Gopher Mountain + Choral Peak via Entiat River + Anthem Creek / 聖歌峯

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Gopher Mountain and Choral Peak are two of the many high points in the North Chelan Mountains. The peaks are in proximity of each other to climb in one trip as well. Of the various route options, Entiat River Trail and Anthem Creek are the most direct.

Gopher Mountain of Choral Slam
Gopher Mountain of Choral Slam

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Gopher Mountain and Choral Peak 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: 18.5 miles
Elevation Range: 3160′-8243′
Gear: helmet
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: on the trail

Entiat River Trail

Many wildfires in recent years have contributed to the Entiat River Road closure at mile 32. But luckily, the Forest Service reopened the roadway this year. So the timing was perfect for us to tackle Gopher Mountain and Choral Peak.

The pup amd I started on the excellent but dusty Entiat River Trail early Saturday. Then at the first trail fork, we made a right onto Anthem Creek Trail–#1435. There was even more dust as we walked up the path.

Road to an anthem
Road to an anthem

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Anthem Creek Trail

The forest service had removed lots of down trees from the two-year-old fire. But later, at 4400′, the trail faded under massive debris and brush. The path reappeared at 5000′ but with more small logs to bypass.

Later at the next fork, we walked downhill on Duncan Hill Trail–#1434. Soon, we crossed Anthem Creek, our first water after we left Entiat River Trail. But I was happier to see that the fire had spared this area.

Anthem Creek Basin
Anthem Creek Basin

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Anthem Creek Basin

Shortly at the first clearing, we came across large tree debris burying parts of the trail. Then at 6400′, we hopped through a massive rock field and steep heather. The headwall from Choral Peak’s south ridge was directly overhead.

Ravens began to swirl above us in the 7000′ open basin, with Anthem Creek quietly flowing through the grassland. I scouted out a campsite and dropped off most of the gear. Then we headed for the 7500′ pass.

The north side
The north side

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Gopher Mountain Climb

Before the trip, I couldn’t find reports of climbing Gopher Mountain via Anthem Creek. So the plan was to go through Choral Creek if we couldn’t make it into Choral Lake from Choral Peak. But to my surprise, north of the pass was nothing more than a steep talus.

Later we dropped 300′ to the lake. Then we went around the buttress of Point 7130. Before long, we were going up on steep choss and heather, aiming for Gopher Mountain’s western saddle. But the scree from 7200′ to the pass was slow going.

Choral Creek Basin
Choral Creek Basin

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Gopher Mountain Summit with Some Views

Smoke from last weekend’s trip seemed to have affected my breathing. So I needed to stop every few minutes and catch my breath. We made the final 400′ up to the top as the clouds moved into the area. Meanwhile, a mountain goat was watching us from above.

Soon, clouds had taken over the mountaintops. But glad I got to see Choral Peak before we left the top with everything else now in the mist. Going down the scree took no time as we plunge-stepped through most of it.

Choral Peak from Gopher Mountain
Choral Peak from Gopher Mountain

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Choral Peak Climb

We took a break by Choral Lake and then made our way back to the pass. From there, the summit was just another 400′ above the east ridge. At 150′ below the top, steep terrain forced us to bypass the outcrops from the south. There was a bit of exposure there.

The clouds had shortened our visit to just signing the register and taking our selfies. Later we went back to the pass and then reached the camp 15 minutes before sunset. Nighttime temperatures dropped considerably as the wind swept through the basin. Alas, fall had arrived.

East ridge
East ridge

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Outro

I didn’t think we would climb both peaks on day one, but glad we did. So that meant a relaxing exit the following day. In the morning, we enjoyed a quiet breakfast by the creek and dillydallied our way out of the basin.

It grew warmer fast in the late morning. And when we went back to the car past noon, it was in the high 70s.

Thanks for another safe weekend
Thanks for another safe weekend

See more trip photos here.

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