oregon adventures

Monday, February 03, 2014

Ice Lake Backpack

I took the week before Labor day weekend off in 2012 and rented a Ford Fusion to save wear and tear on my Jeep. Drove over to Bend and spent the night at the Hilton Garden. The next day I went to breakfast at Chow- very good. Then I drove up to the back of the Three Sisters wilderness to Three Creek Lake and climbed Tam McArthur Rim, 5 m 1200 ft. Made it back to the car just before dusk and drove into the town of Sisters and had dinner, then drove home. A couple of days later my daughter and I set out for the Wallowa Lake area. We ate dinner at an expensive, but nice restaurant in Joseph. Then spent the night in a motel on the far side of Wallowa Lake. (picture)
The next morning at 6AM we drove less than a mile to the end of the road and the trailhead. Set out with the backpacks and it was cold as heck and the straps hurt until a couple miles in I figured out how to cinch the straps properly. After 3 miles we had to cross the West Fork Wallowa River. The bridge was out and signs warned that emergency crews couldn't get to you quickly if you proceeded. We crossed on a log that was pretty scary. The next 4.5 miles we climbed 2300 feet through beautiful country to Ice Lake (top picture). Set up camp and by then it was hot out, then set out for the far side of the lake to climb the Matterhorn. It was a 2000 foot climb in a mile and a half. I got to about 9200 feet and it was too steep for me and I stopped. My daughter went on up to the 9826 foot summit and came back and we made it back to camp just as it got dark. (bottom picture is looking down on Ice Lake from where I stopped) My daughter boiled water for dinner and I pumped the filter to fill our water bottles. The next morning we packed up and zoomed down. It was surprisingly easy. At the log bridge, I fell over getting on the log which freaked me out, so I waded across the river instead of using the log. Had wet feet all the way back to the car from there. It was early lunch time when we got back, so we had huge burgers in Joseph and then took the long scenic drive home- Baker City to Prairie City and highway 26 back.


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