Wallaby Peak on Kangaroo Ridge / 袋鼠脊上的小袋鼠峯

Wallaby Peak, we're coming for you
Wallaby Peak, we’re coming for you

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The Lowdown on Wallaby Peak

Access: Washington Pass hairpin turn
Round Trip: 4.4 miles

Elevation Range: 5160′-7995′
Gear: helmet, ice ax, microspikes
GPS Track: available

En Route to Pass 6671

After yesterday’s trip to McLeod Mountain, pup and I car camped at Washington Pass hairpin turn. I figured we’d get in another climb to make the long drive from home worthwhile. In the morning, we awoke to the sound of cars full of climbers ready to tackle Kangaroo Temple. A couple of skiers showed up a while later and headed up the couloir south of the Early Winters Spires.

From the car, we hiked southeast on firm snow in Early Winters Creek Basin. As terrain steepened and became somewhat icy at 6200′, I realized I’d forgotten my crampons back at the car. But I was glad to find the microspikes tucked deep in the side pocket of my pack. So I put them on to get through this section.

Scoping out the route
Scoping out the route

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Southwest Ridge to South Face

We climbed another 200′ on moderate terrain in the upper basin. Then the slopes took another steep turn in the final 300′ up to Pass 6671. From the pass, I immediately noticed our last year’s climbs: Marsupial Peak (Gilbert Mountain NW Peak). It sat among several other high points near the headwater of Twisp River in Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness.

Thanks to recent tracks, we quickly got up to the southeast ridge without a hitch. Then we followed the ridgeline until the snow stopped at 7200′. Through the access notch, we then got off the crest and got onto the south face. Shortly, we followed the old boot tracks up the steep slopes to another access point. It was right below the crux of the climb.

The crux
The crux

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Steep South Face Finish

I wished I hadn’t forgotten my crampons, because they would’ve come in handy through the snow arête. It was hard not to look down to the deep gully. So I very carefully got through this section with the ice ax and microspikes. On the other hand, the pup effortlessly flew through this part and waited for me at the top.

The terrain became steeper past the snow arête. So I was more than happy to switch to climbing on scree. Lots of loose rocks in the gully. Glad I brought my helmet since there was a high potential of pup kicking down rocks. Just below the summit block, we needed back on a short section of snow. Then another 50′ of scrambling on scree got us up to the summit.

North ridge with Half Moon and Big Kangaroo
North ridge with Half Moon and Big Kangaroo

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Wallaby Peak Summit

I had been anticipating the view on top since we left the car, and it sure was gorgeous! To the north, I could see as far as the top of Mount Baker and the Picket Range. South view into the Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness was boundless. There were also the views of Big Kangaroo, Silver Star Mountain, and Gilbert Mountain just next door. The two summit register entries from yesterday looked to be the season’s first ascents.

On the way down at the crux, I faced in to gain better traction with the spikes. It seemed to have taken an eternity to get through. Once we got past this section, the rest of the descent back to the pass became reasonably quick. Surprisingly, the slushy snow wasn’t too terrible. So snowshoes continued to stay on my pack for the rest of the trip.

Early Winters Spires and Liberty Bell Mountain
Early Winters Spires and Liberty Bell Mountain

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A ton more cars were at the hairpin turn after we came back in the early afternoon. I talked to two skiers as they finished up the Blue Lake Basin ski tour. That basin was the happening place today.

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