Took trail 33 to 34 and went up the southern chute. Beautiful views of all the volcanoes.
Paul M. and I did this one together. It was the first of two wilderness highpoints we reached that day. The upper scramble was fun, and the weather and views were spectacular.
Went up trail 33 from Cultus Creek campground, then the Lemei Trail. Back to trail 33 and continued on it to the PCT. Did Bird Mountain and Sawtooth Mountain, then returned by other trail that leads to the parking area at Cultus Creek campground. Topo maps and pictures at
Excellent day with a tinge of fall in the air. Used Trail #33 and east side gully. Berry crop above 4,000 ft didn't make it this year. Snow melt was too late. Some bugs, but not bad. 5 hrs RT without having to hurry much. WA P2k 79/144
Did the "usual" route, up the northwest side and down the east.
I wanted to make a note that finding the approach to that northwest ridge is tricky: coming from the west, you have to leave the Lemei Trail pretty early. There's a faint trail through a meadow (at N46.0233, W121.765) that goes up into the woods and then mostly disappears, but that's where you want to be. (If the Lemei Trail brings you to an open area where you can see scree slopes below the northern cliffs, you've missed the turnoff.)
This was an excellent hike. The berries were in season, the sky was blue and the bugs were gone. The scramble is quite easy, not even really much of a scramble via the scree gully. The scree is loose, but that's nothing new in WA.
With my son. Started at 3, summit at 4:40, back down at 4:45, to the car at 6:05. Nice hike and fun scramble up the northeast gulley, tempered somewhat by an unbelievable amount of bugs. They were at their worst near the top on the scramble. Looks like this would be even better in the fall when the bugs die out. Nice and clear weather, a bit warm but not unbearably so.
Son Mike and I backpacked in from Placid Lk. trailhead (29?) then to Lake Chenamus, followed the abandonded but easy to follow trail SE to a pt between Acker and Elk lakes, cut eastward, and found a pleasant campsite near an intermittent streambed. Beautiful huckleberry foliage and ripe berries everywhere, like walking through a berry winery. Every bird and mammal scat was berry colored, even the coyotes.
Route: We spent the early morning cutting cross country between various lakes and wound up on the 33 trail going to Cultus and thus got onto 34. The (Hansen) guidebook we were using had said that Lemei Rock required climbing experience and equipment. As we walked towards it (and Wapiki Lk), it looked as though one could just walk up to the south summit. So we did. Perfectly dry, but this was high end 2(two) and no more. We then traversed over to the north summit. Mike, who has rock climbing tendencies, scrambled and walked along the spine. Not for me. I wont argue with any 3 or 4 designation for parts of that. But along the east side of that crest is a natural "trail" that is walkable and stable. There is a section where one sidesteps along an airy but very solid and clean ledge. Would take a grand mal seizure or a major earthquake to fall--at least when its dry.
Bonus: on or near the ledge is a cannonhole with a view of either Adams or St. Helens, can't remember which.
North prong eventually required a little butterfly battling by me and shaming and spotting by Mike, but I eventually sat on it and got back off it.
We crossed back over to the broader south summit and watched the falcons, hawks and swallows while we ate lunch. We also noted a hazy peak almost due west that looked as if it could be Saddle Mountain. Compass bearing later seemed right refering to 1:250000 maps. Comments welcome on that especially.
Went down the east side by a very obvious scree and talus chute that is just north of the south summit. Went down separately to avoid kicking rocks onto each other's heads, but no problems. Had a small crowd watching from near the trail. Note to nonclimbers: that chute looks much steeper looking up than it is. Bogus macho points available either by camera or having someone waiting to see you come down.
No snow or ice or even dew.
Good weather on the way in, great weather on the way out, and really, really foggy, cloudy, and windy weather during the entire tirp. It wasn't all bad though, it was pretty cool watching the mist blowing around like it was shot out of a tube. Made it to both summits, but had no views. Nice scenery, and a pretty easy trail. I'll have to come back when the weather is nicer.
Dean Molen and I met on Saturday afternoon in Bingen at the local Mexican restaurant, ate dinner, then headed up to the Cultus Creek campground. The weather was supposed to improve, so we hit the sack expecting the sky to clear overnight. Unfortunately it had changed very little by morning, so we headed up the trail in the dripping forest. At least it wasn't raining, just foggy, and there wasn't much wind until we hit the summit ridge. Nice hike. The rock was wet from all the fog, so we used great caution on the ascent to and traverse of the summit ridge. The big disappointment was the lack of views, especially of Adams and Hood, as well as St. Helens and Rainier . This was my 155th peak with 2000+ feet of topographic prominence, and my 43rd such summit in Washington.
Fun scramble along the rim after coming up the NW ridge. Combined it with a traverse across Bird Mountain to the north, hitting the high points along the way (getting down off the north end was pretty thrashy), and then on out to take a look at Sawtooth Mountain.
There were dozens of people up here on this great summer day. Saw this from a plane and just had to go take a look.
Hiked in with friends Mark and Chad. Bugs were vicious in the meadows. Decided to climb the northwest ridge and bushwhacked up to it. Some easy climbing moves to gain the summit ridge and scramble along it to the true summit. Lots of fun. Was going to try to downclimb the west side but it would have required some rappeling. Downclimbed the east side gully and did some scree skiing. Really a fun day with great views of all the big Cascade peaks nearby.