Catkin Peak + McCall Mountain / 卡特金峯+麥考爾山

We went on a short climb yesterday at the last minute. Then today, we visited Catkin Peak and McCall Mountain by Dirtyface Mountain. I had initially planned for Balt Peak. But we turned around before the snow at mile 9 on Chiwawa River Road.

Catkin Peak from McCall Mountain
Catkin Peak from McCall Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Catkin Peak and McCall Mountain at a Glance

Access: NF-6300-511
Round Trip: 8.4 miles
Elevation Range: 2780′-5760′
Gear: microspikes, snowshoes
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Road 6300

I found two reports on nwhikers.net. But I was more interested in the one that started from Chiwawa River Road. Though, the group wasn’t clear on their starting point on Road 6306. So I checked the map and wanted to see if Road 6300 would also work.

As it turned out, Road 6300 was in great shape through to the junction with Road 6304. Then there were several long stretches of ruts before we turned onto NF-511. It looked like the ORVs had created the trenches when the roadway was still damp.

The fun starts now
The fun starts now

See more trip photos here.

Catkin Peak Eastern Slopes

I drove .5 mile on NF-511 before needing to park. Just up ahead at 2800′ were snow patches around a steep corner. So we couldn’t go any farther. Then we hiked up to Road 6307 and made a left. Shortly, I put on snowshoes in the morning sunshine.

The slide alder-infested road later ended in .25 mile. Then we went into the trees and moved northwest. Soon, we crossed a small creek to the north side. There I saw what looked like an old trail with flagging. So we followed it through sections of down trees. Later, the path dwindled when the terrain steepened at 4200′.

Catkin Peak from the slopes
Catkin Peak from the slopes

See more trip photos here.

South Ridge Walk

We went up through 600′ of steep terrain. Then we reached the south ridge at 4800′ and went north. Before long, the clouds had rolled into the area. But as we moved higher up on the ridgeline, it flurried. Damn. Not sure if we would see anything at all today.

Later, the flurries turned into the snow, the higher we moved. But at least there were lots of trees on this peak. So we could wait out the weather if needed. The wind had been blowing in all directions up until now. Then it calmed down a bit once we reached the top.

It's snowing
It’s snowing

See more trip photos here.

Catkin Peak Summit

Alas. The clouds had overtaken the valleys. But we continued past the summit to the northern end. So we could be out of the wind entirely. Despite the low clouds, I could still see some peaks to the north. I even saw Basalt Peak across the river.

Most trees here were on the west side. So we couldn’t see much there. After staying half an hour, the sky cleared up a bit. Soon, it was sunny again. Yes! So we lingered for another few minutes to photograph the mountains. Then we left for our second goal of the day.

North view from Catkin Peak
North view from Catkin Peak

See more trip photos here.

Onward to McCall Mountain

We walked down the gentle western slopes through open forest. Then we made it down to the saddle between the two peaks after dropping 400′. The eastern slopes of McCall Mountain were also moderate. Then it steepened in the last 100′ below the ridge.

From the south ridge, we made the final 200′ up through the dense forest. The views were spotty through this part. Then we reached the summit shortly. It was still windy. But the wind chill didn’t feel as terrible now that the sun was blasting.

Next stop, McCall Mountain
Next stop, McCall Mountain

See more trip photos here.

McCall Mountain Summit Plus Outro

The weather has improved dramatically. So views were much better than Catkin Peak. But the clouds stayed on the northern peaks. Though, I got a glimpse of Mount David. It has been over a decade since we went up that mountain! The trees were in the way of the south view.

Later, we got back down to the saddle. Then we bypassed Catkin Peak by going southeast to 5000′ on the south ridge. We joined our tracks from this morning. From there, we quickly went back down the eastern slopes to reach the old trail.

Northern panoramic view
Northern panoramic view

See more trip photos here.

Another 1.5 mile of road walk and then we were back at the car.

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