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Ascent of Frosty Mountain on 2020-10-03

Climber: Patty Cokus

Others in Party:Sean Albert -- Trip Report or GPS Track
(The Dog) Ava
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, October 3, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Frosty Mountain
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:6500 ft / 1981 m

Ascent Trip Report

Sean, Ava and I.

With an amazingly beautiful mostly sunny (hazy) warm weekend forecast how could we not go out! We just needed a low key enough trip for Ava as her last outing (P3 to Defiance) left her 3 legging it for a few days....and my knees were still tweaking a bit, particularly with big step ups/downs. So since Sean had wanted to do Frosty Mountain back when we did Opportunity he thought this would fit the limits.

Drove out early but not super early to Leavenworth...passing the even more insanely busy parked all along the road cars at Snow Lake TH. Can’t even imagine trying to thru hike right now....certainly wouldn’t be a very solitary experience. Down to the very end of Icicle creek road. Parking lot was quite full so a bit down the road. Several groups were getting ready. There is an outhouse available. Filled out the card and headed out at 10:50am on the mostly flat for a few hours trail Icicle Creek Trail. Passed by the mentioned (and note to avoid) shortcut trail. It was easy to see on this end, had stick logs covering it. We discussed a bit but opted not to especially with Ava at this time. We were looking for an easier trip...Noticeable along the way were the many many downed wasp paper nests Or parts of ....luckily all were emptied but it was a bit concerning....guessing the bears are active and Eating The larvae for winter bulk? This was the most I’d ever seen...maybe 8 or so all on or right next to the trail.

Continued on to the big bridge (seemed like new logs on top) crossing over Icicle Creek (About 2 hours to here, we saw no people past this spot) and continued up to the close junction where we Went right into the Frosty Wildhorse trail. The gradient overall stays quite mild and is forested for a majority. One more open rocky creek crossing which was no issue for us this late in the year. It was quite a bit warmer than expected so at one point I needed a break as was getting a bit dizzy. With 5 min rest and some water to cool off I recovered but over the weekend would still feel a bit dizzy at times, especially if looked up. < Hmm, not sure what that’s about but it never got too bad so hopefully just an off few days. >

After about 4.5 hours arrived at Lake Margaret. 5400’ It’s a short side trail from the main with a toilet (always nice to have) and trail that goes left and right. We first went left a bit uphill then down to the lake end with inlet waterfall stream - Ava seemed to get stung so we ran a bit, looked at the camp option next to a muddy little creek and less than inspiring lake access.... we ran back through the wasp/bee zone without further incident and checked out the other trail to the other side of the lake. This was more acceptable but nothing fantastic. We could have opted to load up on water and head to Frosty pass (we figured there wouldn’t be water there) but in the end we decided to stay at the lake. The spot was mostly flat (apparently the real big flat spot looked to have had someone dig a hole and Poop right in the middle of it and Placed little sticks over it....hmmmmm why? There is even a Signed and easy to see toilet obviously at the lake

The lake was low as expected this time of year but with large boulders and some logs it wasn’t too hard to get to a good spot to pump water. First time setting up the new Bug Agnes Cooper Spur Ultrlight 2 person tent. Sean opted to forgo the fly since it seemed so warm. So easy he could set it up with no prior practice. We were excited to try out this HUGE luxurious tent compared to our BD Firstlight tent. First impression is yes it is much more roomy for us with Ava, love the mesh storage spots, but there are some things we have Reservations about. Will have to see how it holds up in wind/rain and over time. Clearly the BD will be the go to for harder Alpine objectives but this will be the Pup tent.

After pumping water and setting up camp we headed out to the trail and up to Frosty pass. Took a left in what is the Chain Lakes trail but soon left it and headed up easy forested terrain on the ridge up to Frosty Mountain. Seemed to be perhaps an old trail for a bit then either game trail or people trail even though this peak (at least on peakbagger) isn’t an especially popular/often visited peak. Passed through some wonderfully red leaves blueberry plants with tiny berries still on them. Rather tasty too! Not exactly easy picking to fill a container but a nice little taste. Total of 1000’ ft gain from the lake to summit at 6500’ . So amazing I’m that in Oct it was so warm and pleasant, sunny, zero wind although we did get to watch a small hawk (or falcon?) soaring around searching plus some other larger birds of prey circling above on some thermals. Beautiful views around and layers upon layers of mountains with Glacier Peak an obvious standout. After enjoying the summit for some time we headed back down to our camp. A large close boulder was perfect for sitting with the stove for dinner and relaxing into the darkness for some stargazing. The night indeed was pleasant and the just past full moon did shine brightly on us for a time without the fly on but eventually moved past and beautifully illuminated the granite boulders with that incredible moonlight glow. We wouldn’t have had that view from the BD tent!

With our peak climbed and only 8 or 10? easy trail Miles out we lazily slept in and enjoyed relaxing. Chilly until the sun popped over the ridge and then it really warmed up again. We tested out the fly on the tent just to see it, having two doors and vestibules again is another luxurious upgrade for us. We packed up, Ava got some swimming in then we headed out. Didn’t see anyone until back at the big bridge over Icicle creek where a few other groups were either having lunch or had camped there. On our hike out we stopped and had a great conversation with a solo gent heading in for some rambling Around to various areas. Nice to chat and hope he has a good trip!

Back to the car about 3pm. Stopped for our first time at the new DruBrew taproom in Cle Elum. Distanced Picnic tableS available outside many with groups including dogs. A bit sparse on the aesthetics, there is a nice young planting area but it still feels like a bit of a barren parking lot...not a big deal. One cider on tap labeled black berry :-( which to my surprise was not sweet and was Totally enjoyable. Sean was a bit disappointed as they only had two IPA’s and neither to his preference but drinkable for sure. Why aren’t there more places with both IPA and nonsweet cider options?

The swift pizza food truck had apparently ran out of dough....did see they have for future reference a GF crust available. We got take out from Cottage Cafe (easy walk) and are it at the picnic table with our drinks. Home by 8pm.

Summary Total Data
Ascent Statistics
    Start Trailhead:Icicle Creek Trailhead  
Descent Statistics



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