Tucquala Peak + Paddy-Go-South / 塔夸拉峯+帕迪谷南峯

In retrospect, we could have gone up to Tucquala Peak when we climbed Nursery Peak. But given the exhausting trip, I probably wasn’t thinking about adding another peak. But this outing gave us the chance to revisit the area before the late snow arrival.

Tucquala Peak high above
Tucquala Peak high above

See more trip photos here.

Tucquala Peak and Paddy-Go-South at a Glance

Access: North Scatter Creek Trailhead
Round Trip: 9 miles
Elevation Range: 3320′-6821′
Gear: microspikes, snowshoes
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: on the trail

Getting to the Upper Basin

Our 6 AM starting time didn’t happen. Big surprise! The sun was shining when we began hiking up the steep hillside. Today snow appeared at 4200′. Then I put on snowshoes at 5700′ when walking in boots became arduous. But it was in perfect conditions for snowshoeing.

The snow had long buried the trail. But I could still tell its direction through the slight indentation adorned with game tracks. The fact that wildlife knows to make use of the path continued to fascinate me. The animal traces soon dwindled. Then we began going up toward Tucquala Peak’s southwest basin.

Tucquala Peak's southwest basin
Tucquala Peak’s southwest basin

See more trip photos here.

Tucquala Peak Summit Plus Views

There was plenty of snow from the latest snowfall. So we went up to the summit via the south slopes. In turn, we would bypass the west saddle altogether. For the final stretch to the top, we walked on dry rocks with exposure. I even looked down at the steep northeast gully.

The views were excellent. There was a thin layer of haze over the horizon. But most everything was visible. The Cradle and Nursery Peak were front and center across the valley. Other prominent high points included Mount Daniel, Hawkins Mountain, and Cashmere Mountain.

Seeing The Cradle from Tucquala Peak
Seeing The Cradle from Tucquala Peak

See more trip photos here.

Onward to Paddy-Go-South

We exited the summit via the west ridge. Then we aimed for the northeast saddle of Tucquala West. It had direct access to the connecting ridgeline to Paddy-Go-South. We got there from Tucquala Peak much sooner than anticipated. Along the way, we encountered ice on the north slopes. But the snowshoes did the job well.

Having more snow below the south face of Paddy-Go-South would’ve been great. Then the rising traverse up to the southwest ridge through the talus field would’ve been more enjoyable. From the ridgeline, we first went around to the northwest. Then from there, it was an easy walk-up to the top.

Talus traverse
Talus traverse

See more trip photos here.

Paddy-Go-South Summit Plus Views

Views were comparable to those of Tucquala Peak. But there was a bonus–Spirit Lake! We bypassed the lake on the way to The Cradle six years ago. So I never got the opportunity to see its beauty. While trying to figure out the exit strategy, I decided to visit the lake first. Then from there, we would most likely make our way up to Paddy-Go-Easy Pass.

We enjoyed another hour to see the rest of Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Then we went down to the first notch on the northwest ridge. There was ample snow over the talus above Sprite Lake Basin. So we were able to make our way down to the lakeshore quickly. There we took a break while seeing The Cradle backdropping the lake beautifully.

Northeast panoramic view
Northeast panoramic view

See more trip photos here.

Exiting via Paddy-Go-Easy Pass

I spotted days-old boot tracks by the lake. So we followed it up to Paddy-Go-Easy Pass.  From the pass, we continued to hike down on the trail. Then I changed back to microspikes lower down by the snow line.

We reached the trailhead at dusk. Then we proceeded to hike two miles on the road back to the North Scatter Creek Trailhead.

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

See more trip photos here.

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