Forum Index > Trip Reports > Guye peak (S to N), Cave Ridge, Snoqualmie Mountain - 7/24/22
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vk
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PostMon Jul 25, 2022 1:55 pm 
I was set on doing Red Mountain over the weekend but really wanted to get more scrambling in than what Red offers, so after researching a few other options I decided on Guye Peak. I wasn't able to find a ton of detailed beta for the route and I was under the impression that the approach wouldn't be terrible and the climbing and rock would be fun. The latter was true...the former, not so much. Not sure if I was severely off route or what, but even following what beta I could find and some tracks, I wrestled with slide alder and trees (which I was not expecting), and had a hard time finding the right ledges/benches to gain the gully leading up to the south summit. I set off with b00's beta from last year, and Travis and Xiulan's tracks. I noticed that my own GPS was jumping around as I approached the south summit, so I started to wonder how accurate Travis and Xiulan's were. I tried following their tracks as closely as possible but noticed that the tracks led them across some pretty precarious sections of the SE rib that I didn't want to solo, but found more mellow benches to traverse that were not on their tracks. Goes to show it's better to trust your own instincts than blindly follow tracks! Travel on the trail at the start was super easy, and moving uphill through the steep forest wasn't too much trouble. Pine needles on the forest floor made it a bit slippery, but good tread on my trail runners and poles were enough to make this part quick and easy. I started moving left around the rib around 4200', using the tracks as a guide and trying to stick as close to the cliff as possible, but I still encountered a lot of slide alder. This is when things got a bit more difficult. Shwacking wasn't noted in previous reports that I read, so this part was unexpected. After a lot of wrestling, veggie belaying, and trying to figure out the path of least resistance over and across the rib through the brush, I finally made it over the gully where the scrambling would begin. I tried to move towards the gully a bit high by traversing some benches, but I quickly got cliffed out. From that point, I recognized a big clearing and realized I had to head there (the clearing photographed well in b00's report, with two people walking near some trees). Just past the clearing I found a nice bench that led me to the gully.
The view from one of the benches
The view from one of the benches
This looked tempting but also very exposed... the bench that led me towards the gully was right above this
This looked tempting but also very exposed... the bench that led me towards the gully was right above this
I finally reached the gully I needed to ascend. It's hard to tell in the photo, but the gully has two channels separated by a rock rib. I headed up on the right of the white tree trunk in the center of the photo, but at some point I weaved between the right and the left depending on what looked more friendly. The scrambling here was super fun and everything was solid when I needed it to be. Along the way I found a few trees with tat.
The gully
The gully
Tat on trees; looking down the gully
Tat on trees; looking down the gully
I continued to move up the gully and at some point moved out of it and towards NE (climbers right) when I found an opening through the trees, again using the tracks as a guide. After ascending through the steep forest for short bit, I came upon more rocks and some ledges to scramble upwards. Eventually I arrived to a flat area with a boot path leading up to the south summit. Getting up to the summit was pretty simply and didn't require much scrambling.
A bench along the route
A bench along the route
Looking towards Snoqualmie and the middle and north summit
Looking towards Snoqualmie and the middle and north summit
Getting to the middle summit was very straightforward. I followed a boot path, and the scrambling up to the summit was great - might've been my favorite part of the whole trip! I found it easy and fun to pick my way up to the summit.
Middle summit's summit block
Middle summit's summit block
Looking back at south summit
Looking back at south summit
The photo looking towards the north summit doesn't quite do the terrain justice. From the middle summit, it looked treacherous to ascend straight up or around, and I wasn't sure what to expect of the gullys I needed to descend and ascend. I followed a boot path on the east side that went down, towards a spot below the north summit. This was the start of the descent gully, which required downclimbing a slab. I wasn't sure if that was truly what I needed to get down. Not finding another option and seeing that there wasn't much moss on part of the slab, I headed down and found the rock on skier's left to be very solid as hand holds. I was able to get enough traction on the slab, and I used some of the cracks and other features in the slab for my feet. You'll know it's the right place to descend when you see a tree with tat and rap rings (b00 has a good photo of the tree in their report).
Looking down at the descent gully from the base of the north summit
