Humerus Hill + Jolly Mountain III via Salmon La Sac / 肱骨山丘

  • Reading time:9 mins read

Humerus Hill, Jolly Mountain, and Elbow Peak stand atop one long ridgeline in Teanaway Backcountry. Meanwhile, the ridge continues upward through to The Louvre and DeRoux Peak. During the snowy season, Salmon La Sac offers the quickest way to the obscure high points.

Humerus Hill still far away
Humerus Hill still far away

See more trip photos here.

Humerus Hill and Jolly Mountain at a Glance

Access: Cayuse Horse Camp
Round Trip: 15.2 miles
Elevation Range: 2400′-6443′
Gear: snowshoes, microspikes
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

The Preface

The recruit was ready for prime time after three months. So we did a trial run on Cleman Mountain yesterday. Then today, the pup made his first snow cameo on Humerus Hill and Jolly Mountain.

Our last-minute plan this morning had us start close to 11. So I wasn’t sure if climbing both two peaks was doable given the snow. But I’d be happy even to go up only one of them.

See more trip photos here.

Salmon La Sac

Winter recreation along Salmon La Sac Road was in full swing as we drove through to Cayuse Camp. Later, I parked right outside the roundabout and started hiking. Microspikes came in handy on the icy roadway.

On the way to the trailhead, we somehow went on a different path. Then we ended up on the wrong side of the creek. But we soon rejoined the correct way after some scrambling.

A late morning start
A late morning start

See more trip photos here.

Jolly Mountain Trail

Much snow had melted in the lower trail. But rather than using the gutted path, it was more comfortable to walk on the snow on either side. Then at mile two, we made a right onto the road and walked to the end. So far, the overcast sky has kept the snow firm.

Later we re-entered the forest and continued on packed snow. Then right before the Salmon La Sac Creek crossing, I started seeing ski and boot tracks. So we followed them through to the other side of the water.

Sasse Ridge up ahead
Sasse Ridge up ahead

See more trip photos here.

Onward to Jolly Mountain

Soon, we were up in the meadow below Sasse Ridge. There I put on snowshoes. Then just past the clearing, the tracks we had been following turned around. Bummer! So we broke trail up to the ridge. The spotty views slowly expanded.

As we continued, I started seeing snowmobile tracks all over. The snow was somewhat soft. But we made use of the trails through to the other side. Otherwise, it would have taken us longer. All paths pointed to the top of Jolly Mountain.

We meet again
We meet again

See more trip photos here.

Continuing to Humerus Hill

Slowly, we made it up the north ridgeline to the top. It’s been three years since we were here. Since Humerus Hill was our primary goal, we didn’t stay long. So we continued down the south ridge. Snowmobilers had been everywhere!

We made our way down the steep terrain to the saddle. From here, it looked like the tire tracks went clear across to Point 5750. Perfect! So we could make use of them when needed. We soon bypassed the first two knobs from the west.

Next stop, Humerus Hill
Next stop, Humerus Hill

See more trip photos here.

Humerus Hill Summit

I tried minimizing elevation gain and loss. But Point 5750 was more manageable to go through it from the top. Once we went down onto the saddle, we had dropped 1000′ from Jolly Mountain. The snow wasn’t as firm. So we, or instead, I moved slowly up the final 500′.

We moved to the southern slopes right below the top. Then we walked right up to the snow-free summit. We were able to avoid the wind behind dry rocks. It was late in the day, so we didn’t stay very long. Views included Stuart Range, Jolly Mountain, and Elbow Peak.

Jolly Mountain from Humerus Hill
Jolly Mountain from Humerus Hill

See more trip photos here.

Back to Jolly Mountain and Out

Jolly Mountain looked so much farther now that we were on Humerus Hill. But I tried not to think about having to go back through the ridge and regain 1000′. Going from the southeast saddle up to the top seemed to take forever! But once we were back on the summit, it was all downhill from here.

In the process of getting back up to Jolly Mountain, I lost one of my beloved mittens. By then, the wind was blowing harder. So I didn’t feel like going back to look for it. Down in the meadow were some new snowshoe tracks that seemed to have turned around. What a long day!

Thanks for a lovely day
Thanks for a lovely day

See more trip photos here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.