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Overcoat Peak

 
Overcoat Peak

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Washington, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 47.51349°N / 121.29318°W

Object Title: Overcoat Peak

County: King/Kittitas

Activities: Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Ice Climbing, Scrambling, Skiing

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 7432 ft / 2265 m

 

Page By: Z-Man

Created/Edited: Jan 11, 2007 / Aug 12, 2008

Object ID: 259170

Hits: 7540 

Page Score: 73.06%  - 3 Votes 

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Overview

Overcoat Peak is the rocky summit sticking up above the head of the Overcoat Glacier just north of slightly higher Chimney Rock.

The bulk of the mountain rises above Iceberg Lake and Burnt Boot Creek on the South, the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River from the West and North, and the Overcoat Glacier from the East. It is barely disconnected from the Cascade Crest, which passes across the Overcoat Glacier between Summit Chief Mountain and Chimney Rock a 1/4 mile to the West. The summit block is ~400 vertical feet above the surrounding terrain on all sides and very steep, neccessitating at least some class 4, if not low class 5 to attain.

The rapidly retreating glacier slopes at a generally low angle to the Northeast in a main body to about 6200 feet, and a smaller, disconnected ice body further northeast slopes lower to about 5800 feet.

The peak exhibits distinctive stratification that dips almost vertically and generally consists of layered basaltic and rhyolitic lava flows interspersed with sandstone. The North slope of the mountain has a large area of exposed granite, likely part of the Snoqualmie Batholith.

According to Fred Beckey in the Cascade Alpine Guide volume 1, the first recorded ascent was made in July, 1897 by surveyors John Charlton and Albert H. Sylvester, who named the peak after the overcoat he left on the summit.

Getting There

Access to Overcoat Peak has been of varying complexity for many years due to ever-changing road and trail conditions.

The closest road is the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road which is accessed from I-90 near North Bend. Exit I-90 at exit 34 and drive NE on Edgewick Road 4/10 mile and take a right on SE Middle Fork Rd which becomes the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road, Forest Service Rd 56. The road condition changes every year, check HERE for the latest information. After 12.3 miles the road branches, the right(southeast) branch, FS road 5620, continues along the Middle Fork all the way to the confluence of Hardscrabble Creek in another 13.4 miles. FS 5620 has been closed at the Dingford Creek trailhead however, so that means 7 miles of decommissioned road will have to be traveled to reach the former Dutch Miller Gap trailhead.

The Dutch Miller Gap trailhead is at the confluence of Hardscrabble creek and the trail follows the Middle Fork for 7 miles where it crosses the 4960-foot gap and meets the Pacific Crest Trail. There are several options for leaving the Dutch Miller Gap trail to travel cross-country to Overcoat Peak.

It is also possible to access the Dutch Miller Gap area from which an ascent of Overcoat can be made by hiking into the PCT from the east via the Waptas River Trail, from the north via the Tonga Ridge area off of US2, or by hiking the PCT from the south via the Cooper Lake area off of I-90. All of these options are 30+ miles roundtrip, so that even with the closure of the road at Dingford Creek, it is still shorter distance-wise to follow the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River. I suggest driving as far as possible on the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road and start a summit attempt from there.

The Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road has a reputation for unsavory activities and visitors, indeed automatic, i.e. illegal, weapons fire has been witnessed on every trip this poster has made into the Middle Fork. I have never heard of any hikers or climbers having mishaps with other usergroups, but tread lightly all the same.

Red Tape

Overcoat Peak and the Dutch Miller Gap trailhead lie in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. A NW Forest Pass is required to park at the trailhead and all other trailheads along the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road. Overnight stays in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness require a permit available for free at most trailheads and at the ranger station in North Bend.

Camping

Camping is allowed anywhere in the wilderness area more than 100 feet from any lake or trail. There are no designated campsites on the Dutch Miller Gap Trail and camping is prohibited at Dutch Miller Gap. Camping would really only be comfortable at the trailhead, in a few select spots along the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River, and above treeline on the Western and Northern flanks of Overcoat.

Images

Chimney Rock and Overcoat PeakOvercoat, Chimney Rock, and LemahCascade Beauties - PanoromaMount Thomson Summit ViewOvercoat PeakOvercoat Peak above the CloudsOvercoat Peak
Looking to the EastAlpine Lakes Region in Winter, Labeled Pano (version 2)Lower Overcoat GlacierOvercoat Peak resides just...Overcoat Glacier surface stream