2016 Peak Bagging

Rock Lake
The year 2016 has undoubtedly been one of my most adventurous to date, I cannot recall one dull weekend or week for that matter. The adventures and trips have been endless and I have been trying to keep up with documenting them all. In this installment I will attempt to provide a brief summery of some of my most memorable peaks this year that I have not yet described in other posts. Listed in order by height I will start with my achilles heel – Wallaby Peak and then Segway into the pride of Okanogan county – Mount Bonaparte.

Wallaby Peak 7,995ft (September 30th)
Kangaroo Range (2015)
The first attempt of Wallaby Peak was in late August of 2014, the second was in mid September of 2015, and finally on my third try I faced my fear of the mildly exposed scramble to the summit. After making it to the top, I was quite embarrassed that I had been defeated by it in the past. However, even after competing in races in the mountains and rock climbing with Apryle, I still maintain an irrational fear of heights. The approach to this peak is always one of my favorites, Spruce and Firs dominating the canopy in lower reaches while beautiful Larch forests begin their reign near the saddle. The understory is blanketed by green heather and the orange/red deciduous plants transitioning to their winter form. Shortly beyond the saddle, the landscape changes to boulders, loose scree and wind mangled evergreens.
Apryle & Zach @ Wallaby Peak (2015)
There is a somewhat traceable trail through the dense forest and boulder field near the start marked out by cairns, but it becomes much more pronounced as the terrain steepens. With over 3100 feet of vertical gain in around 3 miles, there is nothing gradual about the latter reaches of the ascent. Narrow, tight, dirt switchbacks give way to scrambling over rocks and stumbling up scree covered slopes. The final push is a challenge but the views are spectacular. Apryle and I employed a combination of crab walking a glissading on our way back to the saddle. We were fortunate enough to have great weather, but not fortunate enough to have daylight back to the car. We somehow lost the trail and ended up bushwhacking our way through the dense spruce/fir stand in the dark. A memorable summit indeed.

Mount Bonaparte 7,257ft (August 30th)
Mount Bonaparte Lookout
This peak has several approaches, most of them are well over 12 miles, but for the sake of time Apryle and I chose to summit via the shortest one (306 trail). I started the run from the intersection of FR 33 and made the 2908ft approach. The first few miles are on a stone road, but the final approach zigzags up a wide, forested and runnable trail. There is a large tower at the summit that is manned by a the Okanogan National Forest Service. From the tower you are afforded panoramic views of the sage brush steppe of the Okanogan Valley as well as the forested mountains of the Kettle Range.

Rock Mountain 6,852ft (October 8th)
Ice Glazed Pines Near Summit
It is likely that this mountain has some spectacular views, unfortunately Apryle and I hiked this peak while it was engulfed by a cloud. There are a few approaches to this summit as well, but we chose the inconspicuous trailhead off highway 2, about 26 miles west of Leavenworth. This hike has around 4300ft of vertical gain (if you take the tangent down toward Rock Lake). 

Rock Mountain Hike

The hike starts weaving several dozen tight switchbacks along a sparsely treed mountainside. After a few miles, we popped out of the tree line into a patch of ripe blueberries. The colors were spectacular, red leaved vaccinium and green heather, contrasting with the gray/brown ridge lines and the lightly snow-covered trail. The final approach to the summit becomes rocky for a few hundred meters, then turns back to a short tree covered slope. On this particular occasion the trees were glazed over with a sheet of ice and the visibility was low.

Mount Kobau 6,117ft (August 9th)
Lake Osoyoos from Cactus Mountain
This mountain was a nice weekday ascent via a stone road and short dirt trail section in the South Okanagan Grasslands. This also marked our first visit to British Columbia, and the views from the summit did not disappoint. I had to chase a few cows off the road, but other than that the grade was manageable allowing me to hold a solid pace. Typically, one could drive nearly the entire way to the summit, however, in our case, a stone became lodged in the brake calipers of our car, so we decided to run up instead. This worked out well allowing for a 10 mile run with 1558 feet of vertical gain. I would compare the views to that of Mount Bonaparte. Still the most memorable part of this trip was driving the squealing car through the town of Osoyoos, watching everyone cringe and cover their ears. At any rate we pried off the tire, removed the stone and were ready to tackle the next peak!

