Hemlock Peak


Alpine Scramble - Hemlock Peak

Hemlock 5560

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  • Technical 3, Strenuous 3
  • Mileage: 7.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,300 ft
7:00 AM at See Notes
Hemlock Peak is on the ridge between Chair Peak and the Alpental Ski Area.
Based on past experience, scrambling in early December can be a bit dicey. Often there is snow, but not enough to cover the rocks. But let's go see for ourselves. It will probably be the last chance we have to go up the Melakwa Lake Trail before the road is blocked by snow and the route becomes to dangerous due to avalanches.

ROUTE: We will start at the Melakwa Lake Trailhead, (the one between the eastbound and westbound lanes of I-90 at Exit 47. We will follow the trail to Hemlock pass, then turn right and head up to the peak. If anybody has any recent useful information about the route, please share it with me. Note: There is a good chance the road will be blocked too far from the trailhead to easily walk it. Anybody know for sure?

DIFFICULTY: The total gain is about 3500’ and the distance is about 8 miles or so. The pace will be moderate.

ALTERNATE DESTINATION There are a whole bunch of reasons we might need to change the destination. For example: road blocked, high avalanche danger, heavy rain at all elevations, dense clouds on our destination's side of the pass, but bright sun on the other side. Under those circumstances, we will decide as a group where would be most enjoyable to go. In any case, we will choose a destination somewhere between Mt Si and Mt Margaret (which is just a couple miles past the summit). So the driving distance won't be significantly different. Plan on being flexible and bring all your Snoqualmie area maps. You are welcome to send me your suggestions.

Trail Pass.
Ice Axe - Required.
Snowshoes – Required. Must be ones with big claws on the bottom such as MSR.
Avalanche Beacon: – Highly recommended, but not required.
Avalanche Shovel – Highly recommended, but not required.
Avalanche Probe – Highly recommended, but not required
Crampons – Leave them at home for this trip.
Umbrella - Optional, but if it is raining (even lightly), I will have mine out for the hike up the trail.
Yak Trax - If there is heavy rain, we may wimp out and just hike up Mt Si or Mailbox. In that case, you will need these for the top section of the trail which is icy and not suitable for snowshoes. Some of the above items will be left in the cars when we know for sure where we are going.

MEETING PLACE / TIME: We will meet at precisely 7:00 AM at the Tibbetts Valley Park Park and Ride at SR-900 & Newport Way in Issaquah. This is the P&R; south and across the street from the parking garage which is being built at the Issaquah Park and Ride. Directions to Park and Ride Look for me by my red Dodge Caravan. Call me on my cell phone if you will be more than 10 minutes late and don't want us to leave without you. 425-442-6411.

ESTIMATED RETURN TIME: We should be back by 4 - 5 PM. Earlier if the weather is nasty. Avalanche Center: www.nwac.us/products/SABSEA

Hemlock Peak

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

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