Upper Pierce Camp, party on MacFarlane and ... - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Default Upper Pierce Camp, party on MacFarlane and ...

..ridge (sc)ramble. Still grinning.

A little while ago some friends tossed over an invite for a trip to upper Pierce for the Sept long weekend. Did I want to go? Um... Absolutely. I asked if I could invite another friend along, wasn't sure he could make it but if he did it would be a last minute thing. Got the all clear, cool.

We headed up on Saturday morning. The new and improved parking lot was notably busy. Good, safety in numbers. (Actually this newer lot *should make the threat of break-ins here less of a problem..)

We took our time, we weren't exactly packing light... no land speed records were pushed, just a leisurely stroll to camp with a break for a bit of fly casting at lower Pierce.



It was here we were caught up by Tristan's group. Good to see ya Tristan, they'd dropped their bags and had planned to camp at our fishing beach. Cool.

After catching our quota. [)] We pressed on...


Up the headwall of DOOOooom! [}][}][)]



On the way up the headwall of DOOM! We looked back and my friend Tim had caught up with us.



Glad you could make it! And he was packing enough wine for everyone. Even more glad you could make it!



It wasn't long before we reached upper Pierce and set up camp amidst the mist.



Then it was an evening of socializing and enjoying the sunset until we all trickled into our bags for the night.



The next day we got off to a late start....




but still of course up we went to summit Mac.



Tim and I had been eyeballing the ridgeline around the lake and Tim had a hankering to check out the route to Crossover, Don and Kerri elected head back down, noting the importance of keeping an eye on our beer chilling down below[}].



Such personal sacrifice should be commended. We parted ways and said our mutual "see you back at camp"(s) and off we went.



The route starts off with a traverse high across the scree on the east slope of MacFarlane and looking back, this was really the only spot that I found myself wishing I'd had packed along an ice axe. Once this was conquered we carried on from the col on the SE ridge and traversed a few ledges staying high and on the east side of the prominent bumps. This was pretty reasonable going, very few bits of exposure to contend with and some loose rock to watch for. The few shallow moats we came across were just about perfect for that little bit of protection. There were quite a few nice ledges that made you just want to sit and take in the view.



A bit of veg belay later on the drop to the next saddle, It didn't take long before we were on scramble for the last nub that would take us up and over to the connecting ridge to Crossover. We did a time check. 3pm. We guesstimated 2 hours tops on the return (successful) circumnav of the lake. We had a bit more time to push on a bit further and scope things out.



From here it was an easy peasy meander along the ridgeline, really enjoyable walking until we hit a bit of a high point before dropping to Crossover's long north ridge. Looking down it was pretty clear that climbing gear would be the thing to have if you wanted to proceed from here, it got exposed and steep in a hurry.



So we admired the views, enjoyed a rest stop on the table top before heading back the way we'd came and then dropping down through some heather and then a fanstastic little glissade to the low broad ridge southeast of upper Pierce Lake.



The final bit of challenge was ahead, traversing the steep terrain on the NE side of the lake while avoiding cliff bands that pocketed the slopes. We agreed that the best line involved sticking high and in the trees.

Our leisurely stroll was over, now it was veggie belays until reaching a quaint little game trail that dropped to the little saddle just before the prominent crumbly nub just north of the lake. From here it was another short and steep downscramble involving some loose garbage atop mostly good rock. I did some cleaning when Tim and Niko cleared the fallout zone. [] This dropped us down into a traverse of some lovely steep loose scree of varing size and finished our full circle to camp.

Tim was so happy he jumped for joy...



I took off to the fridge to gather some celebratory beverages. When I arrived at the location in the snow where I'd put those golden goodies on ice, what do I see? The cupboard was bare and a big ol' THANKS!!! and smiley face spelled out in rocks. This had a certain deja vu feeling about it.[}] I head back up toward our compadres and check in...um hahah what happened to the beer. Straight laced faces, shock, "no way it's gone??, maybe it was those guys we saw down here on our way back, they did seem to spend a looong time lingering by the outflow.". Seriously? ... I started to get that sinking feeling one gets when one realizes it just might be necessary to kill a man. I look up towards the slope where the suspected offenders should be descending.

