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Trip Report    

Mount Roosevelt & Kaleetan Peak

  • Sun, Sep 13, 2015
  • Scrambling

trip date: 9/12/15. Best. Scramble. Ever. Kaleetan is on everyone's list of favorite scrambles. Add in Roosevelt, a seldom-climbed peak with interesting challenges, along with four or five mountain lakes and two waterfalls and you have a recipe for a fantastic day. We left Alpental a bit before 7 am and followed the trail to first Snow Lake and then Gem Lake. Snow Lake was so calm that its surface was a mirror; it provided great photogenic opportunities. We followed the ridge from Gem Lake to the base of Roosevelt and cut across the scree slope. The steep heather bench that five years ago was all heather now has an obvious boot path and exposed roots, making passage easier. One still needs to use an ice ax in high dagger position to get purchase in the soil, but now one only needs one ax, whereas in previous climbs, a second ax was essential. After enjoying summit treats of homemade cookies by Barb Motteler, Steve Russell showed us a shortcut down to Chair Peak Lake and a second short cut to the base of the White Ledges. The White Ledges were clean and dry, making the ascent surprisingly easy. At Kaleetan summit, we enjoyed homemade brownies by Andy. After summitting Kaleetan, we split the group into two, with the adrenaline junkies downclimbing the White Ledges (led by Steve Russell, John Gilbert, and Barbara Motteler), while the adrenaline-exhausted took the longer but boring "outhouse" route to Malakwa Lake. Regrouping at Malakwa Lake, we again broke into two groups -- we sent the drivers racing ahead to retrieve the cars from Alpental while the rest of us took a leisurely trot down to Denny Creek trailhead. The drivers first arrived at Denny Creek around 8 pm, for a 13 hour day, while the rest of us arrived shortly before 9 pm for a 14 hour day. Everyone felt this route is one of the best scramble routes out there.