Duke of Kent by Mount Kent and McClellan Butte / 肯特公爵

  • Reading time:4 mins read

Duke of Kent is the third tallest peak atop Alice Creek Basin after McClellan Butte and Mount Kent. To its south lies the Cedar River Watershed above the obscure Chester Morse Lake. Meanwhile, the north ridge connects to the Duchess of Kent through three distinct pinnacles.

Duke of Kent awaits
Duke of Kent awaits

See more trip photos here.

Duke of Kent at a Glance

Access: NF-9020 end of drivable road
Round Trip: 6.4 miles
Elevation Range: 2160′-4840′
Gear: helmet
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: on the road

The Preface

It was our third trip to the Alice Creek Basin. The first two times, we visited Mount Kent at the top of the drainage. But as it turned out, there’s another way to access the peak through McClellan Butte.

I couldn’t find much info on the less climbed Duke of Kent or Duchess of Kent. But I knew neither was the type of terrain I’d want to climb in wet conditions. So we came to tackle the peak before the snow came.

See more trip photos here.

Road 9020-110

We hiked Road 9020-110 to the end and then took the faint path through the alder swath. It was a tight squeeze but still doable. Soon, we worked our way up the talus and aimed for the two gullies north of Duke of Kent.

From the bottom, it was hard to tell which gully was a better way. So I picked the left one because it looked less steep. The lower route was chossy but less steep. Of course, the higher we went, the steeper and narrower the path.

Going through the slide alder
Going through the slide alder

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Exting the Gully

Halfway up the chimney, we encountered a tall step next to the rock wall. But it was taller than me and not feasible for the do. So after guiding the pup, I slowly stemmed my way up the ledge without many holds.

At one point, I dropped one of my poles down the chimney. But it wasn’t the place I wanted to downclimb to get it. So if anyone sees a trekking pole in the gully, then finders keepers.

Looking down from the gully
Looking down from the gully

See more trip photos here.

The Final Stretch

At last, we exited the gully through a notch at the top. Then we followed a ramp west of the ridge to around and up through the cliffs. Soon, we moved to the east of the ridgeline above the outcrops.

The moderate terrain here had lots of steep slabs on the east slopes. But we downclimbed and went around them without issues. Soon, from south of the summit, we scrambled the final bit to the top.

The final stretch on Duke of Kent
The final stretch on Duke of Kent

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Duke of Kent Summit Views

Wow. All that hard work had paid off with excellent views. South Fork Snoqualmie River Valley was to the east. Then to the north was the stretch of the popular hiking spots. However, I couldn’t see past the tall McClellan Butte.

Nearby views included Mailbox Peak, Dirtybox Peak, Putrid Petes Peak, Web Mountain, and Mount Defiance. Mount Kent, Duchess of Kent, and McClellan Butte were here in the basin. There were also many well-known peaks by Snoqualmie Pass.

Duchess of Kent to the north
Duchess of Kent to the north

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Outro

On the way down, we went through heather and rocks to reach Duke of Kent’s south notch. From there, we worked our way over the thickets and stumbled upon a trail. Interesting that the path ended at 20′ above the dropoff.

Later we dropped 200′ to bypass Duke of Kent’s west cliffs. Soon, we joined our route north of the rock field. Then we continued down the road and walked back to the car.

South Fork Snoqualmie River lineup
South Fork Snoqualmie River lineup

See more trip photos here.

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