Looking down at the descent gully from the base of the north summit
Looking up at the slab I downclimbed
Looking up at the slab I downclimbed
Another look at the slab from farther away
Another look at the slab from farther away
There was a bit of a boot path leading down from the slab to a point right below the summit, and there was a cairn which reassured me I was on the right path. At this point I was trying to find the correct gully to ascend. There was a pretty obvious gully just to climber's right of the summit, leading right up to the "base" of the summit, but there was a lot of vegetation in the gully. I was trying to find the solid class 4 rock b00 mentioned, and now that I'm back home, I'm not sure if by "solid" they meant it was solid rock, or solidly class 4 embarassedlaugh.gif Regardless, I opted for some class 4-ish looking rock that had some vegetation, some dirt, and some loose rock, rather than the gully. As I headed up the rock became more solid. Eventually I got to a section that felt like class 5 as the rock turned pretty vertical, then I transitioned back to more class 4 rock, and finally "topped out" and made it to the ridge. All the moves were really fun to solo and there were great hand and foot holds, but I say this as someone who isn't too afraid of exposure/heights and is relatively comfortable scrambling and soloing low 5th. Admittedly, this last section was spicier (in a good and fun, adrenaline-inducing way) than I expected at the start of the day, given that I was alone, soloing, and it was exposed. I think the gully (not shown clearly in the photo as the rock in the foreground is blocking it) is what some others have taken to ascend, but I didn't scope it out much so can't confirm how it is. After topping out, I followed the trail towards the north summit and found some more places to scramble up to the summit.
Looking up at a overhang below the summit. A cairn was built where I was standing.
Looking up at a overhang below the summit. A cairn was built where I was standing.
If I remember correctly, red is my approx route. Yellow is what I suspect to be the way to the gully.
If I remember correctly, red is my approx route. Yellow is what I suspect to be the way to the gully.
I wanted to check out Cave Ridge so I followed the trail over there. I found one of the caves along the way and was tempted to enter. But seeing how small the entrance was, not knowing what to expect and feeling cautious after reading the sign at the entrance, I backed away. Good thing! After I got home I did some digging on these caves and found a lot of information. Most interesting was the post by Gimpilator about a visit down one of the caves on the ridge. I also found the famed Caves of Washington book online (supposedly the only one that exists) and realized just how many caves there are! I didn't know much about spelunking before so it was fun to learn...makes me want to try it some time!
Poles for scale on how small the entrance to the cave is
Poles for scale on how small the entrance to the cave is
It was sunny and forecasted to be above 75* that day and I decided I'd make a detour to get some water since it was nearby. I had found kidz won't hike's report and tracks the day before, so I used it as a guide to find a good spot to fill up on water. On the way over, I got a great view of Snoqualmie mountain, and since I was still had food and time, I decided I would hike up.
Looking up at Snoqualmie
Looking up at Snoqualmie
I didn't know much about the trail and was surprised to find how loose it was. I was also surprised to run into someone heading up in Crocs and no poles! If it were me, I would've turned around as soon as things got loose...props to them! I hung out at the summit of Snoqualmie and eyed the spires to the east. I had read that it is possible to scramble around and on the spires, but I was hot, tired, and itching (literally, thanks to mosquitos) to get home. Plus, I had gotten lots of scrambling in already so I decided to head back down.
Ridge up to Snoqualmie
Ridge up to Snoqualmie
Spires
Spires
Summit views
Summit views
I followed the Snoqualmie Mountain trail down and was surprised at how steep and rooty some sections of it was. Clearly I had no idea what to expect on this trail. I filled up again at a small waterfall, and continued on to the trail that heads mostly east back towards the saddle between Cave Ridge and Guye, around 4150'. I turned onto some small boulders that have lost some moss, indicating a path. It was straightforward travel and after a tiny bit more gain, I finally reached a junction with the trail that loops around the back (east) of Guye. I was happy that the rest of the trail was very easy to follow, and before I knew it, I was back to the car. I didn't track my trip but I think in total, it was about 7.5 miles and 4700' gain. It was a bit more of an adventure than I expected but I was happy to have done it! I would highly recommend this route up Guye for those who are okay with exposure, enjoy scrambles, and can tolerate some bushwacking (unless I was totally off route and mistakenly got into some really thick brush). Otherwise, approaching Guye from the north via Snoqualmie Mountain trail and scrambling the three summits would also be fun. You'd only miss out on the scrambling up to the south summit.

