Teanaway & Iron Peaks

Winter is fast approaching but I wanted to get in one more trip to the Teanaway Valley. Gwen was in so we met in Bellevue at 7:00 am and headed east. A stop in Cle Elum and we were off for the NF Teanaway Road. We went to the end of the road exactly four weeks earlier. The first mile was pretty rough but then it was better. A lot has changed since then. The road is much worse now. Big pot holes spread all along the road. We drove much slower than a month earlier. I sure hope there is money to regrade the road next year. With all that we did not reach the trailhead until 9:30 am. There were already three cars there. By 9:45 am we were on our way. It was in the upper 30s with blue sky.

I have been up Iron Peak many dozens of times. Nearly all the trips have been via the Beverly Creek Trail. That route is longer and much less crowded. This day with a side trip to Teanaway Peak shorter was fine. Also Beverly Creek is in shadows by mid afternoon. The Iron Peak Trail remains in sunshine much later. This was only about my fourth time up this trail and only once in the past 15 years. It seemed to be a completely new trip. The grade is very gentle. Many switchbacks slowly work their way up the slope. As we climbed views began and only improved with elevation. Koppen Mountain to the south and Fortune Peak to the north came out early. East Esmerelda Peaks are right across the valley. The west peaks were soon visible too. The way is mostly in forest with many spots for clear views out. My old hiking guide says 2.5 miles to the pass. The newer book says 3 miles. My GPS came out right in the middle at 2.75 miles.

Though there was fairly recent snow there was even more recent rain. The trail was even a creek in one spot. Virtually no snow was seen all day. Just a few scattered small patches. At a slow but steady pace we reached the saddle between Teanaway and Iron Peaks at 11:30 am. We chose to scramble Teanaway first. I had not been up in seven years but mostly remembered the route. From the saddle we climbed up then down to cross the gully. Then we began a long rising traverse across the south side of the peak. this brought us to easier terrain. We hiked up to the east ridge and followed it to the summit. near the top we had a steady wind.

The day had been short sleeve warm after climbing out of the cold valley in the morning. The wind made it seem much colder. We had to but on jackets. The temperature atop the 6779' peak was still 49 degrees with sunshine. The wind was cold.  The views were spectacular. The recent snow added a white to the tops of many of the surrounding peaks. Mt Stuart looked much better in white than the bare rock of just a month ago. Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams were clearly visible to the south. The Stuart Range was uniformly white to the north. Mt.Daniel was all white. Even Glacier Peak was visible and very white. We arrived on top at 12:28 pm. We stayed until 1:00 pm. Being so close to Mt. Stuart it is a fantastic viewpoint. For the first time in all my visits there was no summit register.

We retraced our steps all the way back to the saddle. So far we had seen a single hiker heading down below the saddle and a single scrambler coming down the big gully as we went up. Back at the saddle we met the third and last group of the day. Tigerman and Boot Up from NWHikers were heading down from Iron Peak. After pouring all the rocks out of our boots and talking to the two hikers we headed for the summit of Iron Peak. Some clouds were building. When in the sun it was warm when in the shade not so much. Higher on the ridge we were back in the wind again. We did a snow scramble up Iron Peak on May 14th. That trip via Beverly Creek was mostly on snow. It looked a whole lot different this day. We reached the summit at 2:10 pm. That seemed early but with darkness now at 5:00 pm we did not stay too long.

Great views from Iron Peak. At 2:40 pm we headed back. Big cornices on our previous visit. Just red rocks this time. A short stop at the saddle and then back on the gentle trail heading down. The easy switchbacks made it seem like a long time going down. Actually, it only took 1:15 to make it down. It was fun to go up from the popular side for a change. It made the trip seem much different. Though it is popular much of the season, there were very few folks out on this beautiful clear late fall day. We had a great time.

Koppen Mountain
Tree Hugger
Fortune Peak
MF Teanaway Area
At The Saddle
Bill Peak
Gwen Near Gully
Big Tree Ahead
Gwen Ascending
Rising Traverse
Mt. Stuart From Ridge
Climbing Up
Nearing Ridge
Stuart Range
Stuart & Range
Gwen On East Ridge
Fortune & Ingalls
Near Summit
Gwen On Teanaway Pk
Iron Peak Ridge
Mt. Rainier
Hawkins Mountain
Mts. Hinman & Daniel
Glacier Peak
Cascade Crest Peaks
Heading Down
Gwen & Stuart
Traversing Down
Gwen & Bill
V-Neck & Bean
Mt. Daniel Close Up
Near Iron Summit
Chimney Rock
Ingalls Over Ridge
Bean & Navaho
Teanaway Route
Gwen On Iron Peak
Two Lenticular Clouds
Gwen & Stuart Again
Iron Peak Shadow
Red Rock Saddle
East Esmerelda Peaks
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2014