Cougar Lakes Basin, Finale, Frank Church Wilderness, Idaho

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The next morning, 5:00 am! Link to John’s trip report here:

Sunrise! You might be wondering what those unusual streaks in the sky might be…….mosquitos! Yes, the hoards were out!

Luckily, I shot a bunch of photographs and was able to find one with no streaks.

The moment I snapped the last sunrise image we packed up camp as quickly as possible, saddled up, and started moving to get bug relief. This time of year, in the high country with snow patches, you get these bug hatches near the melting snow.

Back down the switchbacks. Notice a couple of iPhone shots in this post as my camera batteries were on life support after all the nighttime photo shoots.

What is the difference between an iPhone and my Sony AR7ii? Above is the iPhone, below is the Sony. Besides the dramatic lens difference, I’m able to do so much more with the post processing.

Finally, a dryer and warmer spot with fewer bugs. We stopped to have some breakfast. Off in the distance, Marble Mountain. Our last peak of the trip. We will drop our full packs at the saddle on the left and bag Peak 1 Day 4! It involved about a 2.5 hour diversion.


Through the snags, The Pinnacles, one last time before we drop in.

One last visit on a snow bank, perhaps the last snow bank of the year as most will be gone soon, even at these high altitudes.

This is Lick Lake located about 2/3rds the way down the drainage. We stopped for lunch and a quick fish.

Thanks to John, Ruby, Salmon Jeff, and Super Dave for a wonderful adventure! Cougar Lakes Basin! We were there 4 days and saw no other people. Super hard to get in but fun non the less!

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