Easton Ridge in Search of Sunshine / 伊斯頓脊上尋找陽光

Yesterday was a long day. Today we continued our search for sunshine on Easton Ridge. Avalanches pose a significant danger during this time of the year. So we tend to avoid steep terrain by visiting north Sound or east of the Cascades crest.

Easton Ridge out of the mist
Easton Ridge out of the mist

See more trip photos here.

Easton Ridge at a Glance

Access: Kachess Dam Road
Round Trip: 9 miles

Elevation Range: 2240′-4517′
Gear: microspikes, snowshoes
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Road Walk to Easton Ridge Trail Junction

Kachess Dam Road isn’t accessible when there is snow. So vehicles would park at 100 yards in from the stop sign. Roads beyond the berm then become snowmobiles paradise. We enjoyed a quiet walk to the Kachess Ridge Trailhead at 7 AM. Meanwhile, I kept my fingers crossed for views today.

There were recent tracks on the Easton Ridge Trail. So snowshoes weren’t necessary for the lower elevation. But I used microspikes on ice to keep from slipping. Soon, we arrived at the junction and took a break before continuing. Here most tracks went on to the Domerie Divide Trail.

The mindless road walk
The mindless road walk

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Easton Ridge Traverse

Following several snowshoe and boot tracks, the pup and I walked southeast on the ridge. We would sometimes posthole in the semi-open forest. But it wasn’t too terrible. Occasionally, we’d get glimpses of the nearby ridgelines.

There was also the hazy sight of I-90 beside the winding Yakima River. The length of the river continued to fascinate me. It starts in Keechelus Lake and flows through to Richland in Eastern Washington.

Views below Easton Ridge
Views below Easton Ridge

See more trip photos here.

Moving Southeast on the Ridge

So far, we had been following the existing tracks. But they dwindled before the Point 4291 outcrops. We took another break while I put on snowshoes. Then we started to break trail for the rest of the 1.2 miles. We bypassed the rocks via the steep south slopes.

I plunged forwarded a few times while sidestepping on the steep terrain. Then we made our way back onto the ridge east of the rocks and continued. After going over two minor knobs, we finally arrived on the broad summit. The high point in the clearing wasn’t the actual summit. The real one was behind a line of tall trees.

West view
West view

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Sunshine on Easton Ridge Summit

We stood on the summit for a few seconds. Then we quickly returned to the south side to be out of the wind. The gusts continued for the rest of our time on top. The high points on the Kachess Ridge, including Mount Baldy and Domerie Peak, eventually appeared.

I also saw a few peaks in the Teanaway Backcountry. The southern tip of Cle Elum Lake was also visible. The low clouds to the south never cleared. So we didn’t get any decent views in that direction.

Northeast panoramic view
Northeast panoramic view

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Outro

On the way out, we took a break down by Point 4291. By now, the snow had softened. So I kept the snowshoes on. Then I put them back on my pack at the junction. It was surprising not to see anyone on our quiet hike down to the main road.

As expected, snowmobilers were now out and about. They were having a great time playing in the snow!

Silver Creek in the PM
Silver Creek in the PM

See more trip photos here.

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