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Author Topic: April 23,2006 Earl Peak, Teanaway  (Read 3518 times)
Swooz
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April 23,2006 Earl Peak, Teanaway
« on: 04/24/06, 10:27 AM »

Bill S. and I drove over to CleElum Saturday evening, staying at the Red Bridge Road House in order to get an early start into the Bean Creek area of the Teanaway.  A certain spotted owl specialist had assured us that the snow had corned up nicely during the last week.  We arrived at a large tree over the Bean Crk road and met up with several locals from CleElum and E'burg, put together our packs and got going about 9am.  I was fretting about not getting going earlier, but it turned out to be just fine, because the strong winds kept the snow from mushing until mid afternoon.  We followed the creek on the east side, but eventually had to cross over to the west side about a 1/2 mile or less from the meadows.  As soon as the forest opened up I crossed back over and began climbing east towards the summit of Earl.  It was not to be, the snow was too hard and, since many of our party didn't have ski crampons, unsafe.  So we proceeded up valley for another 20 minutes, to where views to the west towards Merry Peak provided us with an opportunity to discuss options.  Many were of a mind to make Merry, but I was adamant about Earl, having been major skunked in an attempt earlier this winter.  In the end the party split, with four going to the west and Pico, Bill, and I heading up Earl.  The sun had been on this aspect a little longer and it was just soft enough to edge a track up to the north ridge.  We then began working our way along the ridge, occasionally staggering in the very strong gusts.  There were some major cornices along there, and so I was keeping well to the right.  At one point I was walking about a foot to the right of the track Bill and Pico had laid in.  I approached a small rock poking through the snow pack and suddenly dropped 7' into a cavity between the cornice and the rock ridge.  Bill turned at my whoop of surprise and saw to his dismay only my ski pole laying on the snow.  I suffered a mild sprain of my left ankle, but was otherwise ok.  Then they wouldn't let me out until cameras were deployed and my ignominy recorded for posterity.  Luckily the rock wall had several good holds so extraction was simple.  Shortly thereafter the snow became very hard and combined with some steep wind rolls, necessitated booting the rest of the way to the summit.  The incessant wind frequently caught our skis, making the last 300' of elevation taxing.  We were able to find a fairly protected site for our lunch break, and we admired the views of Stuart, the Enchantments, the tip of Prussic, and to the south Adams, Goat Rocks, and of course Rainier.  There is nothing quite like lunch at 7000' in the spring, surrounded by peaks and good, staltworthy friends.  After several of Pico's Gingersnap cookies we felt worthy to test gravity's bond and began assessing the snow conditions back down.  Our timing was perfect, no fault corn conditions reigned supreme.  We dropped a 100' or so down the broad south ridge then traversed back north, avoiding a rocky patch directly below the summit, and found our line, a 1500'+ gully with a broad open slope skiers right of about 30-35 degrees.  That was only one of many descent options available.  The snow was consistently firm with a smooth, edgable topping all the way down.  As Larry R. said in a previous post, this was *skiing*.  The mountain gods had delivered and we were suitably grateful.   
We then skinned back up to the glade where our Merry friends had gathered for lunch, just in time to join them for another northerly push up to the ridge above Ingalls Creek and more fab views.  It looks like the Cascadian Coulier is in fine shape now, BTW.  By 3:30 the lower part of the slope was mushed so we reluctantly began the glide out, which was fairly easy, due to the still deep snowpack.
By next weekend the North Fork Teanaway Road should be melted out past Stafford Creek.
« Last Edit: 04/24/06, 10:34 AM by Swooz » Logged
Charles
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Re: April 23,2006 Earl Peak, Teanaway
« Reply #1 on: 04/25/06, 11:05 AM »

Swooz, thanks for the report! I'm a little unsure what you are saying about access, from these two parts of your report:
"We arrived at a large tree over the Bean Crk road" and "By next weekend the North Fork Teanaway Road should be melted out past Stafford Creek."

From the latter it sounds like you could drive to around the N. Fork Teanaway road - Stafford Creek road junction?

I'm not sure what you mean by the "Bean Crk road". Is this the side road up Beverly Creek? But then how could you drive to there?

