Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cle Elum Point 4040' Peoh Point 4000' 12.21.10



I was just looking for a short day to get out. Since I was solo I wasn't looking for something overly technical but I still wanted to get out. I thought I would give the South of Cle Elum a shot. I hadn't been in the area before so it took some extra time for me to find a suitable jump off point. I was able to find my road but there are so many no trespassing signs I couldn't find the trailhead that is shown on my map. I decided to park near the power lines and walk the lines until I could find an area that wasn't posted NO TRESPASSING. I was able to wear down a strip to park so that I wasn't blocking either the road or the right away for the powerlines. I suited up in view of my goal but the route was obscured by clouds. I figured I would walk the powerlines and see how it would go. Thankfully the topography and matched my map perfectly so I was fairly certain of my position. The right of way was packed so I kept the snowshoes on my back. I passed a couple of promising roads but I really didn't want to trespass and risk meeting up with some cranky landowners.
   I found an area with no signs and left the road. Off the road the snow conditions warranted snowshoes so I put them on. I was able to zig zag through the worst of the brush. I passed a house but since there wasn't any fresh tracks going to it I was sure I wouldn't have any issues. I was surprised by the large amount of rabbit tracks and some bigger game as well. I saw some tracks I hadn't seen before, I think I may have to do some research later tonight. I felt like I needed to head West but I was making good progress on my line so I resisted the urge. Soon I met up with a good road that I figured the trail that was on my map. The road had a few blowdowns and had some steeper portions but thankfully the snow was very good. I had planned on heading East sooner but I decided that the road was in such good shape I would continue on. Once reaching the ridge the road petered out and I made my own way. There were some boggy areas and some small creeks to negotiate but thankfully they provided no issues. The area was choked thickets of small trees but I was always able to find some alley to keep from bashing through the worst of it. I was stymied by some brush but I could see clear sailing just on the other side, so I bashed through the short portion. Once reaching the more open slopes the grade steepened, but still it was very benign. I reached a road that I followed North for a short ways and then again left the road. The snow continued to be stellar making quick work of the last 300' of climb. Once atop the point I shot some quick pictures  and then headed North to Peoh Point. I dropped some elevation and rejoined a road that led me to the nice views of the valley below. There are plenty of towers on the point and the generators were humming. The wind started to kick up so I decided to head back. I merely followed in my footprints until I reached the point where I joined the road. Here I continued on the road coming out much nearer the car. Soon I was back at the car. The day was short on technical merit but it ended up being a very enjoyable day.

Approx 5 miles 2000' of climb 3 hours car to car


Photos can be found here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/etecky/sets/72157625649891652/

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