Ice Lake to Razz Lake, Eagle Cap

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
R11
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Re: Ice Lake to Razz Lake, Eagle Cap

Post by R11 » September 2nd, 2011, 9:24 am

Koda wrote:
R11 wrote:....but I'm not so sure it would really save much (any) time vs just hiking back down from Ice and going around, especially with any kind of significant pack anyway.
I'm thinking it would be much much shorter if it was nothing more than a steep scramble. I think the route would be like this, click on the link then switch to Satellite mode (upper right corner) http://www.hillmap.com/m/agtzbG9wZW1hcH ... YXAYkr8FDA
Definitely point to point it would be a much shorter distance. How long it might take in comparison would be the question :-). As always the maps can be a bit deceptive. I spent a whole morning just climbing from my camp up and around that little lake in the draw and back. Of course I was just exploring around and not hurrying but the landscape even down in the draw is much more rugged than it looks on the maps. From the maps it looks like a cruise to the pond but it's all rock outcrops and bluffs etc to where I had to back track and take different routes a couple times to make my way up there. Here's a full size crop of the section of the ridgeline from "the point" over towards the west from my camp pano. The bluff in midslope from the lower angle of view obscures part of the actual ridge but you can still see a good portion of it. It looks like your plot crosses the ridge right over that low point about a third of the way in from the right:
razz ridge.jpg
I'm sure there's a doable scramble one way or the other over the ridge, but my impressions after seeing it in person are that it would be a bit more than "a scenic loop option with the rest of the Lakes Basin for a fun backpacking tour with an off trail section". Maybe a dayhike scramble loop or just a scramble to the top of the ridge to get a view of the Razzes instead? The other thing in thinking about it more when I was up there is that lower Razz is not really much anyway. I saw some pics from a trail report a guy did a while back and it's just another non-descript little lake down in the trees. Smaller Upper Razz does look pretty cool but I'm not even sure it would be worth the effort of climbing over the ridge for really. Just for perspective sake, here's a copy of one of the pics the guy took looking back along the ridge from the end of upper razz. I'm not sure but I think your notch is probably just to the right of that tower sticking up at the left end of the flatter section on the right. That looks like a person could pick their way down from there, if they could attain the notch from the other side...
4474828531_0146360cc8_b[1].jpg

ron

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Koda
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Re: Ice Lake to Razz Lake, Eagle Cap

Post by Koda » September 2nd, 2011, 1:25 pm

There is a chance and it would be cool if this turned out to be a straight forward scramble over the pass. I would probably not camp at Razz but head into the basin.

R11 I think you are right about how long it would take, the terrain is more rugged than the maps show. Looking at the pictures I would also agree this not to be a "a scenic loop option with the rest of the Lakes Basin for a fun backpacking tour with an off trail section". It looks doable, but I'll save it for a tour with other technical mountaineering objectives. Unless I hear a first hand report otherwise, it does not appear to be a backpacking shortcut.
lightweight, cheap, strong... pick 2

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Eric Peterson
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Re: Ice Lake to Razz Lake, Eagle Cap

Post by Eric Peterson » September 2nd, 2011, 5:07 pm

Too bad Fred Barstad doesn't post in here, I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that he is
the local master of the Eagle Cap and also has a guide published with tons of hikes and
climbs for the area. He lives in Enterprise and sure could have used his expertise this
past Wednesday when I was on top of Chief Joseph MT. :lol:

Hey Don, I was camping with my family from Sunday to Thursday this past week, I guess
we just missed each other up in there... :cry:

jblanchard1
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Re: Ice Lake to Razz Lake, Eagle Cap

Post by jblanchard1 » August 5th, 2012, 7:50 am

I just hiked what I lovingly call "the notch" this past Friday in the Wallowas (the connection between Razz Lake and Ice Lake). I just completed 50 miles with my 12 year old and had done this connection with my brother about 6 years ago and thought it would be a better alternative than dropping way down to the canyon and then climbing back up another 2000 feet to Ice. We were able to climb the boulder field and then tack over to the "notch" in the knife-like wall of this range. The slide down on the other side is fairly trecherous.

My advice: if your going to do this, go down one person at a time. I was half way down and was hidden behind a big boulder as my son started coming down. There were rocks that came screaming down that would have taken me out had I not been behind that boulder. We were able to slide some of the snow fields lower down to speed our descent (using our poles to slow ourselves down. After getting to the bottom, picking your way to Ice Lake is fairly easy.

