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[TR] Malachite Peak - South Route 6/1/2016


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Trip: Malachite Peak - South Route


Date: 6/1/2016


Trip Report:

I have been wanting to climb Malachite for years due to the cool picture of it in the Beckey guide. It didn't quite live up to the hype. I left work on the Tuesday after memorial day and headed up to the Foss Lakes Trail. Upon arriving, I found the last mile or so had been blocked by a landslide. The slightest research would have revealed this. Oh well. I rolled into Malachite lake at around 10pm and set up camp in the dark. The lake is almost completely free of ice, but there is still some snow around the lake. The route from the lake outlet to the mountain is steep sidehilling and somewhat tedious. There was no snow and nothing resembling a trail. If you go NW as Beckey suggests it puts you too high. You really need to stay pretty level and go more north. I went too high on the way out and too low on the way back. I found cairns both times in small boulder fields, but nothing resembling a route of any kind. Once on the mountain, I climbed up through the trees to the east of the avalanche path, which was mostly steep forested duff; again, no snow. Where the slope eased a bit, the snow started and I traversed up and west and went on the west side of the summit area until reaching the pass where you can look down to Purvis Lake. The scramble to the summit is pretty steep and is documented pretty well in some TRs on NW hikers. You can make it shorter by going down a little down toward Purvis Lake and traversing around and up on snow. The summit is a pretty great viewpoint, but not quite as awesome as I was expecting. On the descent, I realized that I had lost my favorite pocket knife and then took a short fall trying to scramble from the rock down to the snow. After the hike out, I realized that I had picked up two ticks in the bushwhacking, one of which burrowed pretty good between my shoulder blades where I could not reach him. Overall, I would recommend climbing Malachite from another way. There is a reason not many people do it this way. The north route past Evans and Rock lakes looks to be much more interesting. Live and learn.P1190054.JPGP1180986.JPGP1180980.JPGP1180996.jpgP1180993.JPGP1190037.JPGP1190024.JPGP1190033.JPGP1190016.JPG


Gear Notes:

Boots and ice axe. Tweezers for removing ticks from your body.


Approach Notes:

West Fork Foss River Road is blocked by a landslide about a mile from the trailhead.

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I scrambled up that peak when it was snow-free in July in around 2000 before wife and kids. It was a mostly enjoyable outing in a physical in your face kind of way. More type 1 fun (fun while you're doing it) than type 2 (fun in retrospect but perhaps more suffering than fun while you're doing it). I've been meaning to take the kids back to backpack in that area. Someday...


Thanks for bringing back memories.

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Yes, I probably should have gone backpacking with the kids, or done this back in 2000 before I had kids. It is prime backpacking country in there. Kids would probably be more than happy with the campsites at Trout Lake. Also, the toilet at Malachite lake makes for some scenic poopin'. I took that photo of the peak while I was sitting on it.

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