2017/5/6 – Devils Backbone + Angle Peak / 魔鬼的脊骨+角度峯

Today's destination
Devils Backbone up ahead

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Partly sunny weather forecast turned for the better. Windy higher up on the approach and exit, but significantly better than last week’s forecast. Much of the snow on the ridge had melted since a report was posted two weeks earlier. I parked on Road 5504 at approximately 3,900′, shortly past the road bend west of Devils Backbone’s southwest ridge, and scrambled up to the ridge.

For the most part we were able to stay on the crest, occasionally negotiated outcrops from the west. At 6,000′ we traversed leftward and entered into a wide, steep gully where snow had softened a bit from direct morning sunlight. I made the mistake of not putting on snowshoes beforehand, punched through and postholed up to the knees in several places. Terrain tapered once we attained the west ridge at 6,600′, followed by an easy walk-up to the summit.

Views on this somewhat woodsy summit were generally great, with the higher, imposing Stormy Mountain to the southeast and Tyee Ridge dominating southwest skyline. Despite low-hanging clouds in distant horizons, I could still see peaks as far west as the Chiwawa River Valley and as far south as The Enchantments. Taller peaks to the north in Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness were also visible, and even got partial view of Lake Chelan at the estuary of Twentyfive Mile Creek.

After an hour of soaking in views on top, I put on snowshoes and we started making our way over to Angle Peak. Sufficient snow coverage on ridge crest allowed for a smoother traverse. A couple of steep drop-off sections on the north side were easily avoided by scrambling on rock from the south. Another easy walk-up to the summit past the scramble sections.

Looking around at this flat and broad summit, hard to believe it’s a peak when there didn’t look to be a definitive high point. Views were decent to the east, while rest of the summit was occupied by dense trees. Curious to see the views west of the summit, we continued traversing through forest and got up to a high point ~7,040′ with a steep north face overlooking Bear Lake. We dropped down onto northwest saddle and got a closer look at the lake. This was our turnaround point.

On the way back, we stopped just short of Angle Peak and descended the south-trending rib to the immediate west of the peak. From there we got a direct view of our approach ridge. At 5,400′ we cut the east heather/shrubby slopes and came out onto the road bend by the creek at 4,000′. Half a mile road walk later and we were once again reunited with our vehicle.

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