Distance: 15 mi.
Elevation Gain: 7400 ft.
We started from the Phelps Creek Trailhead at 11:30 AM. We went right (east) at the trail split toward Carne Mountain and climbed 3,000 feet quickly. The climb was hot in mid-day and there were terrible biting flies. We reached the ridge at 1:45 PM, had lunch, then dropped our packs and ran up Carne Mountain.
We returned to our packs and went down the east side of Carne, shortly traversing left (north) toward Mount Maude. We had hoped to go up Maude that afternoon, but couldn’t find the ascent route. We did some unpleasant climbing and traversing on steep scree before we decided that we wouldn’t make it up that day since it was already 7 PM.
We went back down the scree field and then continued north toward the Leroy Basin campsite. We saw a better route up Maude a bit further north. We reached the campsite at 9 PM and quickly set up camp, bone tired after a long day. In the middle of the night we heard deer running and stomping playfully all over the place. Somewhere around 3 AM one ran right by our tent and we heard a loud *TINK!* A minute later it circled back past our tent and we heart another *TINK!*
I was super awake at this point so I got up to pee. We had rested both sets of trekking poles on a log outside the tent. I said, “Craig… I don’t see your trekking poles.” I quickly grabbed my poles and tucked them right next to me, under the tent.
In the morning we spent an hour or so looking for the missing trekking poles, and eventually did find them both. The wrist straps were more slimy and wet with deer spit than I would have ever thought possible. I had to reassure Craig that I was laughing with him, not at him.
The hike back south to the car was uneventful, although the trail was pretty dusty and steep in places. Oh yeah, and there were oodles of ripe huckleberries! We left camp at 8 AM and reached the car at 11 AM.
(Download the free Gaia GPS app on your phone to view tracks and then get a Gaia GPS membership if you want offline access. Discount below!)
Recommended brew: Drink N Brew Deer Spit American Brown Ale (never had it, but do recommend it for this trip)
- Backpacking tent
- Summer sleeping bag
- Trail runners
- Trekking poles
- Water drops/filter