Day 122

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Flower Lake to Oreamnos Lake
25 mi ::
1825 mi ::
Cloudy, evening storms

I don�t venture out of the tent until it stops raining at about 7 am. I climb over a very green, misty pass before breakfast. I can smell lots of plants, but an especially strong one smells like fresh apples. At times it almost smells like I�m walking through an orchard, even though I�m surrounded by Western Larch and Limber Pine.

After breakfast I climb over Cutaway Pass. Up the next valley I can see the switchbacks that climb steeply up to a hanging valley, where Warren Lake is hidden. I�m eager to see it, and make the six miles up La Marche Creek to get there for a late lunch. I love glaciated mountain lakes. This one is large, reflecting rock peaks above. Once there you�d never guess that the terrain drops 1,000 feet just beyond a few knolls. The lake is nearly at the next pass, which I go over, then descend more steep switchbacks.

Up another steep creek I find Rainbow Lake, confined in a tight little circe. Above it is yet another pass. It�s getting late for dinner, but I decide to go over Rainbow Pass first because thunder clouds are forming. I make it over just as the rumbling begins. Down by a clear creek in a recent burn area I make dinner. The black bark is just starting to peel off from this burn, leaving yellow trunks that will slowly turn silver like the ones in Scapegoat.

After dinner I feel the need to make it over one more pass. If I don�t, I�ll have no chance of reaching Ann tomorrow. She�s not expecting me until Thursday morning at Hogan Cabin, but I feel like pushing to make it early even if she�s not there. I�m getting tired of spending so much time apart, just the possibility of an early rendevous motivates me.

The last thunderclouds are gone, but more are approaching. I speed past blue-green Johnson Lake toward Pintler Pass, stopping for just a moment to watch a bald eagle flap into the gray sky. It starts raining and rumbling, but I continue, figuring I�ll stop when I run out of tree cover. It turns out there is light cover all the way up to the 8,800-foot pass, and I make it over. I head for Oreamnos Lake to camp as the storms gets steadily heavier. By the time I crawl in the tent it�s blowing a gale and lightning flashes above.

This lake is on an alternate route that goes cross-country from here over a couple of ridges. I hope conditions are decent in the morning.

Five passes today makes a record for me. I don�t think any of them were more than 2,000-ft climbs, but it�s still a lot of terrain for one day.

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