Buoyed up by reports of promising weather, Bob
and I made the trip to the Indian Heaven area north of Trout Lake to climb Lemei Rock. We camped at Cultus Creek campground Saturday night and in the morning started off on Trail #33, not far from the area we camped at. Mist and fog were our constant companions during our hike as the weather never got any better nor did we have the views of Mt. Adams and St. Helens that we had hoped for. We did enjoy the day despite the conditions. Hiking with Bob is always fun and our conversations on the trail always makes the time fly by.
It is about 2 1/4 miles to where you hit trail #34 just beyond Cultus Lake and another mile and change to a way trail that takes you to the base of a talus field on the east side of Lemei Rock where you get to do some class 3 scrambling near the top of the field. The class 3 part had one section where we had to stowe our poles and truly scramble carefully as the rock was super slick due to the rain and fog. Once the short scramble section is done and the ridge is attained, it is easy to finish Lemei off. A summit cairn was found but no register. A fun climb despite the lack of views but I've found that if you do much in the northwest, a goodly chunk of your
climbs result in no view due to the weather.
We met one group of 5 coming up the trail to see the view from the viewpoint above Waipaiki Lake (sorry folks, not today) and a couple heading down from their packback into Deep Lake. We were surprised to see anyone but we're not the only crazy people hiking in the fog and rain.
The distance is about 7miles roundtrip and 2000 feet of elevation gain. This area would be mosquito heaven in the summer. We were surprised to still find a few hardy ones still around. Lots of bear scat full of huckleberries everywhere.
The first pic above shows fogbound Cultus Lake. The second pic shows the trail junction which is just beyond Cultus Lake and the third pic shows the east side talus slope that leads to the summit ridge.
Bob had to stowe the poles just after I took this pic as this part required use of hands as well and the doggone stuff was slick so you had to watch footing. The route went to the right a bit and then up over the top of the rocks seen in this pic. Once over this section, an easy trail leads to the summit.