Poet Ridge (Sep 26, 2004)

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poet_ridge_coverConditions: Day hike
Gear: ice axe
Map: USGS Poe Mountain
Area: Glacier Peak Wilderness (Lake Wenatchee area)

I love ridge walks. Really love them. Poet Ridge, I prefer that name over Wenatchee Ridge, is one of my favorites. The poets peaks are (Washington) Irving Pk to the south, then going north it does (Edgar Allan) Poe Mtn, (Henry Wadsworth) Longfellow Pk, and (William Cullen) Bryant Pk to the north, with (John Greenleaf) Whittier Pk off to the east. With this kind of lineage, how could you not want to call it Poet Ridge. In the Fall the slopes seep with color. It really is an amazing sight.

Ken and Jim wanted to head over to Whittier Pk. I'd been there last year but it was such a fun trip I didn't mind returning so soon.

We headed up the steep trail to Poe Mtn, a former lookout site. There are still a few bits of the LO around if you look hard enough.

From Poe Mtn we continued north along the ridge towards Longfellow. The trail hugs the ridge crest pretty closely with an occasional dip off one side or the other. The trail past Poe fades a bit but it is still clear and easy to follow (further north of Longfellow...towards Bryant Pk...the trail really does start to fade out). Along the western side of Longfellow the trail enters a bit of a flat basin area (some stagnant water here but I wouldn't drink it even if it was filtered). On the northwest ridge of Longfellow, there is a not so obvious route over the ridge (about 5840'). From here Whittier looks amazing far away. I wasn't feeling motivated so I decided to take a nap in the meadow below (on the west side of the ridge) while Jim and Kevin headed over to Whittier. The route there, if I recall, has one dropping about 500', then doing a long rising traverse towards Whittier's NW ridge and gaining that ridge in a Cl3+ gully at about 6600'. Once on top of the ridge, it was all "hands in pockets" walking up to the summit.

I took my nap dozing off as I watched an eagle soar overhead...well maybe it was a buzzard circling for lunch...

Jim and Kevin finally returned from Whittier and we started back down the steep switchbacks of the Poe Mtn trail arriving back at the car at dusk.

I'd tried for Whittier a total of three time, succeeding on the last attempt. The first two tries we headed up Longfellow first. In hindsight, though on a map Whittier isn't that far away, it does take a while to get there. Going for Whittier first was the best plan and if there was time tag Longfellow on the way out (and there didn't seem to be time to do this for mere mortals).
Poet Ridge Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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