Colchuck Peak (East Route) Trip - '90

   On August 26, 1990 Erich, Dan and I (Wayne) left Seattle at 4:15 AM with the intent to climb Colchuck Peak (8705’).  Per Wayne’s Outdoor Journal, we drove to the Colchuck Lake trailhead.  During the drive to Leavenworth, WA, Erich asked Dan the following question: Do you know where the photo was taken regarding the cover of Reference 1 (see references below & photo)?  Unexpectedly, Dan said he can answer that question, since he is the climber that is in the photo… During that drive, I could visualize the photo in my mind’s eye, as I too had a copy of reference 1.  It was a pleasant surprise for Erich and I to receive the aforementioned information from Dan Davis. It was inspirational.  

   We left my truck and started hiking at 8:00 AM. We reached Colchuck Lake at 10:00 AM. When we reached the toe of the Colchuck glacier, we unexpectedly had to adjust one set of crampons.  Fortunately, I had a wrench in my day pack that allowed us to adjust the crampons. We originally intended to climb a class 5 route on Colchuck Peak, but changed our plans, since we were behind schedule due to the drive from Seattle plus the unexpected crampon adjustment.

   We reached the summit via the East Route at 4:40 PM.  We took a 20 minute break on the summit. We then started our descent and reached Colchuck Lake at 8:00 PM.  We arrived at the trailhead at 10:30 PM.  And we were back in Seattle at 2:30 AM.  It was a long day, but very worthwhile.

Note 1: Photos from the relevant "Three Letters to the Editor 1990"  can be found at Sitemap->States (US)->Washington->Three Letters to the Editor-May 1990.

Note 2:  The Colchuck glacier was very icy when we did the climb.  One should use extreme caution on the glacier.  We were glad we had helmets on, as some rocks fell from above. A route description is contained in Reference 2.

Note 3: Photos from the relevant McClellan’s Butte Trip can be found at Sitemap->States(US)->Washington->McClellan’s Butte - Easter Sunday 1990.


1. “Challenge of the North Cascades", by Fred Beckey, 2nd printing 1977

2. “Cascade Alpine Guide: Vol. 1: Columbia River to Stevens Pass”, by Fred Beckey, 2nd edition

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