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Valley of the Lakes and Attempt at Snowman Peak
Timestamp Free: 2018.11.19 - 10:34:41
Ranges: North America Ranges / Columbia Mountains / Purcell Mountains / Vermont Group
  (4 days)     Elevation Gain: 2250m
Participants: Will D, Regan J, me
Difficulty: 3: Up to 3rd Class scrambling, loose rock and moderate exposure (possibly worse if continuing to summit). One hour of bushwhacking each way. Fairly straightforward routefinding with options.
Bushwhacked and hiked into North Fork of Crystalline Ck headwaters from Vermont Ck to Valley of the Lakes. Side-trip attempt at East Face/North Ridge of Snowman Peak.

I've been doing some soul-searching over the past few years about why I publicize trip reports and to what end. For trips that are long, difficult, and hard to access, I don't think there's much risk of overpopularizing an area. To date, I only know of one group that's done a trip based on my information, but I also see how popular the Welsh Lakes hike has become since a trip report I put on LiveTrails years ago, and I can't help but wonder. Granted, it's a guidebook trip, but you never know what tips something over to becoming too popular for its own good, like Joffre Lakes or Jumbo Pass. I've decided to experiment by not putting up scenic shots of this trip so that the barrier to entry is a little higher. In other words, I'm hoping my trip report will be useful to people who might already have been considering a trip to an area, rather than to people looking for new areas they hadn't previously considered. I've also stopped identifying places on Instagram/Facebook as well.


My dad had good things to say about the meadows up Crystalline Creek but I never figured out exactly where he was talking about. For over 10 years, I'd thought about trying to wade into the lower, presumably soggy bottom end of Crystalline Creek area from the Vowell Ck roads, but eventually realized that regardless of whether he meant it this way or not, the north fork of Crystalline looked fantastic, it's been a priority over the last few years to get in there. I'd thought about trying to link up a trip with the Hume Creek headwaters, similar to a route written about in the CAJ that's available on Bivouac. That would be a longer, more committing through-trip though.

I'd known the CMH Bobbie Burns Lodge did heli-hiking in the area and I'd had...

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