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|GuideBook||Goldman 75 Scrambles|
|Mailed to WacList|| |
This weekend I wanted to try out my new VW Westfalia camper. My friend Jef was game, but since he had to be back in town by 6 pm Saturday we needed to find something far enough away to make camping worthwhile, fun enough to be worth doing, but not so distant or committing that we'd put Jef's social life at risk! |
We decided to head to Teanaway to try the Bill Peak / Bean Peak / Volcanic Neck trip in 75 Scrambles. It offered the opportunity to scramble several peaks in a loop hike in one of my favorite areas in the Cascades, and while we knew we wouldn't have the 11 hours Goldman recommends, there were lots of options for adjustments en route.
We got a reasonably early start after cooking breakfast in my camper's nifty kitchen. It was nice not to worry about wet tents and gear after the night's rain!
Trail 1391 is lovely, and the rain was just enough to kill the dust without making things muddy. After about 3 miles you head north on the Fourth Creek Trail. Goldman labels this 1218; Green Trails calls it 1299.1; but the sign on the trail says 1391B. Whatever it's called, it leads you to a saddle between Bill Peak and Mary Peak. (None of these peaks are labeled on the Green Trails map.) At the Wilderness Boundary sign, we took a left. At this point, Goldman's directions ceased to make sense to us. If we did what we *think* she was asking us to do, we would have flailed up a steep scree slope and an icky-looking gully full of loose rock. Where she said to go to the left of the ridge and the trees and a rocky rib, we stayed to the right, and had an easy time of it.
I didn't recognize any WAC names in the summit register, but it looks like Bill Peak is a favorite of Mountaineers scramble classes. The views from the top SHOULD have been fantastic, but we were socked in. Every so often it would clear enough for us to glimpse the ridge to the east where the rest of the peaks on our itinerary lay, or to see part of Mt Stuart to the north. We waited for about 45 minutes, hoping for a break in the clouds, before finally giving up and heading down.
By the time we got back to the saddle the skies had cleared quite a bit, so we were hopeful that we'd have better views from our next peak. Taking Goldman's "adventurous" option, we hiked directly up the ridge to the top of Mary Peak, and found that there were still clouds obscuring the tops of the big peaks in the Stuart Range. If the weather had been like every other day I've spent in the Teanaway area, the views would have been amazing with the whole Stuart Range spread in front of us. As it was, it was still pretty cool!
After lunch we realized we needed to head back if we were to get Jef home in time to pretty up for his party. We were sad not to be able to continue on to Bean Peak and Volcanic Neck. These peaks are along the same ridge as Mary Peak, but are progressively closer to the Stuart Range. The route back is just down the south side of Mary peak through Bean Creek basin. Lush meadows, wildflowers, bubbling streams, you know the drill.
This was a super relaxing trip -- easy hiking and scrambling, great views, and no people, all reasonably close to home.
Some pics here: http://www.ofoto.com/I.jsp?c=bj4zzaj.7b3srjhb&x=0&y=-lmllo2