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Matterhorn and Sacajawea from Ice Lake
Trip Report

Matterhorn and Sacajawea from Ice Lake

 

Page Type: Trip Report

Location: Oregon, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 45.22770°N / 117.2981°W

Object Title: Matterhorn and Sacajawea from Ice Lake

Date Climbed/Hiked: Aug 13, 2005

 

Page By: CougBackpacker

Created/Edited: Aug 15, 2005 /

Object ID: 170340

Hits: 2983 

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Hiked in from the Wallowa Lake trailhead at 4 in the afternoon after a frustrating 120 mile drive that took 3 hours on a winding route from Pullman through Joseph. Rushed to beat the sunset and arrived at Ice Lake just before 7 as it was getting dark. Next morning took trail on NW side of the lake and reached Matterhorn in a demanding hour and a half hike to gain the 2000 feet to the summit. Trail is faint at times but you can walk upright the entire way to the top following the cairns. The view from Matterhorn is incredible to say the least, you can see many of the 9000+ foot peaks in all directions. Saw two others from Ice Lake on top and we took each others pictures which was nice. They headed back down but I was set on bagging Peak 9775 and Sacajawea as well. The ridge down to the intermediate peak was easy but from Peak 9775 to Sacajawea can be treacherous. There is a series of spike outcroppings on the ridge that must either be directly climbed up and over or you can try to scramble slightly around on the steep loose scree slopes. It is doable but certainly not for beginners, the rock itself provides plenty of holds but be wary as it is fragile and prone to breaking loose in large chunks. The mixture of geology up there is incredible to say the least with the contrasting white face of Matterhorn to the red slopes of Sacajawea. The last 1/3 of the way from Peak9775 is very easy and I was pleased to reach the highest peak in the Wallowas. I spent about fifteen minutes admiring the view and playing with the camera timer to get some self portraits at the summit cairn. Then headed back slowly across the ridge trying to be as careful as possible with all of the exposure. Instead of going over to Matterhorn and taking the same trail back down I angled down and to the left of Peak 9775, after reaching its summit a second time, towards a large scree field that extends across to the Hurwal Divide. Perhaps a quarter of the way down to Ice Lake the dirt turns almost sand like and becomes very good footing for large bounds down the mountain. This field leads down to a very nice creek that forms a small canyon above Ice Lake. I stopped here to rinse myself off from all of the dust as well as dump out the couple pounds of dirt that had gotten caught in my boots while leaping down the mountain. I was back at camp by 2:30 in the afternoon and had the rest of the day to enjoy the scenery and scout the extensive shoreline. There is ample opportunity for bouldering all around the lake near the slopes of Craig Mountain.


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