Forum Index > Trip Reports > “50 at 50”:  Raven Ridge and Hoodoo Peak, Oct 12-13, 2007
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Roald
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Roald
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PostTue Oct 23, 2007 1:04 pm 
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Last week I completed my “50 at 50” project – a somewhat arbitrary but nonetheless satisfying quest to get to my 50th among the Top 100 peaks in Washington State while still 50 years old (described in TRs here and here).  I started the summer at 23 Top 100 peaks, and used the “50 at 50” project as an excuse to get out on 27 more – a pretty effective ruse to get outdoors, if you ask me.  cool.gif

The last few (easy) peaks were the best, because of the company:  Friends Dave, Greg, Sye, and Ralph (TR coming!), my kids, and then Raven Ridge and Hoodoo Peak with my wife Chrystell.  Indulge me if I put up snapshots with some of the people who shared this with me:

McClellan with Sye, Alex, and Tesha:

Prussik Peak and Temple Ridge, from swimming spot on Leprechaun Lake
Prussik Peak and Temple Ridge, from swimming spot on Leprechaun Lake
McClellan Summit
McClellan Summit
Summit cheese, continued
Summit cheese, continued
Views from top
Views from top
Sye on top
Sye on top
Coolness defined
Coolness defined
Coolness redefined
Coolness redefined

Cashmere with Dave, Greg, and Tesha:
Cashmere Mountain, from near Colchuck Lake
Cashmere Mountain, from near Colchuck Lake
Lake Caroline
Lake Caroline
Cashmere cheese
Cashmere cheese

Here’s a TR for Raven Ridge and Hoodoo:

The weather forecast called for clearing skies Friday and Saturday, Oct. 12 and 13 – hard to believe with the windshield wipers slapping at rain as we drove to the Libby Lake trailhead Friday afternoon.  But the sprinkles petered out and we hiked the trail toward the lake in gray skies, stopping to camp by a large muddy bottom of a seasonal pond at about 7200 feet.  About 3-4 inches of snow covered spaces not protected by tree cover or warmed by boulders – powdered sugar dusting the gold of larches and the browns and greens of the rest of the forest.  I left my camera at home  mad.gif , but did take some dark and grainy – almost sepia-like – pictures with a disposable camera we picked up at a store along the way.

Basin below Hoodoo
Basin below Hoodoo
Libby Lake
Libby Lake

Night came quickly and the thermometer dropped.  For about four minutes we felt the lightest touch of new falling snow, but by the time we climbed into the tent the forecasters’ promise of clearing skies started to pan out.  Stars pierced through the thinning cloud cover, and I awoke to clear skies and frozen water bottles.

To make Hoodoo Peak #50 on my list, I first had to get to #49 – Raven Ridge.  So Chrystell snuggled up against the cold while I got up at 6:45 am to hike Raven Ridge by myself before breakfast.  I pulled on frozen boots and crunched up the snow a half-mile to Libby Lake.  The cold and darkness made it feel like I was up high on a bigger mountain.  But soon the first rays of sunlight lit up the rim of Raven Ridge above Libby Lake, promising a beautiful day with views up high.

There are several gullies leading up to Raven Ridge from Libby Lake.  The Summit Routes description advises taking the broadest gully located near the west end of the ridge - the second from the right-most high point (Libby Peak) in the picture below.  But it looks like other gullies also are feasible.  To test this, on my descent I came down a narrower gully at the extreme western edge of the ridge - the one immediately to the left (east) of Libby Peak.  It goes.

Raven Ridge from Hoodoo
Raven Ridge from Hoodoo
Far west gully on Raven Ridge
Far west gully on Raven Ridge

The north-facing gullies hold more snow than elsewhere, so even with the low snow cover I could kick steps much of the way.  But at times the snow played tricks and hid downsloping slabs or gaps between the underlying boulders.  So I picked my way up the mixed snow and rock, pulling through a short step of harder class 3 at the top of the ridge.  I then turned left to skip along the ridge and the easier boulder field on its south side, looking down to Crater Lake and across to Mt. Bigelow.

