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[TR] Chiwaukum Range - Chiwaukum High Route 09/09/2021

Kyle M

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Trip: Chiwaukum Range - Chiwaukum High Route

Trip Date: 09/09/2021

Trip Report:

This definitely isn't alpine climbing, and nothing exceeded class 3, but I think it is kinda interesting...

John Berude and I completed a high traverse of the Chiwaukum Range in a single push. We started at the Lake Ethel Trailhead and ended at Hatchery Creek, summitting Big C, Big Lou, and Big Jim along the way. It was definitely the hardest high route thing I have onsited in a day and one of the best days I have had out there with the scenery and fall colors. It measured 32 miles and 14k ft gain, mostly off trail, and took us 16 hours.

Full TR:


The most interesting part was getting between the Glacier Creek and South Fork Chiwaukum drainages. We utilized the pass to the east of Pt 7955. The south side of the pass looks improbably on a topo map, and there is indeed a cliff there. But one can follow ledges westward and through the cliff band miraculously.




A beautiful morning in the Chiwaukum.


Above Cup Lake.


Some exposed scrambling on Big C.


The beautiful Glacier Creek drainage.


Looking back on the key ledge that gets you through the cliffs near Pt 7955.


Vibrant orange near Cape Horn.


On the summit of Big Lou.


Nearing the summit of Big Jim.

Gear Notes:
Running shoes, poles, running vests.

Approach Notes:
Leave Lake Ethel Trail right before going down to the lake and enter the alpine! Hatchery Creek has over a hundred blowdowns.
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