We let last night’s bratwursts & beers settle a bit and got a leisurely 8:30am start from the Eightmile Lake Trailhead. Heads up to anyone not in the know, the first few miles are a complete burn zone, including most of the long climb up from Little Eightmile Lake. Recommend at least a few brats to keep you powered up for this slog. Just put your head down, it’s worth it when you regain the forest and emerge over the ridge to Lake Caroline and an entirely different vista. From here on out, it’s a great hike into the alpine meadows below Windy Pass. Look out for a bear climbing high in a tree in this section.

From Windy Pass, you’ll follow the west ridge of Cashmere for a long time until you drop down to a saddle before the final scramble. Routefinding was a bit tricky — we blew by the gully to the first notch, keep a sharp eye out for it. The crux is climbing up a cliffy section out of the first notch. After that the route mellows out but still is interesting as you make your way past the sub-summits to the final summit block.

After downclimbing the scramble and talus hopping, we took the shortcut path down a south ridge and then went x-country with minimal bushwhacking back to the trail below Windy Pass.

Then it was a long, low blood sugar hike out, with visions of Chicken Parm in our heads… always the biggest option on the menu at Italian restaurants.

Feet | Meters
Natural Atlas (US)
Distance

9.4 mi to summit

17.9 mi total

Elevation

3,261 ft start

8,507 ft max

Vertical

5,524 ft gain

5,896 ft loss

Time

5 hr 24 min to summit

10 hr 4 min total

Route name

Lake Caroline, Windy Pass

out-and-back
Obstacles

routefinding

Key gear

helmet

franciscobirruezo

Magnificent climbs to celebrate the 500 peaks. Congratulations !!