The StatsBlowdown Mountain and Crater Lake Peak
4400 elevation gain
Wow, if only I knew about these two peaks sooner. While on Dixie Peak Redwic and I were looking at both Crater Lake Peak and Blowdown Mountain wondering if the two peaks had names or views and were worth summiting. Redwic then later that week decided to climb them just after a snowstorm to find out more about the peaks. Well after he posted the page my immediate interest perked up about these two mountains. After all these two peaks sit right between both Teneriffe and Si, the latter probably one of the top three summits hiked to in Washington State. Well after hearing avalanche danger was very high on April 5th, 2009 we abandon another trip we were planning and change to the much safer summits of Blowdown and Crater Lake Peak. Our participants were Josh, Aaron, Leslie from NWHikers, Redwic and me EastKing.
We decided to take the Teneriffe Fire Road Route up. Since Redwic summited these two mountains from the Si route he wanted to try something different. The Fire Road was a good alternative. We started at a fairly brisk pace on the way up but once about 2000 feet we were in the snow. Though the trail was broken until the Si turnoff, it was still slower going up the fire road. Once past the Si turnoff we had to break the trail the rest of the way to the summit of Blowdown. Views started just a little ways past the Si turnoff and dramatically improved as we continued up Blowdown Mountain. In fact despite hearing account that Blowdown did not offer much in the way of views, the views on the old road as well as the open area just before the summit were quiet impressive. Just show you that sometime you have to climb the mountain to find out the true facts about the mountain.
We continued up Blowdown until we reached the summit of Blowdown which was supposed to be a disappointment. Maybe in summer this is the case but on a clear late winter day there a good framed view of neighboring Dixie Peak with Bessemer and Moolock in the background. We stopped only briefly for some picture taking before moving on to Crater Lake Peak. It should be noted that just before the summit of Blowdown there is a very good and interesting view of Mount Si from this peak. Also the summit area of Blowdown holds three volcano views though you have to move off the summit are to find stellar views of Rainier.
Now it was off to Crater Lake Peak. This peak is significantly smaller that Blowdown but is definite a worthy destination. We headed down a steeper but heavily forested ridge to Crater Lake Peak. The on this section was more packed making for an easier traverse of the two peaks. When we made to the summit of Crater Lake Peak we greeted with good views of Dixie Peak as well as an interesting prospective of Mount Si from this summit. Teneriffe was well framed off to the east and other mountains were clear visible from this summit. Though not a perfect panorama definitely a worthy destination and a great lunch stopping point.
After eating a good lunch it was time to head on back. We had to head back up to the summit of Blowdown. After all the hiking we had already done this was a little tiring but we maintained a good clip and were back up to the summit area of Blowdown. From here we took a little more direct path down Blowdown but staying rather close to our tracks. It was here that many us really got to see the great views on the south side of this mountain. The views maybe not as legendary as many in the North Cascades but they are worthy of a visit especially in winter.
We picked up the pace on the way down and though we were all tired we made decent time getting down. Some of the reason why we were a little tired was because this was one of the first weekends in a while that we were exposed to the sun. It was also a rare warm day here after a winter that had seen Seattle get up to triple the amount of its yearly snowfall and snow well into April. We did though make it down though a little tired very both shocked in the views and happy to tackle two more peaks.
Some notes about this trip. First Blowdown and Crater Lake Peak make a great trip when avalanche danger is high and it is sunny or partly cloudy in this area. Second go up these peaks in winter to avoid the thick underbrush that hits these peaks. Third don’t expect to see people on these peaks because even people who religiously hike in this area have not heard of these two peaks. This is a benefit on many fronts but can be a deterrent in that you will have to break trail for quiet some distance.