The StatsEsmeralda Peaks
YDS Class 2
8 miles roundtrip
3000 feet elevation gain
When the weather is back in the western Cascades it is time then to head on over to the eastern Cascades. Often the weather on that side is far better than the western counters. The trails are also much less visited, especially in the Teanaway Region. Here is one of my Teanaway Region stories.
Over the past couple months this idea has worked wonders with all of the trips resulting in much better weather. Well today the weather wasn't the best on the other side of the mountains, but the trip was still very doable. So we decided to head over the pass and try for this peak despite the poor conditions in Seattle.
Starting out it did not look so hot going up the mountain. There was a light cold rain coming down and the conditions did not look so hot. It was obvious that views were not going to be a premium today. Still though we wanted to give this peak a chance because once winter rolls around this mountain will basically be shut down.
We took the De Roux Creek Trail from the De Roux Campground. The trail follow the creek all the way up. After going about 2 1/2 miles we hit a set of switchbacks. After the second switchback we made our break for the summit via the southwest slope and its sustained 1200 foot YDS Class 2 (bsically unexposed) scree and talus field.
It was in the talus field that Aaron realized he left his poles down on the lower section of trail. I though gave him one of my poles and he was okay though worried about his pole. The scree and some patches off snow slowed us up a little but we made it to the base of the two summits rather easily thanks to Adam's good scouting of the route. We first went up the right summit where despite the map marking it as the summit it didn't have a summit register.
We spent a little time and then headed to the true summit (the western one where we found and signed the summit register. Views were limited on the summit but on the way up we saw some decent views of Koppen Mountain and the base of Hawkins Mountain. It would flurry from time to time on the summit but it was clear we were in a weather window.
The weather did pick up a little on the way down but luckily after we were of the Class 2 talus and scree. On the way back we stopped by a beautiful waterfall on the De Roux Creek Trail. I am not one for waterfall but this particular one is very special. The snow coming down here made this waterfall very special. Maybe it was foreshadow what is to come in the winter. To me it is a worthy destination in itself and I hope to bring BearQueen, my wife there in the future. We continued on back where Aaron found his lost pole and headed back to the trailhead. On the way back we saw a group of deer. I took a couple shots of the deer and then we headed out.
Overall this trip was a great time. Thanks Aaron, QC, and Gimpilator for coming. Hopefully we can continue the momentum!!