Beautiful week doing the loop from Pansy Lake to Elk Lake to Welcome Lake and back o Pansy. Hit up Battle Ax, Bull of the Woods, South Dickey, and North Dickey along the way.
Hiked up from Welcome Lakes--spectacular view.
A very nice area. Spent a weekend hiking to the various lakes around the peak, which there are many of. For the most part very peaceful area.
Lakes, Big Slides, Jeff views and big trees. I need to get down here more often.
Walked in from the east and turned up Welcome Lakes Tr. the night before. I stopped when it got too dark to walk and bivvyed on the wide bench that shows on the map not far above the junction. Went to sleep almost immediately and awoke just before dawn to what appeared to be a spectacular sunrise. As it got lighter and my eyes cleared up, I realized I was under a canopy of blooming pink rhododendron. They were everywhere on the bench and fairly thick almost all the way to Welcome Lakes. Established a camp to the west of Upper Welcome and quickly scurried up the trail that goes straight up the ridge. At the top, a huge wave of clouds began to break over the whole area, followed quickly by rain and fog. Put on a goretex layer over shorts and tshirt, stowed the camera and pressed on to the lookout at the summit, by then in thick fog and driving rain. From the time the rain arrived, I saw no one else for the rest of the trip! This trail walks very easily for the elevation gained. Sat under the lookout and ate lunch, visibility at times in tens of feet. Scrubbed plans to lake hop off the loop back to my camp and returned the way I came, napping under my tarp and enjoying my solitude. Cooked a relatively late dinner from under the tarp . The rain stopped about the time I was done cooking, so I took tea and freeze dried whatever to the cliff near Upper Welcome that overlooks Lower Welcome. At first I ate in thick fog, but it cleared for some views of the lower lake. Rain returned and I actually slept for longer than I ever have in the mountains. Brilliant sunshine erupted shortly after sunrise. Further cloud walls to the south and west led to scrubbing plans to explore Pansy Basin during the morning.I returned to my truck and drove home by cutting over to the Breitenbush on logging roads, listening to Kiri Te Kanawa. A surprising bonus followed, as clearcuts(!) filled with beargrass, fireweed and other massed flowers seemed to pop into view every time the sun came out. Then, as I started down towards the Breitenbush, the clouds briefly opened a window on the northeast aspect of the summit of Jeff, sidelit by otherwise hidden cool sunlight . For a few seconds the upper mountain was monochrome menace, "steel and ice," something from a north wall hidden in a range much harsher than the Cascades.
Did this as part of a great 2 day backpacking trip with aunt and uncle from New Zealand. We did a 23.6 mile loop starting at Elk Lake, around the base of Battle Ax, down to Twin Lakes, and up and over to Mother Load Creek. From there we headed up the creek to the saddle, with the trail junction to Pansy Lake. We camped on a perfect rock knoll just above the saddle, with great views of Mt. Jefferson. The second day we summited Bull of the Woods, then continued along the ridge to the Big Slide Lake trail. We descended this to the saddle between Big Slide Lake and Welcome Lakes, and followed the trail around to Welcome Lakes trail, and back up to the ridge. We then took took trail 557 (Geronimo Trail) down to the Battle Ax shelter site. This trail is rather overgrown and noted by a sign as not maintained in the last 10 years. The loop is very nice with ever changing views.
Route Climbed: West Ridge
Date Climbed: June 19, 2004
Date Signed: June 21, 2004 12:55 AM
Nice hike to the top with Cornvallis, his mom, and at least ten others in her trail club. Interesting conversation and nice easy pace. Nice views even though the thunderheads were a bit intimidating.
Left Elk Lake at noon. Camped at the Battle Creek Shelter site. Summited next day.
Mid-summer climb with my brother Dave and friend Rob. Great views all around.
Shelby and I hiked up with my mom's trail club. To me three is nearly a crowd, so I don't think the trail club thing is for me. Enjoyable hike anyway with a good group of people (all 10 others). Gotta love the Bull of the Woods area, very nice. Chased off the summit by the rumbling of thunder and some rain. Good day.
October, 2003 - I hiked the East Ridge from Elk Lake Creek on a rather damp day off from work. I was surprised at the number of beautiful waterfalls along the Elk lake Creek trail. I didn't see anyone else out on the trails. The summit was cold, wet, and windy with no views. The lookout was boarded up and secured with a cable. In addition to the waterfalls there was also a pretty good amount of old growth forest to see.
June 30, 2004 - Did this on a Warm sunny day stopped by Big slide lake, Big Slide Mountain, and Lake Lenore on the way for a long day. I had great views from Rainier to South Sister and of the nearby Wilderness. Lots of Mosquitoes. Returned under full moon to my truck and drove back to Portland.
August 24, 2008 - Part of an old growth packed backpacking trip from Whetstone Mountain trailhead and via Twin Lakes. From the Junction of the Mother Lode and Pansy Basin Trails to the summit had quite a few obstructions on the trail. Could barely see Rainier due to haze, but cold see south as far as Broken Top. Gotta Love the Bull of the Woods Wilderness!
Wanted to do something close this weekend so headed down here. Easy and quick to Pansy Lake. Heard lots of gunshots on the way up the West Ridge. Lookout tower had it's door broken in but the top of the doorway was still covered over by a board. Had some lunch and then headed back down via Dickey Lake Trail loop. Seeing Big Slide Mountain from the summit really made me want to check it out sometime too.