Paperboy and Boomerang in Alpine Lakes / 高山湖泊裏的報童峯及回力鏢

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Paperboy and Boomerang are in Alpine Lakes Wilderness’s northwest end. Both are just north of the Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA). The closeness of the two peaks makes them doable as a day trip.

Following paperboy's route
Following paperboy’s route

See more trip photos here.

Paperboy and Boomerang at a Glance

Access: Snoqualmie Lake Trailhead
Round Trip: 12.7 miles
Elevation Range: 1160′-5185′
Gear: snowshoes, microspikes
Route Info: Marcus Peinado, Outside & Stuff
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance

Paperboy and Boomerang

This weekend we went back to Middle Fork Snoqualmie. But this time, we only needed to drive to the end of Middle Fork Road. Then we started walking from the gate. Despite the cloudy forecast, we had a clear sky.

Paperboy and Boomerang first came into our view from The Ark, aka Rooster Mountain, a decade ago. Then in January this year, we had another close encounter with the peaks from Twin Peaks.

Hello, ten years later
Hello, ten years later

See more trip photos here.

Quartz Creek Trail

It’s been ten years since we last set foot on Snoqualmie Lake Trail. On the way to Quartz Creek Trail, we walked past a couple of tents by Taylor River. Then in .4 mile, we reached the fork and turned left.

Snow started to show up in half a mile. I later changed from microspikes to snowshoes in continuous snow. The path climbed steadily through The Ark’s south side. Then it flattened past the Road 112 junction.

This way to Paperboy
This way to Paperboy

See more trip photos here.

Road Washouts

We went past the junction for the first time. Right away, a significant washout awaited our arrival. I can’t remember how many there were. But the first one and the two before the road bend were much more profound.

Two big dipping logs in the middle of the first washout looked like parts of an old bridge. So we use them to cross. We were in the trees the entire time. But we sometimes had views of Quartz Mountain to the south.

Problem solving
Problem solving

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Continuing on NF-5640

The second significant washout had a thinning snow bridge. So I took a giant leap to the other side of the water. Oddly, I saw a cable hanging next to the waterfall right before I jumped across. Not sure how useful it would be.

There was scarce snow around the final washout. But we carefully worked our way around the edge using the leftover slush. Then we used a few small trees on the other side to prop ourselves back up on the road.

Garfield Mountain making a cameo
Garfield Mountain making a cameo

See more trip photos here.

Shortcutting Through Waterfall Gully

Later we reached the 3200′ road bend before a waterfall gully. The roadway went for another mile before ending at 400′ above us. So we shortcut through the ravine on another snow bridge. Then we went up to the minor ridge on the other side.

The first 200′ was steep. But it eased up right before we went out onto the road’s end. During this, we had a constant view of Treen Peak and Garfield Mountain behind us. Then to the south was the striking sight of Bessemer Mountain’s pointy top.

Bessemer Mountain poking out
Bessemer Mountain poking out

See more trip photos here.

3600′ Meadow to Paperboy’s Summit

Here we had our first sighting of Paperboy towering at 1400′ overhead. So far, we haven’t gone as fast as we’d like because of the snow quality. It felt a tad better than last week, though not by much.

So we moved at turtle speed through the open forest toward the southwest ridgeline. Later from the ridge at 4700′, we made the final 300′ up to the top. Meanwhile, we stayed west of the crest, away from the line of cornices.

Paperboy's southwest ridge
Paperboy’s southwest ridge

See more trip photos here.

Paperboy Summit

Glad I decided not to try and come up through the east ridge. The ridgeline seemed tame from the meadow. But it was steeper when I looked down from the top. It also didn’t look conducive to traversing for the pups.

By then, it was an overcast sky. But all the familiar places around us were visible because of the high clouds. We still needed to go over to Boomerang a mile away and back. So we only stayed for 10 minutes before moving again.

The Ark (Rooster Mountain) to the east of Paperboy
The Ark (Rooster Mountain) to the east of Paperboy

See more trip photos here.

Paperboy Northwest Ridge Traverse to Boomerang

I wasn’t sure what the ridgeline was like from Paperboy to Boomerang. But we stayed just below west of the crest because earlier, I saw more cornices from Paperboy. Other than losing 600′, the traverse was straightforward.

I couldn’t find information on Boomerang’s south ridge. But from the 4400′ south saddle, we followed the steep ridgeline to see where it’d lead us. Apart from having to plow through more snow, it was a direct route up to the top.

Next stop, Boomerang
Next stop, Boomerang

See more trip photos here.

Boomerang Summit

One thing I wanted to see was Twin Peaks. But it could be the angle because the ridgeline looked unimpressive. It was more exciting to see Lake Philippa from here. Has it been over seven years since we visited the lake?

I thought about going back up to Paperboy on the way out. But I figured we’d spend more time on this taller summit instead. Trees lined the southern slopes, but we had unobstructed views to the north. More clouds had moved in during our time here.

Southeastern panoramic view on Boomerang
Southeastern panoramic view on Boomerang

See more trip photos here.

Outro

Another highlight was seeing the plethora of jagged peaks in Middle Fork Snoqualmie Valley. So hard to leave this place. We only needed to regain 400′ before joining our tracks on Paperboy’s southwest ridge. But the snow had worsened.

It drizzled a few times as we made our way down the mountain. At one point, the clouds had covered most distant peaks. But the sky cleared up again with sun rays strewing the valleys. Then it was time for the annoying washouts again.

Finding our way home
Finding our way home

See more trip photos here.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Christi

    Hi, do you have a gps track for this? I always enjoy your posts as you have been hitting a number of quiet local peaks my buddies and I have been eyeing. Thank you!

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