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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Mount Skookum & Jolly Mountain

While there were clouds and showers to the west of us, we climbed Skookum (aka The Louvre) in sunny weather. We did have some wind, but that was good because it kept the bugs away.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • No snow,  lots of loose rock in places.  The descent route that we chose to take (see below) led to a trail that exists on some maps, but has mostly disappeared in the brush.

This was originally scheduled as a scramble of Kaleetan, but a wet forecast suggested we try something farther east:  Skookum Peak, otherwise known as The Louvre,  It was obvious as we drove east on I-90, that we made a good choice.  We had sun almost all day, while a generally strong breeze kept the bugs away.

We did the peak from the Teanaway side.  Where the trail crosses the ridge north of the peak, we first followed a path southward and then followed the ridge to a point where we could see 3 pinnacles farther ahead on the ridge.  We dropped below on the east side of the ridge, and then regained it on beyond the pinnacles.  It was a pretty easy scramble to this point.  Here, it probably would be easiest to drop below the ridge again and contour until close to the summit; we took the ridge, and there was a lot of T4+ terrain with loose rock.  It took some time to do this section carefully and safely.  The final bit to the summit area is easy.

There is lots of room on top; there are 2 summits, almost identical in height.  One of  them is just a step up from the broad summit area, while the other is a more difficult rock horn.  2 people chose to work their way over to put a hand on the top of the horn; the rest of us didn't bother.

An alternate route back, making a substantial loop was suggested.  Some maps, including USGS, show a trail that crosses from the Jolly Creek to the Middle Fork of the Teanaway.  After some discussion, we agreed to try descending to that trail, then up the Middle Fork trail to the trail we came in on.  This turned into something of an adventure in a couple of respects.  First, descending the west side of the south ridge was tricky due to loose rock and exposure.  Once we were able to round a corner and get on top of the south ridge, we expected it would be fairly easy the rest of the way.  Unfortunately, the trail we tried to reach no longer exists in places, and where it does, it is not always precisely where the map says it is.  So, we had some brush to bash our way through.  It was a good lesson for all of us that a trail on a map or on Gaia doesn't necessarily exist where it says it does, if it even exists at all.  Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the extra adventure and I think most of the others did too.

I was not expecting much in the way of flowers on this trip, and at the start of the trail the asters and lupine were definitely well past their peak.  However, as we got higher, I was pleasantly surprised at  the quantity and variety of the flowers in some of the meadows and among the rocks.