Ascent of Chuckanut Mountain-North Peak on 2018-09-23

Climber: James Barlow

Others in Party:Becca Romig
Sawyer Romig
Sage Kallestad
Date:Sunday, September 23, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Chuckanut Mountain-North Peak
    Elevation:1870 ft / 569 m

Ascent Trip Report

Plan A for the day was the Lummi Island HP. We had spent Saturday on Whidbey Island picking pears and apples at a friend's farm and walking around our property deciding where to start hacking brush for the MTB trails followed by board games and Magic at the Baker Bothy. Well, when we arrived at the Lummi ferry at 10:45 for the 11:10 ride, there were a lot of parked cars and construction tape. As it turns out, the ferry is currently in dry dock and there is a passenger only ferry going on the same schedule as the normal ferry. There is also a van or bus schedule to take people to various points on the island, which would take you to the intersection a few hundred meters from the trailhead. However, we wanted to explore the island after the hike, and therefore wanted to take the car across. We sat around for a bit coming up with a plan B. Sumas Mtn, a P2k, was nearby and looked to be a nice 1600' gain. We were trying to keep things a bit lower on the gain side for Becca's recovering broken toe, only 2 weeks old. 1600' would be at the high end of her comfort level, and it looked like we could even chip away and make it a bit less based on some previous TRs. So, we took South Pass Rd to Paradise Valley Rd. Paradise Valley Rd ends as a drivable road somewhere around 1800' and becomes a series of humps and dips for quads. The outback made it through the first few (with a detour around the first/worst one), but we decided that this was a mess and not worth it. After killing a few alder trees turning around, we headed out. Either way, we were 2300' from the top and that would be a bit much on the healing toe. So, we went around to the south side to look at the easy drive up road, Hillard. It is gated just off WA-542, so no-go there. Upon performing a satellite view, road view, and topo view post-mortem, I just cracked the code, maybe... We should have taken Sumas Mtn Main Line from WA-542, just south of the junction with WA-547. Alternatively, we should have taken a left not long after leaving South Pass Rd and taken those logging roads to the correct location. We were better off leaving this dumpster for another day and enjoying nice trails in the Chuckanuts instead.

Onward to plan C! Passenger car accessible trailhead with a well-used publicly accessible trail to the summit - Chuckanut North! Trail is in great shape all the way to the top. Wide enough to hike two across from TH to junction at 1620' and single track from there up. The boys broke out some dance moves on the trail, which I was woefully unaware existed. Sawyer taught me to floss, which I still cannot do. There was not a lot of traffic on this trail despite the fact that it was a Sunday afternoon, so that was pleasant. The trails are all quite well marked and easy to follow. The main junction at 1600' had a nice trail map.

Peak location on app and website seems to be off a bit. High ground is definitely SE of dot and just a few feet off the trail. We opted to take the loop down to the NW corner of Cedar Lake, which made for some nice walking along the lake on the way out. Quite serene. After a short break coming up from the lake, we rejoined the main trail and descended to the car. Becca tried a few tricks to ease the toe pain, which is worse on the downhill: cantering and walking backwards. Walking backwards was much less painful and quite easy on this wide, well-maintained trail.

Overall, a great afternoon stroll in the local hills and a fine plan C for the day! We finished the day by enjoying dinner in Fairhaven with a friend and her sons followed by a nice stroll on the boardwalk to enjoy the sunset over the bay. Pics
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1567 ft / 477 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1567 ft / 477 m
    Route:Pine & Cedar Lakes Tr
    Start Trailhead:303 ft / 92 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by James Barlow
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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