We hiked Kendall Peak for our BOEALPS BCC Navigation Outing. Due to relatively high avalanche danger, we decided our route should skirt Kendall to the west and come down from the north rather than risking a direct climb up the avalanche slopes on the west side of Kendall.
We met in the Snoqualmie Summit West parking lot at 6:30am and left the parking lot at 7am. We walked a few hundred feed down the road, then left the road and began following an obvious winter trail. This is a popular snowshoe area, so there are several "obvious" trails, but we just followed the biggest one, as it was heading north and we (correctly) predicted it would eventually run into Commonwealth Creek. When the nicely packed trail ended, we began kicking our own steps through the deep snow, using Commonwealth Creek as a handrail to our left as we progressed north up the Commonwealth Basin. We continued following the creek as it went up the valley between Red Mountain and Kendall.
At 11am we reached an elevation of about 4400'. We cut southeast, aiming for a gully up to the Kendall ridgeline. We made very slow progress as we pushed up the steep slopes through several feet of deep powdery snow.
At 1pm, we reached the ridgeline at 5600' at a saddle between two false summits, perhaps a quarter mile north of the true summit. It was a clear, sunny day, and the view was fantastic. Unfortunately, the ridge was fairly icy. We belayed one climber to scout ahead, but since no one in the group had crampons and since we needed to be back at the parking lot by 5PM, we chose to forgo a summit attempt.
At 2pm, we began our descent, plunge-stepping and glissading, following our route from the way up. We returned to the cars just before 5pm.
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