Yellow Hill (Apr 30, 2011)

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yellow_hill_coverConditions: Day hike
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS Teanaway Butte
Area: Teanaway
Reference: 100 Hikes in Washington's Alpine Lakes
Stats: 9.04mi, 3279' gain (round trip)

I've always done Yellow Hill as a late season snowshoe. I don't recall who came up with the idea to do this trip in late May but it turned out to be a great one.

I met Jim at the SE8th P&R and then we headed east. First it was up the NF Teanaway Road and a turn onto the West Fork Road then right onto the Middle Fork Teanaway Road. Our goal was to try to make it as close to the summer TH as possible. There was not snow where the pavement ended so we kept going. Then we hit patchy snow. Most were easy enough to plow through. One was big...we stopped and got out to take a look. It wouldn't be fun to get stuck. Jim was driving his Subaru so he got to make the call. He decided to give it a go and straddled the tracks through he snow and we made it through. From this last snow patch it was clear all the way to the Middle Fork bridge and TH. From here the road narrowed and went uphill with no place to turn around so it was time to park. We parked at the last wide spot before a nasty slump in the road (2700'). Some had managed to go past this slump but it was too much for the Subie. We got out, arranged our gear and started a hike up the road. In a short while we reached the turn for Yellow Hill.

Jim said the TH used to be further up the road. Now, with the TH down lower we walked the former road and in short time came upon several enormous berms, ditches, trenches cut through the old road. These were huge! A person standing in the bottom of the ditch got swallowed up with the level ground above our heads. We ended up taking a longer way around these ditches. Not too hard to find a route. Definitely easier then a climb through one.

We continued up the road and at about 3300' there still was no snow on the route. Beyond this the snow started in patches in the shade and then we hit longer stretches. It was dirt though at the end of the road. From this road end we hiked up to the ridge top (mostly thin snow with some dirt). At the first high point on the ridge we stopped for a short break. The route continues along the ridge ( few drops here and there) all the way to the summit. Snow became deeper at about 4000' and the faint footprints we saw became the occasional post hole. We hit that last open area on the ridge below the summit and we could see the last ~700' climb to the top. It gets moderately steep in some sections but nothing too bad. The post holing became a read pain the last hundred feet or so.

The high point/summit of Yellow Hill is pretty non descript. Today though we got some beautiful views of the surrounding Teanaway peaks. We stopped for a nice lunch and then it was time to head back down.

Flowers were just starting to come out in the area; glacier lilies, spring beauty...
Yellow Hill Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright 2013 Janet M. Putz
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