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Ascent of Old Desolate on 2019-07-21

Climber: Mary Lou Biggs

Others in Party:Louise
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, July 21, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Old Desolate
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:7137 ft / 2175 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was peak #4 of a multi-day peakbagging trip. We biked in from the Carbon River entrance to Ipsut Creek CG, hiked to Northern Loop trail, and up Northern Loop to just before Windy Gap. We set up camp in the Tyee cross-county zone. The following day we returned to the Northern Loop trail and took a well-defined way trail just west of Windy Gap that skirts the west side of a large tarn (water source #4 below). We loosely followed the route described in the 100 peaks book to ascend to the Crescent saddle. No ice-axe needed this date in a low snow year. After tagging Crescent (see trip separate trip report), we headed east then southeast when possible (very steep), descending to a largish open rocky area at about 6140'. This was probably the most difficult part of the trip. The slope is very steep and there are various obstacles along the way (trees, cliffs, etc). Follow game trails whenever possible. From this spot we traveled in a southeast direction, gradually descending about 100' and then generally staying at the same elevation for a half mile or so. We eventually found a very well-defined elk super-highway that made for very easy travel and followed this, skirting the west edge of Vernal Park. We then headed to the broad ENE ridge of Old Desolate and followed this up to the summit. We returned the way we came. The descent from the Crescent saddle takes a while. It was helpful to mark the point where we had ascended in order to start our descent. Notes on water sources: 1) just beyond the Ipsut CG there is a very small creek that the trail passes over with flowing fresh non-glaciated water that can be filtered. 2) after crossing the Carbon River on the log bridge, there is a good creek in the flattish area before reaching the Northern Loop trail 3) beyond Yellowstone cliffs, there are a couple of small creeks 4) near Windy Gap there is a large tarn on the south side of the trail that is a good water source. There are also tarns on the north side of the Northern Loop trail, along the way trail to Tyee, but these will clog your filter and are not recommended. Once down in the basin, there are a few streams and tarns (the latter near the summit ridge) that can be used for water.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Bicycle, Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Weather:sunny and hot



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