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kitya
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PostSun Feb 03, 2019 9:52 pm 
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Parked at Kachess Dam road turn off (NF-4818) just off exit 70 from I-90. The road had Ďroad closed, no motorized accessí sign, so I parked just before this sign. Turns out this sign doesnít really stop other people and I have seen a few tracks and one car driving the road. While road is snowy, it is only a thin layer of snow and is mostly hard and icy, so probably easily drivable, if need be, though, I have not tried myself.

There is very little snow and from Katchess Ridge trailhead the slopes around looked almost completely bare. Unsurprisingly at lower forest there is almost now snow at all, except on the trail covered in ice/black ice/snow. It is very well packed and obviously seen a lot of winter use. I was happy to be there on Superbowl Sunday as we have not met a single person.

I used microspikes on super icy tail and didnít put on snowshoes at all until Domerie Peak trail. I could have continued without snowshoes even then, but I donít really like postholing all that much.

I first quickly went to Baldy and the weather was super miserable with a lot of very cold wind and only 19F. There were some flurries on and off and some sections with pretty clouds of windblown snow, but we didnít really stop to enjoy the view that much, since I felt freezing. Sadly at the top of Baldy I made a huge mistake and turned back without continuing on to Domerie peak, since I also wanted to go to Thomas and was not sure how long that would take. Also, see above, freezing.

The route to Thomas turned out to be unexpectedly pleasant. There is a long flat section before arriving to Thomas and the forest there is really beautiful and well shaded from the wind. Views from Thomas were about the same as from Baldy (or any other place on that ridge), so we didnít stay long. Now it was obvious that going to Thomas was not hard at all and I was really upset about my mistake of not continuing to Domerie peak before, but going back to Baldy second time would be way too boring, so I turned back thinking that maybe Iíll visit Domerie some other way some other day.

It was a really easy relaxing day and my gps only counted 14 miles/5000 ft gain. The route has many flat sections and while some areas are kind of steep, nothing is really too steep or scary. However I think Cookieís paws got really tired from all the ice, so I carried her on my back for the last couple of miles.

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/3354354080

Unfortunately looks like there is no legal access to Domerie from the south. Is this true? Does anyone know a good way to it, without repeating Thomas/Baldy, etc.? Is it worth it? Are views from Domerie better?

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Eric Willhite
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PostMon Feb 04, 2019 8:42 am 
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kitya wrote:
Unfortunately looks like there is no legal access to Domerie from the south. Is this true? Does anyone know a good way to it, without repeating Thomas/Baldy, etc.?

In the past few years, I have gotten close to the base of Domerie via the route shown on the map, crossing over the south ridge of Easton Ridge.  Their is public land along the route shown so no gates (yet).  You can get to Cle Elum Lake and the old trailhead road on the west side of the Cle Elum River.  FYI, Domerite Flats is all Suncadia Property and I found no way to get across the Cle Elum River, so the road over Easton Ridge is probably your best bet.

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Done with peakbagging, pretty much lookout bagging at this point.
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kitya
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PostMon Feb 04, 2019 9:05 am 
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Eric Willhite wrote:
In the past few years, I have gotten close to the base of Domerie via the route shown on the map, crossing over the south ridge of Easton Ridge.  Their is public land along the route shown so no gates (yet).  You can get to Cle Elum Lake and the old trailhead road on the west side of the Cle Elum River.  FYI, Domerite Flats is all Suncadia Property and I found no way to get across the Cle Elum River, so the road over Easton Ridge is probably your best bet.

Thank you Eric. Are these drivable roads on your map or more like ATV/4x4 only? I'm surprised to see there is a road on Easton ridge! i hiked it from the other side before and it is pretty 'ridgy' from the other side.
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Eric Willhite
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PostMon Feb 04, 2019 12:57 pm 
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kitya wrote:
Are these drivable roads on your map or more like ATV/4x4 only?

The roads are drivable, high clearance is probably best, 4x4 not needed.  If you search for Easton Ridge trip reports (finding the east trailhead ones), you might get an idea of what people drove.  I've been over twice in the last few years but I don't remember for sure the condition.  Should be good at least to the ridge.

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Done with peakbagging, pretty much lookout bagging at this point.
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