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wildernessed
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Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 8259 | TRs | Pics
Location: Wenatchee
wildernessed
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PostSun Jan 24, 2010 11:18 am 
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Location : East of Carlton, Wa. off SR 97
Access : See attached map ( 97 > Old Carlton Rd > Texas Creek Rd )
Maps : TOPO
Stats : 6.7 mi, 2650í r/t

Mt. Leecher 5020'
Mt. Leecher 5020'

Steve and I had been wondering about this peak for several years now, and with a possible one day weather window decided the morning of, to go for it. It was a quick drive up to Carlton and Texas Creek Rd., though dirt it is a county road and plowed up.gif . There is a pullout right by the forest rd. we planned on taking, probably used by xc skiers and snowshoers. The approach we took had us on State, then National Forest land.

We didnít bring any snowshoes (which we always do) figuring though we were farther North, we were pretty far East, and it was an El Nino year. I figured if anything we might need crampons, but we decided after talking to a xc skier we didnít need them, but she was pretty surprised we didnít bring snowshoes down.gif . I figured well here we are, weíve postholed before for miles so itís our mess and weíll have to live with it. hmmm.gif

The road early on was still hard from the nightís freeze and we made good time until maybe half a mile before our ridge turn off then every step was initial weight baring, break through the crust, then sink down a foot. Steve did much better weighing 25 lbs. less than me and having bigger feet. We eventually turned off onto the ridge and it was much the same with snow increasing in depth. The ridge wasnít what I expected it was wide, then narrow, rather open, with a lot of brush, and huge rock formations you had to skirt around, some 20-30í high. The snow depth changed to 2-4í deep and to more of a powder I was often up to my thighs, waist, and chest rocking with each step to widen my step ahead and get some momentum stuck.gif . The route itself was low angle. More snow, than I expected this far East and at this altitude ( but it is January ).

Lower ridge entry point.
Lower ridge entry point.
Looking up the Foggy Dew Drainage from the SSW ridge going up Leecher.
Looking up the Foggy Dew Drainage from the SSW ridge going up Leecher.
Oval Peak
Oval Peak
Hoodoo Peak
Hoodoo Peak
The more we struggle, the higher we get, the more obscured the views. We miss high pressure over here.
The more we struggle, the higher we get, the more obscured the views. We miss high pressure over here.
Steve
Steve
Pushing up through deep powder to the final summit ridge / lookout area.
Pushing up through deep powder to the final summit ridge / lookout area.
On the map the ridge looks quite straightforward, but it undulated and there are quite a few large rock formations that you have to skirt around.
On the map the ridge looks quite straightforward, but it undulated and there are quite a few large rock formations that you have to skirt around.

Anyhow we made progress by the foot, and eventually were on the summit at 1530 hr., by that time the clouds had overwhelmed most of the mountains, but we took in some great views on the way up, we spent about 10 - 15 minutes on the summit and headed back down, it took us 45 minutes to get back to the road. We postholed most of the two miles back to the car, overall averaging less than 1 mile/hr. for the trip. horsey.gif  Wowza ! I still hate snowshoes, but this is definitely a ridge run that should be considered, especially in the Spring with the open ridge, rock formation, wild flowers, and views from the Columbia River to Isabella Ridge and beyond.

Rob struggling through the snow at a snails pace
Rob struggling through the snow at a snails pace
Mt. Leecher Lookout
Mt. Leecher Lookout
Goat Peak above Mazama. Earlier in the day we could see Old Goat from near the Columbia River and all the peaks between and beyond The Craggies. This is a great ridge run.
Goat Peak above Mazama. Earlier in the day we could see Old Goat from near the Columbia River and all the peaks between and beyond The Craggies. This is a great ridge run.
Once on the summit clouds generally obscured most peaks to the West.
Once on the summit clouds generally obscured most peaks to the West.
Ridgeline Pano
Ridgeline Pano
Ridgeline Pano II
Ridgeline Pano II
Snowbound Summit Area
Snowbound Summit Area

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I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent_Gandhi
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Hiker Mama
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Joined: 25 Jun 2006
Posts: 3187 | TRs | Pics
Location: Lynnwood
Hiker Mama
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PostSun Jan 24, 2010 4:39 pm 
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That sun looks beautiful!  Way to struggle through the snow.  I don't think I would have persevered that long.

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My hiking w/ kids site: www.thehikermama.com
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wildernessed
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Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 8259 | TRs | Pics
Location: Wenatchee
wildernessed
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PostSun Jan 24, 2010 10:23 pm 
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Sunny days have been very few East of the crest for months, so it was nice. The route and summit were prisitine, I don't beleive anyone has been up there this winter.

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I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent_Gandhi
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Get Out and Go
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Joined: 13 Nov 2004
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Location: Leavenworth
Get Out and Go
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PostMon Jan 25, 2010 11:15 am 
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Interesting, now you're checking out new terrain on the "East" side of the Methow River......But wait!  Why didn't you just take that "well-worn boot-path" up to the summit? doof.gif
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wildernessed
viewbagger



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 8259 | TRs | Pics
Location: Wenatchee
wildernessed
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PostMon Jan 25, 2010 6:16 pm 
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There are quite a few accessible quiet peaks and ridges with good views up that way might as well take advantage of them. hockeygrin.gif

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I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent_Gandhi
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Hikingqueen
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Joined: 12 Nov 2007
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Hikingqueen
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PostTue Jan 26, 2010 2:01 pm 
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Gorgeous pics! Thank you for sharing! up.gif
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mt. Leecher, Carlton Area 1/23
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