Cape Horn + Ladies Peak / 合恩角+蕾蒂絲峯

The pups haven’t been out since the end of June. So this weekend, we climbed Cape Horn and Ladies Peak. It’s also the black lab’s first overnight trip. But what a great way to relax after my final technical climb!

Cape Horn behind Lake Edna
Cape Horn behind Lake Edna

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Cape Horn and Ladies Peak at a Glance

Access: Chatter Creek Trailhead
Round Trip: 14.5 miles
Elevation Range: 2760′-7708′
Gear: helmet
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Not That Cape Horn

The old black pup, the yellow dog, and I had visited a different Cap Horn. But being in the rain shadow, the scenery contrasted greatly. And the altitude, in comparison, was lower by about 5000′.

Cape Horn and Ladies Peak were right off the beaten path. I had planned on visiting them last November. But the area had received snowfall just days before. So we paid a visit to the nearby Icicle Ridge lookout instead.

Trailside view
Trailside view

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Chatter Creek

On the way to Lake Edna, we ran into an old friend Alastair. He and I had met through the Seattle Mountaineers years back. We then did some catching up before he went on his merry way to climbing Snowgrass Mountain.

Later I marveled at the sight of Grindstone Mountain as we made our way through Chatter Creek Basin. The last time we were here, the weather was terrible. So we summited the mountain in a whiteout.

The pass above Chatter Creek Basin
The pass above Chatter Creek Basin

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Cap Horn Climb

Just as I had suspected, Lake Edna was a popular place for campers. We saw a family of four as the trail took us past the water. Before long, we were up on the northeastern slopes of Cape Horn.

From there, the summit was just another 200′. Then we used the decent climbers’ trail and reached the top shortly. The day was still young. So we enjoyed the views, including Ladies Peak, for a while.

Northern view from Cape Horn
Northern view from Cape Horn

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En Route to Camp

Before going back down, I noticed four backpackers bypassing the peak. Then later, we caught up to the group back on the trail. It turned out I had met one of them through Instagram several years ago. Small world, indeed!

I chatted with the group as we made our way down to Ladies Pass. Then I took a photo of them before we went our separate ways. They were going over to Upper Lake Florence. But the pups and I needed to find a place to camp on the pass.

Backpackers below Cape Horn
Backpackers below Cape Horn

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Ladies Peak Climb

As I had expected, there wasn’t any water on the saddle. But earlier from Cape Horn, I had noticed a few snow patches on the north side. So we set up our camp on the small ridge above the pass. It was right above Trail #1571.

Later we set off for Ladies Peak in the afternoon sun. The way to the top was very straightforward. Despite the rocky ground, we were able to stay on the crest mostly. Soon, we arrived at the windy summit at 800′ above the camp.

Next stop, Ladies Peak
Next stop, Ladies Peak

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Ladies Peak Summit

Cape Horn was shorter by 400′. But looked so much shorter from this angle. The afternoon sun had cast shadows on the western peaks. So it was hard to discern some of the familiar high points.

Views were immense in all directions. Even the long-running ridge of the Chiwakum Mountains seemed to go on forever. But The Cradle and Mount Daniel were the most eye-catching features to the not-so-distant south.

Big Lou, Frigid Mountain, Cape Horn
Big Lou, Frigid Mountain, Cape Horn

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Back to Ladies Pass

We finally moseyed our way down the peak after an extended stay. Before long, we were back at the pass. The day just didn’t seem to want to end. So one has got to love the long summer days.

It had started to become windy. But luckily, the pass had shielded us from the south wind. Later we got some water from the snowmelt below the campsite. Then the pups and I bombed around and enjoyed dinner in the stillness.

Outro
Outro

Morning of Day Two

It was a windy night but warm. So I got up before midnight for some night photography. The sun rose at 6:15 this morning. But the pups had been up for a while. They couldn’t wait for me to let them out of the tent!

As we took our time to pack up, Alastair showed up on the pass. It turned out that he decided to go up to Snowgrass Mountain this morning instead. We chatted briefly before bidding each other farewell.

A brand new day
A brand new day

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Out Through Cape Horn

This trip was so relaxing and it made me feel somewhat lazy. But we still needed to go through a couple of passes before it was all downhill. One time around Cape Horn, and the other over the pass above Chatter Creek.

The area was surprisingly quiet. Perhaps it was the smoke in the recent weeks. But we only saw a total of four people before diving back into the tree line. It felt great to be out with the pups again after two months!

Finding our way home
Finding our way home

See more trip photos here.

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