RichardJ, zimmertr, reststep, Gimpilator, Bramble_Scramble, Tom
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Randy
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PostMon Jul 25, 2022 2:19 pm 
Nice report. Was up on Snoqualmie with my two kids yesterday, good day. I also recall the guy in baby blue crocs.

mosey, vk
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Stefan
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PostMon Jul 25, 2022 2:24 pm 
I have brain fog. Its from age. Not covid. I can't remember. Which summit is higher? Is it the North, Middle, or South summit of Guye which is higher?

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vk
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PostMon Jul 25, 2022 3:07 pm 
Stefan wrote:
I have brain fog. Its from age. Not covid. I can't remember. Which summit is higher? Is it the North, Middle, or South summit of Guye which is higher?

According to Greg Slayden, north is higher

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Secret Agent Man
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PostMon Jul 25, 2022 3:13 pm 
USGS thinks south is the highest, and I agree. There's actually a great way to get from middle to north Guye on the west side. It looks improbable, which is why I think many people don't do it, but it's easier than it looks. Go down a gully, clamber up onto a rock ledge with a big roof immediately overhead, and scramble up a chimney on the left side of the ledge that's maybe 5 feet high with gigantic jug holds hidden over the top. You may not be able to see the holds but if you reach for them, you'll find them. Stand up, reach for the holds, and mantle up. From there it's just walking to the summit of north.

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Gimpilator
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PostMon Jul 25, 2022 4:17 pm 
I see very few reports about going to the true summit which also include a lot of route detail about that. This report is surely appreciated, and seeing mention of my Cave Ridge trip was an unexpected surprise. WARNING: for anyone thinking of exploring the caves on Cave Ridge. Please know that many of the caves begin with a drop, or a slippery slab which leads to a drop. This is an easy place to get seriously injured and or dissappear. Please make sure you do your homework, and are properly prepared with technical gear, or bring someone who already knows the area.

Summitpost | YouTube | Peakbagger

vk, mosey, dixon
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Justus S.
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PostMon Jul 25, 2022 6:04 pm 
Very cool, Never been up Guye in the summertime. I only did the summits traverse in spring(tr), so it is nice to see it in the sunshine. Your route up route looks quite spicy, even the traverse between summits. up.gif The eastern spires on Snoqualmie, I think I remember scrambling them if you want something different and find yourself up there again. Avalanche and Snoqualmie make for a reasonable combo hike/loop. Red in the area can be scrambly especially if you believe you can easily get over to Kendall. shakehead.gif

vk
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vk
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PostTue Jul 26, 2022 10:36 am 
Secret Agent Man wrote:
There's actually a great way to get from middle to north Guye on the west side. It looks improbable, which is why I think many people don't do it, but it's easier than it looks. Go down a gully, clamber up onto a rock ledge with a big roof immediately overhead, and scramble up a chimney on the left side of the ledge that's maybe 5 feet high with gigantic jug holds hidden over the top. You may not be able to see the holds but if you reach for them, you'll find them. Stand up, reach for the holds, and mantle up. From there it's just walking to the summit of north.

Interesting! I peeked over to the west side but it looked quite airy. Good to know there's another route! I'll have to check it out if I am ever back up there.

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zimmertr
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PostTue Jul 26, 2022 11:58 am 
Justus S. wrote:
Red in the area can be scrambly

Indeed! I was surprised to see OP dismiss it. You obviously don't have a risk of freefall at any point, but if you slip you're sliding down 500' of cheese grater! And if you get off route you can definitely end up on some scary terrain. I climbed it in a total fog out which was interesting.
Nonetheless, fantastic job on this. I've only ever heard how difficult Guye is without climbing equipment. Great job.

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hapemask
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PostSat Jul 30, 2022 4:37 pm 
Nice report! The gully that leads up and out from the base of the slab to the trail down from the north summit is indeed not bad, hereís a shot I took when I scouted it out two weeks ago.
The gully really isnít brushy at all once you get into it, thereís a nice route up around the brush. It looks like you found a pretty fun way up anyway though! Iím planning to try for all 3 summits myself but was thinking Iíd go from N->Mid->S and then back depending on how I feel with the exposureÖ

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b00
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PostSat Jul 30, 2022 4:57 pm 
vk wrote:
Secret Agent Man wrote:
There's actually a great way to get from middle to north Guye on the west side. It looks improbable, which is why I think many people don't do it, but it's easier than it looks. Go down a gully, clamber up onto a rock ledge with a big roof immediately overhead, and scramble up a chimney on the left side of the ledge that's maybe 5 feet high with gigantic jug holds hidden over the top. You may not be able to see the holds but if you reach for them, you'll find them. Stand up, reach for the holds, and mantle up. From there it's just walking to the summit of north.

Interesting! I peeked over to the west side but it looked quite airy. Good to know there's another route! I'll have to check it out if I am ever back up there.

i looked at that and wondered. thanks for letting me know. now i only hope when i do it again, i will remember what you said :>) ps - vk - nice t/r, fun reading!

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