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

  • Reading time:5 mins read

Gilbert Mountain and Marsupial Peak in Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness tower above Twisp River‘s headwaters. The two peaks share one joining ridge, which connects to the long Kangaroo Ridge east of Washington Pass.

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 ever seen Gilbert Mountain was from the neighboring Abernathy Peak. Then over the years, I’d continue to notice the mountain from other high points. Though, I only found out about Marsupial Peak recently.

Some reports said to prepare for an all-day outing. Cascade Alpine Guide didn’t go into details about the west ridge. But I wanted to give ourselves enough daylight and maybe include Marsupial Peak. So the pup and I slept at the trailhead the night before.

See more trip photos here.

North Creek Trail

We had a leisurely walk on the trail. The low water level let us cross North Creek at 5100′ with ease. Later, we took a break in the lush meadow past Cedar Creek Trail junction. Who knew that the trail had made its way down from Highway 20?

Somehow we missed the old miner’s path. But I soon realized it as we were going down toward North Lake. So we backtracked a short way and saw the big log over the trail fork. Then I rebuilt the cairn before continuing up 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 out in the clearing at the end 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 sidestepped through the rocks below the headwall.

Soon, we entered a rocky gully to the east of the headwall. It would give us access to the ridge. We stayed to the right as we climbed up through more rocks. Before long, we were at the bottom of the chossy summit block.

See more trip photos here.

Final Stretch on Marsupial Peak

The wrongly marked USGS high point took us up to the west of the broken ridgeline. Though, the actual summit was just 30 feet or so east of here. But we needed to go back down and move east into the next gully.

From there, I looked for a feasible way for the pup. But not before he decided to hop through the downward slabs up to the top. Instead, I moved farther east into a narrow gully and reached the summit through boulders with exposure.

North view
Northwest view

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.

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

For the most part, we were able to move through the ridge crest. But sometimes, we dropped onto the gentle south slopes to avoid the outcrops. Terrain steepened significantly 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.

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 had sunk into their shadows under the warm evening sun. Places like Switchblade Peak and Crescent Mountain were foreign to me until this trip.

Marsupial Peak from Gilbert Mountain
Marsupial Peak from Gilbert Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Outro

On the way out, I opted for the south route I had read in one report. So from the top, we moved southeast until we could 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.

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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