SECTION L WASHINGTON

Downed trees and snow.

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By: bambi barbie
May 27th, 2015

There were quite a few downed trees in manning park section. Some I had to crawl under, some I had to go around, and some I had too lodge myself over. Not equestrian ready. Then there was snow at castle pass, but could find my way through. At Hopkins pass then there was too much snow to find the trail, I tried to push through (and I did find it), but then the traverse up to liberty ridge was completely snowed out. Wouldn’t recommend doing this section at this time without crampons and a detailed map of the trail. Depending on the face of the mountain the snow level varies, but I would say the snow started around 6,500 and became unpassable at 6,700. Water is not an issue there is at least a small stream every .5 mile. 5/27/15

Pasayten Wilderness – horse issues

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By: Bob Woods
July 18th, 2014

North of Rainy Pass the trail gets rough and the snow lingers on the north facing slopes into late-August/early-September. There are two rockslides that took place in the summer of 2013 that you’ll have to deal with.

The first is between Glacier Pass and Tatie Peak and the second is between Rock Pass and Woody Pass. You can dismount andwalk through the first rockslides with some caution. The second rockslides are impassible for stock and require a detour. From Holman Pass, head down Trail #427A to Trail #427 to the Pasayten Airport. Take the Boundary Trail #533 west to Castle Pass back to the PCT.

Snow report from a southbounder 6/26-6/14

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By: Jes Shap
July 11th, 2014

6/26/14 Rainy Pass to Castle Pass
Trail is 90% buried in snow, mostly too soft for crampons. Western aspects above treeline are usually the snow free part, good dry camping on the trail itself. Saw no one on this section until Rainy Pass.
6/14/14 East Bank TH to Castle Pass
North Cascades National Park
Boundary Trail: mostly under snow still, lots of down trees and slide debris. The switchbacks climbing out of Little Fish are largely covered with down trees and grown back in so don’t expect to follow them all the way to the ridge.
Three Fools Trail: a good way to practice following a faint trail. It took me 2 hours to walk the 3 miles from Deerlick to Little Fish on a sunny afternoon. The first mile (up to the wilderness boundary) is a normal trail, then it became severely overgrown in numerous places, with the last quarter mile being barely identifiable. Where it is not obscured by deadfall and overgrowth the tread is flat and makes for easy walking. No severe washouts. With the trees removed this would make an amazing trail into some amazing wilderness. The Little Fish shelter is gone but there is a sign to tell you when you’re there. Best to do this in the afternoon when as much dew as possible has dried from the trees, but expect to get wet anyway. Its only about 600′ of net elevation gain but some sections are steep and it feels like more.
Desolation Trail: 4 small blowdowns, water available at 3 creek crossings, patchy snow for the last quarter mile, lookout closed.
East Bank: Clear between East Bank TH and Desolation. 3 big blowdowns between the Desolation Trail junction and Deerlick Cabin.

August 8, 2012

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We left Rainy Pass July 23. Spent the night at an unofficial camp site above Porcupine Creek. Climbed through minor snow to Cutthroat Pass the next day. Had to turn back about 500 yards short of Granite Pass.

I met a retired park ranger the next day. He said that Granite was one of the most snowed-in passes in the North Cascades and should not be tried this time of year without an ice ax.

Photo by: Nathaniel Middleton