Ascent of Devils Peak on 2013-02-02

Climber: Michael Wanberg

Others in Party:Jeremy B
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, February 2, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Devils Peak
    Elevation:5045 ft / 1537 m

Ascent Trip Report

A flat tire on the way to the TH, then limping back to Les Schwab on a severely under-inflated 'donut' because I'd taken out my full-size spare a couple of weeks before. Oops.

2-3 hours later...
Snow on the road on the drive in. It got a little too deep for my old Subaru (high centering like crazy), so we ended up digging out a 'parking spot' about a mile from the Cold Creek TH and tromping down the road through the tracks a truck had put in earlier.

We saw only fleeting evidence that anyone else had been on the trail, but we did see quite a few deer and rabbit tracks, as well as a porcupine track and a few that were probably from a small cougar. A few great view spots on the trail of Mt. Hood and the crest of TDH Mtn to the north. After getting up on top of the ridge, there was some scattered surveyor's tape on the upper portions of the trail that helped us to stay close to the (basically indistinguishable) trail-bed. After a while we veered away from that and just decided to follow the ridge-crest.
There was a couple spots that made me contemplate using the ice-ax that I was lugging along, but in the end they were too short to bother with it. Amazing views of MSH, Adams, and (of course) Hood from the semi-forested crest! We post-holed a couple of places (even with the snowshoes) were the wind had drifted in the powder deeply.

The lookout on top is really cool, and we were able to get inside after some tricky maneuvering. There was deep snow piled up against the door and bridging over the hatch-way at the top of the stairs. I probably wouldn't have bothered but Jeremy was pretty intent on checking inside. It turned out to be really nice, and that's were we had 'lunch' at about 3pm. I was able to get a call out and extend our SAR call-time by an hour, which turned out to be a good choice. We downed lunches and checked out the register before being on our way.

We were moving at a steady clip on the descent. Jeremy had been up there in the summer a while back, so we started off on the trail, but it quickly became indistinguishable. We decided to traverse over to our ascent route, and it got steep in a hurry. MSRs are incredible! After we joined up with our original route, we got in the zone and were racing the sun down. We did stop briefly a couple of times to take pictures of the astonishing sunset on Hood. There was a really icy (and snow-less) stretch just before the trailhead where we took off the snowshoes (too much of a trip-hazard) and switched on our headlamps (dark with local fog from Cold Creek). After less than a quarter mile we were back at the TH. We strapped the snowshoes back on, grabbed a quick snack, and started booking back along the road the last mile to the car. We switched off the headlamps for about half the time and navigated by starlight (no moon?), which was pretty cool.

A great back-country snowshoe without having to go too far up the mountain! Because it starts so low, snow levels will vary pretty drastically at the beginning and on the road - probably week to week.


Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3645 ft / 1110 m
    Extra Gain:200 ft / 60 m
    Round-Trip Distance:10 mi / 16.1 km
    Route:Road, then Cool Creek Tr (approx)
    Trailhead:Still Creek Road  1800 ft / 548 m
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Snowshoes
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 30 Minutes

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