Heather Pass, Lewis Lake and Wing Lake

August 29, 2007 at 4:46 PM

Jordan, Mark and I went backpacking in the north cascades this weekend.

Backpacking area map

Our hike started just off of Highway 20, leading us near to Lake Ann (which was rather beautiful, as can be seen below).Lake Ann

We then departed from the normal trail and went across Heather Pass. The pass is quite easy to get over, but it leads to a rather long field of boulders barring the way to Lewis Lake.

Hiking across the boulder field

It looks as if the trail used to go directly from Heather Pass to Lewis Lake, but an incessant slide of rocks has obliterated it too many times to make its maintenance worthwhile.

Hiking across the boulder field

Instead of following a normal trail, one must look for cairns set up by friendly fellow hikers. The terrain in the boulder field changes often, and we found ourselves repositioning a few of the cairns that we thought were particularly misleading.

The occasional poorly-placed trail marker wasn't much of a deterrent, however, since we could always see our destination in the distance. When we finally arrived, we set up camp and restocked our water supply using Jordan's new filtration system.

Filtering water

We cooked penne and salmon for dinner that night, a feat of which we were rather proud. While searching for firewood, Mark found a wonderfully shaped log. It sparked an interesting idea in my head, which Mark was determined to see in action. Thus was born our fire-boiled pasta cooking apparatus, pictured below.

Cooking over the campfire

We set out the next morning for Wing Lake, a higher lake that guards the pass to Black Peak. The contrasting views from the East side of Lewis Lake were stunningly beautiful.

A tall spire in the distance

The South East bank of Lewis Lake

The hike involved another field of boulders, at a slightly steeper incline.

Hiking to Wing Lake

It was rather cold when we arrived at Wing Lake. We lit a fire and spent a while eating lunch. The lake was picturesque, a paragon of glacial lakes.

Lighting a fire for warmth

Three brothers at Wing Lake

Wing Lake

After eating lunch, we explored the cliffs to the North of Wing Lake.

Jordan reclining while examining the distant mountains

After hiking back, we replenished our water supply again and ate dinner. I had just light the campfire to make S'mores when rain began falling; we tended the fire and collected all of the dry wood under our rain flap. Soon the fire was blazing in spite of the weather, and we were roasting marshmallows while wearing our ponchos.

Cooking S'mores in the rain

The rain didn't abate; we awoke the next morning to a chill, grey world that stood apart from time.

Thinking it to be not far after eleven, we packed our camp with frozen hands and hiked back to the trail head. The rain didn't leave us until we reached Lake Ann, and even then the trail was muddy and the air cold. When we finally reached our car, the time was far earlier than we had guessed: 9:40!

All told, the trip was great. I was especially pleased with my new pieces of backpacking equipment: my Lafuma sleeping bag, my White Box stove, and my Mariposa Ultralight pack. I must also make note of how incredibly good Ultralight Joe's Moose Goo is for providing a tasty lunch during a hike. That stuff is good.