About | Blog | Forums | People | Free Newsletter
Trailspace is a product review site for outdoor enthusiasts. Use it to find and share great gear.

Kaleetan Peak, made it this time!

11:43 a.m. on July 23, 2012 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,679 reviewer rep
1,137 forum posts

Some of you read my last TR where we ran out of time and had to turn back from this peak.  This time my eleven year old and I sent it.

Weather was horrible Friday in E. WA; flash floods, hail, raining buckets, fire from heaven, basically most of the plagues Moses called down on Egypt (my firstborn survived thankfully).  Saturday was supposed to be the nice weather window so we hiked up Friday after work, camped and climbed on Saturday.

What you really want is pictures though so here ya go:

This is what it looks like on a clear day:
image.png

From another angle, with more snow
image.jpg

Kaleetan is the pointy one top left, Chair Peak is the three pointed one, top center. From Granite Mountain two years ago we looked across and saw this peak decided to climb it some day. 
IMG00717-20100605-1249.jpg

 

The oft-photographed falls on the way to Melakwa Lake
image.jpg

Melakwa Lake, still frozen.  We were in a perpetual drizzle/mist the entire hike up.  We opted to hike in t-shirts and shorts since the sweat:mist ratio was about equal.
image.jpg

I just brought the rainfly to avoid carrying a lot of weight.  It looked a little ghetto but kept us dry enough in the misty drizzle that fell all night. 
image.jpg

 

Lupine covered in about a gallon of dew/drizzle.
image.jpg

Where is the peak we are supposed to climb?

My son lead the entire climb, doing 100% of the routefinding in the fog.
image.jpg

The approach gets steep, time to put on the helmet. My TS hat makes my head appear really small.
image.jpg


The peak is somewhere ahead, I think.
image.jpg

 

Chair peak in the background.  Does our peak show its self? Nope!
image.jpg

 

Ethan finding us a path across the snowfields while I kept watch for rockfall which seemed abundant that day.  We were getting to a point that, if we didn't see our peak soon we would have to stop until it cleared up just to know how to reach it.  Luckily a breeze briefly exposed the peak and we got our bearings and soldiered on. 

We could have left the crampons behind, the snow was soft enough to get a good bite with just boots. 
image.jpg



Ethan, leading us into the fog.

image.jpg

Taking a break just below the summit scramble (class 3). 

image.jpg

 

The route goes inbetween the pillars in the pic. It reminded us of the rear sight of a rifle.  Ethan scrambled up like a chipmunk, I had to work hard to keep up.
image.jpg

 

On the summit with his "no big deal" smile.
image.jpg

 

Obligatory self-portrait.  Proud dad and son.  Pretty sure we were the only ones to summit that day. 
image.jpg

 

A view of clouds and Chair Peak.  We ate lunch on the peak and waited for the clouds to clear.  Just us and a camp robber bird who shared a cliff bar with us.

 

image.jpg

 

The minute we got to the bottom of the summit scramble the clouds broke up. Melakwa Lake in the distance (lower right).
image.jpg

With the promise of pizza, we decended back to the trail and jogged most of the way to the trail head.  Sahara Pizza in Cle Elum finalized a great trip.

 

 

4:20 p.m. on July 23, 2012 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
488 reviewer rep
1,106 forum posts

Success! Great pics Jeff!

4:51 p.m. on July 23, 2012 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
643 reviewer rep
2,137 forum posts

That's great, Sage! I am quite impressed with your son's ability and enthusiasm. Very cool. 

8:27 p.m. on July 23, 2012 (EDT)
486 reviewer rep
1,356 forum posts

GREAT WORK! And a wonderful father son event!

6:11 p.m. on July 24, 2012 (EDT)
1,347 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

Wonderful trip! Your son will be a hard-core climber in no time!

And (I speak from experience) he will remember this trip for the rest of his life.

12:59 a.m. on July 25, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
112 forum posts

That Ethan's quite a scout!  Great plan; great execution.  Thanks for sharing.

9:39 a.m. on July 25, 2012 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
316 reviewer rep
655 forum posts

Beautiful peak, and there's nothing like reaching a top with one of your own!

10:11 a.m. on July 25, 2012 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
643 reviewer rep
2,137 forum posts

I shouldn't be, but I am once again amazed by how much effect difference in latitude makes: That peak is no higher than summits here in the east, but there certainly aren't any frozen alpine lakes to be found in July. 

2:10 p.m. on July 25, 2012 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
405 reviewer rep
813 forum posts

Nice work. Next you and your son should try the Tooth. Do it mid week so there are fewer people.

3:18 p.m. on July 25, 2012 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,679 reviewer rep
1,137 forum posts

Gonzan: Thats what amazes me!  All of your reports remind me of a tropical park.  6K+ feet here looks like the Moon in comparison.  We picked this peak for its prominence more than its total altitude.   

Erich: I have looked at The Tooth often but we're trying to stay in the class 3/scramble range for now.  We don't have any multi pitch experience or trad climbing gear (cams/etc.). I might be able to follow on trad/alpine routes but I wouldn't be able to lead.  Maybe someday I'll learn it. 

We're looking at Mt. Daniel next.

4:11 p.m. on July 25, 2012 (EDT)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
471 reviewer rep
2,910 forum posts

Great trip report! I love that you and your son went back and tackled it again together.

6:21 p.m. on July 26, 2012 (EDT)
1,347 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

gonzan said:

I shouldn't be, but I am once again amazed by how much effect difference in latitude makes: That peak is no higher than summits here in the east, but there certainly aren't any frozen alpine lakes to be found in July. 

 LOL.  See TR of today's date on the Iceline Trail! That was last weekend.

I'm always surprised when I see mountain top photos that you guys post that DON'T have any snow.

2:45 p.m. on July 27, 2012 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
405 reviewer rep
813 forum posts

You won't need cams for the Tooth. Pre cam days, I did the Tooth many times with runners and a few nuts. The cracks are all clean, and there are good intermediate belay stances and lots of little trees and knobs to wrap a runner around. The crux is easy, but can be a little daunting, The Catwalk goes left just below the summit. Six inches wide or so out over the SW face. What makes it interesting is a section fell away many years ago, leaving a gap that must be straddled to get across. All in all, I think the Tooth is one of the most beautiful and accessible climbs in the Cascades. It is quite easy and easily protected. It has been twenty years since I last climbed it, but as I recall, it isn't more than two or three pitches.

4:26 p.m. on July 27, 2012 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
643 reviewer rep
2,137 forum posts

Sage and Peter, I hear ya", Lol! 

The thing I always try to impress upon people is that even though it's a different animal, so to speak, the mountains here are still mountains. They still generate their own weather, and can still kill you if you don't take them seriously.  The middle of summer is about the only time there isn't any chance of a snow storm or blizzard.  It can be even harder for the unexperience to deal with in some cases, because the snow and precip will often happen in the 28-38F range. You can get you soaked through if you aren't prepared and manage things properly, and then you're in a bad way quick.

 

April 16, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: Iceline Trail, Yoho National Park Newer: "The Big One" (Norway)
All forums: Older: FS: MSR 1.3 L Ti Pot—New Newer: Tent Footprints