This was part of a 2.5-day push on the following Washington & Idaho counties: Stevens, Pend Oreille, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai, Benewah, and Latah.
The first 4 of these are grizzly country, and I had my dogs in tow, so I resorted to one of my pet peeves: I used the external speaker on my phone. Mostly I was just listening to episodes of The Sharp End and The Enormocast.
Headed here with my dogs right after doing Abercrombie.
The road is gravel for 11 miles to the trailhead and progressively gets worse until the last 2 miles when you will definitely want high clearance. Even before then it is narrow, and I met two sizable pickups where some creativity was required to allow one another space. I passed 2 gates, both with signs of dates they would be closed: the first from 12/1 to 5/15, the second from 8/15 to 11/30.
Mind the unmarked junction once you approach the ridgeline about 1.5 miles in; I went about 1/4-mile off route following the trail before I realized I was venturing away from the objective. Along the ridgeline there is not much of a trail and it is choose-your-own adventure. You can either follow the contours around the bumps to minimize elevation gain and loss, or you can just go for it up and over. I chose the latter as I always prefer getting a better and earlier view of what is to come. At this point in the day the elevation gain and loss felt like a pain in the ass. I was glad to have it done.
Not a soul at the trailhead or on the entire route besides us.
Lots of huckleberries to eat on the way up and back down. The view was great as well. The route is pretty easy.
Finally made it up there after living in NE WA for years. The gate was closed, but I climbed up to Crowell Ridge from Road 200, headed north to the peak, and came back down a different route (and had to hike 5+ miles on the road). So 15 miles in all, and 4000 feet of total elevation gain. But it was an awesome and beautiful day in the wilderness!
Thank goodness I borrowed my Father-In-Law's pickup truck. That last road is NASTY in places... especially when trucks try heading the opposite direction with no place to turn-off. The hike went exceptionally well for me. I summited Snyder Hill at sunset the previous night, drove to the Gypsy Peak trailhead that evening, and then began hiking at 4:30 AM. I summited within 2h20m... much quicker than I was anticipating. I think it helped a lot that I side-traversed slopes whenever possible along faint animal tracks (especially the west side of Point 6853) rather than going up and down every highpoint on the ridge... although I did summit Peak 7177 (on purpose), the third-highest mountain in Pend Oreille County. Great views from the summit of Gypsy Peak, and somebody had just recently left a summit register in a jar. Gypsy Peak was my 27th WA CoHP, but it was not the end of my peakbagging weekend...
With Eric and Dennis. Very little snow. Great hike inspite of the rain. 31 WA cohp down, 8 to go.
With Eric and Ken. Rained on us on the way down.
Fairly straightforward. Getting around to making the long drive out to the peak is probably the crux. We did sidehilling rather than go up and over various knobs and for the most part that worked out well with faint bootpaths to be found for much of the route.
I started up the trail, but instead of following it all the way to the ridge top, I cut directly from the trail to the saddle north of Point 6617, probably the same shortcut as in the other climber's logs. This was easy, as there are game trails heading up the small ridges to the saddle. From there I climbed over the top of Point 6853, around the west side of Point 7177, around the east side of Point 7033 above Watch Lake, then on to the summit of Gypsy. Took pretty much the same route on the way back. I climbed on my birthday with my dog Packer. I had to walk the last 3/4 mile of road to the trailhead because there were several trees across the road. It was a nice sunny day, but pretty smoky. Took a total of 3 1/2 hours.
Climbed with Rob but got fogged in above the lake. Decided to bail and came back the next day with Teri (spousal unit 1) and made the summit in great weather. The traverse west of point 7100 kinda sucked. Avoided it going in (over the top) but dealt with it coming back. A fun romp along the ridge.
Climbed the Southwest Ridge amidst a two day sweep of the three highest points in N.E. Washington. Great views of Canadian peaks and the Idaho Selkirks. A little brainstorming led our group to another future endeavor. Locate and bushwack into the Idaho/Wash/Canada confluence. Remote, but doable. Glad to see another Inland Empire peak page.
Blowing rain, mosquitoes when the wind stopped, a rock that I tried to knee in accidentally (that I got a phillips head screwdriver stab mark from), almost no view from the top...highpointers are weird! Nice workout though, going over and around all the bumps on the ridge.
It was 100 degrees in Spokane that day, but oh so nice up on top. Looking down at the east ridge was an awesome sight. I also took the "shortcut" coming down, and I ran into a young bull moose, hanging out near Leola Cr. I came to within 50 yds of him, and he just watched me walk by. This was a good test of my new Montrail boots - very nice.
Bob gave a good description of our hike / climb of Gypsy Peak in the previous summit log entry. I have a lot of pics to add but my computer is down at the moment and I don't have access to them. One thing though, this peak is in grizzly bear country and you kind of keep that in the back of your mind when you're going through the brush like Bob and I did on our way out (the shortcut). Great peak. I have a couple of interesting stories to tell about Abercrombie peak across the way but I'll save that for another time.
Fellow county highpointer and SummitPost member Dean and I met in Metaline Falls early in the morning, ate breakfast at a great little café in town, then headed up to the TH. We had intended to meet up with friends at the TH, but they gave up on us due to the heat and the bugs and started up without us. They didn't go all the way to Gypsy Peak, and we met them on their way back. Then we continued to the summit. On the way back we took a shortcut into the Leola Creek basin, saving significant time. I have much enjoyed the three NE WA county highpoints - Copper Butte, Abercrombie Mountain, and Gypsy Peak. For more information on county highpointing, click here.