Ascent of Divide Ridge on 2010-05-30

Climber: Eric Noel

Date:Sunday, May 30, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Divide Ridge
    Elevation:5760 ft / 1755 m

Ascent Trip Report

There's pretty much a road to the top of those one so obviously driving the road is the crux.

Turn off of the hwy just about 150 feet W of a low bridge over the Tieton River. This is a good road at first and everything from here out appears to be public land. Follow this as it winds past a few spurs and heads in an exposed fashion for the ridgeline connection at 3000'. Switchback W here and follow the road for a few more miles. It starts to turn into rough talus but is generally still of a good grade. At 3900 a fork quickly merges back up. Pass some hunters camps along the ridge that might offer decent car camping. Stick with the main road and you'll soon hit powerlines where you do a big curve to gain the ridge to the S. The gets rougher and rougher but was still reasonably driveable. A few mud spots here and there. Cross a cattle grate onto what may be DNR land. I finally parked due to snow at 5300 but the road continues. This is a long tedious dirt (talus) road. Above here was snow and some evidence of mud and rutting so it might turn into 4WD or even impassible in spots.

South slopes were pretty much dry but the N slope was holding 5 or more feet of snow. I walked the roads up and down until getting to the bend nearest the HP. I then took a jeep track, of which there are many around here, up the S side of the summit plateau. A short bit of postholing snow brought me to the summit. It's forest and flat so hard to tell but it did seem highest. I then stayed on the W side of the plateau where it was open and grassy as I headed down to the LO. After visiting the lookout I decided to go up open grass slopes to the area of 5757. This is a weird little grass island that is like one foot higher on all sides than the surrounding terrain. Anyway, I tagged that and headed back to the road and out. On the way I ran into two ATV guys who were stuck in the snow. The area is definitely popular with the ATV and monster truck crowd but I doubt it sees many if any hikers. The best views are from the lookout site. Best to take a high clearance vehicle with a suitable suspension although a veteran determined hiker could drive this a car up most of this road in dry conditions.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:840 ft / 254 m
    Extra Gain:200 ft / 60 m
    Distance:5.6 mi / 9 km
    Route:Roads, Grass and Snow
    Trailhead:FS 1302  5320 ft / 1621 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Drizzle, Pleasant, Breezy, Overcast
Ascent Part of Trip: DivideJumpoff

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Divide Ridge2010-05-30 b
2Jumpoff Lookout2010-05-30 c

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