Bald Mountain in Pasayten via Andrews Creek + Peepsight Lake / 禿山

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Bald Mountain in Pasayten Wilderness by Andrew Peak towers above Boundary Trail. To the northeast rises the notable Cathedral Peak by Canada. Then on the west stands the taller Sheep Mountain across Ashnola River.

This way to Bald Mountain 7931
This way to Bald Mountain 7931

See more trip photos here.

Check out this post for Bald Mountain 4760 north of Mountain Loop Highway. See this post for Bald Mountain 4851 south of Mountain Loop Highway.

Bald Mountain in Pasayten Wilderness at a Glance

Andrews Slam = Newland Point + Flaming Peak + Bald Mountain 7931
安德魯斯滿貫=紐蘭高點+火焰峯+禿山7931

Access: Andrews Creek Trailhead
Round Trip: 41.5 miles
Elevation Range: 3040′-7931
Gear: helmet
Route Info: Perry @ packgoatcentral.com
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance

September 11-13, 2021

Day 1 – Saturday, September 11
Andrews Creek to Peepsight Lake
Night 1 – Peepsight Lake

Day 2 – Sunday, September 12
Newland Point + Flaming Peak + Bald Mountain 7931
Night 2 – Andrews Pass

Day 3 – Monday, September 13
Exit


Day 1

Andrews Creek to Peepsight Lake

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3

The Preface on Bald Mountain in Pasayten Wilderness

I had planned to climb Newland Point, Flaming Peak, and Bald Mountain in Pasayten Wilderness two months earlier. But we went in via Lake Creek Trail, and the aftermath of the 2003 Farewell Fire was still prevalent.

Chewuch River Road has some potholes and a dozen cattle guards. But the 23-mile span on the pavement to the remote trailhead is still one of the best in the state. Before long, I parked near Andrews Creek and slept in the car.

Slate Peak in the mists
En route to Bald Mountain in Pasayten Wilderness

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Andrews Creek Trail

The next day, a car pulled up for directions. The man didn’t know where he was but needed to attend a reunion in Sedro-Woolley. But he had somehow driven to Thirtymile Trailhead north of here. Say wuuuh?

After giving the man directions (and blessings), we set off on Andrews Creek Trail. Perhaps the plethora of down trees past Peepsight Creek we saw last time had left a scar. But it’s not at the top of my favorite trails list.

Andrews Creek Trail
Andrews Creek Trail

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Peepsight Creek Trail

We walked through open terrain with no switchbacks and one down tree. Then at mile 8.5, we went left at the fork onto Peepsight Creek Trail. But it seemed that the logging crew had skipped this trail this year.

Soon after crossing Andrews Creek, down trees showed up and crisscrossed the trail. After hopping over many logs, we lost the path at the 6300′ switchback. Then we fought through more debris toward Peepsight Pass.

Peepsight Creek Trail
Peepsight Creek Trail

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En Route to Peepsight Lake

Windfalls dwindled higher in the basin. Then cairns started to show up in the meadow, where we got our first water 3.5 miles in from the fork. Soon, the trail faded before finding it again up by the next junction.

We later lost the trail past the fork. So we scrambled the rest 400′ up to Peepsight Pass past the rocky ground. Before long, we saw our weekend’s two goals perching above Peepsight Lake on the other side.

One mile to Peepsight Lake
One mile to Peepsight Lake

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A Night by Peepsight Lake

The trail down to the lake was decent, with only a tree or two over the path. Shortly, we were by the water setting up the tent. But the minute we went inside for a break, it poured and didn’t stop until past 8 PM!

Newland Point and Flaming Peak were half a mile apart and made sense to climb in one sitting. Since we didn’t have much daylight, we needed to wait until the morning. So instead, we ate dinner and went to bed.

Peepsight Lake at last
Peepsight Lake at last

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Day 2

Newland Point + Flaming Peak + Bald Mountain 7931

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3

Newland Point Climb

It would be a long day ahead, so we started moving an hour before sunrise. We went south through the forest to the rock field below Newland Point’s east saddle. Then it’s 200′ up to the pass adorned with one cairn.

We scrambled west from south of the ridge toward the summit in the mists. Then we went around the east peak to the notch between the two high points. Soon, another 200′ took us up to the cloudy top.

This way to Newland Point
This way to Newland Point

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Newland Point Summit Views

It became increasingly cloudy after sunrise. So by the time we reached the top, we had no views to savor. In contrast, our trip three years earlier was bright and sunny. So we stuck around for a bit to wait out the mists.

Soon, it drizzled but only lasted 10 minutes before clouds started to shift. The sun even tried coming out but never entirely made it. After enjoying some south views, I snapped a photo of Peepsight Lake and left.

Southwestern panoramic view on Newland Point
Southwestern panoramic view on Newland Point

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En Route to Flaming Peak

We briefly went down Newland Point’s west ridge before dropping onto the northwest side. Despite the steepness, we used ledges and trees to reach the talus. Then on the other side of the rocks was the rocky saddle over Lake 6707.

It’s surprising not to see many down trees here. Shortly, we went up the northeast ridge and made our way through the beautiful larches. Then another 600′ on the increasingly rocky terrain put us on top.

Next stop, Flaming Peak
Next stop, Flaming Peak

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Flaming Peak Summit Views

Clouds have lifted a bit to show the nearby mountaintops. Peepsight Mountain, with our camp below it, had finally shown its face. Then in the next valley was the top of Andrew Peak and Remmel Mountain.

