Camped at Chaffin Lake, then instead of losing elevation to hike back down to Hart Lake to follow this route, chose a higher elevation line to wrap around the ridge from Chaffin Lake and well above Tamarack and Hart Lakes. The scrambling was a little exposed, but much more fun than just bushwacking up through the trees from Hart Lake, we had the added benefit of camping near a huge waterfall spilling from the high lakes into Chaffin Lake. Thunderstorms forced us off the ridge around 500 feet below the summit. Will definitely be back soon to try again!
Is the descent from the ridge to the Tin Cup Creek drainage about the same difficulty?
From the description, once you got on the ridge you could continue west and end up near Tin Cup Lake.
I am interested in doing this because I want to see the Chaffin area and then the Tin Cup area. This way I would go down the Tin Cup Creek trail instead of up since it is a longer hike back to the trailhead. e-mail if you like - firstname.lastname@example.org
I am going next week!
Did the "short" variation of this route on the ascent, then descended past the Chaffin High Lakes. What a perfect place to camp.