Volcanic Neck is an impressive geological formation that doesn't seem to belong in the Teanaway region. It looks like a volcanic plug
, formed by lava cooling in a volcanic vent, and later exposed as the softer, surrounding rock eroded. Volcanic Neck is the high point on the ridge between point 6743, "Bean Peak,"
and point 6666, "Devil's Head."
I don't know who gets the credit for these names, and they aren't on the USGS topo map. Bean sits at the head of the Bean Creek drainage, and Devil's Head has an elevation of 6666, and looks like a head with horns on the map. My topo map has waypoints for all of these summits.
Surrounded by many peaks that are rated as easy to moderate scrambles, Volcanic Neck poses a more serious challenge for scramblers, and is rated as a "T5" by Peggy Goldman's "75 Scrambles in Washington" book, trip #55. The T5 rating often means 3rd class climbing, with some loose rock and/or exposure.
Topo Map View from Bean Peak
You can get to Volcanic Neck by following the Bean Creek trail and then climbing over Bean Peak (what we did), or by following the Beverly Creek trail, and heading east toward the Bean Peak - Volcanic Neck saddle (how we continued to climb Teanaway Peak and Iron Peak.) Or you could follow Bean Creek to the Earl Peak trail, and then follow the ridge from Earl Peak
over to Bean Peak
Starting from the saddle just southwest of Volcanic Neck, you traverse to the right, counter-clockwise across a steep, loose slope. Some 2nd class scrambling brings you around to the northeast saddle.
From the saddle, start up the obvious gully. Make your way up steep gullies, some 3rd class, being careful to check for loose rock. We ascended and descended different gullies, and both had a 3rd class section, with some loose rock.
The route eases up as you get higher, although there is still some exposure. I would climb it again, and highly recommend wearing a helmet.
Close to Summit Looking SW from near Summit
Volcanic Neck is accessed from the same trail head as Earl Peak
A Northwest trail pass is required at the Beverly Creek trail head.
Camping is available nearby at the Beverly Campground, 29 Pines Campground, and the De Roux Campground.
External LinksPictures on webshots.com
Seattle PI article