Ascent of Sacajawea Peak on 2017-08-19

Climber: Connor McEntee

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, August 19, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Sacajawea Peak
    Elevation:9838 ft / 2998 m

Ascent Trip Report

The Wallowas are phenomenal this time of year. The mountains tower over deep valleys and have diverse character ranging of scree piles to shear rock walls.

I set out from the Hurricane Creek Trailhead shortly after sunrise. This is a heavily used (for the area) stock trail that follows the creek up through stands of trees and dry meadows. It is warm in the afternoon but is nicely sheltered from the sun in the morning by the imposing Hurwal Divide. After a couple miles the route departs from the stock trail and heads up the Thorp Creek drainage. This junction is not marked and the route information and GPS tracks I had are not quite up to date.

I found the overgrown use trail described by Greg Slayden that leads the creek and log crossings, and this is how I ascended. It’s not bad, but that route is pointless. The way to go is to continue on the Hurricane Creek trail until it gets to its closest point to the water. I recall you can even see the creek from the trail at this point and there is an obvious path going into the trees to campsites. About 30 feet on this trail puts you at the creek just upstream of the primary log crossing and directly across from where the trail picks up on the other side.

From the creek, the Thorp Creek trail climbs up switchbacks through burned forest before reaching large meadows due east of the summit. The trail disappears in the meadows though there are occasional cairns. I followed the creek alternating sides a few times based on where there was the best use trail and eventually reached the end of the valley. This is where it is best to stay on the west side of the creek and find the faint use trail that snakes up through a stand of trees rather than go up the loose talus. The trail becomes more established higher up and is impossible to miss as it starts climbing the ridge up to the summit.

The summit is just the highest bump on the ridge, and there is a little rock pile to mark it. I traversed over to the Matterhorn, which is much more impressive looking. There are a few sections of class 3 getting over to the sub-peak between the two, and then it’s all easy going to summit of the Matterhorn.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4807 ft / 1465 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4807 ft / 1465 m
    Round-Trip Distance:13.9 mi / 22.4 km
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4807 ft / 1465 m
    Distance:7 mi / 11.3 km
    Route:Thorp Creek
    Start Trailhead:Hurricane Creek TH  5031 ft / 1533 m
    Time:2 Hours 49 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4807 ft / 1465 m
    Distance:6.9 mi / 11.1 km
    Route:Thorp Creek
    End Trailhead:Hurricane Creek TH  5031 ft / 1533 m
    Time:2 Hours 6 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Connor McEntee
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
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.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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