Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Wildcat Lake, Upper Wildcat Lake, Caroline Lake 8.27.03

After Last weeks escapade only one member got a return invite. I was in the mood for a epic day hike and since Justin had only had one previous hike I thought why not. I gave Justin strict instructions to only go as far as he was comfortable and to remember every step in requires a step out. I thought that since there were 4 lakes along the way to today's destination (Lake Caroline) it would give him plenty of chances to stop early. We set off the from the Alpental parking lot in rather cool temps. It became quite apparent that Justin would do fine when I had a hard time staying with him to the saddle above Snow Lake. I was very pleased with the time we were making and the trail was in good shape so we pressed on to Gem Lake. It became very cool wet and windy at Gem so we only stayed for a few moments. The descent into Lower Wildcat went rather quickly and soon we were on the fishing trail to Upper Wildcat. Just stay on the main trail until it splits follow the left fork to the lake. The trail is somewhat steep in places but pretty staight forward to follow. Justin was very glad to see the beautiful campsite at Upper Wildcat. I than began the task of motivating myself to make my way to Caroline Lk. Last year I scouted out the route I would take today. Attaining the ridge to the north of Upper Wildcat is fairly simple I was able to find bits and pieces of trail tending to be on the ridgeline or somewhat north of it. There are a few points that you must descend and go around. I reached approx 4700ft and gave turning around some serious thought, but decided to press on. A short time later I found a very distinct trail leading to Caroline. The trail crests at around 4850 and descends to the lake. After nearly 5.5 hours since we left the car I had a much deserved lunch. I had planned on doing some fishing but time became an issue with only a little over 5 hours of light left and a long way to go to make it out. I made my way back to camp without too much difficulty. I took a few minutes to rest my feet before we hit the long way out. The trip out was as long as we could handle but we made it to the car looking a litte worse for wear.

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