Jack Ridge in The Enchantments / 魔法森林裏的傑克脊

Jack Ridge borders the western edge of The Enchantments. It also meets the massive Stuart Range on the southern end. The pups had to sit out on this one after our trip out east last weekend.

Jack Ridge above the pond

See more trip photos here.

Jack Ridge at a Glance

Access: Eightmile Lake Trailhead
Round Trip: 16 miles
Elevation Range: 3280′-7800′
Gear: helmet, snowshoes, microspikes
GPS Track: available
Route Info: Luke Helgeson, Adam Walker
Dog-Friendly: no pets

Eightmile Lake Trail

After getting ready for bed off Icicle Road, I realized I had left my headlamp at home. But I was glad to have the small flashlight in my ten essentials. In the morning, I started walking while it was still dark. Then I arrived at Little Eightmile Lake just at sunrise.

There were a few puddles and trees on the trail. Then before the lower lake was a couple of places with massive down trees. Before long, I reached Eightmile Lake and chatted with a group of campers there. After shooting some video footage by the water, I continued.

Eightmile Lake at last
Eightmile Lake at last

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Eightmile Creek Basin

The official trail ended by the outlet on the east. But the hikers’ path continued through to the western end of the water. There was only a handful of logs to go through. This area had been through fires before. So soon, more down trees inundated the burned forest.

After hopping through the logs, I went out into the clearing by the old avalanche debris. I thought about following the creekbed and go through the next part of the forest. But the potential of dealing with more down trees had me rethink my plan.

This way to Jack Ridge
This way to Jack Ridge

See more trip photos here.

Going Around Point 7793

I scoped out the route in the open. But I couldn’t see a better way to go around the down trees. Though, I knew I needed to move up soon to go above them. So I looked at the two reports in hands. Then I started moving toward the southeast ridge of Point 7793.

It wasn’t pleasant to go through the brush mixed in with rocks and trees. But things began to look promising after I went up a few hundred feet. I rounded the buttress at 5800′ with the top of the Stuart Range slowly emerging. Then I continued going toward the east basin of Jack Ridge.

Stuart Range emerging
Stuart Range emerging

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Jack Ridge East Basin

I finally got my first good view of Jack Ridge south of Point 7793. Snow patches appeared at 6000′. So I put on microspikes for traction and weaved through the rocks. But without enough snow on the ground, I kept step into holes between the boulders.

Later there more snow in the upper basin. So at 7000′, I put on snowshoes by a lovely tarn. The ridgeline from Point 7261 to Jack Ridge summit looked quite gnarly. From there, it looked like I could go straight to the top. But to make use of the snow, it was more efficient to zigzag through slabs.

Ridge view
Ridge view

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Jack Ridge Summit

The bare rocks on the steep east slopes look sketchy. So instead of going directly up to the summit there, I went around to the north saddle. Up until now, Jack Ridge had shielded me from the west wind. But the minute I stepped onto the crest, I felt the draft right away. The temperatures also dropped significantly. Burr!

The top wasn’t as pointy as I had thought. So I was able to dodge the wind below the ridge on the east. But the better views were also on that side. It was the closest I have seen Mount Stuart from the north after Axis Peak. Cashmere Mountain and Eightmile Mountain looked next door to each other.

West-to-south panoramic view
West-to-south panoramic view

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Outro

Getting up to Jack Ridge took longer than expected. Apart from the long approach, I stopped countless times to shoot videos. Then I realized that filming in the mountains wasn’t as efficient as I had hoped. A backpacking trip would have been more ideal.

I thought about going directly down to the valley floor from the top. Then I would make my way through the forest back to the clearing. But after seeing down trees at the bottom, I decided to retrace my steps. Having more snow would have made the trip more enjoyable.

Finding my way home
Finding my way home

See more trip photos here.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Jefferson

    Love it! Your video skills are getting better with every trip.

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