Ascent of Windy Peak on 2015-07-21

Climber: Christopher Timm

Date:Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Windy Peak
    Elevation:8333 ft / 2539 m

Ascent Trip Report

Took way too long of a drive to get out to trailhead. Nearly 300 miles. Parked at the Cathedral Trail trailhead. At the TH there was a sign that read that due to a forest fire in the area, that Windy Peak was actually restricted. Looking at the map, I could see that only the very top of the peak lied within the restricted area, so I decided to take the risk and climb it anyway. I followed the Cathedral trail down about 200 ft to get to the Windy Creek Trail. The WCT was not the easiest to follow and wasn't exactly a pleasant hike. It follows a large burn scar, which for maybe a mile is great, but spending 8-10 miles in it is absolutely wretched. Becomes very boring very quick. The trail itself is nice, though doesn't get many hikers so it is becoming overgrown. My guess is it will no longer exist in a few years. It would be easy cross country travel when it does fully grow over as it follows Windy Creek pretty much all the way to the final slopes to the top of the peak. After 4.5 miles of looking at many burnt trees, you break out of the brush and finally get a good look at the peak. It isn't super impressive, but does tower above a good deal. Just stay on the trail, and it will lead you, scramble-free to the summit. About half way up, turn around and you will be greeted with one of the first great views of the day. You can see pretty much the entire North Cascades. On a clear day, as far West as Baker, great views of the extensive Pasayten peaks, the Methow mountains, Glacier Peak, and even a few of the Entiats. As this is just a stone's throw from the Canadian border, you also see many Canadian peaks in the North as well. In the NW, you could see the restricting fire, though there was no smell of smoke and the fire was a few valleys over. At the moment still a very safe peak to cross.

This has a great view, on many prominence lists with nearly 1800 feet, and at 8333 feet in elevation, puts this peak as the 93rd highest in the state making it a Bulger. Definitely a hike that is worth it, but I would suggest doing the Windy Peak Trail starting from the Long Swamp TH. This is 3-4 miles longer round trip with more elevation gain, but probably a lot less boring of a hike getting there as it follows a ridgeline for much of the trail.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1300 ft / 396 m
    Total Elevation Loss:200 ft / 60 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1300 ft / 396 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1100 ft / 335 m; Extra: 200 ft / 60m
    Loss on way in:200 ft / 60 m
    Distance:11 mi / 17.7 km
    Start Trailhead:Cathedral Trailhead  7233 ft / 2204 m
    Time:5 Hours 7 Minutes
Descent Statistics

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