Ellingwood Arete approach and general route. There is virtually no trail from either of the lakes to the base of the ledges. Do not attempt a traverse of the north side of the lower lake. The bushes are impossible to negotiate. Scouting the approach on south side of the lower lake the day before is helpful for a pre-dawn start. The approach from the upper lake is easier and quicker. The upper lake is 400 feet higher and a half mile further from the lower lake, and the camping is exposed to weather. In addition, you have to camp at least 300 ft from the upper lake, thus, campsites are scarce. But, if I had to do it again, I would try to camp at the upper lake to avoid the hour-long approach and bushwhack from the lower lake.
August 1, 2003. Photo and editing by Alan Ellis.
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