Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Rock Lake 6.15.05

was only looking for a half day today and with the weather dry I thought I would give something brushy ago. My plan was to drive to the end of the Maloney Ridge Road. I thought there might be a fisherman's trail that led to Rock Lake which lies in the shadow of Malachite Peak. I found the trail right away it leaves the road just past the Evans Lake trail and just before the turnaround that ends the road. As I suspected the trail was a bit brushy for the intial 200ft of climb but soon reached some more open forest. The tread was well worn and not hard to follow. I made great time to the small pond just east of Pt 5389. I suspected the trail might traverse to the lake but instead it stays right on the ridgeline. The trail becomes much more of a scramble as it makes its way to the saddle. I was forced to use my hands and had to be quite careful in some areas of minor exposure. I crested and was on to the descent to the lake. The trail follows the ridge to the South until around 5100ft where it drops steeply to the rockslides below. The route is cairned through the rockslide and in the areas of lingering snow I was able to follow some recent footprints. The lake was stunning and there were some decent campspots in and around the many inlets on the North Shore. After last weeks Beagle escapades I left Baxter on the leash for the majority of this trip. I was actually quite suprised in his willingness to follow behind me leashed. I frequently dropped the leash in the many tricky areas where I felt I needed both hands. I did fish a bit catching one small brook trout. My main goal was to scout a route for a northern ascent of Malachite Peak. I think it wouldn't be hard to at least get to the summit block via this route. If I would have left the trail about 200ft above the lake and contured on the rockslides there seems an easy scramble to the lake at 5245. From lake 5245 it appears that it would be no trouble to cross to Panorama lake and then on to the Saddle between North Malachite ( pt 6208) and Malachite's main summit. From there it's all conjecture. This trail while is less than 3 miles is not for everyone I would not like to do this on a wet day or a morning with a heavy dew. To attest to this trails difficult nature it took me 1:45 to reach Rock Lake. I will surely be back in the future to continue towards Malachite Peak summit.

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