Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Wright Mountain, Mount Roosevelt & Kaleetan Peak

An incredible traverse through the Alpine Lake Wilderness filled with mountain summits, alpine lakes, and waterfalls.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
    • We began at Alpental and took the Source Lake route up to Snow Lake. Conditions were fine with no huge obstacles.
    • From Snow Lake, we traveled up to Gem Lake and refilled our water supply. The group then scrambled up to the summit of Wright. Conditions were fine with no huge obstacles.
    • We scrambled to Mt. Roosevelt from Gem Lake. This required solid route finding as the trail was hard to follow and required bushwhacking. 
    • There was minimal snow patches to get to Mt. Roosevelt. Mt. Roosevelt was dry and the heather to reach the summit was a fairly good condition. It's very steep and requires an ice axe for safe passage.
    • We traversed down to Chair Lake through a chossy gully. There was a lot of scree here and we had to be very careful as we descended downward as we experienced loose rock.
    • Chair Lake was really nice for a water refill. We then scrambled around the lake and up the gully towards Kaleetan Peak. The snow was solid for the most part with some thinning at the bottom of the gully. No postholing though.
    • We dealt with more choss as we scrambled to the White Ledges of Kaleetan Peak. The White Ledges were super solid, especially towards the (climber's) left side.
    • We made it to the summit of Kaleetan Peak with no major issues. 
    • We took the long way down to Melakwa Lake as the chossy rock below the White Ledges felt unsafe to scramble down on. The route was steep but fairly stable. 
    • We hiked back down to Denny Creek. It was a long journey from Melakwa lake filled with rocky paths and waterfalls. 

We started our journey at 4AM at the Issaquah Transit Center. We drove in three cars to the Denny Creek trailhead and consolidated the group into two cars leaving one car behind. The two cars went to Alpental and we began our journey a little after 5:30AM. 


Andy did a fantastic job in setting a solid pace for an endurance-filled day. The weather was clear and we enjoyed fantastic views throughout the trip. All the participants were excellent and we got along very well. Everyone had an ice axe, helmet, and wore mountaineering boots for most of the trip. Many of us brought water filters and a liter water bottle to refill our water supply throughout the day.

Wright Mountain required no gear to reach the summit. We left our packs at Gem Lake and reached the summit with ease. After summiting Wright Mountain, we filtered water at Gem Lake. We switched into our mountaineering boots and wore helmets when we travelled to Mt. Roosevelt. This required route-finding skills as the trail wasn't very distinct.



Mt. Roosevelt was the most challenging of the three peaks we climbed that day. It was very steep and the rock was super loose, so it was essential to move methodically to prevent any potential harm. We used our ice axes to help us get up the heather to the summit. I carried a rope on my back just in case we needed a line down. We ended up not using it.



We continued to travel carefully to Chair Lake as we scrambled down a chossy gully. We dealt with plenty of loose rock here and made constant warning calls. Chair Lake was really nice and we were able to refill our water supply with ease. 



Traveling from Chair Lake to Kaleetan Peak required snow travel around the lake and up another steep gully. We could hear a stream below the snow at the bottom of the gully but we experienced no post holing as we moved conservatively. We traversed through another choosy rock field past the gully towards the White Ledges of Kaleetan.

The White Ledges were super solid for scrambling. There was very little loose rock here and we only had helmets and our mountaineering boots for specific gear. The route up to the summit of Kaleetan was fairly straightforward and solid. There was exposure but I never felt unsafe. The summit views were gorgeous from Kaleetan. We down climbed with no issues and took the long way to Melakwa Lake which required more route-finding.




The trip took around 16 hours and I had a super amazing time doing it! I really appreciated our trip leader's commitment to making sure everyone felt safe and enjoyed moving at a good pace to make sure we could endure the long journey through the Alpine Lake Wilderness. I'd do this again for sure!