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
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 . 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 . I figured well here we are, weíve postholed before for miles so itís our mess and weíll have to live with it.
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 . The route itself was low angle. More snow, than I expected this far East and at this altitude ( but it is January ).
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. 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.
-------------- 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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