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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Kaleetan Peak/South Route

Successful summit via the "toilet route"!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Stream crossings were trivial. Recommend helmets after point 5,700. 

We started from the Franklin Falls TH since the Denny Creek TH is still closed. Do not park outside the designated area--a ranger was out ticketing cars parked along the road. We hiked to Melakawa Lake without issue--stream crossings were trivial. At Melakawa Lake we discussed our route options: the "white ledges" or the "toilet route" (named presumably because it passes by a toilet). We opted for the toilet route, climbing up toward point 5700. There were a couple veggie belay spots that could be tricky if the rock were slick, but since it was dry, we had no issues. The second of these was at 4,900 ft and was where I had turned around a couple times before. Above this section the trail mellows into a combination of rock hoping and switchbacking trail. The blueberries in this section were incredibly ripe and sweet!

From point 5,700, the trail drops down a few hundred feet to traverse across a tricky section of ridge. Here I would recommend donning helmets as rockfall is a hazard on this steep trail. Eventually we reached the base of the gully leading to the summit. The low-angle rock was dry--great for scrambling as long as you take care to avoid knocking any loose rock. Exposure here was low and most of us thought it felt more like a T3 scramble.

We reached the summit in a little over 4 hours. Eventually the clouds began to clear and we got partial views to the east. Returning, we took our helmets off after reaching Point 5,700 and got back to the trailhead without incident, capping off a great trip!