Gilbert Mountain + Marsupial Peak in Lake Chelan-Sawtooth / 吉爾伯特山

  • Reading time:11 mins read

Gilbert Mountain and Marsupial Peak by Wallaby Peak sit inside Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness. Meanwhile, the long Kangaroo Ridge by Washington Pass joins the high points on the south. Together, the peaks overlook North Lake in North Creek Basin.

Gilbert Mountain from Marsupial Peak
Gilbert Mountain from Marsupial Peak

See more trip photos here.

Gilbert Mountain and Marsupial Peak (Gilbert Mountain NorthWest Peak) at a Glance

Access: North Creek Trailhead
Round Trip: 12 miles
Elevation Range: 3600′-8023′

Gear: helmet
GPS Track:
available
Dog-Friendly: on the trail

The Preface

The closest I’d seen Gilbert Mountain was from the nearby Abernathy Peak. Then over the years, I’d continue to see the mountain from other high points. But I had only found out about Marsupial Peak recently.

Some reports noted an all-day outing, while Cascade Alpine Guide didn’t detail the west ridge. But to potentially include Marsupial Peak, we needed enough time. So the pup and I arrived at the trailhead the night before.

A forested start
A forested start

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North Creek Trail

We had a leisurely walk on the trail. At 5100′, the low water level let us cross North Creek easily. Later we took a break in the lush meadow past Cedar Creek Trail fork. Who knew this path had made its way down from Highway 20?

Somehow we had missed the old miner’s trail. But I knew it the minute we went down toward North Lake. Then we backtracked a short way and saw the big log over the fork. I rebuilt the cairn before continuing through the forest.

Gilbert Mountain from the pond
Gilbert Mountain from the pond

See more trip photos here.

Marsupial Peak Climb

Before long, we were in the clearing at the top of the miners’ trail. Then I decided to add Marsupial Peak to the mix. So at 6700′, we went north into the south basin with a talus field. Then we traversed the rocks below the headwall.

Soon, we entered a rocky gully east of the headwall that gave us access to the ridge. We stayed right as we climbed up through rocks. Then we were below the chossy summit block.

Old mine shaft
Old mine shaft

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Final Stretch on Marsupial Peak

The incorrectly marked USGS high point took us to the west of the broken ridgeline. But the actual summit was 30 feet to the east. So we retraced our steps and moved into the adjacent gully.

From there, I looked for a feasible way for the pup. But not before he decided to hop through the downward slabs to the top. Instead, I went east into a narrow gully to climb through exposed boulders.

Below Marsupial Peak summit
Below Marsupial Peak summit

See more trip photos here.

Marsupial Peak Summit Views

Seeing Washington Pass from the top was my favorite part about the climb. But the nonstop rumbling sounds of motorbikes through the hairpin turn somewhat killed the mood for me.

The summit had excellent views of the area. They included Liberty Bell Mountain, Early Winters Spires, Kangaroo Ridge, Snagtooth Ridge, and Gardner Mountains. Then Gilbert Mountain, our next stop, was right across the basin.

North view
Northwest view

See more trip photos here.

Next Stop, Gilbert Mountain

We carefully made our way back to the miner’s trail. Then we traversed through the old mines above North Lake. Then that put us in the basin north of Point 7414.

Lower in the bowl was still some leftover snow. But higher up, we were back on scree. Later we went up to the notch between Point 7483 and Point 7414 and started the actual climb.

Getting around buttresses
Getting around buttresses

See more trip photos here.

Final Stretch on Gilbert Mountain

We moved through the ridge crest for the most part. But at times, we’d drop onto the gentle south slopes to avoid the outcrops. Then the terrain steepened drastically in the final 400′ up to the top.

Higher up, we tried bypassing the parts of the rocky ridgeline via the steep south gullies. But in retrospect, it would have been more efficient to stay on the ridge despite the exposure.

The final stretch on Gilbert Mountain
The final stretch on Gilbert Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Gilbert Mountain Summit Views

Like Marsupial Peak, the beautiful weather treated us with more stunning views. Only this time, I could see more of the Cedar Creek drainage. It was only two months ago when we were there on the way to Silver Moon.

Views were more or less the same here. But to the west, most peaks were now in their shadows in the warm evening sun. Places like Switchblade Peak and Crescent Mountain were unfamiliar to me until this trip.

Marsupial Peak from Gilbert Mountain
Marsupial Peak from Gilbert Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Outro

I opted for the south route I had read in one report on the way out. So from the top, we moved southeast until we could make a beeline through several steep gullies and ribs. But it still felt like forever to go through the rugged terrain.

Later we reached the prominent south ridge at 6000′ where I put on my headlamp. Then we dropped another 2000′ south and went back on the trail. Under a mile of hiking soon got us back to the car.

Finding our way home
Finding our way home

See more trip photos here.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Aric

    Hi,
    If any chance of getting your GPS track from this hike to Marsupial and Gilbert, I would appreciate it. My main interest is in the shortcut descent off of Gilbert. I have Goldman’s book with her description of suggested routes, but would be nice to also see an actual GPS track. Regardless, thank you for all of your trip reports and photos, very useful. Thanks!
    -Aric

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