Mount Gibbs + Louis Peak by Rennie Peak in Lake Chelan-Sawtooth / 吉布斯山

  • Reading time:4 mins read

Mount Gibbs (Ba Peak) by Rennie Peak ranks #2 highest after Reynolds Peak in North Methow Mountains. Likewise, Louis Peak is the 9th tallest after Crescent Mountain in the same area. The closeness plus a joining ridgeline make it possible to climb both peaks in a day.

Mount Gibbs, our next stop
Mount Gibbs, our next stop

See more trip photos here.

Mount Gibbs (Ba Peak) and Louis Peak at a Glance

Mount Gibbs, akaBa Peak,” “Bugger Mountain,” “Grandfather.”

Access: South Creek Trail
Round Trip: TBD
Elevation Range: 3160′-8142′
Gear: helmet, snowshoes, ice ax
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: on the trail

The Preface

Since it’s Memorial Day weekend, campsites along Twisp River Road are free to the public. So after yesterday’s outing, the pup and I stayed at the empty South Creek Campground. Though, I’d expect to see others here.

Perhaps it’s because of the exhausting trip, but we both had a good night’s rest. Then this morning, we set off to climb Mount Gibbs at the top of Louis Creek via South Creek Trail.

See more trip photos here.

South Lake Trailhead to Louis Lake Trail

Louis Lake was just one basin north of Reynolds Creek, under a mile west of Louis Peak. So my thought was to go up to Louis Peak if time allowed. Shortly after crossing the South Creek bridge, we saw the first snow patch.

Later I put on snowshoes at 4500′ and used them for the rest of the trip. My first wow moment came at the 5200′ trail bend. There the impressive view of Rennie Peak towered above the lake basin.

See more trip photos here.

Louis Lake Basin

Afterward, we re-entered the forest, and the trail soon dwindled. A short scramble then took us up to the snowy Louis Lake. We crossed the outlet and then snowshoed along the west shore.

We aimed for the southwest end of the water. From there, we climbed up Louis Peak’s steep east slopes. Higher up, the terrain became more manageable.

South slopes
South slopes

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Louis Peak Summit Views

I had considered skipping Louis Peak and going straight to Mount Gibbs. But by the time we were able to bypass the peak, we were pretty much at the top. So it would have been a pity not to go up there.

We took a short break on top and savored views of Mount Gibbs and all the nearby places. Soon, we made our way down and aimed for the western saddle.

See more trip photos here.

En Route to Mount Gibbs (Ba Peak)

Though, it took lots of effort to get off the west ridge while guiding the pup! The lack of snow had spiced things up quite a bit. Then from the saddle, we started going up again.

We steered clear from the corniced ridgeline by walking on the south slopes. Then just past Point 7640, the crampons on my left snowshoe broke. But glad that the duct tape came in handy.

Next stop, Mount Gibbs
Next stop, Mount Gibbs

See more trip photos here.

The Final Stretch

Later I stashed the snowshoes at 7800′. Then we scrambled up the rocks toward the ridgeline. A large pile of wobbly boulders made up the narrow, exposed crest to the actual summit at 30 feet ahead.

At the same time, snow was beginning to peel off from the north edge. So it wasn’t suitable for traversing. While looking for a workaround, I noticed the receding snow ramp on the south side.

See more trip photos here.

Mount Gibbs (Ba Peak) Summit Views

Fifty feet down on the crest was a notch. So we backtracked and moved to the south side from there. We squeezed up through the shallow moat by the snow ramp. Then we reached the top using the dry rock steps.

The summit was slightly airy but with gorgeous views. Reynolds Peak and other nearby places peaks were photo-ops ready. Then a short visit later, we scrambled back to the snow.

Reynolds Peak
Reynolds Peak

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Outro

Instead of going back through Louise Peak, we believed down to the west end of the basin. But we couldn’t move fast, as I needed to stop several times to secure the broken crampons with more duct tape.

At last, we made it down to Louis Lake before dark. The snow by the lake had hardened from the cooler temperatures. So we were able to move faster, and I finished the hike in boots.

Panoramic view in the basin
Panoramic view in the basin

See more trip photos here.

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