Rennie Peak - 7742'
Miles: 19.2 * Gain: 4700' * Map: GT BM Butte # 83 & Stehekin #82
• home •| • Mountain section •| • Family section • CascadeDreams
From  • Mt. Gibbs (Pt. 8142) •  last year, the ridge running SE to Rennie and Reynolds looked like it would make for such an interesting trip that I had to put it on the schedule for this year.

Our plan as it finally developed was to drive over Friday night and stay at Neil's in Winthrop.  Get an early start (a little wishful thinking never hurt anyone) Saturday, hike up the unmaintained Reynolds Creek Trail (#402) to a basin at 6500' just ESE of Rennie and make camp.  We'd scramble Rennie that afternoon and then try Reynolds from the south Sunday morning.  A fine plan.

There were five of us on this trip.  Tony, Carrie and I would drive over together.  We'd meet both Kelley (who was driving back from a running camp in Eugene) and Neil at the brewery in Winthrop for dinner.  Saturday morning we were up at a reasonable hour, but no way we could drive within 20 miles of Twisp and not stop at the Cinnamon Twisp Bakery (it is pretty good).

So fortified with a healthy dose of fat and sugar off we went to the trailhead.  The forecast was for temps in the upper 80's and it was already pretty warm when we put on boots and started up the trail at around 10:30a.  Trail #402 is shown on the Green Trails map (#82) as a dotted line (denotes "other trails") and it deserves the designation.  Not hard to follow, but it is pretty overgrown and must have 30 or more opportunities to go over, under around or on downed trees. 

It is pretty reasonably graded though and follows Reynolds Creek WSW.  The only spot we had any problem with was where the trail disappears entering a bog at about 6000'.  We crossed the bog and a creek and found the trail again on the other side.  We went right - uphill - but that fork quickly disappears.  Go left - downhill - it soon makes a rightward swing and a rocky ascent into the 6500' basin before continuing on to the saddle SE of Rennie.

We found a nice spot to set up camp in the rocks with a cold clear snow melt stream nearby.  The view of Reynolds from camp was pretty awesome.

Scrambling Rennie from camp was very straight forward. We hiked the no-nonsense path from the basin up to the saddle.  We stayed lower on the SW side of the ridge leading to Rennie for the first 1/3 mile or so to avoid the ups and downs of the ridge top.  Once past that, we climbed to the ridge and made the pleasant late afternoon hike to the top.  I was convinced that we weren't actually on Rennie, thinking it was the peak still further NW along the ridge to Mt. Gibbs.  But a Fay Pullen register placed in 2004 confirmed that we had in fact found the right peak. Not many entries in 5 years.  We recognized many of the names though.
One thing was for certain though, the terrain between the saddle and Reynolds was not going to be easy or fast.  We all stood for some time following likely routes with our eyes and looking for a place to climb through the cliffs running SE from the south peak.  If we couldn't do that, it looked like a long traverse probably requiring more time than we had.

Returning to camp that evening we fed ourselves, the mosquito's and before turning in discussed what we planned to do about Reynolds the following morning.  Kelley and Tony wanted to get home at a reasonable hour Sunday night so they opted for some exploring in the very pretty basins SW of Rennie. Carrie wasn't feeling well, so she was going to play it by ear, doing what she felt up to in the morning.  Neil and I figured we'd try Reynolds, but unless we could see a way up through the cliffs we knew we wouldn't have time.

So off we went on our separate paths.  Kelley and Tony explored and were able to hike out around 11:00 (and get home by 8:30p).  Carrie scrambled Rennie but was unable to get the cap off the register tube. Bummer.

Neil and I went through the saddle and continued SE on a fairly level traverse at about 6500'.  At each opportunity we checked the cliffs above for any likely breach.  Steep scree consistently led to near vertical rock.  Neil had done this route 15 years ago and vaguely remembered climbing through these cliffs.  I have no doubts that he's capable of doing it, but I didn't see anything I'd consider scrambling up.

So on we went, reaching the major basin east of Reynolds and Camel's Hump.  Looked like we'd need about 2 hours rt from there to make the summit.  We might just barely have enough time before our planned turn around (if we stretched it by a bit), but the dark clouds that had been distant on the SW horizon all morning were quickly getting much closer.  Looked they'd over take us soon.  With T-Storms in Sunday's forecast I really didn't want to take the chance on getting caught high on that ridge.   Trip over.

The weather held off slightly longer than expected and allowed us to pack up dry tents and bivies.  We did get some rain and thunder on the hike out. A nice dinner at the pub in Twisp (good food there by the way and most times we've stopped in, there has been some interesting local talent performing - fun).    Quite a light show over Washington Pass and some heavy rain for the drive home.  I think next year I'll try this again.  Maybe try to string Reynolds, Camel's Hump and War Creek Ridge together into a loop trip.

* includes 4 miles and 1200' on the aborted attempt for Reynolds.   Rennie is 15.2 miles rt and 3500' gain.
Drive to Twisp and head west on the twisp river road for 18.8 miles to mystery camp.  go left, cross the bridge and at the intersection bear right.  follow sign to the reynolds creek trailhead at 3200'. No facilties.
 38  images in this album.
SimpleViewer requires JavaScript and the Flash Player. Get Flash.
All original content ©CascadeDreams - All rights reserved.Last Revision: 15 July 2009