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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Baldy (Olympics)

A strenuous day with sweeping vistas from Baldy Peak on the Gray Wolf Ridge.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • As expected, very dry due to NE Olympics rain shadow (especially Mueller Creek basin), yet numerous views of corniced ridges/avalanche signs on surrounding mountains.  Snowshoes were needed for short section between point 6537 and point 6059.  Road to Upper Dungeness trailhead has monster pot holes too numerous to count.

A strenuous day with sweeping vistas from Baldy Peak on the Gray Wolf Ridge. We started from the Upper Dungeness trailhead (it has restrooms) and immediately headed cross country (uphill, up the ridge crest, and almost due west) to the spur trail (which starts on Forest Road 2870-120 at 3,200 ft) and which follows the ridge crest to point 6537 east of Baldy. From this point we ascended Baldy, then backtracked before heading easterly (passing point 6059) towards Tyler Peak (we needed snowshoes for this section). From the basin west of Tyler Peak and east of point 6059 we descended to intersect the Mueller Creek trail to reach its trailhead on Forest Road 2870-120, then hiked a bit south to reach our original junction with the ridge crest spur trail. Finally we retraced/descended our initial cross country segment to reach the Upper Dungeness trailhead. Total time was 10 hours with 5 hours up for ~10 miles and ~4700' elevation gain. Photos from this trip can be seen here.
Note: For a future Fall loop/traverse trip I'd suggest starting from the Upper Dungeness trailhead (restrooms), go cross country along ridge crest, followed by a bit of hiking on Forest Road 2870-120, ascend the Mueller Creek trail (very steep and slippery due to talc like dust makes it better for ascent) to Tyler Peak, traverse westerly along ridge crest to Baldy, then return to point 6537 before descending ridge crest in south easterly then easterly direction to reach Forest Road 2870-120, and finally a bit of cross country travel to reach the Upper Dungeness trailhead.  Another possibility is starting from the upper less drivable trailhead on Forest Road 2870-120 and using the energy saved to go further out along the ridge to Gray Wolf Peak and maybe even further towards Walkinshaw.

 

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