Minaret Lake to Twin Island Lakes
Kevin wakes feeling much better, and we get an early jump on the day. We round the Lake’s east and north shores, then head up a light social trail towards Cecile Lake. Roper instructs us to head for a crevice on the right side of the natural damn. We aim even further right and scramble a much longer and higher class-3 chute, which actually positions us even better to round Cecile Lake. The talus blocks are tedious, but passable.
From the outlet of Cecile Lake we drop down a steep traverse of talus to the right, towards Iceberg. The social trail is completely wiped out by rock slides, but the general idea of what we need to do is clear, and we do it.
After rounding Iceberg Lake, we begin what is a convoluted route around the massive Mount Ritter and Banner Peak. West of Ediza Lake, we head straight for Ritter. As if juking it, at a tarn we turn 90 degrees, and traverse up and over Whitebark Pass. The north side is again steep talus, which drops us into a bowl above Garnet Lake, but requires us to climb back up an unnamed pass overlooking Thousand Island Lakes. We push down the pass, and walk northwest along the shore of Thousand Islands, where we then pivot 90 degrees, now heading southwest up towards Glacier Lake Pass.
We break for a tortilla wrap of salami, cheese, and Fritos, which is amazingly good. The canyon towards Glacier Pass starts gently. We come upon thee beautiful bucks, with decent racks. As we reach higher, the grass reverts to massive talus blocks, and we aggressively boulder hop, passing a couple of women hikers along the way.
Over the pass is Lake Catherine, where I thought we might camp. The campsites are not good, and Kevin is up for pushing on to Twin Island Lakes. We rock hop around Lake Catherine to the outlet, where the world drops off significantly. To avoid cliffs, we stay right and navigate various ramps and ledges, with occasional class-3 mini chutes. We then start a long traverse towards Twin Island Lakes. Black clouds roll in, and it begins to lightly rain. I am not crazy about the steep slope on now wet stones, but it never rains too hard, and we eventually make it.
We are exhausted, but need to setup camp, filter water, and make dinner. On and off it rains as we work our chores. We have Mac & Cheese, which Kevin kicks up with garlic salt, chopped salami, sliced Jarlsberg and parmesan cheese.
As we lie in our tents, it continues to rain lightly.