Square Top Basin, Payette National Forest (Next 24 hours)

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After returning from the morning’s photo shoot, I returned to camp with a plan for the next morning…..Climb Square Top in the moonlight and shoot the sunrise!  I submitted my proposal to John and Ruby over breakfast and after careful review, my proposal was accepted!  More on this coming soon.  Make sure you check out John’s trip report here.

We left camp shortly after breakfast and headed for two peaks to the west of the basin, The Keep, and The Castle.  Along the way, we past six small lakes.  Here, The Castle looms on the horizon.

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About 30 minutes later we were on top of The Keep.

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Time for a ridge walk to bag The Castle.  Here, John is testing route options.

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A shot of The Castle through the trees.  Yes, we are going straight up the route between the two castle walls!

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Headed up.

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John worked his way to the actual summit, I volunteered to hang out with Ruby.

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Great views.  Here, we are looking down through the two castle walls.

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We headed back down to camp and 30 minutes later we were hanging out planning our afternoon hike.  Ruby opted not to relax and played with her stick during the entire break.  In an unusual route for John, we decided to hike down to Square Top Lake and bag a lake.  It is located about 30 minutes below our basin in a super remote spot just under Square Top.

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The saddle over John’s right shoulder is the decent from our camp.

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As a foot note to this journey, whenever John says “its about 30 minutes away”, prepare to get your butt kicked, its more than 30 minutes away!  Sunrise photos on Square Top coming soon!

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