Cascadedreams Home   >>   2008 Trips - All   >>   Kaleetan Peak - August
Kaleetan Peak - 6259 '
Miles RT: Elevation Gain: Rating:
12 4800' S4 - T4
Map: GT - #207 Snoqualmie Pass
Season: summer

Whenever the view from where I am includes Kaleetan, two things come immediately to mind.  First; very impressive looking summit and second; no way that's a scramble.  The secret is a hard to see gully that relaxes the angle of the otherwise mostly vertical south face just enough to provide direct access to the narrow and nicely exposed summit.
I parked at the Melakwa Lake Trailhead around 7:45a and was hiking up Trail #1014 by 8:00am.  Returned to the car 10 minutes later having forgot once again to leave the  #?&*)%$  NW Forest Pass on the dash, and upon reaching the car realized that it probably wasn't necessary anyway (how many hiking up to the water slide bother with a pass?).  Disappointed that I didn't have that epiphany before I walked back to the car, I chucked the pass on to the dash, turned around and headed back up the trail to Hemlock Pass and Melakwa Lake. 
At the lake, cross the outlet log jamb and look for a small sign pointing the way to the toilet.  Continue past the facilities climbing steeply through the trees to the minor ridge running NNE toward Pt. 5700.  The path slides off to the left (west) side of the ridge as it follows the upper margin of a talus field below bands of trees (pictures 8 & 9) to the foot of a rocky slope leading to Pt. 5700 (picture 10).
From Pt. 5700, the path heads north along the crest of the ridge, drops down a couple of hundred feet on the west side to avoid rough terrain, traverses talus beneath cliffs and again following the right margin of a talus slope regains the ridge just south of the summit. Follow the ridge to the obvious gully dividing the two high points.   The descent was the reverse of the ascent for me, although it looked like it might be possible to leave the ridge below the summit block and exit via at least one very steep gully east down to Melakwa Pass or the upper lake.

 August 17, 2008      
Denny Creek water slide  
Trail #1014  
Keekwulee Falls
Hemlock Pass  
Pt. 5700  
Melakwa Lake
"Toilet" Route  
West side of   ridge  
West side of the ridge
Talus to Pt. 5700
First view  
Jagged ridge
A look back  
Summit gully
Why the face?  
Rainier across the summit
View east  
View southeast
Summit gully pano  
South ridge & Pt. 5700
Summit gully  
Rocky traverse
Pt. 5700
Kaleetan & Chair Peaks  
Trail #1014
Afternoon at the water slide  
Route Map
Drive I-90 to exit 47, and go right on the frontage road on the north side of the freeway (Denny Creek Rec. area).  Follow to your next left, signed for Denny Creek.  Follow for 2.5 miles or so and just past the Denny Creek Campground go left on a road signed Melakwa Lake Trail. Quite a few parking spots, but this is also a popular trail and easily overflows to shoulder parking at some distance from the trailhead.
All original content © 2008, All rights reserved.