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Stay E of the lake easily on the PCT 5 mi to a juncture with rougher Trail 1144 taking off left (NE) from a wide saddle toward Twin Peaks a mile away. Head right (SW) on the PCT instead, up a wide, easy ridge section 1 mi to an intersection with a wider ski road moving right toward Pigtail Peak (on the ski area). Make a note that this will be the return route for the loop trail down the more open slopes to finish. Continue 2 mi, crossing ski runs under a chair lift to stay on the PCT proper to the top of that four-person chair lift.

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Curious elk near the TH on White Pass in Washington.

See Mount Rainier as big as life and finally see the open summit plateau of Hogback Mountain further up the ridge past the top of the next chair lift you’ll be aiming for. You could make a beeline toward the top of the lift by crossing a steep meadow; or stay on the PCT hugging closer to the ridgeline on the left with better views of a large, sharp prominent rock just E of a little bump on the ridge, then meet the other path on the more prominent ridge ahead. Either way it’s only 5 mi or so from the top of that four-person chair lift to where you should leave the PCT at about 6200 ft to stay on the high ridge. The other option is to stay on the PCT briefly as it leaves the ridge left (S) and then scramble up a very steep, rocky gully to the right to a small saddle between the double summit area with no trail. Both options are the steepest part of the hike, the ridge crest being preferential with constant views of the Goat Rocks and others.

Deep snow still covers most of the route into late June with ice finally melting off Ginnette Lake.

From the high ridge, right to left as you see them, are Chimney Rock, Mount St. Helens, Johnson Peak, Hawkeye Point, Old Snowy Mountain, Ives Peak, Mount Adams, and Gilbert Peak! No path necessary to finish the thinning ridge from the fake or first summit (which only appears higher as is usually the case when summits are close to the same elevation) a hundred yards to the highest point crossing a saddle halfway. There is some volcanic pumice-like solid rock, low pines, and a few old gnarls to negotiate without trouble. More fantastic vistas with Twin Peaks, Round Mountain, and Clear and Rimrock Lakes to the NE; Mount Rainier is directly behind the lower summit to the NW. Be careful through late spring with snow cornices building near thin sections of ridge from the protuberant boulder below to the peaks.

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