This climb/hike starts from the Annette lake trail off of exit 47. Take I-90 to exit 47, if you are coming from the west, turn right off of the freeway, if from the east turn left off of the freeway. You will quickly come to an intersection were you will want to turn left onto the gravel road. This is the same road that goes to Asahel Curtis, it will also take you to your trail head. About ¼ mile past the intersection, the trail head for Annette lake will be on the right, it is a big paved parking lot, easy to find.
The ApproachI would not really consider this climb to have a distinct approach and a separate climb, but I will break the hike into two separate sections; the Annette Lake trail to Annette Lake as the approach and then the remaining climb up the west slope as the actual route.
From the parking lot, there are two trails starting from the same area, the Asahel Curtis nature trail and the Annette lake trail. The trail you want to take is on the right, heading up the hill. If you quickly come to a stream crossing, you have taken the wrong trail. The Annette Lake trail heads up the Humpback Creek valley and in about 3.5 miles and 1700’ of elevation gain later you will arrive at Annette Lake. This is an easy hike, but also a very popular one, so expect lots of people on a nice day.
The climb starts from the north end of the lake. When the trail comes into the lake, you will want to head left (east) uphill. There is a faint boot path that starts about 50 yards short of the lake. The trail heads up through open woods for about half a mile, and then comes to a small talus field. Go straight up the talus, following cairns. At the top of the talus, turn left into a short section of bushes and slide alder. You will quickly come to another larger talus slope that leads all the way to the summit ridge. Go straight up the slope, following an intermittent boot path and cairns to the top of the ridge. From here head south just below the ridge, a path leads all the way to the summit.
During winter, if there is adequate snow cover, it would be possible to just kick steps all the way to the summit ridge with no cliffs or other technical difficulties. Be sure to check the avalanche conditions as most of this route is on open slope, perfect for avalanches.
Essential Gear-10 Essentials
-Ice axe and Crampons in winter depending on current conditions
-During summer bring a desire to climb up a long field of very loose talus
Red TapeAs always, have a NW forest pass. Can be purchased at the visitor information center at Snoqualmie Pass, or at the North Bend ranger station, exit 32 in North Bend.
-$5.00 for a day pass
-$30.00 for a year long pass