Choral Slam via Anthem Creek / 經頌歌溪上聖歌滿貫

Many wildfires took place in recent years. So the Entiat River Road was only open to mile 32. Luckily, the forest service reopened the road this year. So that allowed us to tackle the Choral Slam. The pup and I slept near the trailhead Friday night.

Gopher Mountain of Choral Slam
Gopher Mountain of Choral Slam

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Choral Slam at a Glance

Choral Slam = Gopher Mountain + Choral Peak
聖歌滿貫=地鼠山+聖歌峯

Access: Entiat River Trailhead
Round Trip: TBD
Elevation Range: 3160′-8243′
Gear: helmet
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: on the trail

Entiat River Trail

The next morning, we hiked on the excellent but dusty Entiat River Trail. Then at the first junction, we made a right onto Anthem Creek Trail (#1435). There was a ton more dust as we walked up the path.

It was clear to see the forest service had put in much effort in removing down trees. So we could get through the burnt areas with ease. But later, the trail vanished under massive down trees and dense brush. So it was a pain to go from 4400′ up to 5000′.

Road to an anthem
Road to an anthem

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Anthem Creek Trail

The path reappeared at 5000′. But there were many more down trees to bypass. Then at the next junction, we went downhill on Duncan Hill Trail (#1434). Later, we went up to the Anthem Creek crossing. The stream was our first water source after leaving Entiat River Trail. Glad to see that the fires had spared this area.

Shortly, we stumbled upon large tree debris. It had buried a small part of the trail in the first clearing. Then at 6400′, we went cross-country through a large talus field and steep heather. The headwall extending down from Choral Peak south ridge was directly overhead.

Anthem Creek Basin
Anthem Creek Basin

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Anthem Creek Basin

As we entered the lush, open basin At 7000′, a few ravens began to swirl above us. Anthem Creek quietly flowed its way through the lower grassland. I scouted out a campsite and then dropped off the overnight gear. Shortly, the pup and I went up toward the 7500′ pass at the top of the basin.

Before the trip, I couldn’t find reports on climbing Choral Slam via Anthem Creek Basin. So the initial plan was to climb Choral Peak if we couldn’t make our way down into Choral Lake Basin. Then the next day, we would climb Gopher Mountain via Choral Creek.

The north side
The north side

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Gopher Mountain of Choral Slam

But to my surprise, north of the pass was nothing more than a steep talus with rock ledges. I thought, “Hell ya!” while shifting my attention over to Gopher Mountain. Behind it was the tip of the Chelan Slam. The 300′ drop down to the lake didn’t take long.

As it turned out, going around the buttress extending down from Point 7130 was much less cumbersome. Before long, we were going up on steep scree and heather. We aimed for Gopher Mountain’s western saddle. But crossing the scree from 7200′ up to the pass was slow going.

Choral Creek Basin
Choral Creek Basin

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Gopher Mountain Summit

Smoke inhalation from last weekend’s trip seemed to have affected my breathing. I felt like stopping every few minutes from catching my breath. We made the final 400′ section up to the summit just as the clouds came into the area. Meanwhile, a mountain goat was watching us from above.

Soon, clouds had filled the tiny glimpses of views. So there wasn’t enough clearing to get decent photos. Right before making our way down, I got a look at Choral Peak from the other end of the ridge. But everything else was still in clouds. It was less of a problem to go down on the scree since we plunge-stepped through most of it.

Choral Peak from Gopher Mountain
Choral Peak from Gopher Mountain

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Choral Peak of Choral Slam

A short break down by Choral Lake, then we climbed back up to the pass. The summit was just another 400′ ascent via the east ridge. It steepened at 150′ below the top. We bypassed hidden outcrops from south of the crest on exposed boulders and ledges.

There were no views here. So after signing the summit register and taking our selfies, we then headed back to Anthem Lake Basin. We went back to camp at 15 minutes before sunset. Nighttime temperatures dropped significantly as the wind blew through the basin. Fall had arrived.

East ridge
East ridge

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Outro

Glad we could climb both peaks on day one. So that left us with a relaxing exit the next day. In the morning, we enjoyed a quiet breakfast at the camp. Then we took our time to get ready before leaving.

It became warmer as the day progressed. When we went back to the car past noon, it had gone up to the high 70s.

Thanks for another safe weekend
Thanks for another safe weekend

See more trip photos here.

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