Marble Peak by Hall Peak via Mountain Loop Highway / 大理石峯

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Marble Peak perches above Mountain Loop Highway south of Stillaguamish River. Hall Peak, the nearest taller peak east of Marble Pass, sits a mile away. Of various routes, the northwest ridge is the most direct to this high point.

Marble Peak summit high above
Marble Peak summit high above

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Marble Peak at a Glance

Access: Marble Pass historical signage
Round Trip: 5 miles
Elevation Range: 1480′-5160′
Gear: helmet, microspikes, crampons, ice ax
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: no

The Preface

Marble Peak has been a long-term goal. But what’s the catch, you ask? The mighty South Fork Stillaguamish River that’s in the way between us and the summit. It makes sense why visitors to this peak have been few and far between.

Last time we came with an inflatable raft and planned to cross the river in one try. But I knew something wasn’t right when I stepped inside the boat. I didn’t think to include my gear weight, and the water was trickling in fast!

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Fording the Stillaguamish River

The pup and I returned with a raft twice the size. But this time, it was the higher level from the spring snowmelt that was concerning. After checking, we forced the waist-high water at the shallowest spot with the least rapids.

Once on the south side, I wrung out water from my long johns and changed into boots. Then I put on gaiters, a shell, and a pack cover to keep dry from the wet brush. The forest was still damp from the rain the day before.

Safe landing
Safe landing

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Northwest Ridge

We dove into the light brush behind the rocky shore and went through down trees in the wetland. Then we went on the ridge and contended with dead logs to 2500′. Devils club and slide alder had inundated the hillside, where we followed animal tracks until they faded.

Above 3500′, we bypassed two places of steep steps from the east. The terrain later eased around 3800′, where blueberry bushes replaced the brush to 4000′. At 4100′, we dropped 50′ on the east to avoid a massive outcrop before returning to the ridge at 4150′.

Strolling along
Strolling along

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Final Stretch on Marble Peak

The ridge soon narrowed with the unnerving view of Marble Gulch to the east. We bypassed krummholz from the west and soon went up 100′ steep snow at 5000′ in crampons. From the north saddle, the summit block looked vertical.

Things looked promising after we crossed the snow arête to the south. I stashed gear in the trees and finished the final bit using ledges and holds over some loose rocks. Then a few more steps put us on the broad top of Marble Peak.

Marble Peak summit up ahead
Marble Peak summit up ahead

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Marble Peak Summit Views

Like Hall Peak, the type 2 grunt work came with rewarding views with not as much brush. I took a few seconds to catch my breath and checked out the dramatic landscape. The cirque above Copper Lake was quite stunning!

What a hidden gem! Besides seeing it from Vesper Peak, the sight of the lake basin couldn’t have been any more direct. What a gorgeous day seeing all the familiar peaks–Morning Star Peak, Del Campo Peak, Devils Peak.

Southwest panorama
Southwest panorama

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Outro

We enjoyed an long time on top before leaving, as it’d likely be our only visit to Marble Peak. Going back through the brush and krummholz on the crest was just as slow. But the blueberry bushes were more tolerable going in reverse.

Now, about that river crossing…

Finding our way home
Finding our way home

See more trip photos here.

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