My parents "discovered" the North Cascades in the late 1970's. Previous to that, they had done almost all of their mountain adventuring in the Olympic Mountains. One of the first areas of the Cascades that they explored was the accessible Monte Cristo area on the western edge of the range. Trips into this area were a turning point in their mountain adventuring. Captivated by the sea of rugged and glaciated summits to the north and east, their focus shifted away from the Olympics and towards the unexplored summits of the North Cascades. Subsequent trips probed deeper and deeper into the range, and they spent the next five years — until I was born in 1983 — tromping about the North Cascades whenever they could. Now, I find myself following, continuing, or crossing paths with the shadows of my parents' bootprints as I too explore the mountains that I have been born to love.
One of their first forays into the Monte Cristo area was in 1978 to climb Del Campo Peak. Later that summer they returned to enjoy an overnight camp as well as climb Gothic Peak on the other side of the basin. Even their dog Zeke came along. I had a day to spare, so I though it would be fun to make a day trip into this area, climb both peaks, and try to take some photos from the same spots my parents had stood 34 years previous.
Map & Overlays
According to my GPS tracker, the entire trip (Barlow Pass on the Mtn Loop HWY to Gothic Basin, climb of Gothic Peak, climb of Del Campo Peak, and back to Barlow Pass) was 11.3 miles and 7100 ft cumulative elevation gain/loss. It took me 8 hours. This included a 30 minute lunch of Gothic Peak and a hour long nap on Del Campo Peak. I biked the 1 mile section of road between the parking area at Barlow Pass and the Weden Creek / Gothic Basin trailhead.
Gothic Peak and Del Campo Peak are pretty straightforward snow and Class 3 scrambles when climbed out of Gothic Basin. From Foggy Lake, both took less than 1 hour each to ascend and about half the time to descend because of all the snow. I focused my photography mainly on comparison shots with my parents' old photographs, so I didn't take many route photos. Below is a topo map and a couple of photos showing my general route.
Yep, Billy came along.