Crystal Range Ramble

23 Jul 2000 - by George Sinclair

There were four of on this demanding hike (Death March). Using a car shuttle, we succeeded in traversing the highest section of the Crystal Range and managed to reach the summit of four peaks.

After leaving a car at the Horsetail Falls trailhead, we drove up to Wrights Lake and hiked in from there. Three miles of trail brought us to beautiful Smith Lake. Beyond here it was almost all off-trail until about the last one mile of the hike. I think most of us saw more talus then any of us hope to see again in awhile.

Our first peak - Mt. Price, involved a little class 3 crossing the ridge from peak 9,650 (0.5 mile west of Price) to Price. It was a beautifully clear and sunny day and we admired the view in all directions from the top of Price. Desolate Lake Aloha was directly below us. From Price it was a short hike to Mt. Agassiz and its spectacular summit (class 3) rock that dramatically overhangs the eastern side of the peak.

From Agassiz to Pyramid was a long haul over miles of broken talus. On the way we climbed peak 9,686. After a short section of class 3 going along the ridge below our last peak, we finally reached the summit of Pyramid late in the afternoon. We signed the register, took a few photos, and began the long descent down to Twin Bridges.

This was the most difficult part of the day, as the 4,000 foot descent seemed to take forever, and the rugged terrain working around Toem and Ropi lakes and down Pyramid Creek did not help. We finally reached the cars at about 7:30. Everyone was quite tired, yet satisfied in having climbed four peaks in one day.


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