Monday, June 20, 2016

Poets Ridge - Little Wenatchee River loop, Henry M. Jackson Wilderness

It's hard to beat Glacier Peak-area ridges (like this, this, and this), and Poets Ridge is no exception. Thanks to a few recent TRs from the area I thought it would be a good time to finally get to it. Yes, and no. A few steep snow traverses remain between Poe and Longfellow and while a fall likely wouldn't be fatal, it did not look fun. Conditions and the terrain probably were a bit riskier than I normally do alone. Steep-ish snow traverses remain past Longfellow and Bryant as well, but largely were not an issue. I definitely felt relief once making it past Bryant... I think the route would be more enjoyable once it melts out, though I didn't see another person all day, which was nice.
  • Poe Mountain trail: lots of wet brush and blowdowns; patchy snow drifts around 4800' with solid snow around ~5700' on the trail heading to the north of Poe. 
  • Poets Ridge route: steep snow traverses remain; 3-6" of fresh snow that was melting fast. North end of ridge where the route contours over to the N/NE side is solid snow. Most south-facing slopes have melted out.
  • Little Wenatchee River trail: snow patches and melting bridges through Meander Meadows. Some light brush up high and eroded-rocky trail, more brush down low and the more difficult blowdowns are in the first few miles from the TH. 

17 miles, ~5100' gain (skipping Poets Ridge summits)
Climbing up the Poe Mountain trail, with fresh snow
Some awkward drifts/slides to pass on the Poe Mountain trail
Around 5800' on Poe's NW side
Melting 10' cornice-drift on Poets Ridge north of Poe Mountain
Looking north up Poets Ridge from Point 6174'; Meander Meadows at left
Quick view of Glacier Peak from southern Poets Ridge
Looking back on one of the first steep traverses
Little slide, likely from melting snow off trees above
Looking back on another steep traverse
Nearing the end of the steeper traverses
Descending traverse past Longfellow, Bryant Peak in the middle
Looking back on my tracks along the descending traverse past Longfellow
Glacier Lily on Poets Ridge
Snotel for anyone wanting to climb Whittier Peak (left)
South ridge of Bryant Peak
Marmots were out along Poets Ridge
Little Wenatchee River drainage and the Cascade Crest
Looking back south along Poets Ridge from Point 5840'
Traversing over to the PCT and Meander Meadows
White Pass, White Mountain, Portal Peak, from the pass about Meander Meadows
Fields of Glacier Lily above Meander Meadows and Poets Ridge in the background
Meander Meadows namesake

An extremely pleasant meadow in the Little Wenatchee drainage

1 comment:

  1. That is an excellent run indeed,Luke. I never ventured in there before July,but that was back in the day when we still had snowy winters followed by cool springs.
    Having said that, something to consider is carry an ice axe to facilitate safety and piece of mind for those steep snow traverses. There are several available that weigh under a pound.