What do you do when you want to avoid an 11 miles of boring trail? Bushwhack Swamp Creek of course. It is a lot more entertaining, challenging and shorter for saving the feet!
The Bushwhack is strait forward and 3.5 miles from the trailhead to the lakes. Head up the east side of the creek following a ridge. Around 5000’ cross Swamp creek. Start the long steep traverse through forest and avalanche gullies till you reach the PCT below Methow Pass below or near Snowy lakes.
In the bottom of the valley swap creek is quite marshy. By crossing at around 5000’ you avoid the wettest of the mashes. Most of the bushwhack is in the forest and you can move fairly quickly.
As we worked our way through the bushwhack we ran into some strange Blair witch project happenings. CDs hanging from fishing wire in the trees. A 10x10 area squared off by barbed wire with a man made nest area for a small animal, made of sticks. Tacked to a tree is a pad with nails sticking out and some strange substance in the middle of the circle of nails. Tack to the tree is a card with the name and address of the person who set up the experiments. Yana has e-mailed him she can fill you in. Not something one tends run into when bushwhacking!
After setting up camp we headed up to play on Golden horn. Fun scramble with a short class 5 section to the small summit block. The wind was creating a nasty cold ass wind-chill on the summit so we didn’t stay long.
carla rapping off the summit block
We had quite the time back at camp with crab walk races, serkret telling, and manamana singing (that was stuck in our heads the next as we climbed Tower. Thanks Carla! ).
Tower at sunset
The next morning it was 24 degrees out. Brrrrrr!!!
24 degrees. i bit frostyyy
Tower would warm us up and so did our new song we all sang. Manamana! The climb up Tower is a lot of fun! Do do da do do… Mostly class 3 that is very exposed in most places. Manamana! There is a lot of loose rock on the route but we moved very efficiently as a group and had no issues with rock fall minus some small stuff. Do do da do do… [/u] The route is easy to follow if you take your time and route find. This will avoid the class 4 slabs in the gully proper. Manamana! Stay to the right of the main gully proper and find many ledges to traverse. You will end up zig zagging a few times. Do do da do do…Good fun! We hung out on top for an hour and headed back to camp. Manamana! Time to play in the forest for a few hours. Do do da do do….
Sunday morning lower Snowy Lake
our bivies from the summit of Tower
Carla, Yana, and Franklin descending the peak of "DOOM"!!! ;-)
We had no issues with our shwack on the way out.
What a great time with great friends having some kick ass fun!
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