Kathy's Lake

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Julie makes it back from another anniversary adventure.

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Almost every year, Julie and I celebrate our anniversary by doing something challenging. This year, we were going to visit a seldom-visited area in the Lick Creek range. But first I had to get her out of bed; she was moving a little slow from our outing yesterday to Duck Peak and East Corral.

So it was about 9:15 when we hit the trail to Duck Lake (a different Duck Lake from the one yesterday, which Dad calls "Other Ducker"). Earlier would have been better, because it was going to be hot.

 

Trailhead

It's only about 30 minutes to Duck Lake.

Our plan had us ascending the ridge on the right. Julie wasn't too sure.

Trailhead

But first, a little scenery. That's Burnside Peak. If you look close, you can see the little spire of the summit toward the right end of the ridge, the one Tom is standing on in the trip report.

Trailhead

Then it was time to head up that ridge. To get here, hike past Duck Lake until you see a sign that says "Trail" with an arrow point to the left. Someone has kindly penciled in another arrow and "Loon Creek" point to the right. Head for Loon Creek.

The trail up the ridge is a little fainter, a little rougher, but it's all there and there are no log crawls right now.

Trailhead

As you get high on the ridge, the views really open up. Julie finally got to see the other side of Paintbrush Peak. Lots of snow on top right now.

Trailhead

It took two hours from the car, but we were at the saddle at the top of the ridge. That's Lost Art Peak. Looks a little different this time of year.

If you look closely, you can see the top of Peak 8605 peeking over the right shoulder of Lost Art. That's about the best view most people get of this peak, unless you climb South Loon (although you can see it in photos from my trip reports to both Lost Art and Paintbrush).

Trailhead

There's North and South Loon, with North Loon on the left.

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Humdinger

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And Hum Ridge, with Hee, Haw, and Ho in order going out the ridge.

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While I was gawking at all the peaks, Julie was on her cell phone. Yes, even back in here you get reception. She claims she HAS to carry it, because it's her camera. I think she's verifying that there's outside help, because we're about to drop off the other side of the ridge.

Trailhead

I did a pretty good job of staying on the faint trail, despite all the downfall. The key is to remember that from the saddle, don't start down yet onto the lousy, straight-down path. Instead, you take an improbable hard left and scamper across a ledge.

Once down off the ridge, there is still a trail. But the log crawling starts here. Julie is celebrating my trail-following abilities.

Trailhead

As you get near Hee Lake, take a left and wander out the bench to the north, above Loon Creek. Then the bench ends and you have to sidehill bushwack for about half a mile. Not too bad if you hit it right.

Trailhead

As you near the hanging valley that hides Kathy's Lake, you get a great view of Peak 8605.

As you get close, don't go too high (this picture is from too high). Then immediately cross the outlet stream and head directly uphill to avoid the brushy bog with downfall all over. We didn't have that last piece of advice and got to wade through the boggy mess and bushes. When you get above the mess, start traversing while angling uphill. It's mostly open with bear grass.

Then cross over on a flat traverse to today's prize seen below, Kathy's Lake. I hope you brought your fishing pole cuz I was seeing 14+" trout.

Trailhead
Trailhead

As we sat at the lake eating some lunch, Julie reminded me that we were supposed to be at a family dinner in a few hours. 'Poof' went my idea of a quick scramble up Peak 8605. Oh well- it'll still be there.

 

 

Map

Trailhead

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