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TR: Sawtooths 2012: Goat Creek Forbidden Fruit

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TR: Sawtooths 2012: Goat Creek Forbidden Fruit

Postby Eiprahs » Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:40 am

Prologue:

For some 2012 was the year of the dragon. For us, it was the year of the lawn chair. A huge success on our 2011Sawtooth trip, everyone wanted a lawn chair this year. Having bought new packs and a new tent, Susan and I were lighter, so lets carry lawn chairs!!

Joseph couldn’t attend, so it was Susan, Chris, and I on this year’s excursion thru Goat Creek, a destination intentionally removed from the standard guide book, but the primary access to top Sawtooth climbs. Despite the allure of forbidden fruit, we didn't decide on our destination until the morning we left. The Halstead Fire had been ravaging the Sawtooth NF north of Stanley, ID, and we were not anxious to repeat last year’s smoke out. Fate made our decision for us when a large fire broke near our back-up destination.

Leaving more or less early, we motored east, enjoying a smoke free trip punctuated with a stop in Emmett, ID to buy fishing tackle and non-resident fishing licenses. Smoke free until we made that big bend in US 75 North of Stanley. There a gigantic smoke column capped by a cumulus cloud boiled into the sky. In the distance two other columns rose.

As we drove South towards Stanley we passed firetruck and helicopter staging areas. Here and there across the meadows we could see fire backing down the hill sides. We passed the main fire camp just before entering town. Faced with such an apocalyptic scene, we did what anyone would do—pull into the pizza place for pizza and beer!

Biz had been lousy, the owner said—few tourists and the fire fighters were restricted to fire camp. A map on display showed the area the fire had burned each day since its start over a month earlier. Both the pizza and the beer were excellent!

It being dark by the time we left the pizzeria, we slid into the largest campground on Redfish Lake, empty save for 2 RVs. Everything smelled smoky. Chris and Susan spread out a tarp on the ground, while I opted for the picnic table itself. “Aren’t you afraid you’ll fall off?” Susan asks. “Nah” I say. “I won’t sleep well.” And between the moon and the pervasive smell of smoke, I don’t.

Link to map of trip:

http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.p ... ||line=off

Day 1. Redfish Lake to Alpine Lake. 5.4 trail miles.

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Early Morning Confusion at the Campground

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Boarding Redfish Lake Hiker Ferry

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Anchors Away!

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Those 4 Miles Were Easy!

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Elephant's Perch

We made Alpine Lake in short order, but by the time we pumped water skies had clouded over and thunderstorms were in progress. Not anxious to cross an exposed high pass, we made Alpine Lake our first night's stop.

Day 2. Alpine Lake to Feather Lakes

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Coffee???

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Exit Trail At Third Switchback

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Ascend Scree Slope Left of Low Point

The climber site says to stay left of rocks. Do we downclimb a few feet to get back on route or go for the rocks?

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Rocks It Is

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Above Rocks--Piece of Cake

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The Scree Chute--Alpine Lake in Background

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Top 'O Chute--Baron Lakes in Background

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Descending to Warbonnet Lakes Packrat Peak (L), Mayan Temple (C)

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Warbonnet Group (L) and Monte Verita (R) from Feather Lakes

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Upper Bead Lake. Warbonnet Peak (L), Cirque Lake Peak (next), Silicon Tower (R)

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Radek & Shirley here to climb Cirque Lake Peak

You can read their trip report plus their climbing adventures around the globe here:

http://chossclimbers.com/testing/us/ida ... /img_6326/


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Panorama of Goat Creek

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Feather Creek Cascade Mayan Temple

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Cleaning The Cook Kit by Alpenglow

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Snags by Moonlight

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Orion Rising Out Of Packrat Pass

Day 3 Feather Lakes to Oreamnos Lake

We descended along the route we scouted yesterday.