Through the dissipating mists, I also saw parts of Lake Creek Valley. Fawn Lake by Ashnola Pass below Diamond Point would’ve been our camp two months ago had it not been for the arduous approach. Alas, some other time!

Southwestern panoramic view on Flaming Peak
Southwestern panoramic view on Flaming Peak

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Back to Peepsight Lake and Out

Rather than going back through Newland Point, we made a beeline for the camp down on the saddle. Traversing the talus below the cliffs was painless, with fewer burned trees. Soon, we were back at the lake packing up.

Bald Mountain was the northernmost of our three goals. So I wasn’t sure if we had time today to climb it, but we’d play it by ear. For now, we would make our way out of the lake basin over to Andrews Pass.

Leaving Peepsight Lake for Bald Mountain in Pasayten Wilderness
Leaving Peepsight Lake for Bald Mountain in Pasayten Wilderness

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En Route to Rock Lake

From Peepsight Pass, I opted to stay high and traverse the top of the basin to Crazy Man Pass. En route, we went through more larches and walked past the dry lake below the pass. Then we reached the saddle shortly after.

We had taken the pass to Peepsight Mountain last time. From there, the sometimes hard-to-follow trail took us through the top of Glory Basin. Then we reached Rock Lake below Andrew Peak in a short while.

Rock Lake below Andrew Peak
Rock Lake below Andrew Peak

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En Route to Andrews Pass

I didn’t want to linger here, remembering our bear encounter last time. So we moved on after a quick water break for the pups. We later lost the trail as it dipped toward Andrews Creek, then we made a beeline for the pass.

The trail later reappeared in the meadow at 6800′. So we hiked clear down to Andrews Pass that divided Andrews Creek and Spanish Creek. The long and flat saddle didn’t give many views on either side.

Andrews Pass at last
Andrews Pass at last

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En Route to Bald Mountain in Pasayten Wilderness

I decided to go up Bald Mountain today. So we walked two miles down to the fork after hanging our gear. During this, we crossed Spanish Creek twice before stepping into the aftermath of the 2017 Diamond Creek Fire.

We couldn’t find the trail despite seeing the Spanish Creek Trail sign. I read somewhere that the path, or at least parts of it, was no longer intact due to the fire. So we went straight toward Bald Mountain’s east ridge.

This way to Bald Mountain in Pasayten Wilderness
This way to Bald Mountain in Pasayten Wilderness

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Climbing Bald Mountain in Pasayten Wilderness

We went through a mix of wetland and grassland before Spanish Creek’s tributary. I’d trip over many hidden down trees en route. Beyond the creek, it was many tedious reroutes through the dead logs over the mild terrain.

Higher up, the number of down trees dwindled as more rocks followed. From 7500′ onward, heather slowly gave way to the talus. Then the final 200′ was an enjoyable walk to the flat top, like how it looked from other places.

The final walk-up on Bald Mountain in Pasayten Wilderness
The final walk-up on Bald Mountain in Pasayten Wilderness

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Bald Mountain in Pasayten Wilderness Summit Views

The expansive views and solitude would make me consider camping up here. But only if I didn’t have to haul up water or if I could rely on snowmelt. Otherwise, it would be pretty arid during the dry months.

Many notable peaks include Cathedral Peak to the northeast and Sheep Mountain on the west. It was only 30 minutes before sunset, so that we couldn’t stay long. I’d like not to have to spend much time walking in the dark.

Southern panoramic view on Bald Mountain in Pasayten Wilderness
Southern panoramic view on Bald Mountain in Pasayten Wilderness

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Leaving Bald Mountain in Pasayten Wilderness

After the short viewing party, we left the top at sunset. Then it was back to dodging the crisscrossing logs in the burned area. I fumbled many more times going back to Andrews Creek Trail in the dark.

The two miles to camp went by fast over the decent trail. But it was nerve-racking to hear the wolves howling to the north, which didn’t seem to faze the dogs. Though, they were on full alert of the scent from the nearby deer.

Nearing the end
Nearing the end

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A Night on Andrews Pass

I had almost forgotten to grab some water below the pass. So we backtracked from the gate to the top of Spanish Creek and packed enough for the night. Meanwhile, I spied a pair of deer eyes staring from a distance.

It was incredibly calm here. After fetching our gear from the nearby tree, I spent some time looking for a decent spot to camp. Glad we could get all three goals today to have a relaxing day walking out tomorrow.

Leaving Bald Mountain in Pasayten Wilderness
Leaving Bald Mountain in Pasayten Wilderness

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Day 3

Exit

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3

Leaving Newland Point, Flaming Peak, and Bald Mountain in Pasayten Wilderness

The temperatures had plummeted overnight. And when the morning came, a thin frost was on everything. But the sun was still behind the massive Remmel Mountain to give any warmth on this bluebird morning.

The sun later came around the ridgeline at 8:30. Then we hung out to warm up before walking the long 14 miles back to the car. Before Peepsight Trail, we met a few horseriders on their way to Andrews Pass.

Morning sun behind Remmel Mountain
Morning sun behind Remmel Mountain

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Outro

The riders were the first and last people we saw on this trip. We didn’t spot much wildlife besides the wolves howling at night and the birds. Soon, it grew warmer fast after we passed the Peepsight Creek Trail fork.

It went from a freezing morning to a warm afternoon. Along the way, we cooled off with several breaks in the shade. Then we were without water until Little Andrews Creek above the trailhead.

Finding our way home
Finding our way home

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Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3