Marsupial Peak + Gilbert Mountain / 袋峯+吉爾伯特山

Gilbert Mountain from Marsupial Peak
Gilbert Mountain from Marsupial Peak

See more trip photos here.

The Lowdown on Marsupial Peak and Gilbert Mountain

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

Gear: helmet
GPS Track: available

En Route to North Creek Basin

Some reports described this as an all-day outing. So pup and I car camped for an early start. Overall, the trail portion of the approach was leisurely. We had no problem crossing North Creek at 5100′ since the water was low this year. We took a break in the lush meadow just past the junction with Cedar Creek Trail (#476). Who knew Cedar Creek Trail made its way down into this basin from highway 20.

We somehow missed the old miners’ trail turn-off by a few hundred yards. But I soon realized as the main trail began to descend toward North Lake. That’s not where we needed to be today. We backtracked a short distance and located the reported large down tree marking trail junction. I built a cairn and started hiking up the forested trail.

Gilbert Mountain from the pond
Gilbert Mountain from the pond

See more trip photos here.

Marsupial Peak Climb

Before long, we reached the end of the miners’ trail and went out in the clearing. I then decided to include Marsupial Peak (Gilbert Mountain NW Peak) to the trip. At 6700′ we headed north into the south basin filled by a large talus. First, we carefully sidestepped through boulders. Then we followed a rocky gully to the east of the headwall. It provided access to go upward. Shortly, we ascended more solid rocks on climbers’ right to the base of the chossy summit block.

The incorrectly marked USGS high point has us on the broken ridge 30-40 feet west of the true summit. We backtracked down to the choss and moved east into the next gully. Then I spent some time finding a feasible route for the pup. But he was able to run the steep slabs and went up to the summit. I, on the other hand, moved into the next narrow gully east. Then the exposed class 3 through boulders got me to the top.

North view
Northwest view

See more trip photos here.

Next Stop, Gilbert Mountain

The best part about this climb was getting a glimpse of Washington Pass. The rumbling sounds of motorbikes through the hairpin was nonstop. The summit had excellent views featuring Liberty Bell Mountain, Early Winters Spires, Kangaroo Ridge, Snagtooth Ridge, and Gardner Mountains. All the while, Gilbert Mountain, our next stop, was staring us down from across the basin.

We first carefully made our way back down to the miners’ trail. Then we traversed through the old mines into the upper bowl north of Point 7414. There was some snow lower in the basin. But higher up, we were on scree since there was no more snow. Finally, we made it up to the notch between Points 7483 and 7414. But the real work began from here to the summit.

Gilbert here we come
Gilbert here we come

See more trip photos here.

Gilbert Mountain Climb

We were able to traverse mostly on the ridge crest. But occasionally, we traveled on south slopes via more gentle terrain. Terrain steepened significantly the last 400′ to the summit. We tried negotiating the ridge crest and regaining it via the steep and chossy south gullies. But it turned out to be a lot easier to traverse the exposed ridge crest to the top.

Just as on Marsupial Peak, the beautiful weather once again treated us with abounding views. Only this time I got a better look into Cedar Creek drainage. We used that valley approach to climb Silver Moon two months earlier.

Marsupial Peak from Gilbert Mountain
Marsupial Peak from Gilbert Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Outro

On the descent, I opted for the shortcut mentioned in a report. We sidestepped through several steep ribs and gullies, so it took much longer than anticipated. But eventually, we went up to the south ridge at 6000′ where I put on my headlamp. Then we scrambled 2000′ directly down to the trail. One mile of hiking and we were back the car.

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