South Gully

Page Type
Washington, United States, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
Most of a day
Class 3 exposed

Route Quality: 5 Votes

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South Gully
Created On: Jul 10, 2005
Last Edited On: May 4, 2006


See the Getting There section of the main page for instructions to the trailhead. At the trailhead, take the Barclay Lake Trail 1055 that heads slightly down near the signs. Don't take the overgrown abandoned road that is to the right. That one leads up to the Mount Baring climb.

Follow the trail for about a mile on relatively flat ground with little elevation change to where it crosses on a bridge over Barclay Creek. Just after the bridge, the trail does a sharp switchback right. Follow this for a brief distance to a flat spot in the trail where a rocky streambed comes down from above on the left.

Route Description

From the streambed, climb up and slightly to the left following the rocks up. It will widen into a small gully and the trees with disappear from within the streambed. About 500 to 600 feet up at the 2950 foot level, the streambed will be joined by another one coming up from the left. They merge just before you come to a waterfall (see photo). This is the first step to overcome on this gully. It is easily done by finding a climbers path far left at the edge of the woods. It climbs up through brush and comes out up on top of the waterfall.

Continue up the gully to about 3400 feet where you will come to Step 2 (see photo). I found this to be the crux of the climb. Smoot says to just simply scramble up the slabs but I found them to be wet, algae-covered and too steep to take lightly. Beckey doesn't even mention this section in his book. It may be possible to pass this by srambling up dry slabs later in the season but I ended up following the line on the photo referenced above. Basically, when the slabs steepen to where I did not feel comfortable, I bushwhacked to the right below a small rock wall and found some trees to yard up about 20-30 yards until I could traverse back left onto a small ledge about even with the top of this waterfall. From there I picked up a climbers path that climbed up through this notch on the right side.

Continue on up another 300 feet to 3700 feet where you will encounter Step 3. This one is not even mentioned in either book but it appears some large boulders fell and lodged in a narrow part of the gully walls. (see photo) I moved up along the left wall as far as I could and then reached up on the light grey oval-shaped rock far left and pulled myself up and over. You can not pass it on the right as in the photo you can not see the other waterfall hidden by the rock. Once up and over with some exposure, you can cruise on up to the 4000 foot level.

At 4000 feet another gully comes down from the right with a stream. Do not take the first gully where the stream comes down. Instead, it is easier to go left around a small rock tower and pick up a climbers path above it that heads up the far left side of this Upper Gully. The main gully that you were just on continues on up and over to Gunn Peak.

Take this new Upper Gully to the right and follow the climbers path that stays far left and goes under a short cave-like cliff. After exiting the cliff wall, it continues up left following a streambed with some bushwhacking as well into the trees in steep sections. It will end at a waterfall and rock wall (see photo). From here, traverse right following cairns across heather slopes and brush to another streambed on the right. You may be able to join this through some trees but I ended up doing a short somewhat-exposed move over another high cliffy waterfall. You are now on the righthand side of the main slopes up to the summit. Follow this streambed until it peters out and then you can see the route ahead. I stayed on the right side following goat trails up the heather slopes until about 5200 feet and then slowly headed left. A low ridge comes down from above basically splitting the gully in half. Traverse back left onto that side at about 5450 feet and then it should be easy sailing up to the main summit block on the left (see photo).

Once up on the ridge, I scrambled up the southeast side of the summit blocks picking up a faint trail. It should lead to some easy slopes on the east side and then some easy Class 3 moves on the final block to the summit where there is a register to sign.

To descend, downclimb the route. Round trip is 6 miles with 3800 feet of elevation gain.

Essential Gear

Insect repellant in summer, you will be bushwhacking and enjoying mosquitos and other critters.

Winter/Spring climbs would require axes and crampons. Not sure how steep it gets but depending on your comfort level, maybe a rope and pickets.

Helmets would be a good idea year-round. I banged my head scrambling up the Lower Gully and wished I had brought one. With any party over one, you will be knocking down rocks and should have one.

Miscellaneous Info

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South Gully

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