Battle Mountain + Snowshoe Ridge in Lake Chelan-Sawtooth / 戰役山

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Battle Mountain and Snowshoe Ridge in Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness perch over Eagle Creek Basin. They are steps away from many of Washington State’s tallest peaks. Moreover, the nearby basins often offer spectacular views of larches in the fall.

Battle Mountain from Snowshoe Ridge
Battle Mountain from Snowshoe Ridge

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Battle Mountain and Snowshoe Ridge at a Glance

Access: Eagle Creek Trailhead
Round Trip: 16.7 miles
Elevation Range: 3160′-7816′
Gear: helmet, snowshoes
Route Info: Matt Burton
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance

Battle Mountain and Snowshoe Ridge

It’s the long weekend in Lake-Chelan Sawtooth Wilderness. While we were still here, I wanted to check out other places to make the long drive worthwhile. So I settled on Battle Mountain and Snowshoe Ridge above Eagle Creek Basin.

Crescent Mountain Fire also swept through this area in 2018. But since then, the crew has put in lots of work in removing most trees from the lower trail. So the hike was way more relaxing than the day before.

This way to Battle Mountain
This way to Battle Mountain

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Eagle Creek Trail

We finally encountered the first mosquitoes of the season. But glad I decided to bring the head net I used on a climb two years back. I needed it on the trip, as it worked out incredibly well on the lower trail.

The 1.5 miles to Eagle Creek went by fast over a few switchbacks. Somehow I thought that the Oval Creek junction came before the creek. So we paced back and forth to look for the fork. But soon, I realized we needed to cross the water first.

Crossing Eagle Creek
Crossing Eagle Creek

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Oval Creek Junction

I crossed on a log jam 100′ downstream over the raging water while the dogs waded. Soon, we went through several switchbacks before finding the trail fork at 4200′. Then the path took us west of Duckbill Mountain.

Many down trees showed up right before upper Eagle Creek. There we crossed the water again using a nearby log. Then we found more windfalls on the other side that dwindled as we went higher.

Brace yourselves
Brace yourselves

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Through the Forest

Past the tree debris, I saw the top of Oval Peak by the first clearing. Then I put on snowshoes in continuous snow at 5600′ on the other side of the snowfield. We were now directly west of Duckhead Mountain.

After the third clearing, we were back in the open forest for a while. Other than the spotty views of Oval Peak, there wasn’t much to see in the trees. During this, we walked by the fork to Silver Lake.

Duckhead Mountain
Duckhead Mountain

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Rounding Snowshoe Ridge

So far, we’ve stayed on the summer route by the dry spots and the cut trees. But soon, we lost the trail to the snow at 6000′ as we rounded southeast of Snowshoe Ridge. Then we scrambled the rest of the way.

The hike was more distance over altitude gain, so it felt forever to go through the forest. Eagle Creek was within earshot to help keep us on track. Route-finding wasn’t an issue as we walked uphill beside the stream.

Snowshoe Ridge
Snowshoe Ridge

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Battle Mountain Climb

We later broke out into the clearing at 6600′. Then we continued up the hill and found a dry spot at 6700′ to camp. I had a restless night because of the uneven ground, but at least it was warmer than being on snow.

We were only under three-quarters of a mile from Battle Mountain. Judging by the amount of daylight, we likely could climb both peaks before dark. Then that would allow a relaxing exit the following morning.

Battle Mountain, battle far from over
Battle Mountain, battle far from over

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Battle Mountain Summit Views

From camp, we went up the moderate slope and soon reached the ridgeline at 7200′. Another 500′ climb on the steep east ridge put us atop the broad summit. Just as I expected from seeing the photos, the views were incredible.

Oval Peak stole the show on this trip. But I could also see the tip of Star Peak and Raven Ridge to the south. Like yesterday’s outing, we enjoyed abounding views of Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness and Glacier Peak Wilderness.

Eastern panoramic view
Eastern panoramic view

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Next Stop, Snowshoe Ridge

We still had to make it over to Snowshoe Ridge at 1.25 miles away. I wasn’t sure if the southwest ridgeline would be conducive to traversing. But we stayed on the crest anyway to see where it would lead us.

The higher we went, the less snow on the crest. So by the time we reached 7200′, we were going in and out of giant boulders. The pups occasionally walked on the snow on the south side when hopping became tedious.

Snowshoe Ridge from Battle Mountain
Snowshoe Ridge from Battle Mountain

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The Final Stretch

In hindsight, we could’ve stayed on the south side and benefitted from the snow. But I had left the snowshoes down by the rocks. So instead, we went through a massive boulder field in the final 200′.

To the east of the summit was another high point. Though, it looked higher from this side. So we traversed a short way over to take a look. But from there, the actual summit looked taller too!

The final stretch
The final stretch

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Snowshoe Ridge Summit Views

Shortly, we made our way back to the west high point. Then we spent the rest of our visit there. The bouldered summit had one wobbly stone. So I signaled the dogs to lie down by the platform below.

The vibrant evening colors strewed the blue sky. But most high points to the north were now in the shade. The visit was short and sweet, and then we left 25 minutes before sundown.

southwestern panoramic view
southwestern panoramic view

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Back to Camp Battle

I didn’t want to go back through the tedious boulder scramble. So we stayed in the snow until we went back on the dry ground. Then we made a beeline for the heather slopes to reach camp minutes later.

It was a restless night for the yellow dog. There had to be some wild animal nearby for him to behave weirdly. On the other hand, the black pup slept soundly and scored all night like a pig.

Nearing the end
Nearing the end

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Outro

The alarm sounded at 5 AM. But the dogs had been awake for some time and couldn’t wait to go outside. But I, on the other hand, napped for another hour or so. Then I woke up as the sun beamed into the basin.

Back above the lower water crossing, we met the only other person on this entire trip. Tom happened to be part of the crew that cleared the down trees on this trail in 2019. Thanks, everyone!

Finding our way home
Finding our way home

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