Chalangin Peak by Luahna Peak via Little Giant Pass / 查蘭金峯

  • Reading time:19 mins read

Chalangin Peak sits half a mile northwest of Luahna Peak atop the Napeequa River. Its west ridge extends to Tenpeak Mountain, perching over Honeycomb Glacier. Meanwhile, the lesser-known Hoof Peak over the Suiattle River is directly north of the valley.

Chalangin Peak above the rocky ridgeline
Chalangin Peak above the rocky ridgeline

See more trip photos here.

Chalangin Peak at a Glance

Access: Little Giant Trailhead
Round Trip: 25.6 miles
Elevation Range: 2600′-8370′
Essential Gear: helmet
Route Info: Cascade Alpine Guide, Eric Eames
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance
Playlist: Epic


Friday, October 6

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3

Little Giant Pass + Napeequa River Valley + 6200′ Camp

Finishing Up Washington’s Top 100 Peaks List

As I researched climbs last summer, I spotted Solitude Peak and Chalangin Peak on the list of top 100 peaks. After digging, I realized the ongoing surveying effort by Eric Gilbertson. The fun read on their website, plus the spreadsheet includes too many stats for these brain cells.

As I wrote this post, Big Kangaroo has moved out of the second 100 highest. Woh! Blackcap Mountain from the Bulger List has jumped ship, and East Mount Fury was now the tallest in the Picket Range. Positions of the edge cases have also shifted after the initial surveying.

A quiet stroll through the forest
A quiet stroll through the forest

See more trip photos here.

The Struggles of Checking Back on a Done List

I admit I wasn’t happy to learn about the new peaks or revisit the approach. Meanwhile, I scoured nwhikers and found threads regarding the changes. Unsurprisingly, some people, especially those who didn’t care for changes, had spoken out loudly.

But I was glad to have learned about Solitude Peak before going to Chilliwacks in late July! It happened to be right by Tombstone Peak on my itinerary. Then, in August, Connor and I tried climbing Chalangin Peak from the White River Trail. But the disappeared horse trail wouldn’t let us have it.

Atop Little Giant Creek Basin
Atop Little Giant Creek Basin

See more trip photos here.

Heading to Napeequa River Valley for Chalangin Peak

Since revisiting a list was the last thing on my mind, I moved Chalagin Peak to next year. But after my trip to Heather Ridge, the warm October weather persisted. So, I figured I could use the opportunity to visit the valley I’d seen only from Napeequa Peak and Hoof Peak.

We stopped by Lake Wenatchee State Park Friday evening before going to the trailhead. Curious about the Airplane Lake Fire closure spot, we drove to White River. Then we turned around by the blockade outside Tall Timber Ranch, 4 miles before White River Trailhead.

The last switchback below Little Giant Pass
The last switchback below Little Giant Pass

See more trip photos here.

Fording Chiwawa River to Little Giant Pass

Somehow, I’ve missed the part about “wading” the Chiwawa River by the trailhead. It looked like the remnants of the old bridge were now in the bushes near the water. Thankfully, the shallow water let us cross without a hitch, and I stashed the sandals before continuing.

The excellent trail took us through the forest before dipping 200′ through Little Giant Creek. Then it went straight up a rocky rib past a stream through the fall foliage. It felt even warmer over the open meadow as we took the last long switchback to Little Giant Pass.

East panorama from Little Giant Pass
East panorama from Little Giant Pass

See more trip photos here.

Chalangin Peak Atop Napeequa River Valley

Seeing the impressive Clark Mountain towering above the scenic valley was incredible. A hiker en route to Louis Creek Falls walked past us while we took a break below the pass. We later caught up and briefly chatted before heading down the steep incline with two small streams.

The long, winding river made the centerpiece as the path dipped through the hillside. We’d sometimes cool off in the shade, but I wouldn’t complain about the heat when the weather was this beautiful! We strolled the gentle incline under the dramatic north flanks.

Napeequa River Valley with Chalangin Peak, the fourth bump from upper left
Napeequa River Valley with Chalangin Peak, the fourth bump from upper left

See more trip photos here.

