Ascent of Del Campo Peak on 2014-10-09
|Other People:||Solo Ascent|
|Date:||Thursday, October 9, 2014|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
|Peak:||Del Campo Peak|
| Elevation:||6610 ft / 2014 m|
Ascent Trip ReportWork or peakbag? Easy answer. I used my day off that I earned by scoring well on the physical fitness test at work to bag this peak. A day well used in my opinion. I departed Barlow Pass a few minutes before 8am and made the quick walk to the trail that heads up to Foggy Lake. The skies were blue and clear for the entire hike. It certainly didn't feel like October in Seattle! I made it up to Foggy Lake in about 2 hours and stopped for approximately 10 minutes to grab a snack and take some pictures of Del Campo Pk reflecting in the lake. As I made my way up to the use trail along the east side of the lake, I ran into 2 other hikers who were on their way down from Del Campo's summit. They had camped at the lake and climbed Gothic the day before. They gave me some useful beta: once you are in the gully above the boulder field, there is a large cairn on a rock that has an arrow scraped into it. Turn left here and follow 3 cairns to the left out of the gully. The top of the gully cliffs out if you continue up it. I heeded their advice and made my way on to the Class 3 face. I encountered no navigation issues. Above the easy class 3 a use trail finishes the final push to the summit. The views were great, of course. Starting at Sloan, here was my viewscape in a clockwise fashion: Glacier, Monte Cristo, Kyes, Stuart, Daniel, Hinman, Chimney Rock, Gunn, Adams, Rainier, Larch/Capitol, Washington, The Brothers, Deception, Pilchuck, Big Four, Three Fingers, Whitehorse, N & S Twin, Baker, American Border, Shuksan, White Chuck, Forgotten, Dickerman, and Pugh. So, if you caught all that, I could see as far as Adams to the south and American Border to the north. That is nearly the entire north-south aspect of the entire state!
After about 30 minutes on top taking in the views and eating half of my lunch, I made my way down to Foggy Pass. My route is not to be repeated. I cliffed out a few times and only saved myself ~200 ft of elevation loss by bushwhacking and down climbing. I would just take the use trail back to the lake and head to Foggy Pass or the SE ridge of Gothic Pk from the lake. Anyway, I headed towards Gothic Pk from Foggy Pass. It was easy going. Apparently people get off route on Gothic and end up on some exposed 4th class face. I couldn't find that. I had about 20 ft of easy, unexposed class 3 near the summit and that was it. Gothic was easier than Del Campo, not that either peak was all that tough in these warm and bone-dry conditions. I am sure that if the rock were wet and slick, it would be a different story.
After another half hour taking in the sights on Gothic Pk, I headed back down to the lake, stopping at a snow melt pond below Gothic Peak that made an absolutely stunning foreground for pictures. So, I took about 10 minutes and went snap-happy, taking pictures in every direction. It was another infinity pool, like the one on Gunn Pk, where the edge seems to drop away... When I arrived at Foggy Lake, I encountered another person who was just arriving to camp. She seemed flustered that I was there, so I didn't really chat with her. The descent was uneventful until I met yet another hiker (4 total for the day - busy!). He and I chatted for a minute and I paid it forward with the beta I received from the other guys about the rock with an arrow and cairn in the gully. He seemed like a pretty cool guy. Once I arrived at the trail/road junction, I explored the washed out bridges area for a few minutes before walking along the road back to my favorite pass in Washington: Barlow Pass. I arrived back at my car a few minuted before 3:30pm, making for a 7 1/2 hr day with my two 30 min stops on each summit and my photography stops at Foggy Lake and the infinity pool. I was not hiking at a fast pace, just taking it easy for one of the final hikes of the season.
My GPS was going haywire for half of the hike up to Foggy Lake, just like it does on every peak in WA that involves hiking in a canyon or a forest, so every peak. It also starts about 10 minutes down the old road as it took forever to get a signal. The NSA can read me text messages before I do, but I can't get a GPS signal anywhere in this state, go figure...
While not technically challenging, I rate this peak a 9 for ascent quality as it is one of the finest day hikes that I have done anywhere! To get a 10 for ascent quality, I need to break out a rope, skis, ice axe, or crampons....
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