TR: Icicle Creek/Mormon Ladies Lakes loop, WA Cascades - 8/30-9/2/19

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windknot
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TR: Icicle Creek/Mormon Ladies Lakes loop, WA Cascades - 8/30-9/2/19

Post by windknot » Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:02 pm

Did a 4-day backpack out of Icicle Creek in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in Washington's Central Cascades over Labor Day weekend. I was trying to think of ways to avoid the holiday weekend crowds and figured that this loop up Icicle Creek and over Frosty Pass, Mary's Pass, Ladies Pass, and down Chatter Creek back down to Icicle Creek might do the trick. Even though the 30-mile route is entirely on trail (with one 3.5-mile section of unmaintained trail), I'd read that the 10,000 feet of total elevation gain and relatively long first day to reach a lake, combined with being overshadowed by the much more popular Enchantments area on the other side of Icicle Creek, make for a relatively uncrowded area without sacrificing great views. It ended up working out really smoothly. Once you get up above the treeline, great views abound and there's a lot of scenic ridgeline walking. We bagged an easy peak, 7,316 ft Cape Horn, and I even found some time to do a little fishing along the way. Ended up at around 36 miles total including a few side trips.

Nearing the top of the Frosty Creek drainage on our way to Margaret Lake.
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En route to Doelle/Chain Lakes with a great view over the Wildhorse Creek drainage.
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Lower Doelle Lake.
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Arriving at Upper Doelle Lake.
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Upper Doelle Lake from the ridge between Doelle Lakes and Chain Lakes.
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Heading up to Mary's Pass.
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Pretty Upper Florence Lake, perched on a shelf high above Icicle Creek.
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This was an idyllic spot to fish for feisty rainbows for an afternoon.
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Another view of Upper Florence, this time looking northwest.
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The view north into the SF Chiwaukum Creek drainage, with smoke from a nearby fire encroaching.
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Looking down the homeward stretch. Only 4,500 feet of elevation loss over 5 miles, plus a 3.5 mile road walk back to the car from here.
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And now for some fish/fishing shots. I appreciate how cutthroats readily strike at imitations no matter how poor my presentation.
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A nice westslope cutthroat.
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Another cutt fooled on a hopper pattern.
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A bright rainbow, nearly as strong a fighter as its larger cutty cousins.
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One of the most colorful fish I caught, a hefty 15" westslope cutt.
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Last edited by windknot on Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.








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rlown
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Re: TR: Icicle Creek/Mormon Ladies Lakes loop, WA Cascades - 8/30-9/2/19

Post by rlown » Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:04 pm

Pictures aren't showing. Have to make the album public.

Not sure if this helps:

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windknot
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Re: TR: Icicle Creek/Mormon Ladies Lakes loop, WA Cascades - 8/30-9/2/19

Post by windknot » Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:07 pm

Thanks Russ. Had to make sure they were in a public album first before embedding. Photos should be working now.

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Re: TR: Icicle Creek/Mormon Ladies Lakes loop, WA Cascades - 8/30-9/2/19

Post by balzaccom » Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:06 am

What a great report. Add another destination to our list....
Balzaccom

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Re: TR: Icicle Creek/Mormon Ladies Lakes loop, WA Cascades - 8/30-9/2/19

Post by davidsheridan » Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:08 pm

Great report, it looked beautiful! Nice beautiful fish too!

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Re: TR: Icicle Creek/Mormon Ladies Lakes loop, WA Cascades - 8/30-9/2/19

Post by rlown » Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:27 pm

Nice report! I like the rod bend shot!

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Re: TR: Icicle Creek/Mormon Ladies Lakes loop, WA Cascades - 8/30-9/2/19

Post by TahoeJeff » Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:28 pm

I'm partial to that last bruiser cutty.
Great report!
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Re: TR: Icicle Creek/Mormon Ladies Lakes loop, WA Cascades - 8/30-9/2/19

Post by windknot » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:58 pm

Thanks all!

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