View from Raven Ridge
View from Raven Ridge
Tunnel near top of Corax Peak
Tunnel near top of Corax Peak
Hoodoo from Raven Ridge
Hoodoo from Raven Ridge

Which brings us to the most interesting question about Raven Ridge:  Which is the highest point?  The east summit, Corax Peak (8572 feet), is considered the top, even though maps indicate that the west summit, Libby Peak, is higher at 8580 feet.  If Libby Peak is indeed higher, why is it not considered the top?

Looking east on Raven Ridge
Looking east on Raven Ridge

Greenwood Mountain poses a similar puzzle with its south and north peaks, although Klenke seems to have settled that one in favor of the south summit (see his wonderful TR here).  This summer I spoke with several people who are waiting for someone to do something similar to resolve the puzzle over Raven Ridge.  In my humble opinion, this is not necessary.  From Greenwood’s south summit, its north summit really does look as high or higher.  But, visually at least, Raven Ridge does not appear to pose any such dilemma.  From any of Raven Ridge’s four highest points, Corax Peak clearly appears to be the highest.  So – presuming I was not completely fooled by the visuals up on Raven Ridge – the triangulation of its high points is just dead wrong.  Has anyone else had the same impression?

Coming down, I took the relatively narrow gully immediately below Libby Peak, gingerly plunge-stepping down the snow and occasionally hitting a hidden rock slab and sliding a little faster than planned.  The snow and my ridgetop hopping took a little time, and I arrived at camp at 10:30 am, hungry and ready for breakfast.

Chrystell and I lazed around camp and soaked up the sun’s warmth before heading up to Hoodoo.  The snow had largely melted off Hoodoo’s south-facing slopes, leaving just enough cover to keep some of the rocks wet.  Still, it was a glory day in the mountains:  sun, golden larches, and from the ridge, views to eternity.

Chrystell on Hoodoo's slopes
Chrystell on Hoodoo's slopes

I left a self-absorbed but happy note in the jumbled set of papers that constitute the summit register on Hoodoo, noting that it marks the 50th in my “50 at 50” project.  Using different lists of the Top 100 summits, I’ll have a couple more chances to climb #50.  But that’s a good thing.  These lists, and my counting, are good excuses to get out there, root around with friends, and inhale the openness of big and largely untouched spaces.  On that note, I’d like to thank the folks who post on nwhikers.net and summitroutes.com, for sharing their wonderful stories and pictures, providing good route beta, and encouraging these trip reports.  Thanks.

Hoodoo's summit ridge
Hoodoo's summit ridge
Hoodoo's ridge
Hoodoo's ridge
Hoodoo's ridge
Hoodoo's ridge
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Backpacker Joe
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PostTue Oct 23, 2007 1:11 pm 
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Congratulations, and ya hoo! up.gif

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

— Abraham Lincoln
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Tom_Sjolseth
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PostTue Oct 23, 2007 1:54 pm 
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Congratulations on 50 at 50!  Quite an accomplishment!

Don Duncan wrote an article that was featured some place or another regarding the discrepancy between Libby and Corax.  He went up there with some sort of fancy device and concluded that Corax was indeed higher.  This is one of the peaks that I returned to after thinking I had already been to the true summit.  Buck Mountain is another (there's probably more).
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wildernessed
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PostTue Oct 23, 2007 2:02 pm 
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Ravens Roost is highest. We ran the ridge earlier in the year from Libby Peak to Ravens Roost. I think we had 8598' for Ravens Roost. They are all so close. I waypointed the tops of each prior to going and took a reading when I was there. Bomber area !