Thorpe Mountain 5,854ft (August 28th)
Jay & Zach Post Cascade Crest 100
This mountain happened to be placed right in the middle of my pacing stint during the Cascade Crest 100. I was fortunate enough to share about 23 miles of this beautiful course with fellow Ohio ultra runner Jay Smithberger. Thorpe Mountain was a short out and back portion of the race, but Jay and I took some time at the top to soak in the views of Mount Rainier to the southwest. The final 23 miles of the race was quite unrelenting in terms of undulations, but Jay finished out strong in a time of 28:51:16.

Fir Mountain 5,674ft (September 9th)
Apryle Enjoying Fir Mountain Views
This little mountain was a fun adventure, the trail is a little overgrown in places and the final push winds through some steep rocky sections. For being less than 2.5 miles from trailhead to summit it packs a punch with over 2000 feet of vertical gain. It offers some stunning views of the Kettle Range to the east and the Paysayen Wilderness to the west. A very underrated peak that lies right off of highway 20 between Tonasket and Republic.

Mount Bannon 5,017ft (September 8th)
Okanogan Valley Views from Bonaparte
Sometimes the most memorable summits come after a test in route finding capabilities and this peak was most certainly that. While I was scanning our maps for a quick run to put together one Thursday evening, I came across Bannon Peak Trailhead. I had never heard of the mountain and furthermore, we were not sure that this network of horse trails would actually lead to the summit, so we just winged it. We followed NFD Road 200 until I saw a game trail/cow path that continued straight at a bend in the road. Instead of following the road we took to the lightly treaded path which led to NFD Road 025. We reached several false summits as the trail disappeared into the brush and trees. As we were heading back down, I felt compelled to dart up one more ridge in order to find a more official summit marking. Sure enough I found a red ribbon covered stake surrounded by a cairns and was certain we bagged another summit.

Strawberry Mountain 4,743ft (August 5th)
900 Year Old Larches
Apryle and I decided on a fishing trip to three different lakes in the Okanogan National Forest – Lost, Beaver, and Beth. Though I enjoy a relaxing fishing trip, I also enjoy a quick ascent to prominent peaks that define the landscape. Therefore, I made a side trip up Strawberry Mountain, which is only about 3.4 miles round trip with roughly 870ft of vertical gain. Because it is such an easy summit, we were also able to run over to the larch grove nearby that featured two giant Western Larch that were over 900 years old! Finally, on the last leg of the fishing trip I made the out and back run from Beaver Lake to Beth Lake and back, which is a sold 4.4 mile run with 436ft of vertical gain. The trail is mildly challenging and skirts along both lakes, offering great views and less frequented fishing spots.

Cactus Mountain 2,000ft

Atop Rock Mountain
Cactus Mountain was perhaps the most influential mountain of 2016 for my training. I made the summit 13 times, often times more than twice per day. I used it for experimenting with different ascending techniques, practice with hiking poles, building up my weekly vertical gain, and most importantly as a way to warm up before plunging into Lake Osoyoos below. I have fond memories of making the trudge after work and then swimming in the lake with Apryle afterward. The specifics of this mountain are outlined further in July in Okanogan County.

