2018/1/14 – Little Kachess Peak / 小卡契斯峯

Destination in the mist
Destination in the mist

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Three cars parked by the snow berm on Kachess Dam Road (NF-4818), few hundred feet in from Sparks Road. Two more cars pulled in after pup and I arrived. I contemplated driving farther east to escape the lingering morning clouds, but decided to bite the bullet and hope for the best. One and a half miles of mindless road walk on packed snow to the trailhead.

Both parties of the two cars went to Easton Ridge. Pup and I headed for Kachess Ridge hoping to get to Little Kachess Peak should snow conditions allow. At the trail junction we followed what appeared to be fresh snowshoe tracks up Kachess Ridge Trail, lucky for us!

No signs of blue sky
No signs of blue sky

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Snow tracks left the trail at 3,400′ and headed northwest, we continued to follow them all the way to Kachess Beacon. I much preferred this direct approach than following the summer trail like we did in the past. It certainly shaved off some unwanted mileage.

Quarter of a mile past the half-buried communication tower, we finally caught up to the party of three who left us all those nice tracks. It had been cloudy all morning with no signs of clearing up, so they decided to turn around here. I took a photo for the group and then went on our merry way. Another mile to destination.

North ridge
North ridge

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Parts of the ridge traverse were in a complete whiteout with wind gusts, but I kept my hopes up to get some sunshine at the top. Trail breaking in mostly calf-deep snow, but much better conditions than last weekend’s outing on Tronsen Ridge.

Wind never stopped blowing, and most of our summit time was spent ducking behind half-buried evergreens. After waiting a while for clouds to dissipate but to no avail, we packed up and quietly left the summit.

You never came
You never came

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Past the communication tower and before re-entering the forest, we caught a glimpse of Easton and parts of Easton Ridge with blue sky tucked behind massive rolling clouds.

One and a half miles of mindless road walk back to the car.

Access: Kachess Ridge Trailhead
Gear: snowshoes

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