Crater Lakes / Libby Peak / Raven Ridge / Ravens Roost TR
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Tom_Sjolseth
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PostTue Oct 23, 2007 2:08 pm 
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Not to get technical (okay maybe)  huh.gif , but I don't know where the name "Ravens Roost" comes from.

http://www.rhinoclimbs.com/Top100byP400.51-60.htm

In the above link, Roper suggests that the unofficial name of the peak in question is "Corax" Peak --> Corax being the genus of the Raven.  But whatever you like to call it, the E highpoint of Raven Ridge is the true summit.
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wildernessed
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PostTue Oct 23, 2007 3:13 pm 
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I can't remember where I saw that name, somewhere,  hmmm.gif , but I imagine it results from being the highest point on Raven Ridge. Many peaks have dual names. The perch does have a nice vantage point. up.gif
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Tom_Sjolseth
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PostTue Oct 23, 2007 3:21 pm 
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Indeed, it is a nice vantage point.

Don Duncan e-mailed me this:

"Roy and I lugged a surveyors level up on the ridge and using a fairly strong camera tripod we shot level lines from the east peak to the west peak and double checked back and got the east peak as 17 +/- 2 feet higher than the west summit.  It was written up and published in the Nov 2000 issue of The Mountaineer.  I sent my write-up and field notes to Les Porter of the USGS in Denver and he agreed that my methods and results looked fine to him and explained that the USGS putting a higher number on the west peak wasn't really a mistake but was within the error allowed for 40' contours.  Don D"
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giantelf23
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PostTue Oct 23, 2007 4:00 pm 
Nice Photos
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Hey -You have some great shots there!! Good work.
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Magellan
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PostTue Oct 23, 2007 9:34 pm 
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Congratulations, Jon.  What an exciting accomplishment.  I imagine you are already setting some goals for next year.
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Roald
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Roald
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PostWed Oct 24, 2007 11:06 am 
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wildernessed wrote:
Ravens Roost is highest. We ran the ridge earlier in the year from Libby Peak to Ravens Roost. I think we had 8598' for Ravens Roost. They are all so close. I waypointed the tops of each prior to going and took a reading when I was there. Bomber area !

Crater Lakes / Libby Peak / Raven Ridge / Ravens Roost TR

Rob, your pics are stunning(!!), and capture the views from that place much better than my disposable camera shots.  Makes me want to go in via Crater Lake in the spring - it looks like a good ski.

Interesting how the map lists Libby Peak (the west end of Raven Ridge) as 18 feet higher than Corax Peak (or Raven's Roost - I've also heard that name somewhere).  Tom's comments indicate that Don Duncan has Corax as being 17.5 feet higher.  Rob gets Corax at 18 feet higher.  What is the likelihood that someone in a USGS office years ago just inadvertently switched the numbers on the two ends of the ridge?

Thanks to Tom for mentioning Buck Mountain:  What a good puzzle to investigate!  There are multiple interesting ways to approach Buck:  High Pass, the Napeequa Valley, via King Lake ... so a repeat visit sounds very attractive.
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Roald
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PostWed Oct 24, 2007 11:07 am 
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Magellan wrote:
Congratulations, Jon.  What an exciting accomplishment.  I imagine you are already setting some goals for next year.

Thanks, Alexei.  How about 50 beers?  agree.gif Wanna join me?
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Yet
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PostWed Oct 24, 2007 9:07 pm 
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Congratulations on your 50 at 50!  up.gif
Looking forward to your 100 at 100 TR.  biggrin.gif

I'm not brutally handsome like our Magellan here, and I don't know about 50 beers, but I'll be up for one during break.  agree.gif
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Magellan
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Magellan
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PostWed Oct 24, 2007 9:11 pm 
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Roald wrote:
Thanks, Alexei.  How about 50 beers?  agree.gif Wanna join me?


That's fine for the 1st of January, but what about the 2nd and 3rd and 4th...
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Matt
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PostWed Oct 24, 2007 9:20 pm 
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Congratulations on your accomplishment this year.

I enjoyed your Hoodoo/Raven photos.  It was interesting to see how it looked with the larches.  When cartman and I were there on 10/25/03, the trees were totally bare, just a deep carpet of yellow needles on the ground.  We made the mistake of running the whole ridge from Hoodoo to Raven's Roost.  Not fun.

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“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > “50 at 50”:  Raven Ridge and Hoodoo Peak, Oct 12-13, 2007
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