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Ascent of Keller Butte on 2013-04-26

Climber: Craig Willis

Others in Party:Paul Michelson
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, April 26, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Keller Butte
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:4811 ft / 1466 m

Ascent Trip Report

Going during what is still considered as early season, our vehicle was stopped short of the summit due to lingering snow. We hiked from there.

SIDE-NOTE: We agree with the sentiments expressed by Ken Jones regarding Jack Creek Road (BIA 1032/BIA 93). In an attempt to save time getting to our next destination (Whitestone Ridge) and not have to do a major re-route, we followed Keller Butte Road (BIA 63) northward hoping to find another route (other than Jack Creek Road) that would head eastward towards Highway 21. Unfortunately, just a short distance north of the Jack Creek Road intersection, Keller Butte Road became snowbound. Rather than turn around and go all the way back the way we had come in from, we decided to take a chance with Jack Creek Road.

That was a BAD choice. That road is DEEPLY rutted from stream runoffs and erosion, and remained that manner until within the last 1.5 miles to Highway 21. Without 4WD and high-clearance, we would have been in major trouble. Unfortunately, once we had gone onto the road we were basically dedicated to it. There would have been few places to comfortably turn a vehicle around, and going up the road would have been worse than going down it. That must be one of the worst roads I have ever been on in Washington.

BOTTOM LINE: Keller Butte is a great place to visit. Just don't come or go via Jack Creek Road.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:461 ft / 141 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Trailhead:4350 ft / 1325 m
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Vehicle Stopped By Road Snowpack



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