Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Thur, 5Sep - Switchback Pass, Pentagon Mtn and the Trilobite Lakes

Merged onto Leys Clark Creek/Kevan Mtn alternate route and off the fire detour a little before the Pentagon guard station.
The trail climbs up Pentagon creek past the pyramid shaped Table Mountain and up Switchback Pass.  

Near the pass a thunderstorm rolled in and I hide out in a grove of pines a little short of the pass and eat lunch.  It cleared briefly and I got a great view of the rocky knob at the pass surrounded by the magnificent Kevan Mountain on one side and Pentagon mountain on the other.  The views didn't last long as the rain returned and I scurried off the pass.  

The rain turned the trail to greasy mud and it was like climbing down a mountain made of lard!  Had to use my poles to keep from sliding on my butt as big globs of mud built up on your boots and wads of mud kicked back in globs onto the backs of your legs.  I finally realized if you just put your rain coat on the rain will stop.  

As you drop down you pass the very pretty Dean Lake surrounded by the steep rock walls of Pentagon Mtn.  Saw prints in the mud that looked much to big to be a coyote.  Could it be a wolf?

The trail follows a shelf along the Trilobite Range with steep rock walls of mountains beside you on the left and a forested drop off on the left.  Some patches of snow are visible and labeled glaciers on the map but they are very small. 

I left the alternate using a little used an overgrown trail to hike to The Trilobite Lakes.  The rain returned off and on and clouds and mist was rising from the valley.  The view behind me of the Trilobite range from Trilobite Peak to Pentagon and Kevan Mountains was really nice.  Camping between the first two lakes with a great view.

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