Upper Cathedral Lake & Amphitheater Mountain- Go Big or Go Home!

Panorama from the West peak of Amphethitheater Mountain

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Day 3 of 6

After a great first day fishing ... we were psyched to try Upper Cathedral Lake as we heard it had bigger fish. Another wonderful breakfast we mounted our trusty steeds for an unforgettable trip. Steve Darwood stayed behind to pack the mules and meet us at the Lake.

We are taking these horses where? .... Under the guidance of Jess Darwood we climbed from our base camp at 6800 feet to the top of the west peak of Amphitheater Mountain at 8200 feet. I can't believe that you could do this on a horse. Many of us developed a new and profound appreciation of what the horses of Steve Darwood's stable can do. These trusty steeds went over trails that I know I would have tripped on if I had to backpack over it., plus I wasn't even winded when I got to the top!

View of West Peak of Amphitheater MountainTrail Up to west peak of  Amphitheater Mt S

Horses on top ... we made it! Steve Darwood leading the mule train of gear to Upper Cathedral Lake as seen from top of the mountain ... can you see it?Horses on Top of Peak Mule Train from Top of Mountain

The panorama of the view from the top (see top of page) does not do justice to being there in person. Awestruck and Amazed ... How could this be Washington? There are over 150 peaks above 7000 feet in the Pasayten Wilderness area. We looked down on most of them!

Panorama of Upper Cathedral Lake

Mountain goat greeted us as we came into Upper Cathedral Lake ... there were 6 of them!
What a treat.

After a full morning of sight seeing we got down to fishing. Again from the shore and Tubes. Ants again worked on top along with the trusty parachute adams.. The fish were bigger than Lower Cathedral. Fishing the rock ledges and drop offs seemed to be the most productive.

There were mostly Cutthroats in this lake. I changed from my waders into my trunks and took a "cool off" dip into the lake. it DID cool me off ... a refresh and cleanup for the ride back to camp.

Goats at Upper Cathedral Lake Fred Fishback Throwing from the Rocks

Nice Cutthroat from Upper Cathedral Lake

Back at camp we had another great dinner of Dutch oven baked Beef and Pork ribs simmered in barbeque sauce. Have I mentioned that the food on this trip was FANTASTIC.

After Dinner we retire to the campfire ... Jess ... the fish wasn't that big (just kidding). Bob Alston in the background looking like a Cowboy.

Jess Darwood telling stoies at the campfire while Bob Alston gazes at the Horses

It is difficult to think of the highlight of the day ... The unbelievable ability of these surefooted horses to ascend and descend an 8200 foot peak, the incredible view from the top of the Mountain, the wild goats, or the feisty cutthroats that graced a lake nestled into an idyllic setting.
Off to bed dreaming of what tomorrow might hold.

Profile of Day 2 trail

 

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