Elevation Gain: 3100 feet
Distance: 5 miles
Difficulty: Walk Up with optional Class 2 ridgetop scramble.
Gear Needed: 10 essentials, trekking poles useful
I was searching for a good hike to do when Curttissmo came up with a good hike that was sure to avoid any possible rain and cloudiness, Yellow Hill and Elbow Peak. It was cloudy on Sunday here but on the other side it was straight sunshine. When we hit the trailhead it was quiet except for the dirt biker gang. They were friendly though and we were soon on our path up the mountain
Curttissmo and I started at 9:30 and started off real quickly. We marched up this mountain in classic form. The dirt bikers didn't actually pass until we were about a mile and a half up the trail. The trail up to near Yellow Hill was steep at times but nothing too difficult. Some views broke out on the first ridge of Mount Ranier to the south and Mount Stuart to the north. After the ridge the trail takes a slight dip then rise to fairly close to the summit of Yellow Hill. You will probably want to go off trail sooner (no bootpath to the summit) but we went off trail right of from the northern part of the ridge.
We climbed up the to the open slope with good views of Stuart and Jolly. However it was obvious that this was not the summit so we then continued south along the ridge. Eventually we ran into the summit marker more towards the southern end. There were no great views from the true summit. However there were views about 100 feet below the summit of the open Teanaway countryside.
We stayed there just long enough to take a couple of pics and then moved on to Elbow Peak. Along the northern sections of Yellow Hill, Elbow Peak clearly was showing itself. But first came a steep 300 foot drop into the gap. I was not excited about having to head back up this spot on the return trip. After the drop the trail rises again then hits a narrow ridge. Curt decided to stay on the trail which hugged the western side of the narrow ridge, While I decided to go right across the top of the ridge on the rocks. There was a little exposer going accross the rocks on both sides but at least I avoided much of the kitty litter on the trail. After the ridge it was just a quick trek up to the summit area.
But where is the actual summit there are three spots that are clearly within a foot of each other. One is hiding behind the trees on the north end and the other two are in the middle. Well if you don't know do them all. Once we we done on all of the possible true summits. I decided to take a knap. I was out for a little bit but the ants around this area woke me back up after about an hour. Both us took some time to enjoy the views.
After the quick sleep it was time to head down. I decided to take the trail this time to cross the narrow ridge. Hmm.. kitty litter on a fairly poorly defined trail. I wouldn't want to cross this trail in winter during avalanche season. Believed it or not those people took tose dirt bike along this ridge!After that though it was time to head back.
Curt had the speed burners going here while I had to run half the time to stay with him. But the two inclines both seriously slowed him up. But the trip back here was very uneventful. To be honest, outside of the dirt bike gang we didn't run into anyone else. Within two hours from the summit of Elbow we were back to the car and heading back.
I want to thank Curt for planning this trip and inviting me. Awesome hike and another two summits down!!!
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