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Ascent of Kaleetan Peak on 2011-09-24

Climber: Bri Wilson

Others in Party:Garrett & Lauren Wolter
Date:Saturday, September 24, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Kaleetan Peak
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:6259 ft / 1907 m

Ascent Trip Report

Started this scramble by following the trail to Melakwa Lake at Denny Creek TH. All of the trail up to Melakwa lake is very well maintained. At Melakwa lake there are two route options: following the ridge line to pt. 5700 and a climbers trail up to the scrambling section (an obvious path that starts in the trees-left of the rocky lake path) or following the lake path around towards Melakwa Pass.

We talked to some people also heading towards Melakwa and they suggested going the "Alternate Route," which heads on the rocky lake path toward Melakwa Pass and then directly ascended up a big scree filled gully to the rock. Essentially, you follow the rocky lake path around and up to an open area where you can spot Melakwa pass. There is a large gully on the left that begins around the end of an obvious tree section. It may look longer and more daunting than the gully that appears to be farther down, but it is the safest. It is fairly obvious when you see it. Once you get really up into the gully you will go to where it ends and scramble up a section marked by dihedrals. From here there is a slight climbers trails you can follow up the ridge. Also, once into the talus sections there will be a few cairns to mark as well.

The summit is fairly exposed. However, there is plenty of room to safely sit with a group of people. There also appears to be a small, flat platform that has been used as a bivy site. Our summit day was clear and we could even see Seattle! It was insane the amount of peaks we could see--nearly everything in the area!

The gully we ascended to the ridge was steep and the scree was a bit tumbly, so we decided to the regular ridge line route (that includes pt. 5700) in our descent. You need to drop down about 300ft to get onto a small climbers trail (can be spotted from the summit). This path was "easier" as in there would be less chances to take a slide, but the route seemed to be much longer and less direct than the gully. It adds a large amount of time to the scramble.

We got to the cars in the dark at 7:25pm. Great scramble, but be prepared for a large amount of scree terrain if going the alternate route/gully.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:4479 ft / 1364 m
    Elevation Loss:4479 ft / 1364 m
    Distance:14 mi / 22.5 km
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Beautifully clear
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:4079 ft / 1243 m
    Extra Loss:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:7 mi / 11.3 km
    Route:"Alternate route"/gully
    Trailhead:Denny Creek Trailhead  2280 ft / 694 m
    Time Up:5 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:4379 ft / 1334 m
    Extra Gain:400 ft / 121 m
    Distance:7 mi / 11.3 km
    Route:Ridgeline/Pt.5700
    Trailhead:Denny Creek Trailhead  2280 ft / 694 m
    Time Down:4 Hours 



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