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[TR] Welsh Peaks > Silver Peak > Hawk Peak > Tull Canyon - traverse 08/20/2022


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Trip: Welsh Peaks > Sillver Peak > Hawk Peak > Tull Canyon - traverse

Trip Date: 08/20/2022

Trip Report:


My climbing partner and I did this little traverse on Saturday morning.  We camped at the Silver Creek trailhead, in a tent next to my truck.  Every night, like Cato attacking Inspector Clouseau, my climbing partner tests my resolve.  He waits till I'm most vulnerable and unsuspecting and attacks.  I held him off again, this time in a little BD Firstliight.  Later I saw a remarkable "shooting star"...a band of iight moving across the sky rapidly until it disappeared over the eastern horizon.  I thought I had seen nothing like it before, but then I remember the Space Shuttle when it fell...it looked liked that, but just the one band of light.


My climbing partner woke up at 3:30 and told me he was ready to go now and to stop fucking around, lets go.  So I obliged and we got under way at 4am.  We reached the summit of the taller Welsh peak right before sunrise and witnessed a glorious birth of a new day from there.  Then we moved on our little high country traverse, following game trails and an occasional footprint, moving south, staying high on the ridge as possible.  Eventually saw a couple down at Silver lake camped with their dog from our ridge vantage point.   We continued on to Silver Lake Peak and then dropped down to the gap between that and the start of the ridge up Hawk Peak.  There are several ways up Hawk peak, but we stayed on the  south side as much as possible to soak up as much of the views of Constance, Warrior Peaks, the Brothers,  Mt Anderson,  Mt Jupiter, and others...truly a great vista. The Puget Sound below remained carpeted in clouds.    We made our way up to Hawk Peak, which is an incredible vantage point.   Then we left, but I forgot my trekking poles so we had to backtrack and go get them from the summit.  We dropped down to the basin of Tull Canyon,  which is very beautiful.  Unfortunately you have to drop quite a ways before finding water, and not long after that we were at the plane wreck in Tull Canyon.  You can read all about it here, a fascinating story.   What I found most interesting is that only three of the crew died, listen to this account:


Suddenly, the plane's port wing clipped trees near the top of a ridge.   The plane was slammed to the ground, ripping out the lower cockpit area and tearing off wing control surfaces.   The plane bounced, crashing back to earth on its belly, knocking off engines and stripping away the external life boat slung underneath.  The pilot was tossed out a hole in the cockpit and part of the plane slid over top of him, pressing him into the snow.   The co-pilot was thrown into the turret compartment and made his way to the bomb bay.   The flight engineer had been standing behind the co-pilot and was thrown to the floor of the cockpit and knocked unconscious. 

AF '746 then slid like a toboggan down a 2,000 foot steep slope, spewing man and machine in her wake as fire erupted through the cockpit.   

We visited the wreck for a while and then continued down the trail to the Tubal Cain trail.  We ran up to make sure the main mine was still open (it is!)   Then we hiked down and out via the Tubal Cain trail, and then the mile back up to the truck.   A fun 6.5 hours moving time/ 8.5 hours total.   Milage was a little less than 15 miles (including back track to get trekking poles). We saw people first up by the plane wreck which appears to be growing in popularity like everything else....and there was a conga line going up Tubal Cain trail.  Didn't go to the back of the main mine at Tubal Cain as my climbing partner wouldn't let me,  but if you go up there do it...it's an adventure.

photo dump:




Gear Notes:
trail running pack, trekking poles

Approach Notes:
drive to the end of the dungie road

  • Snaffled 1
  • Rawk on! 2
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out at my parents I find this guide from my youth that confuses the 1952 crash of a B-17 in Tull Canyon I mention above where most survive another earlier crash on Mt Constance in 1941 where all 6 perished (not the 70s crash of the C141 which my dad remembers occurring).  But still this guide was the ticket to my formative years for sure!





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On 9/15/2023 at 6:31 PM, DrNate said:

Looks like a great time! I plan to do this loop with Townsend as a bonus. Any suggestions from your variations or the original lap? 

Yes, actually logistically adding Mt Townsend in is a great call as you have less road to hike at the end...the trail is almost across the road from the Tubal Cain trailhead.  Only reason I haven't done that is I like watching the sunrise from Welsh peaks, so I would have to start even earlier to make it to that point.  


 As far as variations, the first time I tried to stay on the ridge as much as possible and this last time I just went where ever it seemed interesting to explore.  Probably staying on the ridge is better from a views perspective, but can't go wrong either way.

I would like to find a way to add in Worthington and go out via Buckhorn Lake as I've experienced the plane wreck enough, but not sure if some of that territory would be good for me to take my dog on.

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