Void, Desolation and Dismay in the North Cascades - Page 3 - ClubTread Community

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post #31 of (permalink) Old 08-16-2006, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
Summit Master
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4,662

hi deneb,

there's a lot of bugs near Ross Lake, because there are lots of tall grasses near the lake and leafy undergrowth near the trees.

drive that extra mile and camp on the us side - it's free (but remember to fill out a permit), the water is MUCH better (it's not yellow!), it's a LOT less marshy there, and you are that much closer to the trailhead to the 1.5 hour hike to Hozomeen lake (1100 feet elevation gain, just like joffre lakes but without the boulder fields)

there are very few bugs at hozomeen lake - and hozomeen lake is very warm.

ross lake too - esp the little beach area that is 'cordoned off' by logs, with a beautiful island standing guard, on the Canadian side. Grouse as I may against the Canadian campground near International point, that little beach for kids (and not-so-kids) is really sweet.


thank you everyone for your kind comments about this trip report.

It took me a while to write it, and part of it was because I was wondering whether to share this secret spot that I visited four times this past year.

Here's what tipped me to confess: yesterday, on the CT Top10 page, was a link to a heated discussion from waaaay back about Ling Lake. I re-read every word of the controversy about keeping a favourite place secret.

Many people have read my Desolation report and thought - yeah, this is cool, I'll go there someday - but I can assure you Deneb, Sarge, Skyhawk and a few others: this place will still remain mostly vacant during summer months, most CT readers will return to their favourite familiar places during the few summer weekends when we have time and the weather is good.

The silver-skagit road is a long one, and a brutal one for a 2wd, esp after summer set in. The road is graded in the spring ... and then it degrades. Not quite Cheakamus Lake road type of degradation, but gosh, 65 km on a corduroy road wears a bit thin after a few miles.

To the CT community - do put Ross Lake, and Desolation Mountain, on your wish list for next year. Take a week off from work, and do the walk. We certainly plan to return (a canoe trip this time) and explore the other peaks near the reservoir (Crater and Sourdough).

What a beautiful place, the Skagit. What an inspiring lake, Ross.
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post #32 of (permalink) Old 08-16-2006, 11:31 PM
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post #33 of (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 06:24 PM
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Thanks for such a wonderful report, Cwall. Nice to see you posting reports again
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post #34 of (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 10:35 PM
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Nice detailed report,havent been to Ross lake in years
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post #35 of (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 11:45 PM
Off the Beaten Path
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Hope, B.C., Canada.
Interest: Mountains, Music, Photography
Posts: 637

Vida, great report!

I share your passion with this area and feel similarly torn as to whether or not to share descriptive access info on some of the more secluded areas. It is not purely for selfish reasons but for unselfish ones too. We've all witnessed what can and what undoubtedly will happen to an area once it becomes overly popular. The garbage, the fires, the machines, etc. What better way to contribute to paving the way into an area as posting an attractive TR on a free public site on the internet for virtually anyones eyes to see! But I also feel that it is important for more people, like most of us here, to know that these places do exist and that they are becoming more and more rare. The fewer people that know about a precious and natural area, the more the government seems to take advantage by selling off timber and mining rights to big companies who's only real concern is making money by continually exploiting our rapidly deteriorating resources. I have been up many peaks in the Skagit Valley and viewed most of the area from many vantage points. It makes me ill that nearly every single valley feeding into the Skagit has been logged at one time or another and is continuing to be so... on the Canadian side. Cross the border and you will see countless miles of preserved wilderness. Pasayten, Mount Baker, Cascades, Okanogan, just to name a few, all protected wilderness areas in Washington. Sure, B.C. raves about it's countless provincial parks but many are smaller than my backyard! Others, they allow machines(snowmobiles, ATVs) to enter, and hwys to run through, and huge resorts to be built in, or logging or mining or oil drilling. What is wrong with this picture?
It almost seems like we here are some of the only ones who see beyond the dollar value of what this province gloats about being known and admired for... true wilderness! It's a facade. What little is left is disappearing quickly.
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post #36 of (permalink) Old 08-19-2006, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Just B, have you seen this chapter about the Borderland, in the History of the North Cascades?

Fascinating reading - how Canadian values can differ from those of US park superintendents. Be mindful that this article was written from a US perspective.

For those who have a lot of time on your hands, the entire series of web pages offers excellent historic and conservational reading.
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post #37 of (permalink) Old 08-20-2006, 10:16 PM
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Location: Abbotsford, BC, Canada.
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CWall Thanks...very good read! Great picture of moon over Jack Mtn. and good info on N.C.Parks and chilliwack-Skagit Areas.
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