2017/9/30 – French Cabin Mountain (W/S/N Peaks) / 法國小屋山 (西/南/北峯)

South ridge
South ridge

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Alas, climbing season finally came to an end after four months of excellent weather. I was quite content to have met my climbing goal for the season. For now we are back to day hikes and soon snowshoe trips.

Salmon La Sac Road was closed at the NF-4308 bridge crossing due to the aftermath of Jolly Mountain fire. Half a mile before Domerie Peak North Trailhead (#4308-115), I parked the car before a big dip in the road and cut the ridge uphill to the trailhead. Partly sunny weather on the drive in soon turned mostly cloudy.

Fall is here
Fall is here

Photos from this trip can be found here.

A mostly clear trail with only a handful of down trees to negotiate. Just in case weather turned for the worse, we bypassed North and South Peaks on the way in to get to West Peak (French Cabin Mountain) first. Trail stayed on or south of the crest and over all the high points except the North Peak. Sky somewhat opened up with sunshine as we approached South Peak, but the semi-decent weather didn’t last.

After passing Point 5563, trail descended to 5,000′ in the meadows. It reascended to French Cabin Mountain’s south ridge at 5,300′ where we left the trail and headed north. Despite gentle contour lines shown on the map, we stayed mostly west of the craggy ridge line on ledges, talus, and heather. Last bit of scramble to the top was fairly woodsy, but the summit area was nice and open.

South ridge
South ridge

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Too bad we missed out on good views, which would’ve been excellent on a good day. A mixture of snow, rain, and hail came down just before we summited. We headed back down after changing out clothes and getting some photos. Back down on the trail we hiked back to the woodsy South Peak, which was merely a bump on the ridge next to the trail. No views here either, so we left right after making a cameo.

North Peak’s gentle south ridge made traversing to the top on heather slopes seem effortless. Some views down toward Cle Elum Lake and nothing to see in any other directions. We descended northeast ridge through forest, followed by negotiating outcrops before reconnecting with the trail at 5,000′.

Cle Elum Lake

Photos from this trip can be found here.

On the way out we saw a dirt biker scoping out trail conditions and we chatted a bit. He mentioned that the bikers association would come back and take care of any major concerns if necessary. Thanks for maintaining this nice trail!

Access: NF-4308
Gear: none


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