Polaris Pass or Carper Pass into Wallowas mid-September

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SE Ben
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Polaris Pass or Carper Pass into Wallowas mid-September

Post by SE Ben » September 10th, 2015, 8:14 am

I'm hiking into the Wallowas mid-September (probably after Sept 17th when half an inch of rain is expected). Either take the tram up Mt Howard and then hike down to Aneroid Lake and then over Polaris Pass (incredible views!) and over to Glacier Lake/Lakes Basin... or West Fork of the Lostine River over Ivan Carper Pass (also incredible views) up to Minam Lake and then into the Lakes Basin... or something else w/equally great views.

I've hiked into Eagle Cap twice. By the West Fork of the Wallowa River (my trip report).
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6328

And by the East Fork of the Wallowa, over Polaris Pass and again into the Lakes Basin... but Polaris was socked in so bad I couldn't see the trail 50' ahead... and then w/a thunderstorm that threw lighting bolts w/thunder booms 3 seconds after the flash. So I still haven't seen the views that are probably the best in Eagle Cap.

Here's a trip report that comes in by the East Fork of the Wallowa and then out on the West Fork Lostine w/a second car left at the trailhead of the Lostine.
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6230

Here's one for the East Fork-Polaris Pass route. And a video of the view from Polaris.
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=19562
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7y4IbGeHg0

If we take the tram to Mt Howard and then traverse over to Lone Rock Pass and Aneroid Lake, it saves a lot of uphill hiking... but Sullivan's Eastern Oregon (hike 52) calls it a 'dangerously steep talus slope'... and the tram costs $29.
http://wallowalaketramway.com/rates/summer-at-the-tram/

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Born2BBrad
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Re: Polaris Pass or Carper Pass into Wallowas mid-September

Post by Born2BBrad » September 10th, 2015, 5:08 pm

You could also take the tram up to Mt. Howard, then hike over to East Peak, then over to Aneroid Mt., then down to Dollar Lake. However, I wouldn't do it if visibility is poor.

Fred Barstad's book details this route. It sound doable for hikers who don't mind difficult hikes. Summit Post may have some info too.

I wish I could go, but I gotta work.

Brad
Link to all my GPSFly uploaded tracks.

Make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again.
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SCtoPDX
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Re: Polaris Pass or Carper Pass into Wallowas mid-September

Post by SCtoPDX » September 11th, 2015, 9:00 am

Oh lovely- headed there today for 8 days...I'll post a trip report when I get back.

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SE Ben
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Re: Polaris Pass or Carper Pass into Wallowas mid-September

Post by SE Ben » September 12th, 2015, 6:29 am

Thanks for the suggestion to look on Summit Post for the Mt Howard to Aneroid Mt to Dollar Lake! I found a couple of descriptions. http://www.summitpost.org/aneroid-mtn-traverse/207678

Friends are going to be day hiking out of Wallowa Lake Sept 18-20 and jointhedance is day hiking up to Ice Lake and the Matterhorn Sept 26th.
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=22597

So I'll look at the weather report in the coming few days and decide which week to do it. It'll be good to have company. It'll also be good to not have icicles growing from my nose when I wake up. :)

But I'm still open to changing my plans if someone's looking for company on multi-day Wallowas hike in the coming weeks. Looks like great weather for it -- there'll've been at least one sub-freezing night so the mosquito population will be next to zero.

I'm not wedded to doing the Mt Howard traverse. I like this non-loop trip that hits both Polaris and Carper Passes, too. viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6230

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miah66
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Re: Polaris Pass or Carper Pass into Wallowas mid-September

Post by miah66 » September 30th, 2015, 9:32 am

SE Ben, SC to PDX, any updates?
"The top...is not the top" - Mile...Mile & a Half

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SCtoPDX
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Re: Polaris Pass or Carper Pass into Wallowas mid-September

Post by SCtoPDX » August 8th, 2017, 12:38 pm

Oh god this is a late post...like 2 years late. Headed up the East Fork to Jewett Lake on day 1; Day 2 over Tenderfoot Pass to Polaris Pass and down to Frazier lake; Day 3 up to Glacier Lake, and that's where the fun started. Had planned on continuing over to the lakes basin and tagging Eagle Cap, going up to Pocket lake and then on to Razz and scoping the traverse over to Ice Lake, then going down the West Fork but a freak snow / rain storm blew through that night. Stove failed, tent soaked ( started to leak ). All gear soaked...decided to bail out the East Fork and head straight for a hotel and beers @ Terminal Gravity.

Trying for a 2.0 of this trip in about 3 weeks!

Ian

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SE Ben
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Re: Polaris Pass or Carper Pass into Wallowas mid-September

Post by SE Ben » August 26th, 2017, 6:41 am

Hi Ian,
A friend and I are flipping a coin between the Olympics or a Wallowas trip in a September 10-16 window. If you posted here looking for someone to link up with for a Wallowas trip and somewhere in that week would work for you, let us know. If you're in super shape and looking to hike far and fast, we wouldn't be a good fit for you. We did the 9 mile Paradise Park hike w/20 lb daypacks a couple weeks ago and it kicked our butts. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/oreg ... park-trail

SCtoPDX
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Re: Polaris Pass or Carper Pass into Wallowas mid-September

Post by SCtoPDX » August 27th, 2017, 3:37 pm

SE Ben- headed out 9/3, so about a week before you. It'd be great to meet up somewhere out there... the plan is to be at glacier lake 9/5, bag eagle cap then head to pocket lake 9/6...be at Upper Razz on 9/7 then traverse to Ice lake. I'll be with 2 others...if ya make it up. Look for a guy and gal with shiny new ULA backpacks:)

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