Rampart Ridge in Pasayten Wilderness by Nanny Goat Mountain / 壁壘脊

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Rampart Ridge in Pasayten Wilderness looms over Lost River Gorge across from Nanny Goat Mountain. Lost Peak, the nearest taller peak, sits under a mile away. Moreover, it sees many of Washington State’s 200 highest peaks nearby.

Destination: Rampart Ridge in Pasayten
Destination: Rampart Ridge in Pasayten

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Rampart Ridge in Pasayten Wilderness at a Glance

Access: Billy Goat Trailhead
Round Trip: 24.1 miles
Elevation Range: 4000′-7941′
Gear: helmet
Route Info: Eric Eames
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance

The Preface on Rampart Ridge in Pasayten

People from the Seattle area might mistake the name for the Rampart Ridge above Rachel Lake. This one is north of Winthrop by the famous Craggy Peaks. It’s also a long drive, plus hours of walking just to the bottom of the peak.

The high point had almost made the 8k elevation mark. To the west are many taller peaks that are part of the second hundred highest peaks in the state. In contrast, views to the east are more open over the lower mountains.

On the road again
On the road again

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Back to Billy Goat Trailhead

It was our fifth time starting from Billy Goat Trailhead. The first two trips took place in 2018 when we walked four extra miles each way due to road closures. Then we came in last year but could begin from the hiker’s (upper) lot.

Our most recent outing here was three months ago. But it would’ve been wise to wait for the trail crews to clear out the Hidden Lakes Trail. It would’ve saved us hours of weaving over down trees from Jinks Creek to camp.

Craggy Peaks and Eightmile Peak on Isabella Ridge
Craggy Peaks and Eightmile Peak on Isabella Ridge

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Eightmile Pass to Lucky Pass

Despite the dry weather, water flowed from two small streams before Eightmile Pass. Then we cruised to Drake Creek on a debris-free trail from the pass. We crossed the rocks to the other side and continued uphill.

It grew warm very fast with relatively high humidity. After going past the small creek at 5100′, it was bone dry to Lucky Pass. Then there were no more trickles until the dying stream by Hoot Owl Camp.

Rampart Ridge in Pasayten from Lucky Pass
Rampart Ridge in Pasayten from Lucky Pass

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Hoot Owl Camp to Rampart Ridge in Pasayten

After Lucky Pass, we had half a mile of a decent trail as we slowly lost altitude. It was obvious where the trail crew stopped logging out the debris. We soon went through the brush, followed by two places of massive down logs.

The path cleared right before we reached Hoot Owl Camp for a break. The trickles from the once free-flowing stream had never tasted so good! Afterward, we walked down the trail through several more tree piles.

600' drop to Lost River Valley floor
600′ drop to Lost River Valley floor

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Lost River Gorge Camp

Like last time, we hiked over two miles to the second switchback from Hoot Owl Camp. Then we plunge-stepped through scree and a small rock field to the valley floor. We each picked a way and crossed Lost River shortly.

Bushes and large rocks lined the west of the river. We scrambled downstream along the shoreline and settled on a big grassy area by the water. After having lunch and setting up the tent, we went uphill into the northeast gully.

Lost River in the PM
Lost River in the PM

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Rampart Ridge in Pasayten Northeast Ridge

From camp, it’s 4000′ vertical gain over two miles to the top. The gully had hard dirt and scree paths, letting us bypass most brush to the rocks at 4800′. We later exited the ravine by the water slabs at 5100′ for the ridgeline.

The following 1000′ or so was steep and dry, so we three shared however much water I still had. But it ended up being a better route because of the tree coverage. At the same time, we avoided the possible rockfalls in the gully.

Northeast route
Northeast route

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The Final Stretch on Rampart Ridge in Pasayten

Above 6400′, the incline lessened by the old burn below Point 7407. From there, the mild east route would go through the basin. But since the yellow pup no longer enjoyed the talus, we made a rising traverse to the north saddle instead.

From the pass, it’s an 800′ ascent on the north ridge to the top of Rampart Ridge in Pasayten. I knew the dogs wouldn’t make it going this way. So they waited on the flat slabs while I tackled the last few hundred feet to the obscure summit.

Rampart Ridge north ridge
Rampart Ridge north ridge

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Rampart Ridge in Pasayten Summit Views

There were a few places of class 4 moves as I glanced at the exposure on either side. The closer I was to the top, the spicier and narrower the crest. But to my surprise, it was a broad summit to seat a large group comfortably.

The sun was near the horizon, veiled in a light haze from the Kid Fire. I could only name Lost Peak and Many Trails Peak of the western peaks now in the shadows. I quickly took photos before returning to join the dogs.

West Panorama from Rampart Ridge in Pasayten Wilderness
West Panorama from Rampart Ridge in Pasayten Wilderness

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Outro to Lost River Camp

I took a group photo of us back on the crest, where the dogs took a nap. Then we hurried down the ridge amid larches still had on a coat of green. Soon, we were back at the old burn and dropped onto the northeast ridge.

The steep part now felt even more vertical and quite slick with duff in the mix. I nearly went off route into the gully twice to bypass the outcrops. But glad that the dogs knew to correct me as their noses went into overdrive.

Leaving Rampart Ridge in Pasayten
Leaving Rampart Ridge in Pasayten

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Leaving Lost River Valley

Despite the long hours, I was happy to have climbed the peak on day one. Otherwise, the exit on day two would not have been much less enjoyable. After falling asleep watching Girl in the Picture, we all had a restful night.

It was a smoky morning; we all felt lazy and bummed around the camp. Then came my least favorite part of the trip climbing out of the valley floor. But I felt anew once we were back on Hidden Lakes Trail.

Eightmile Pass awaits
Eightmile Pass awaits

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En Route to Eightmile Pass and Out

After gulping down trickles of water back at Hoot Owl Camp, we walked back to Lucky Pass. But not before contending with the massive down trees. Then we were back on a clear trail half a mile before the pass.

The sun came out earlier as smoke dissipated, with the wind switching directions. So we stopped by the 5100′ creek and cooled off in the shade a bit. Then it was a nonstop walk to Eightmile Pass and back to the empty lot.

Finding our way home
Finding our way home

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