Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Chain Lakes 9.25.07

I had hoped for some area peak bagging but I felt like just making it to the Lower Chain Lake a worthy effort. I managed to get out of the house at a reasonable hour and soon I found myself again on the Mill Creek Road. I parked a little lower to access the hidden trail that connects to the Pct just before Lake Susan Jane. This shaves many miles and elevation gain off the standard Stevens Pass entry point. I quickly passed Lake Josephine and gave back all my gained elevation and then some as I made my way down the Icicle Creek Valley. I had layered up and my rain gear was tested by the brushy trail. I reached the signed junction for Chain Lakes and started the 2000ft grunt to the lower lake. Enroute I passed 2 bee's nest one a 4200ft and again at 5000ft. The poor beagle took the brunt of the bees getting stung more than a dozen times. I was pleased to reach the first Chain Lake in 3:15 . I had hoped that the area would be open but instead I found more wet brush. The going I am sure would be relatively easy but my time frame wouldn't allow further exploring. I wolfed down a quick lunch and was set for my soggy return. I managed to miss the first bee's nest but the second I wasn't so lucky. I felt so bad again for the Beagle when is leash got caught in a nearby tree trapping him next to the hive. I managed to get him released without getting stung myself. I made good time before finding another bee's nest on the Icicle Creek trail. I can never remember bees being such a reoccurring theme on any of my previous adventures in the mountains. By the time I reached the ridgeline above Josephine Lake the weather worsened adding a brisk wind to the wet skies. I very thankfully reached the car to try and dry off.

Approx 12 miles 4300ft of climb and 6:30 car to car

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