August 17, 2017 · Sawtooth National Forest
Check out the route in detail on AllTrails.
Jing, reed, nick, Stani, and I started hiking at Tin Cup trailhead at 7:40pm, and only had an hour before sunset. We took it easy since we didn't really mind camping along the way. We walked in the dark until about 9:40pm and set up camp just off the trail in a flat area nestled amongst some trees.
I left the scouts and ran up to Alice lake to say hi to Fabio, Flavia, and their dog Ossobuco and see if they needed some parachord for tying up their food. After finding a good tree and tossing the chord a few times to get it over a branch, we hung up their food and I ran back down to our campsite.
We ate dinner around 11pm, and curled up in our tents for the night.
In the morning we collected water from the nearby creek and made our breakfasts. Jing and I had powdered eggs, vegan sausages, and soupy beans. Nick had blueberry granola, and Reed had oatmeal. Stani enjoyed two kongs filled with her kibble.
After packing up, we trekked along the rest of the trail for a little more than an hour and reached Alice Lake. With some recon from Fabio and Flavia, we found some great camping spots that were recently vacated. Reed set up on a little peninsula and Nick, Jing, Stani, and I set up just past Fabio and Flavia. We relaxed on hammocks and Reed took a swim in the frigid lake.
The group was now 6 strong with 2 dogs. 5 of us went on a day hike up to Twin Lakes, while Reed stayed back at the camp and read.
We spent the evening making dinner over at Fabio and Flavia's camp area, laughing, watching the sun set, and the stars arrive in the sky.
Jing, Stani, and I left camp around 8:30am to attempt a summit of El Capitan, a peak that towers over Alice Lake. We cut between the ponds at the north side of Alice and headed up towards the face. We circled around the face towards the north side of the mountain and headed up the bowl of rocks and scree. After a few scary moves with exposure and lifting Stani over some rocks, we arrived at the summit. Jing wrote an entry in the log book and we rested for a few minutes, and then scrambled back down. The whole adventure took about 4 hours.
Back at the camp we relaxed and eventually another crew of Scouts arrived. Jrah, Ben, Pistachio, and Katie rolled in a set up their tents near ours. Shortly after, Lenny and Michelle arrived with their dog Einstein, and then Joe and Julia arrived with Bélo the dog.
We all had breakfast together in the morning as we waited for the sun to climb above El Capitan and the high ridge that acted as a sun shield. Once the sun rose above, we stripped away our cold-weather clothes and figured out our individual activities for the day. Lenny, Michelle, and Einstein went to Twin Lakes, Katie went exploring, Jing worked on some writing, Joe, Julia, and Bélo relaxed at camp, Nick climbed El Capitan with some neighbor campers. Fabio, Flavia, and Oso circumnavigated Alice Lake.
Ben, Jrah, Stani, and I initially decided to hike to Toxaway Lake, but diverted our plans and headed up the north-east ridge of Snowyside Peak.
Here is some information that comes in handy when preparing for this trip like this.