Butterfly Butte East Ridge to 6200′ Camp

After enjoying the cascading Louis Creek Falls, I crossed the Napeequa River on a skinny log while the dog swam. Then, the steep terrain took us through the typical brush, plus many windfalls. I tried finding the spur trail Eric had stumbled upon but couldn’t for the life of me.

We entered the clearing north of Butterfly Butte and soon saw Chalangin Peak staring ahead. Below Pilz Glacier’s headwall was a stunning broad basin with some larches. After filling up water from the only stream, we camped at 6200′ facing Clark Mountain in the flat area.

Full view of our goal with Luahna Peak on the left
Full view of our goal with Luahna Peak on the left

See more trip photos here.


Saturday, October 7

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3

Chalengin Peak + Napeequa River Camp @ 4240

Climbing Chalangin Peak via North of Pilz Glacier

We awoke to another morning of crisp air after a warm and starry night. From the tent, going west through the vibrant larches and pumice rocks got us to the 6800′ bench. It would’ve been my first choice to camp. Soon, the crevassed Pilz Glacier emerged through the thinning trees.

Vistas from here on out were constant as we moved through snow-free terrain north of the glacier. Since it snowed during the week, I had brought crampons and an ice ax just in case. But I almost stashed the gear on Little Giant Pass and regretted that I didn’t!

Chalangin Peak above Pilz Glacier through larches
Chalangin Peak above Pilz Glacier through larches

See more trip photos here.

Traversing Below North Ridge to the Top

The glistening pool at the bottom of the glacier looked like an alluring camp spot. Soon, we weaved through massive granite slabs and pockets of pools below the north ridge. Luahna Peak and Chalangin Peak’s north faces appeared more dramatic as we moved closer.

We aimed too high on the broken ridge at one point and had to drop into the upper basin. Then, I studied the northeast and southwest notches before aiming at the first via a scree gully at 8000′. Soon, we attained the ridge after gaining 250′ and walked up the rest in choss.

Traversing below the north ridge through massive granite slabs
Traversing below the north ridge through massive granite slabs

See more trip photos here.

Spectacular Views in the Wilderness from Chalangin Peak

I looked east and was glad not to have made the long traverse from the south, even if we could. If I thought Luahna Peak was far, then it would’ve been even more time-consuming to come that way. Going through Little Giant Pass was a blessing in disguise awarded with views.

I never intended to climb this peak until it suddenly popped up. But the vistas, including the approach, had far exceeded my expectations. Meanwhile, our altitude had significantly dwarfed the arid Hoof Peak. Mount David was the only one I recognized across the south.

Southeast panorama from Chalangin Peak
Southeast panorama from Chalangin Peak

See more trip photos here.

Returning Through Napeequa River Trail

We got back to camp after numerous photo stops and quickly packed. It bugged me not to find the climber’s path the day before, so we exited through Butterfly Butte. But the top was nothing but down logs without signs of the noted trail. I gave up!

After joining our up route in the forest, we retrace steps back to the log to the north side. We stumbled upon the guy we met the day before and briefly talked by his campsite. The dog and I then walked down the trail and slept by the start of the incline to the pass.

Our tent amid the larches with Buck Mountain in the backdrop
Our tent amid the larches with Buck Mountain in the backdrop

See more trip photos here.


Sunday, October 8

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3

Little Giant Pass + Chiwawa River

Heading Out to Chiwawa River through Little Giant Pass

We could’ve returned to the car late, but I was glad to have stayed another night for the dog’s sake. In the morning, we hung around the meadow until well after sunrise but left before the sun entered the valley. Then came the part I dreaded, the 2200′ rising exit into the other basin.

A last look at Chalangin Peak et al. from the pass, we descended the east under another warm day. En route, we met a handful of day hikers before the 200′ incline past Little Giant Creek. Soon, it was all downhill as we strolled through the forest to come out by the Chiwawa River.

North panorama in Napeequa River Valley
North panorama in Napeequa River Valley

See more trip photos here.

Leave a Reply

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

Discover more from One Hike A Week / 每週一行

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading