DeRoux Peak

Bob and Kolleen planned a scramble in the Teanaway area and I tagged along. Esmerelda, Iron, Navaho, Miller, Iron Bear, Jester, and now DeRoux. I seem to be spending most of the spring and early summer in the Teanaway. We reached the DeRoux trailhead at 9:35 am and were on the trail soon after. No other cars in the lot when we arrived. Perfect hiking conditions. Blue sky and cool but still short sleeve weather. When I scrambled Esmerelda Peak from this trailhead four weeks earlier we had to climb over half a dozen logs in the first quarter mile. Now they have all been cleared.

Just across the bridge over the NF Teanaway River is the big meadow. It was just starting to fill with blooming shooting stars before but now it is an acre of them. I waited for the return to stop for photos. Several other large logs before the crossing of DeRoux Creek were also cleared. No snow down low now too. One big log just over head at the trail junction was still there. We took the left trail and headed uphill to the saddle between Koppen and DeRoux Peaks. It had been eight years since I had been on this trail. That was on my first and only scramble up DeRoux Peak. Bob and Kolleen had never been to the summit.

The trail is for horses and graded very gently. Long easy switchbacks up the slope. The trail is in pretty good condition. There was only one spot with trees down across the trail. There were several big ones. At the same place there are several more big logs that fell and were cleared years earlier. We scooted over the logs and kept going. The two chichuahas just went under all the impediments. Those dogs climbed all the way on their own, trail and off trail. Just before the saddle is a rock that resembles Mt. Stuart. Bob ascended Baby Stuart.

It was just under three miles to the saddle. There was a little snow in forest before reaching the saddle but very little. It will be gone in a week. We took a break looking far down the  ridge at DeRoux Peak. It is really just a high point on the ridge. On the way there are a number of ups and downs. We gained only 1200' reaching the 5000' saddle. The summit is at 6260'. My feeble recollection of the route was taking an animal track below the first bump then sidehilling on almost non existent trail before giving up and climbing straight up to the ridge. On the way back I stayed on the ridge and had no trouble at all.

We started out by climbing the ridge over the first bump and dropping down to the next saddle. Up again and then down. There were some snow patches on the right side below the ridge but none on the sunny left side. Some glacier lilies, lupine, Indian paintbrush, plus a number more wildflowers. Not a bad flower show at all. The scrambling was steep in a few places with some loose scree but for the most part it was not bad at all. We traversed from right to left at least half a dozen times. The summit went in and out of sight and did not seem to be getting much closer. It was getting warm but a cool breeze kept us comfortable.

Views improved with elevation. Koppen was behind us. Iron and Teanaway Peaks across the  valley. Mt. Stuart came into view. Esmerelda still has quite a bit of snow even a month after I was up there. Hawkins Mountain is the king of the area. Not far away and big with two main summits. At long last we reached the final ridge. A few steps up snow brought us back onto the ridge top. The snow along the summit ridge was the most we saw all day. Looking at the back side of DeRoux from Esmerelda and Hawkins the rock is bright red. When on the summit it is really bright red.

It was already 12:45 pm when we reached the summit. A coat was in order as he wind was cold but it was very pleasant in the bright sunshine. Jolly Mountain came out from behind Skookum where it had been hidden all day. The views are really pretty exceptional. From Rainier to Stuart and the Cascade crest. For such a relatively low peak the views are among the best in the Teanaway area. We spent a half hour on top and then headed down. Not a fast descent with the ups and downs but a whole lot easier than the ascent. I thought it might be a knee grinder but it was not bad at all. The last bump before the saddle now has a track around it so we did not stay on the crest here.

We chopped off 20 minutes vs. our time up from the saddle. The gentle trail down was easy on our knees. Just below the big downed trees we met a horse party. They carried a chain saw. We heard the saw from quite a distance. They had removed the logs at the junction. I'm sure they took care of the big logs across the trail. It should be completely clear now to the saddle. They were the first people we saw all day. We saw another group farther down. Two groups is more than I have been seeing this spring/summer but not bad at all. I'm sure there were 90 cars at the Ingalls trailhead only a few miles up the road. The high was forecast to be in the mid 60s at the trailhead but it was over 70. Warm but still not hot. Perfect hiking conditions all day long.

It was fun to be out on the trail with Bob and Kolleen again. We had not hiked together since last year. We carried ice axes but never came close to needing them. The snow on all the surrounding peaks did wonders for photography. By July most years the Teanaway peaks are uniformly brown. Not this year. For the day we hiked and scrambled 9 miles with 2900' of gain. A fine day in the mountains.

GPS Track

Esmerelda Peaks
Mini Mt. Stuart
Ridge To Summit
DeRoux Saddle
More Peaks
Koppen Mountain
Arrowleaf Balsamroot
Columbia Lewisia
More Flowers
Old Snag On Ridge
Hawkins In Sight
Flowers Along Hillside
Scramble Spot Above
Indian Paintbrush
Ridge Walking
Rainier Pops Up
Snowy Ridge Is Summit
Peaks To The North
Red Rock
Bob Nears Summit
Last Bit Of Ridge
Bob At Summit
Hawkins Mountain
Mt. Daniel
Skookum & Jolly
Heading Down
Red Rock & Snag
View Of Whole Ridge
Lone Balsamroot
Easy Hiking
Big Patch Of Yellow
Shooting Stars
Lone Shooting Star
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2011