Any clarification that you can add would be great - thanks.
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Swooz
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Re: April 23,2006 Earl Peak, Teanaway
« Reply #2 on: 04/25/06, 11:26 AM »

Sorry about the confusion, instead of Bean Creek Road, read Beverly Creek Road.  As to driving conditions, Stafford Creek is the end of auto travel.  From there another form of motorized transport was used, but only on open Forest Service roads, unlike the high markers we saw going into the Wilderness area.  The lack of clarity was my not wanting to open a can of worms about snowgo use.
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Charles
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Re: April 23,2006 Earl Peak, Teanaway
« Reply #3 on: 04/25/06, 01:12 PM »

Thanks for the clarification - it all makes more sense now.
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Jim Oker
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Re: April 23,2006 Earl Peak, Teanaway
« Reply #4 on: 04/25/06, 04:56 PM »

Ditto on that. I've often thought it would be nice to have a sled to get in early up to the Teanaway tours, so no crabbing from me on your approach technique. Alas, I'm not quite motivated enough to purchase one, so I end up waiting for the magic weekend when the road is first melted to or near the trailhead. Sounds like Bean/Beverly may be a few weeks out...
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telemack
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Re: April 23,2006 Earl Peak, Teanaway
« Reply #5 on: 04/25/06, 10:31 PM »

Sounds like good spring stuff and I hope the sprain heals quickly! 

I've only been in Teanaway Road in the summer to climb; how close to the road end did you get?  Cascadian or Ingalls/Headlight Bsin would be great but from your report it might be a bit early yet.
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Larry_R
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Re: April 23,2006 Earl Peak, Teanaway
« Reply #6 on: 04/26/06, 04:32 AM »

...where views to the west towards Merry Peak provided us with an opportunity... 

Thanks for the great report Swooz. I'm envious.  Smiley

I'm wondering if 'Merry Peak' is what I've known as Mary Peak, after Mary Sutliff.

For what it's worth, I got the following from John Roper a few years ago:

"Here is my understanding of the toponymy in this area:

Bills Peak (6917).  Popular Mountaineer scramble.  Named for Bill Prater,
who along with his brother Gene was the Sherpa snowshoe inventor and
explorer extraordinaire of the Stuart region. 6980+ was the elevation of
this peak on the 15-minute USGS Mount Stuart.  The map in "75 Scrambles in
Washington" is in error.  Peggy Goldman is aware of this (post publication).
My photo of Bills Peak in her book is correctly identified.

Genes Peak (6779).  After Gene Prater.  See Bills Peak.  Even though these
names are possessive, with an "s," there are no apostrophes on USGS maps.
This is sometimes called Teanaway Peak, but this is redundant nomenclature
with a Teanaway Butte and Teanaway Ridge already appearing on the maps of
the area.  As a safety issue, and as an appropriate honor, the Prater
brothers should stand side-by-side through eternity.

Judi Peak (6560+) and Mary Peak (6680+).  Names bestowed by Mountaineers of
the 1970s or '80s for Judi Maxwell and Mary Sutliff who frequently led snow
and ice ax arrest practices in the Bean basin.

John"

Mary Sutliff is also the author of the now out of print "Teanaway Country", a great little gem of a guide book if you can find a copy.

Larry

« Last Edit: 04/26/06, 04:35 AM by Larry_R » Logged
russ
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Re: April 23,2006 Earl Peak, Teanaway
« Reply #7 on: 04/26/06, 10:21 AM »

Larry_R - Thanks for adding the historical notes, I've wondered about how those peaks were named. What about Earl Peak - any info?
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Larry_R
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Re: April 23,2006 Earl Peak, Teanaway
« Reply #8 on: 04/27/06, 05:29 PM »

Larry_R - Thanks for adding the historical notes, I've wondered about how those peaks were named. What about Earl Peak - any info?

Russ, don't know the derivation of Earl, but I'll see if I can find out. I do know that Miller Peak was named after George F. Miller, a Chelan business man. Ahhh --- the only problem is I can't remember how I know.  Smiley  Somewhere, there is some text on some of the place names in the Cle Elum RD. Now where is it?   Sad

Larry
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Swooz
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Re: April 23,2006 Earl Peak, Teanaway
« Reply #9 on: 05/03/06, 02:08 PM »

Some shots from the trip.

(Edit: link was blowing out formatting - fixed. Charles)
« Last Edit: 05/08/06, 10:53 AM by Charles » Logged
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