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Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - Azurite Peak

Successful 2 Day Azurite climb via Methow Trail / PCT approach.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • First 6.5 miles of the Methow River Trail  are in good shape (obviously cleaned up this season) . The trail maintenance crews didn't make it on the last 1-1.5 miles before the intersection with PCT , that section being overgrown, annoying and slow but still hardly impassible. It wasn't harder than BW2 and despite the overgrown mess we never lost the trail.

    The Trout Creek crossing was straight forward (we leveraged rocks hoping and kept our feet dry).

Party of 5 started at 9:30 am from Methow River Trail under blue skies and made it to Horse Heaven Camp at 2:45. Dealing with the last 1.5 miles of overgrown Methow River Trail forced us to add an extra hour on our approach.  Took off from the camp for the Azurite climb at 3:30 PM and we knew we had a short daylight window and would make it back to the camp by headlamp. To make things worse, while we were half way up to the Azurite pass, clouds rolled in and a light rain started . When we were 1,200 ft below the summit had a group discussion about the not ideal conditions and how we wanted to proceed. We decided to keep going for 15 more minutes and if the conditions would stay the same or getting worse we would turn around. Luckily rain stopped and we decided to go for it . We  made it on the summit at 7:00 pm and didn't spend on it more than 5 minutes knowing that we had to downclimb the chossy  and wet gullies before we had to use the headlamps. Having a competent party helped  to get everyone down safely and after navigating in the dark by headlamps we made it back at the camp right before 11:00 PM.  Next day we slept in and hiked out reversing the same PCT / Methow River Trail approach. 

It's easy to loose the climbers trail to Azurite Pass  and there is no water beyond the last crossing over Jet Creek around 6,000 ft. The faint trails for the campsite and Azurite Pass aren't very obvious (they are marked with cairns  but it's easy to miss them).

Sustained class 3 and 4 scrambling experience in  chossy and challenging conditions and a high tolerance for bushwhacking  are a must for this objective.