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Koda
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Re: Ice Lake to Razz Lake, Eagle Cap

Post by Koda » August 7th, 2012, 9:40 pm

its do-able.... :)

thanks for posting jblanchard1
lightweight, cheap, strong... pick 2

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Eric Peterson
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Re: Ice Lake to Razz Lake, Eagle Cap

Post by Eric Peterson » August 7th, 2012, 9:58 pm

Cool, and I just got word from the wife that we can return to the Wallowas in a few weeks so
I can tag the Matterhorn, Sacajawea and Chief Joseph in a day hike!

Thanks for Necromancing this thread jblacnahrd, some things are meant to be! :D

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Bosterson
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Re: Ice Lake to Razz Lake, Eagle Cap

Post by Bosterson » August 9th, 2012, 8:43 am

jblanchard1 wrote:I just hiked what I lovingly call "the notch" this past Friday in the Wallowas (the connection between Razz Lake and Ice Lake). I just completed 50 miles with my 12 year old and had done this connection with my brother about 6 years ago and thought it would be a better alternative than dropping way down to the canyon and then climbing back up another 2000 feet to Ice. We were able to climb the boulder field and then tack over to the "notch" in the knife-like wall of this range. The slide down on the other side is fairly trecherous.
I am actually planning to go explore the Razz scramble in a couple of weeks. Any chance you have a map of your GPS track or anything like that that shows the route you took and where precisely the notch goes? Thanks!
Will hike off trail for fun.

Samsquatch
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Re: Ice Lake to Razz Lake, Eagle Cap

Post by Samsquatch » July 24th, 2018, 8:43 pm

Has anyone attempted this route recently? I am heading up to the Wallowas this weekend and am interested in finding a route from the Lakes Basin over to Ice lake. I've also seen a report discussing another route via a lower lake ("Razzberry lake") that skirts further east over a lower ridge. If anyone has explored these options in recent years, I would love to hear about your experience.

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VanMarmot
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Re: Ice Lake to Razz Lake, Eagle Cap

Post by VanMarmot » July 26th, 2018, 6:38 am

Samsquatch wrote:
July 24th, 2018, 8:43 pm
Has anyone attempted this route recently? I am heading up to the Wallowas this weekend and am interested in finding a route from the Lakes Basin over to Ice lake. I've also seen a report discussing another route via a lower lake ("Razzberry lake") that skirts further east over a lower ridge. If anyone has explored these options in recent years, I would love to hear about your experience.
In 2016, Brad & I hiked over the low divide between Ice Lake and Unit Lake, just southwest of Craig Mountain, bypassing Razz Lake. At that time, this low divide looked less impacted by snow than the “Bosterson Gap” between Points 9058 and 9314. As we point out, it’s also possible to cross the low divide and then immediately contour southwest over another ridge to Razz Lake. Bosterson Gap is probably the most difficult of these crossings, the low divide the easiest, with the traverse to Razz from the low divide somewhere in between. I wouldn’t call any of these routes “technical” (Class 3+) but there are steep parts and lots of loose rock, and you are in the middle of nowhere, so proceed with care.

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Bosterson
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Re: Ice Lake to Razz Lake, Eagle Cap

Post by Bosterson » July 26th, 2018, 10:06 am

Samsquatch wrote:
July 24th, 2018, 8:43 pm
Has anyone attempted this route recently? I am heading up to the Wallowas this weekend and am interested in finding a route from the Lakes Basin over to Ice lake. I've also seen a report discussing another route via a lower lake ("Razzberry lake") that skirts further east over a lower ridge. If anyone has explored these options in recent years, I would love to hear about your experience.
I did Ice Lake > Razz in 2012. It's scrambly but short and not too tricky (though might be a little harder with a backpacking pack). There's a user trail that roughly follows the outlet of Razz down towards Horseshoe Lake which you can pick up from trail 1810 north of Horseshoe and follow up to Razz. I came down that trail last year and it's easy to follow, though may be a little harder to spot on the hillside from the main trail.

Razzberry Lake is accessible from Ice Lake via the saddle between Razzberry Mountain and Craig Mountain. However, the route from the lake going south down to the Lakes Basin is rugged at times and takes some routefinding. We came down that way last year and then traversed over to the Razz trail to continue to the Lakes Basin. If you were to attempt that route going up from the Basin, I would say follow the Razz trail to approx 7800 ft and then traverse east on a little plateau. There was a massive deer trail at that elevation that continued east off the plateau around the cliffs guarding Razzberry Lake. From the lake, it's an easy walk up the slope to the saddle and then down to Ice Lake.
Will hike off trail for fun.

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