Deroux Peak (Jun 3, 2017)

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deroux_peak_coverConditions: day hike (scramble)
Gear: ice axe (not used), microspikes
Map: USGS Mount Stuart
Area: Teanaway, WA
Reference: Day Hiking Snoqualmie Region
Stats: 7.72mi, 2306' gain (round trip)


I haven't been out on a real scramble in a while. I figured JimK and I would fix that. Our plan was to head out to the Teanaway and do either Koppen Mtn or Deroux Peak. Since I'd been up Koppen before, I asked if he wouldn't mind doing Deroux.

The road to the trailhead has been recently graded. Nicely graded. Last year it was a mess. This year, any car can get to the trailhead. Just shy of getting to the Deroux Campground I realized I forgot my parking pass at home. Rats. No huge loss though. We parked a bit down the road and walked about 1/4 mile to the trailhead. Two cars were parked there. We figured they would be heading up to Esmeralda. We didn't think it likely we'd see anyone on the ridge out to Deroux since there is no trail from the saddle to the peak (not named on the map but is Pt6260 northward on the ridge). We parked, hiked the short bit to the TH (elev 3774'), then headed up the trail. There were a few very small patches of snow down low. Lots and lots of flowers though. Both of us were expecting a lot more snow. We were happy to trade the snow for flowers though.

We continued up the trail with several stops to photograph the flowers. Lots of shooting stars out. At a bit over a mile (elev 3985') we hit the first trail junction. Right takes you to Gallagher Head Lk, left takes you up to the ridge. We went left.

There are lots of switchbacks heading up to the ridge but it is nicely graded because it is a pack trail. There were only a few minor patches of snow (all easy to step over). There were many trees down. Once made a huge mess of the trail when it shatters as it fell right over the trail. All the rest of the downed trees are fairly easy to step over or around.

At about 2.6 miles we hit the ridge. There is a pack trail that heads to the left up to Koppen. Continuing "straight", the trail takes one down to the Middle Fork Teanaway. We went right...no trail from here on up...up the ridge. Jim began his mantra early..."Rule Number One...Stay on the Ridge. Rule Number Two...Stay on the Ridge..." It was true, whenever we ventured too far off the ridge, we went back to reminding ourselves of the rule to stay on the ridge. There is a faint patch that stays on the ridge. Hard to say if it is same or human made. It is faint but visible. The ridge does involve some minor scrambling with a few spots were hands are needed. Nothing major though. These old knees didn't do too bad. Only one spot where the step was high enough I needed a hand.

We reached the first "bump" at just under 3 miles from the TH (elev 5164) then down to a saddle (elev 5074) and then back up to Pt 5631 at about 3.3 miles from the TH and then one last down to another saddle (elev 5571'). Then time for more up.

There was more snow higher up. Easy enough at first to avoid. At about the 4mile mark from the car (3.75' from the TH) we were at 5741' and hit more snow. Jim scouted out ahead. It was after 1:30pm by now. Jim came back and recommended calling it a day. JimK is great...taking my knees into account. We stopped and had a real lunch (though late) and took in the views. There was more snow up higher than either of us expected. Easy enough to do with the ridge equipment. We were only about .6miles from Deroux and it would have been possible to do it, but it would have been a late exit. Easy enough to just return in a few more weeks when most of the snow is gone and the snow obstacles along the ridge are gone too.

We headed back down to the saddle, another short water break and then back down to the car.
 
Deroux Peak Slideshow

deroux_peak_map
(click on map to view a larger version)

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