Thoroughly enjoyed this route! Loved the chain of lakes along the way, and climbing up the gully was a great alternative to the standard route, which sounds like a rather monotonous slog! Rapid descent via Baker Lake Ridge Route.
This was an awesome climb and an even nicer camp site! This is probably my favorite place in any mountains (Gem Lake) due to its beauty and seclusion (at least it was back in the 80s!). It was a perfect day and a great view. Hope to go back this year to re-live my first experience up there.
Started in wet, heavy snowfall which progressed to blowing snow at Baker Lake. Weather calmed down a bit over night, morning was cold with light snow. Could still find trail up to Gem Lake. Snow in coulior was difficult to move through...light and fluffy on top, no solid structure beneath. Experienced blowing snow/blizzard/white out conditions entire time on ridge to and from Trapper. Descending coulior proved interesting as it was a funnel for strong wind and ice crystals (have goggles). Despite weather it was still a good trip. Note: be prepared for changing mountain weather if you plan on attempting anything in the Bitterroots at this time of year. It is winter in the mountains.
I led a couple of friends (advanced hikers but not climbers) and my wife, Linda, to Trapper's summit using this route. It was my friends' first experience with climbing. We all loved the route.
Perfect weather (and no other people on the summit) was icing on the cake!
Far superior route than the "standard" way up Trapper. The three lakes add variety and positive reinforcement along the way. The scrambling offers just the right amount of challenge.