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|Weather||Changes all the time|
|TrailConditions||White R. is clear|
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|Indian Head Peak
My non WACer buddy Tom and I climbed Saul (7300+) and Indian Head (7400+) over the weekend of the 14th and 15th. The summits constitute the eastern and western high points of the ridge that separates the White from the Indian River.|
We sauntered up the White River and then headed into the Indian River valley, arriving at the junction to Airplane Lake in about two hours. The trail to the lake is direct, and marked with ribbons and paint marks galore. Camp was at the lake and included an evening of observing swallows, bats and a bear who lazily crossed the slope above us.
Next day we left camp at the crack of 10 and headed up Saul through delightful small hanging valleys and a few brave snowfields. Saul is not an often climbed summit, the register book in old style brass register hails from 1984, a long time these days, only 2 or 3 parties visit annually. Definitely a candidate for the Enigma Range. The summit, as well as the ridge between Indian Head and Saul, offers spectacular views of the hills from the Stuart Range, Daniel and Hinman, over to the Snoqualmie Pass peaks, to the Monte Cristo area and on to Glacier, Tenpeak, and Clark. Leaving Saul, we spent the next hour or so on very loose shelves and in crappy gullies to bypass some gendarmes on the ridge. The rest of the ridge is pretty easy, obstacles are bypassed on the south. To our surprise we encountered a few larch, far from their normal habitat. We camped in the upper heather meadows of Amber Creek. No water that night.
Next day we continued on, finding a snow patch and running water. I consumed three liters on the spot. The summit of Indian Head is achieved without too much further ado, keeping on the south side of the ridge avoids loose rock and gnarly looking gendarmes. Many small benches and rocky outcroppings would make good early season camping just south and east of Indian Head.
From the summit, it's merely a heathery stroll down to the PCT and the junction to the White River trail. Billions and billions of blue berries. Our last night was on the White, a nice river camp with abundant water for bathing and drinking. We saw no one on our trip, the area makes for wonderfully lonesome wandering.
Big ideas: Instead of heading down to the White, one could head over to Indian Pass, access Wenatchee Ridge to Bryant, Longfellow, Whittier, Jonathan and David and then down to the car the end of the White River Road. A great haute loop, esp. in early season, with minimal gear requirements and offering several named summits.