Party: Della Quimby, Peter Owen and I
This peak is an easy scramble in the Snoqualmie Pass area of the Washington
Cascades. The trail head is off exit 47 of I-90 near the Denny Creek
campground. The 4 mile hike up to Hemlock pass took less than 2 hours where we
sat and ate a morning snack. From the pass, you descend down the trail 150
feet, which I have found to match my average stride quite well, to a gulley
heading up to a meadow. It is intuitively clear that the best approach is to
angle back south a bit to enter the main SW gulley up to the peak. But I chose
to listen to the Becky guide and proceed in a NNE direction attempting to find
the real gulley! Well, after traversing along a bit of a cliff for a while we
adjusted our definition of gulley and decided to proceed up an indent in the
cliff face. I'd say we made some low class 5 moves occasionally to ascend the
face. Della lead the class five bush wack that I will call the squirel pitch as
we squireled up between the steep rock and the overhanging shrubbery. After
shaking and scrapping the pine needles out of our shirts at the top of the
squirel pitch, the going was easier and more like a scramble. We headed up
along talus slopes toward the NW buttress of the summit. A short easy scramble
led to the top.
The views on this day were awesome. Rainier seemd very close and quite clear of haze. We stared at the map for a while and debated the identification of all the surrounding peaks. After lunch, we decided to attempt to descend the SW side of Bryant and try to get to Hemlock peak. The down climbing became troublesome and we decided to retrace our steps and head back down the normal SW gulley... clearly identified from the summit. Failing to pursue Hemlock peak was easy, since it really isn't very attractive anyway.
Back at the trail, we opted for a dip in Melakwa lake. The trail was packed and the lake surrounded with hikers. We were the only people to dive into the lake with the onlookers in apparent disbelief. The water was not too cold. The standard 20 second swim however was suffice to cool our engines. The hike back on the trail seemed longer than the approach.
Pics to follow... though not many, I didn't bring my camera and Della and Peter seem to only have taken summit photos.(place holder for now)
Return to Gord's Climbing Page