After going back to the car and resupplying, I embarked on a solo backpack across the Mount Wood Plateau north of and across the valley from Granite Pk. It was already very hot when I started up the east facing slopes from the Mystic Lake trailhead to the hanging valley of Chicken Creek. My pack was very heavy with 5 days of food and 7 cans of beer. Earlier in the week I was unable to buy cans in small quantities and had too many left to drink after my return and before my flight home, so I took most with me. They were a great luxury with lunch and dinner. I had lunch near where the flat valley began and expected easy going afterwards, but first there was a tangle of deadfalls between big boulders then soon the forest became choked with lush, dense undergrowth. In places I was glad to have my iceaxe to probe for my footing. Quite different from most dry, open Montana forests I had found elsewhere.
Some large deadfalls had such dense branches that it was impossible to climb over them, requiring detours. Eventually I came out onto an open boulderfield where the creek was roaring far beneath my feet. Just below the first small lake the water came near the surface and I walked the last few meters on rocks in the streambed. It was still early and I had planned to camp higher up, but with boulders and dense forest everywhere I realized that finding a good campsite might be difficult. So when I found a perfectly flat spot over a little moraine like ridge I set up my tent there.
The next morning I set out for Pyramid Mountain. Above the lake the valley is blocked by... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
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