2018/11/17 – Tucquala Peak + Paddy-Go-South / 塔夸拉峯+帕迪谷南峯

Below our objective
Below our objective

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Access: North Scatter Creek Trailhead
Round Trip: 9 miles
Elevation Range: 3,320′-6,821′
Gear: microspikes, snowshoes; ice axe packed but not used

In retrospect, we could have included Tucquala Peak as part of the Nursery Peak climb. Though back then we were most likely too exhausted to think about adding another peak on the way out. But this gave us the chance to revisit the area before the late snow arrival.

Some of Goat Mountain
Some of Goat Mountain

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Our 6 AM starting time didn’t happen, big surprise! At least the sun was shining when we finally began hiking up the steep hillside. Today we hit snow at 4,200′; I put on snowshoes at 5,700′ when hiking finally became arduous. Great snowshoeing conditions today.

Following game tracks
Following game tracks

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Though now under snow, the trail was still recognizable through the slight indentation overlaid with game tracks. The fact that wildlife also know to utilize the trail is fascinating. Once game tracks dwindled, we began rising traverse toward Tucquala Peak’s southwest basin.

Looking back in southwest basin
Looking back in southwest basin

Photos from this trip can be found here.

With good snow coverage from the last snowfall, we went directly up to the summit block via the south slopes rather than first attaining the west saddle. Final steps to the top were over some exposed rocks overlooking the steep northeast gully.

The Cradle
The Cradle

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Great views up here as expected. Even with a thin blanket of haze over the horizon, most everything was still visible. The Cradle and Nursery Peak across the valley stayed front and center throughout the trip. Other notable high points included Mount Daniel, Hawkins Mountain, and Cashmere Mountain.

Hawkins Mountain
Hawkins Mountain

Photos from this trip can be found here.

We exited the summit via the west ridge and aimed for the northeast saddle of Tucquala West, with direct access to the connecting ridge to Paddy-Go-South. Some ice on the north slopes but doable with just snowshoes. We got to the northwest ridge from Tucquala Peak much sooner than expected.

Saddle bound
Saddle bound

Photos from this trip can be found here.

More snow coverage on the talus field below the precipitous north face of Paddy-Go-South would’ve been nice to make the rising traverse to the southwest ridge more enjoyable. From the ridge, we scrambled around to the northwest ridge for the easy walk-up to the top.

Talus traverse
Talus traverse

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Views were similar to those on Tucquala Peak but with an added bonus–Spirit Lake! Six years ago, on the way to The Cradle, we bypassed the lake so I never got the chance to witness its beauty. While deciding on our exit strategy, I decided to take a detour and pay the lake a visit en route to Paddy-Go-Easy Pass.

Northeast panoramic view
Northeast panoramic view

Photos from this trip can be found here.

After another hour of taking in views to the rest of Alpine Lakes Wilderness, we descended to the first notch on the broken northwest ridge.  With sufficient snow coverage over the talus above Sprite Lake Basin, we quickly descended to the lakeshore and took a break. The lake was aesthetically backdropped by The Cradle.

Sprite Lake backdropped by The Cradle
Sprite Lake backdropped by The Cradle

Photos from this trip can be found here.

From the lake, I spotted days-old boot tracks, which we followed to Paddy-Go-Easy Pass.  From the pass, we proceeded to hike out via Paddy-Go-Easy Pass Trail. I switched to microspikes lower on the trail until the edge of the snow line.

Paddy-Go-Easy Pass
Paddy-Go-Easy Pass

Photos from this trip can be found here.

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