Lost Slam via Slate Pass / 經石板山道上失落滿貫

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

See more trip photos here.

This group of peaks along the Lost River Gorge was going to be our Labor day weekend trip. But instead, mother nature had other plans. In mid-August, McLeod Fire forced the closure of roads and trails near Mazama, WA. As a result, the closing cut off our direct access and the shorter approach via Eightmile Pass.

The fire closure order was still in effect this week. So pup and I sought the alternate, albeit more extended route 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.

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


Day 1

Approach to Upper Johnny Lake

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

Meandering through
Meandering through

See more trip photos here.

Back to Middle Fork Pasayten River Valley

Pups and I first hiked the 17 miles to Slate Pass was five years ago. Back then we were on our way 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. We needed to get as much as daylight as possible for day two’s climbs. So 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. But others preferred getting a permit to enter Canada past the northern terminus.

Freds Lake
Freds Lake

See more trip photos here.

Onward to Freds Lake and Doris Lake

At the Eureka Creek junction, I chatted with two fishers on their way to Lake Doris. I had no idea that fishing in this wilderness was a thing. But the men were excited to tell me about the different types of trouts. Years ago, other fishers had put trouts in various lakes in the Pasayten Wilderness. Who knew?! There was lots of talking, and the pup receiving attention from everyone we met.

We ended up not getting to Freds Pass until almost 1 PM. We had about six more hours of daylight to reach Shellrock Pass and beyond. So we started going in full speed in the hope to get to the pass by 4:30 PM. Ever since we passed Freds Lake, we’d been hiking through larches. So hard to keep from taking photos every five minutes!

En route to Shellrock Pass
En route to Shellrock Pass

See more trip photos here.

Shellrock Pass to Johnny Lake

We were on track getting to Shellrock Pass. But when I look to the east, I had doubts about getting to Johnny Lakes before dark. We made it past Butte Pass and Point 7275 at sunset. Then in the dark, we climbed up the west ridge. It led us up to the southern terminus of Johnny Peak south ridge at 8080′.

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

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

See more trip photos here.

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.

We set up camp quickly and ate dinner. I then set the alarm clock, so we would start moving by 6 AM. It made sense to climb Mary Trails Peak first as it was the farther one of our two objectives. Just 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

See more trip photos here.

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

See more trip photos here.

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

See more trip photos here.

Craggies and Sunrise Peak
Craggies and Sunrise Peak

See more trip photos here.

Lower Johnny Lake
Lower Johnny Lake

See more trip photos here.

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

See more trip photos here.

West slopes
West slopes

See more trip photos here.

North panoramic view
North panoramic view

See more trip photos here.

Day 3

Three Pinnacles

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

First light on Johnny Peak
First light on Johnny Peak

See more trip photos here.

Misty ridge run
Misty ridge run

See more trip photos here.

Point 7940 in disguise
Point 7940 in disguise

See more trip photos here.

Seeing double
Seeing double

See more trip photos here.

North view
North view

See more trip photos here.

Back to oblivion
Back to oblivion

See more trip photos here.

Back to Johnny Pass
Back to Johnny Pass

See more trip photos here.

Day 4

Exit

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

Four inches overnight
Four inches overnight

See more trip photos here.

Into the void
Into the void

See more trip photos here.

Exiting in winter
Exiting in winter

See more trip photos here.

Back to Freds Lake
Back to Freds Lake

See more trip photos here.

Out in the open
Out in the open

See more trip photos here.

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

See more trip photos here.

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

See more trip photos here.

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

Leave a Reply

Close Menu
%d bloggers like this: