle Fork Pasayten River Trail a couple more times, once to Ptarmigan Peak and the other to Mount Rolo via Ferguson Lake. To get as much as daylight as possible for day two’s climbs, we pushed the 20-mile approach to Johnny Lakes on day one.

I wasn’t aware of the PCT reroute until after seeing a sign posted past the Middle Fork Pasayten River crossing. On the way in we met a total of five thru-hikers on their victory lap back from the border. Logistically some hikers preferred hiking back down to Harts Pass to return home, while others would get a permit to enter Canada past the northern terminus.

Freds Lake
Freds Lake

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Onward to Freds Lake and Doris Lake

At the Eureka Creek junction I chatted with two fishermen on their way to Lake Doris. I had no idea that fishing in this particular wilderness was a thing, but they were excited to tell me about the different types of trout that had been packed into various lakes in the Pasayten Wilderness for fishing. Who knew?!

Between chatting, taking photos, and pup getting his pet fix by everyone we met on the trail, we didn’t get to Freds Pass until almost 1 PM. Since we had about six more hours of daylight to reach Shellrock Pass and beyond, we started going in full speed in hope to get to the pass by 4:30 PM. Every since Freds Lake we’d been hiking through larches, hard not to stop every five minutes to take photos.

En route to Shellrock Pass
En route to Shellrock Pass

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Shellrock Pass to Johnny Lake

We were on track getting to Shellrock Pass. But once I looked out to the east, I started having doubts about getting to Johnny Lakes before dark. We made it past Butte Pass and Point 7275 at sunset. Then in the dark we proceeded to climb up the west ridge leading up to southern terminus of Johnny Peak south ridge at 8080′.

After spending more time getting up and around Pass Butte’s two summits, we arrived at Johnny Pass for the final 800′ descent to Upper Johnny Lake on talus. We managed to bypass some of the remaining ice sheets in the gully by staying close to climbers left along the cliffs.

Panoramic east view from Shellrock Pass
Panoramic east view from Shellrock Pass

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Down to Upper Johnny Lake in Darkness

I couldn’t remember the last time we scrambled a talus field in the dark! But we finally reached the lake at 8:30 PM. Oh how I missed those 9 o’clock sunset times.

A quick camp setup and dinner, I then set the alarm clock to start moving by 6 AM. Being farther one of the two objectives, it made sense to get Many Trails Peak out of the way first in case we ended up running out of time.

Day 2

Many Trails Peak + Johnny Peak

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3 > Day 4

Passing Middle Johnny Lake morning of day two
Passing Middle Johnny Lake morning of day two

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First up, Many Trails Peak
Destination poking out
Destination poking out

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The real Many Trails Peak please stand up
The real Many Trails Peak please stand up

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Craggies and Sunrise Peak
Craggies and Sunrise Peak

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Lower Johnny Lake
Lower Johnny Lake

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Back to Upper Johnny Lake camp
Back to Upper Johnny Lake camp

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West slopes
West slopes

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North panoramic view
North panoramic view

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Day 3

Three Pinnacles

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First light on Johnny Peak
First light on Johnny Peak

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Misty ridge run
Misty ridge run

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Point 7940 in disguise
Point 7940 in disguise

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Seeing double
Seeing double

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North view
North view

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Back to oblivion
Back to oblivion

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Back to Johnny Pass
Back to Johnny Pass

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Day 4

Exit

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3 > Day 4

Four inches overnight
Four inches overnight

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Into the void
Into the void

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Exiting in winter
Exiting in winter

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Back to Freds Lake
Back to Freds Lake

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Out in the open
Out in the open

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Middle Fork Pasayten River once more
Middle Fork Pasayten River once more

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Back to snow for another mile
Back to snow for another mile

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Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3 > Day 4

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