Mountains/Summits of 2016

Mountains/Passes Location Elevation Total Summits
Rondoy Punta Pocpa, Ancash, Peru 15,584ft 1
Sambuya Punta Pocpa, Ancash, Peru 15,551ft 1
Pampa Llamac Llamac, Ancash, Peru 14,108ft 1
Macrash Punta Pocpa, Ancash, Peru 14,016ft 1
Bear Pete Ridge McCall, ID 08,280ft 1
Diamond Ridge McCall, ID 08,000ft 1
Wallaby Peak Mazama, WA 07,995ft 1
Mount Frosty Manning, BC, Canada 07,949ft 1
Crestline Pass McCall, ID 07,890ft 1
Snowslide Summit McCall, ID 07,875ft 1
North Crestline McCall, ID 07,440ft 1
Slate Peak Mazama, WA 07,440ft 1
Fall Creek Summit McCall, ID 07,350ft 1
Mount Bonaparte Tonasket, WA 07,257ft 1
Duck Lake Pass McCall, ID 07,100ft 1
Rock Mountain Leavenworth, WA 06,852ft 1
Lick Creek Summit McCall, ID 06,850ft 1
Mount Kobau Oliver, BC, Canada 06,117ft 1
Thorpe Mountain Salmon La Sac, WA 05,854ft 1
Fir Mountain Wauconda, WA 05,674ft 1
Mount Bannon Tonasket, WA 05,017ft 1
Strawberry Mountain Oroville, WA 04,743ft 1
Mount Si North Bend, WA 04,167ft 1
Whitemore Mountain Nespelem, WA 03,920ft 1
Rattlesnake Mountain North Bend, WA 03,527ft 1
Steamboat Rock Electric City, WA 02,250ft 1
Cactus Mountain Oroville, WA 02,000ft 13
Ninemile Mounain Oroville, WA 01,884ft 1
Wilderness Peak Issaquah, WA 01,600ft 1
Mount Erie Anacortes, WA 01,273ft 1
Little Round Top Anacortes, WA 00,926ft 1
Sugar Loaf Anacortes, WA 00,890ft 1
Goose Rock Deception Pass, WA 00,484ft 1
Lifetime Summits/Passes