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Following the Right Crack

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Crux Move

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Blue Rock Lake Spire

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Blue Rock Lake

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Climbing Shoulder of Ridge

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Rounding Shoulder on Good Rock

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Crossing Talus

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Message From God--I Started Laughing

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Lunch In The Talus

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Meadow At Willard Lake

Day 4. Day Hike to Three Lake

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Oreamnos Lake At Dawn

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Oreamnos Lake From South

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Three Lake Panorama

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Oreamnos Lake At Dusk

Day 5. Oreamnos Lake to Upper Redfish Lakes Via Reward Pass

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Awesome Needle Above Packrat Lake

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Leaving Packrat Lake at Cliff

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Bench Above Packrat Lake, Needle on Backside Mt Underhill

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More Talus--Aiming For Trees at Left

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Reward Pass View--Upper Redfish Lake Is Goal

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Reward Peak and Pass

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Chris On Reward Peak

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Lake Kathryn From Reward Peak

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Halstead Fire From Reward Peak


Day 6. Upper Redfish Lakes to Redfish Lake Lodge

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First Light At Upper Redfish Lake

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Lady Of The Lake

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Close Up--Just A Root

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Easy Out

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Elephant's Perch From Redfish Creek Trail

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Sittin On The Dock Of The Bay


We arrive at the dock to find it unoccupied save for one solo day hiker. We gratefully pull the lawnchairs off our packs, and change out hiking boots for camp shoes. Ahhh!

We are joined by a couple, then several groups of day hikers, a guy in a Hawaiian shirt with two dogs and a friend, and a couple of climbers. Clearly we won’t all fit on the boat, and that is before we are joined by a family of four. The dad of the late comers introduces himself by demanding passage on the next boat, seeing as how he signed up for the equestrian tour and the boat is part of the package.

Well, we have lawn chairs, and are comfortable, so we offer to wait. The guy with two dogs says he can wait, too, as do a couple other folks, so our impetuous late-coming co-traveler, without so much as a ‘thank you’, gets his way.

The boat returns soon enough and, after boarding, we find out Mr. Hawaiian shirt is owner of the Redfish Lake Lodge, out showing his friend Elephant’s Perch. He tells us stories about climbing Elephant’s Perch and his other most favorite climbing venue, the Finger of Fate, and I’m almost sorry that the ferry ride ends.

We stop at the lodge to make dinner reservations, collect the car, drive the short distance to the hiker shower, and, for a mere $2, enjoy five minutes of heated liquid bliss. Spiffed up, with clean hair, fresh shaves, and clean clothes, we return to the lodge for an organic grass-fed tri-tip dinner with decent Idahoan cabernet and bread pudding for dessert.

That first re-contact with civilization back at the dock was rough, we agree, but civilization does have its perks. Please pass the wine.

Tomorrow we are off to Pinedale, WY, jumping off point for the Winds. But that is a different TR.

Halstead Fire Map

http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOC ... 390618.jpg
Dave



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Re: TR: Sawtooths 2012: Goat Creek Forbidden Fruit

Postby austex » Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:10 am

:thumbsup: Love the pictures and the lawn chairs! I didn't know that Redfish had a water taxi... Only fished Bulltrout and never got to Redfish. Again, thanks for a perspective of a new opportunity!
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Re: TR: Sawtooths 2012: Goat Creek Forbidden Fruit

Postby Shawn » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:51 pm

Beautiful area, nice TR and photos, and........great lawn chairs!

Thanks for sharing.
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Re: TR: Sawtooths 2012: Goat Creek Forbidden Fruit

Postby maverick » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:36 am

Another beautiful TR from that region. Thank you! Yeah, the lawn chair photo is
a classic. :) That ridge line above Oreamnos Lake is really cool, kind of reminds
me of our Sawtooth Range in northern Yosemite. Thanks for including the map. :)
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: TR: Sawtooths 2012: Goat Creek Forbidden Fruit

Postby oldranger » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:16 pm

So, did you use the fishing gear?

Mike
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Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: TR: Sawtooths 2012: Goat Creek Forbidden Fruit

Postby Eiprahs » Sun Jun 08, 2014 4:10 am

Mike,

We did fish Oreamnos Lake, where we took a lay over day. A trip report I found describes Oreamnos as "stupid with fish", which it was--every cast you'd have a strike. :)

As we had ample food, fishing didn't have the hunger driven allure it had on the previous trip, so we did not fish the other lakes. They all held fish, tho.
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