This labor day weekend called for clouds and showers all over the Puget Sound. Lacking a partner to tackle the remote peaks of the Pasayten Wilderness like I had originally hoped, I opted for a safer, less remote hike through the mountains of the Teanaway.
Situated north of the city of Cle Elum, east of the Cascade Crest, the Teanaway River watershed is protected by the rain shadow of the range to the west. This means that it has consistently better weather than other areas of the Central Cascades. It is full of great non-technical scrambling peaks. I’ve visited this area several times before and it’s one of my favorite areas in the state.
My plan was to camp overnight on Friday and do a mostly off-trail loop combining as many peaks as I could in a one day push. Traveling alone, I wanted to avoid anything with much exposure of difficult scrambling. My list included Judi’s Peak, Mary’s Peak, Bean Peak, Devil’s Head, Bill’s Peak, Teanaway Peak, and Iron Peak, although I figured I wouldn’t get to all of those. Here’s a map of the trip I actually completed:~5500′ gain ~8-10 miles 5 “named” peaks
I walked in the night before and found a campsite about a half mile from the car, just prior to the Bean Creek turnoff. I should note that the Beverly Creek trailhead is accessible by a pretty rough road – I engaged my AWD system in a couple of spots. I was fine in my CRV (fake SUV) but those with Priuses should probably consider whether a couple of nasty spots are doable or not.
Judi’s and Mary’s Peaks
My day started out with these two minor peaks, anchoring the western border of the Bean Creek basin. I left camp, crossed Bean Creek, and almost immediately left the trail and proceeded straight up the fairly open southwest ridge of Judi’s Peak.
Routefinding here consisted of the “just go up” strategy. I tried to stick to the top of the ridge but dropped off to either side in a few places to avoid some scramble steps (in the interest of being conservative on a solo hike).
After about a mile and 2500′ of elevation gain, I reached the summit of Judi’s Peak and kept moving along the ridge to Mary’s. Continue reading It’s Always Sunny in the Teanaway