Only one thing didn't add up. Someone that obnoxious would have left the empty cans behind... So on the off chance this was all just a bit of cruel fun I scan the freezer more carefully and catch a glint of yellow tin from under a rock.

Crisis averted! Innocents were left unmaimed and I learned that my compadres were absolute masters pulling off the old Bonnie and Clyde. Mental Note.

Best of all. Ice cold Central City White all around.

Total trip time was about 5 hours. I didn't bring my GPS this trip so I'll have to wait on the track.

After that another evening and wake-up in paradise..


followed by a mostly uneventful trip down.


Fan-freakin-tasmic weekend. Thanks guys.

<i><font size=\"2\">Look to the mountains to learn of beauty and grace, for nowhere else will you find so pure an offering.</font id=\"size2\"></i>
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 07:03 PM
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Innocents were left unmaimed
Word.
Nice TR, Jenn!
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 07:12 PM
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Don and Kerri are good company, Tim appears to be too. I'm very happy to see you up on the mountains Jenn! Lovely trip report of an amazing time on this most magnificent planet!
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 08:14 PM
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Wow, Upper Pierce looks amazing.
I love your night tent shots... so cool.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 08:27 PM
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Awesome report, looks like you had a blast. Loved the photos!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by exscape

You took some pretty nice photos...this is one of my favorite.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 08:40 PM
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Feels good to have done a trip where I ran across someone from ClubTread. Your sunset shots inspire me to spend more than a day up there.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the compliments. Mick it was close!

Solo the worst part was that I discovered my polarizer had a huge crack to one side of it only 40 minutes into the trip. Bummer.

Lynn it was a great group to hang with, I was happy to have had the invite.

Horseman, now that you've had a peek, I'm sure you'll be back.

Shar it really is.

Nikki, you'll have to come along next time.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 10:04 PM
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Very nice!! What a great outing! Nice to get into the mountains and the cool streams and lakes. Your pack was a bit lighter, too.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 09-05-2012, 06:41 PM
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Very nice report. Brings back fond memories from two years ago when I was pretty green and camped at the upper lake with 3 other CT'rs and circumnavigated the lake also. (https://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topi...TOPIC_ID=36609)

Back then I found the idea of climbing a "vertical mile" to get to the summit insane.

Traversing the steep terrain on the NE side of the lake was the crux for me back then. Would hate to have to do that after even a light rain. Here's my picture from it:



Also, where did you guys park? I've been meaning to head back but when I did it our car was vandalized in the parking lot.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 09-05-2012, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting to see the trip from another perspective Leigh.

Our route around the east slopes of the lake went higher and kept us in the trees and off of that slope/ potentially quick trip to the water. As for the lot, only time will tell but it is visible from the paved road now so I'm hoping that it improved the theft/vandalism situation.

Yeah it was a *bit lighter Jerry.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 09-05-2012, 08:29 PM
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What a great adventure! Super nice shtos!
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 09-05-2012, 08:57 PM
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Fabulous Jenn, great trip and fun TR. I also considered heading towards Crossover and how far would I get there. You answered the question.

I notice too the parking lot is a lot closer and visible from the main road. This should help a bit, before the lot was further in behind tall trees.

K
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 09-05-2012, 09:31 PM
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Wonderful wilderness weekend with wine and Weissbier (I'm guessing that Central City White is a Hefeweizen?) ... wanton wench!
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 09-05-2012, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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quote:Originally posted by greyowl

Wonderful wilderness weekend with wine and Weissbier (I'm guessing that Central City White is a Hefeweizen?) ... wanton wench!
o ja, allerdings (on all counts!)

Thanks Janice and Karl. It was really good times. Still smiling.
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