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Photo of Orthodox Mountain Trail # 9066

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Date: 2005.05.21
Vantage Point: From west ridge of Orthodox Mountain

Caption: Top of west fork of trail (el. 7000ft); Sheep Mtn in distance; Border Ridge, middle distance; Cathedral Forks out of sight below Border Ridge.

PhotoDescr: We first came across the trail Cathedral Forks Trail while scouting around for the Cathedral Forks trail mentioned in Culbert (1974) and Fairley (1985). The Cathedral Forks trail allegedly branches off the Wall Creek Trail but we could find no sign of it. Perhaps we would be more successful by starting at its top end at Cathedral Lakes and working back down. But hey, the Orthodox Mountain trail is far better because it avoids kilometers of travel through dense low-lying forest and it ends up more or less in the same place. (The thought had crossed my mind that maybe what I call the Orthodox Mountain trail is in fact the Cathedral Forks trail. Maybe some oldtimer out there can clear up the mystery and provide some history on the area.)

The photo was taken on our first trip up the trail in May of 2005. There was still a lot of patchy snow around above 7000 ft, which is about the elevation from where I shot the picture. On a subsequent trip in August 2006 we were able to climb Orthodox and The Deacon from the top of the main branch of the trail. Dense smoke from the Tatoosh and Tripod fires in the Pasayten were seriously hampering our visibility and causing irritation to ourselves so we left before crossing into the Pasayten wilderness. From our camp high up in the alpine it was another half day's march to Cathedral Lakes from where it is possible to climb Cathedral Peak and Amphitheater Mountain.

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