Taking The Four Summits That Were Given
There are times when the you just have to alter your plans to make the most of your weekend. When climbing a mountain you must take into account the weather conditions, the avalanche conditions and the strength of your group going. I personally have a strong safety first value when I climb mountains. If the conditions are not there or I don't feel comfortable with the group then I will not to that particular mountain. I will though go somewhere no matter what though.
I say all of this because originally I was going to head up to Little Tahoma but the weather was very questionable, the snow was very avalanche prone, and I did not have my strong people to head up there with me. The thought of me even thinking of Little Tahoma after all the information I was receiving would make me serious question my sanity. So Little Tahoma was a scratch. Then I was going to bailout to Dragontail only to find out that almost all of the same problem were to come up there as well. It sucks to think that I couldn't do anything big on Memorial Day but I know it is safest to settle for some smaller peaks which I have not done before.
So I decided to check out trip reports on different areas and I saw Bryan TR on www.nwhikers.net. Most of the others were either staying home or going peaks that I thought would be questionable in the conditions. I called my friend Redwic and we decide to pick this area for some hiking. After all it is always better to knock off four smaller and safer mountains when conditions are poor than to either risk safety on a larger mountain.
Redwic and I got to the trailhead at 8 am and headed up all the way Para Point, the route up was steep in places but easy to follow. Snow began at 4600 feet in patches and the mountain was completely covered by 4800 feet. No snowshoes were needed and an ice axe was more optional than needed for this trip. Once Redwic and I made the summit of Para Point we decide to head north first for Thomas Mountain. There was a quick 200' foot drop into the col then a 550' foot rise to the summit of Thomas Mountain. The snow here some pretty solid and there was little use for an axe here because there wasn't mcuh in a way of exposed steep stuff. The snow had cosolidated quiet well at this lower elevation. That being said it still was time consuming to get to Thomas Mountain. On the summit of Thomas Mountain we were greeted with decent views of the Enchantments and the Teanaway Region. The weather though was moving in and it started to sprinkle on the summit which made Redwic and I to question rather we should go for Baldy and Domerie and Baldy.
We headed down from Thomas and ran into another hiker and his friend from Nwhikers.net. We talked to them for a little while and then decided to head back to Para Point where we were going to make our decision. Once back at Para Point we took a look at the weather and how we were feeling and we decided to head to Mount Baldy and Domerie. The weather seemed to be mellow enough to head over to Mount Baldy and give it a shot. The way was uneventful though we did have more cool views of Lake Kachess, Easton Ridge and toward the east as well. It required a 300' decline and a 500' incline but yet again there was very little in exposed areas and the snow starting to mix with bare spots.
Once we hit the summit of Mount Baldy we took a small break to get some good summit shots then we decided to drop down to Domerie Peak. After decending down 500' from Baldy we headed back up almost 200' to Domerie Peak. Heading to peak we were out of the snow more than we were in it. Out of all the peaks this peak we liked this the most because this peak actually had a mini (Class 2) scramble which added the fun to the peak.f you want to make the trip harder you could possibly make it into a Class 3 by going straight up the face. We elected to go right of the summit and make a simply Class 2 move to it. Domorie also had great views of Lake Cle Elum and was well worth the effort.
After Domerie it was time to head on back. Once again we headed back over Baldy and Para Point. It was tougher this time because we were getting a little tired but there were a number of decent views to distract us. We took a breather on Baldy which this time had views. Once we hit Para Point we were home free and then just had to head down that steeper path. We made good time heading down and were back at the car within an hour from Para Point. The weather had also held off for the most part making this trip much more enjoyable.
Once we hit Para Point it was time to down the steep trail. Parts of it you could run down and some part were a little too steep to run. We still made good time heading down and were soon back to the car.
It was an awesome trip. I want to thank Redwic for coming on this trip. I am also glad to meet b00 and his friend up on the mountain. It looked like from everything I saw we made the right call. It is better to knock off the smaller mountains when the weather is bad than play with unneeded risk when the weather is poor and the avy danger is high. Now hopefully the weather will cooperate for me next weekend with Shasta.