Whiskey Dick Mountain in Wild Horse Wind Farm / 威士忌迪克山

  • Reading time:5 mins read

Happy Spring! Today we went up Whiskey Dick Mountain on the west edge of Wild Horse Wind Farm. It’s also the highest point on the Wenatchee Mountains’ south end. The closest cities are Ellensburg and Kittitas to the west.

Leaving Whiskey Dick Mountain
Leaving Whiskey Dick Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Whiskey Dick Mountain at a Glance

Access: Quilomene Wildlife Area
Round Trip: 8.6 miles
Elevation Range: 2240′-3881′
Gear: none
Route Info: Rich P
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Whiskey Dick Wildlife Area

We’ve been to the nearby Whiskey Dick Wildlife Area one time too many. But at last, it took us over a decade to visit Whiskey Dick Mountain. It’s also our first time in the Quilomene Wildlife Area.

This area is just west of the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park. We’ve visited that region several times over the years as well. But the various wildlife areas here are all part of the shrub-steppe ecosystem.

Another beautiful morning
Another beautiful morning

See more trip photos here.

The Naming of “Whiskey Dick” Mountain

Still, no one knows for sure how the mountain got its disparaging name[1]. Even in talks, I can’t say the name without cringing. But what about the adjacent hill, “Chinaman Hat”?

Not sure how I’ve missed it all these years. But I only came across the name recently on peakbagger.com[2] while researching Whiskey Dick Mountain. Being part Southeast Asian, the term brought on uneasiness.

Kittitas, Washington
Kittitas, Washington

See more trip photos here.

The Naming of “Chinaman” Hat

But I guess that “farmer’s hat” or “conical hat” didn’t have the “cool” or the “wow” factor. Regardless, the slur targeted a specific racial group. At the same time, it reminded me of the misogynistic and racist climbing route articles in recent years[3].

UPDATE (2021/3/23): peakbagger.com has graciously changed Chinaman Hat to Whiskey Dick Mountain-West Peak.

Then I dug a little deeper. Sure enough, I recognized the submitter’s name from the local climbers’ forum–nwhikers.net. The fact that a non-person of color submitting the name wasn’t surprising. Though, I will refer to it as “Farmer’s Hat” from here on.

Farmer's Hat
Farmer’s Hat

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South Route

The most direct way would be from the south via Vantage Highway. But it’s possible to shorten the distance by driving up the main roadway. Through, the deep ruts would soon pose an issue for compact cars.

The road went up through mild terrain. Later it climbed up the minor south ridge below Whiskey Dick Mountain and Farmer’s Hat saddle. There was deer en route. Then from the crest, we turned right and walked alongside the fence to reach the top.

The final streatch on Whiskey Dick Mountain
The final streatch on Whiskey Dick Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Whiskey Dick Mountain Summit

As luck would have it, clouds slowly darkened the western sky. Soon, it was sunshine no more for half an hour. During which, it grew windier, and it even flurried. Despite the mist, the giant wind turbines south of here were still visible.

Views improved right before we left the top. Then I noticed more turbines on the north side of the ridgeline. They might’ve been the ones we’ve seen from Whiskey Dick Wildlife Area.

The misty wind turbines on Whiskey Dick Mountain
The misty wind turbines on Whiskey Dick Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Next Stop, Farmer’s Hat

Farmer’s Hat was only one mile west of here. But as we walked back near the saddle, I realized I had left my sunglasses behind. I’ve lost many pairs over the years. So this time, I decided to retrieve them.

Later we walked past the saddle. Then the pups spotted one big snow patch on the north side. Naturally, they quickly ran down the hill to roll in it as if they’ve never seen it before. From the lower saddle, it was only another 100′ up to the top.

Kittitas Valley from Farmer's Hat
Kittitas Valley from Farmer’s Hat

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Outro

Views were about the same as Whiskey Dick Mountain. But the turbines were now tiny, and we were closer to Kittitas Valley. Though, the distant target shooting made me feel uneasy. So we stayed only a few minutes. Then I decided to make a loop trip.

From the top, we dropped onto the southern slopes. Soon, at 3000′, we hopped on a trail that took us down to a fork at 2300′. Then left at the junction got us back to our starting point in one mile.

Finding our way home
Finding our way home

See more trip photos here.

References

  1. Whiskey Dick Mountain name.
  2. peakbagger.com has updated the name after I presented the issue.
  3. Climbing route articles: