Rennie Peak by Mount Gibbs in Lake Chelan-Sawtooth / 雷尼峯

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Rennie Peak by Mount Gibbs shares a ridgeline with Reynolds Peak like Camels Hump. It’s also at the apex of three distinct drainages. Of these, Reynolds Creek provides the most direct way up to the peak.

The unimpressive side of Rennie Peak
The unimpressive side of Rennie Peak

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Rennie Peak at a Glance

Access: Reynolds Creek Trailhead
Round Trip: 12 miles
Elevation Range: 3160′-7742′
Gear: helmet, snowshoes, ice ax
Route Info: Eric Eames
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance

Reynolds Creek Trail

I knew it’d be a long day as soon as the first down trees showed up just past the trailhead. I rechecked the maps later. Then it dawned on me that the devastating Crescent Mountain Fire had swept through the area as well.

The burn took place after our 2017 visit. So the down trees had made the trail unrecognizable. At one point, we lost the path to the fallen timbers. Then we didn’t find it again until we went past the confluence.

Brace yourselves
Brace yourselves

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Upper Reynolds Creek

Unfortunately, we were only on the trail for a short while. Then it faded into the vast debris before the broad clearing. In turn, it took quite some time to go through the criss-cross down logs.

We were in the burn zone the entire time. So there was no good way to avoid the mess. At one point, we tried staying close to the creek. But it was just as bad as anywhere else.

Stripped naked
Stripped naked

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Rennie Peak East Basin

At last, we saw continuous snow at 5500′. But I couldn’t have put on my snowshoes fast enough! Nevertheless, it meant that we were able to leave the debris behind for now.

On the map, it looked like the trail went up through the south side of Point 7278. But it was much more efficient to stay by the creek and up the basin. As a result, we’d sometimes hear water running beneath us.

This way to Rennie Peak
This way to Rennie Peak

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The Final Stretch

It wasn’t until we reached the larch basin that we were out of the burn zone. From below, I could see a vast stretch of dry rocks at the top. So we skipped the southeast ridge and went straight up the eastern slopes.

The last few hundred feet were steep. Soon, I stashed my snowshoes at the top of the snow. Then we proceeded to finish the final 100′ of scramble up to the broad summit. Whew!

Looking back at Reynolds Peak
Looking back at Reynolds Peak

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Rennie Peak Summit Views

It’s funny that the crux wasn’t even the climbing part. Not sure about the pups. But going through the burn took a lot of energy out of me for sure. I laid the register paper out to dry before signing it.

Reynolds Peak was the main focus on this day. We pretty much had been looking at its sheer north side from the get-go. But to the north, the south views of Mount Gibbs and Louis Peak were also just as impressive.

Northern panoramic view
Northern panoramic view

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Outro

Despite Louis Peak being in the way, I could still see our last weekend’s goals poking out from the back. Then there were the countless peaks all around us on this gorgeous day.

On the way back, we stayed in the creek bed to be in the snow. Then that had us bypass the worst of the burn. Too bad we didn’t know to do that on the way up!

See you around town
See you around town

See more trip photos here.

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