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Mount Watson (Baker Lake area)
Timestamp Free: 2020.07.09 - 18:23:21
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Cascade Range / Washington Cascades
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 600m
Participants: Simon Chesterton
Difficulty: 3: Maintained hiking trail, climbers track to open terrain, steep gully to summit ridge.
Hiking the Anderson/Watson Lakes Trail then climbers track to the NW Ridge of Mount Watson and a scramble up the south side.
I had spent a couple of early fall days hiking near Mount Baker (Ptarmigan Ridge and Park Butte areas) and with the weather about to break down did one more trip to the area. From the Anderson/Watson Lakes trailhead I follow the trail past the Anderson Butte Lookout junction. There's frost and some ice in places as I reach the Watson Lake turnoff and take it up to the high point where a climbers track goes right.

Things steepen and there's some side-hilling further up (a little slick on the frozen ground) but the track is easy to follow to a meadow area where I go right a little which leads me to the larger of the Upper Anderson Lakes and a lone camper. Following the lake shore to it's northeast side the now faint track ascends a gully (more icy stuff to keep an eye out for) and on to the northwest ridge of Mount Watson. The views are starting to open up, looking down to Watson Lakes and beyond to Shuksan, Blum and Hagen.
  [photo]ResizeofIMG_3979.JPG[caption]Baker, Anderson Butte and Shuksan[/photo]

Further up the track fades out as most people heading to Watson drop off it's northeastern side to contour east and approach the peak from the north up the diminished Watson Glacier (this way also used to reach Bacon Peak). This time of year the glacier is hard snow with crevasses and probably a moat so I chose to try a southern approach. For this I continue up the northwest ridge following ramps on it southern side to reach a minor col at roughly 1830m (6000ft) elevation which is west of the summit.

Dropping down the other side I pause for some food and drink then continue down and across (losing about 80m elevation) to reach the base of the south gully. An easy minor chockstone lower down along with some vegetation and loose rock but the first half of the...

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