Mountains/Passes Location Elevation Total Summits Years
Rondoy Punta Pocpa, Ancash, Peru 15,584ft 1 2016
Sambuya Punta Pocpa, Ancash, Peru 15,551ft 1 2016
Mount Elbert Leadville, CO 14,439ft 1 2012
Mount Massive Leadville, CO 14,429ft 1 2012
Mount Lincoln Alma, CO 14,295ft 1 2013
Greys Peak Georgetown, CO 14,278ft 1 2013
Mount Evans Georgetown, CO 14,265ft 1 2013
Long Peak Estes Park, CO 14,255ft 1 2013
Mount Cameron Alma, CO 14,238ft 1 2013
Mount Bross Alma, CO 14,172ft 1 2013
Mount Democrat Alma, CO 14,154ft 1 2013
Pampa Llamac Llamac, Ancash, Peru 14,108ft 1 2016
Mount Beirstadt Georgetown, CO 14,065ft 1 2013
Macrash Punta Pocpa, Ancash, Peru 14,016ft 1 2016
Hagues Peak Estes Park, CO 13,560ft 1 2013
Mount Yipsilon Estes Park, CO 13,514ft 1 2013
Mount Fairchild Estes Park, CO 13,502ft 1 2013
Mummy Mountain Estes Park, CO 13,425ft 1 2013
Mount Audubon Allenspark, CO 13,223ft 1 2013
Mount Chiquita Estes Park, CO 13,069ft 1 2013
Mount Ida Grand Lake, CO 12,809ft 1 2013
Chief Cheley Peak Grand Lake, CO 12,804ft 1 2013
Hallet Peak Estes Park, CO 12,713ft 1 2013
Hope Pass Leadville, CO 12,600ft 9 2012, 2013
Mount Dunraven Estes Park, CO 12,562ft 1 2013
Mount Chapin Estes Park, CO 12,454ft 1 2013
Flat Top Mountain Estes Park, CO 12,324ft 2 2013
Boulder Grand Pass Estes Park, CO 12,077ft 1 2013
Sugar Loaf Pass Leadville, CO 11,600ft 4 2012, 2013
Twin Sisters Mountain Estes Park, CO 11,428ft 2 2013, 2014
Estes Cone Estes Park, CO 11,007ft 1 2013
Deer Mountain
Estes Park, CO 10,013ft 3 2013
Crosier Mountain
Glen Haven, CO 09,225ft 2 2013
Mount Scott Crater Lake, OR 08,934ft 1 2011
Eagle Cliff Mountain
Estes Park, CO 08,905ft 7 2013, 2014
Guadalupe Peak Guadalupe NP, TX 08,749ft 2 2015
Bush Mountain Guadalupe NP, TX 08,631ft 1 2015
Batman Pinnacle Estes Park, CO 08,600ft 1 2013
Heavens Gate Lookout Riggins, ID 08,429ft 1 2011
Hunter Peak Guadalupe NP, TX 08,368ft 1 2015
Bear Pete Ridge McCall, ID 08,280ft 1 2016
Garfield Peak Crater Lake, OR 08,245ft 1 2011
Green Mountain
Boulder, CO 08,144ft 1 2013
Diamond Ridge McCall, ID 08,000ft 1 2016
Wallaby Peak Mazama, WA 07,995ft 1 2016
Mount Frosty Manning, BC, Canada 07,949ft 1 2016
Crestline Pass McCall, ID 07,890ft 1 2016
Snowslide Summit McCall, ID 07,875ft 1 2016
Emory Peak Big Bend NP, TX 07,825ft 1 2015
Frisco Mountain North Cascades NP, WA 07,760ft 1 2014
North Crestline McCall, ID 07,440ft 1 2016
Slate Peak Mazama, WA 07,440ft 1 2016
Fall Creek Summit McCall, ID 07,350ft 1 2016
Mount Bonaparte Tonasket, WA 07,257ft 1 2016
Glacier Point Yosimite, CA 07,214ft 1 2011
North Franklin Peak El Paso, TX 07,192ft 1 2015
Duck Lake Pass McCall, ID 07,100ft 1 2016
Upper Yosimite Falls Yosimite, CA 06,936ft 1 2011
Rock Mountain Leavenworth, WA 06,852ft 1 2016
Lick Creek Summit McCall, ID 06,850ft 1 2016
Mount Sanitas
Boulder, CO 06,843ft 3 2013
Clingmans Dome GSMNP, NC/TN 06,644ft 1 2011
Mount Kobau Oliver, BC, Canada 06,117ft 1 2016
Sourdough Mountain North Cascades NP, WA 05,985ft 1 2014
Thorpe Mountain Salmon La Sac, WA 05,854ft 1 2016
Lookout Mountain North Cascades NP, WA 05,719ft 1 2014
Fir Mountain Wauconda, WA 05,674ft 1 2016
Mount Bannon Tonasket, WA 05,017ft 1 2016
Strawberry Peak Oroville, WA 04,743ft 1 2016
Mount Si North Bend, WA 04,167ft 1 2016
Sahale Arm North Cascades NP, WA 03,940ft 1 2014
Whitemore Mountain Nespelem, WA 03,920ft 1 2016
Rattlesnake Mountain North Bend, WA 03,527ft 1 2016
Mount Tamalpais San Fransisco, CA 02,572ft 1 2011
Steamboat Rock Electric City, WA 02,250ft 1 2016
Upper Table Rock Central Point, OR 02,091ft 1 2011
Cactus Mountain Oroville, WA 02,000ft 13 2016
Cairn’s Climb Bandera, TX 01,924ft 3 2013, 2015
Boyles Bump Bandera, TX 01,910ft 3 2013, 2015
Ninemile Mounain Oroville, WA 01,884ft 1 2016
Sky Island Bandera, TX 01,850ft 3 2013, 2015
Lucky Peak Bandera, TX 01,780ft 3 2013, 2015
Ice Cream Hill Bandera, TX 01,690ft 3 2013, 2015
Wilderness Peak Issaquah, WA 01,600ft 2 2015, 2016
Mount Erie Anacortes, WA 01,273ft 2 2016
Little Round Top Anacortes, WA 00,926ft 1 2016
Hill of Life Austin, TX 00,892ft 8 2014, 2015
Sugar Loaf Anacortes, WA 00,890ft 1 2016
Goose Rock Deception Pass, WA 00,484ft 1 2016