Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Alaska Mt, Ridge Lake 8.3.05

I was hoping for a double summit today I wanted to start with Alaska Mt. and finish going over Red Mt. I used the PCT as my approach and hoped to use the Commonwealth basin trail for my return making a nice loop trip. I steamed into Ridge Lake in under 3 hours and dropped pack. I found a nice hiding spot, with quite a few people in the area I didn't want to leave my gear unattended. I made good time to my jump off point for the summit bid of Alaska Mt. I waited to leave trail until reaching the saddle before you drop towards Joe Lake. I easily picked my way to the top of the first false summit. I dropped a bit of elevation before the final push to the summit. The views were well worth the four hours of effort to get to that point. I dropped more in a southwestern direction and rejoined the trail in a much more direct fashion. On returning to Ridge Lake I took some time to rest and fuel up. I noticed some nice size rainbows rising so I broke out the fly rod. I managed in the short time I actually fished one very pretty rainbow. Feeling a bit fatiqued I couldn't decide if I should continue my loop route. I climbed to the ridge top and onto just before the top of Point 5721. I was not able to find a dog friendly route over the top so I returned to the PCT for the long slog out. Becky's guide makes it seem like it should be an easy traverse but from my vantage point it seemed out of my league. There is a good size gap at around 5400ft that looks quite imposing as well as the summit block which seems overly steep. I will be quite content to use the more tradtional route to Red Mt's summit. To change things up a bit I used the Commonwealth basin trail for route out. I think it does save some time over the PCT.

18+ miles 4050ft of climb 9hrs car to car

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