Mount Roosevelt - 5835' & Snow - Gem Lakes Miles: 14 Gain: 3700' GT Snoqualmie Pass #207
• home •| • About • CascadeDreams
 September 11 , 2010
The solid brass tube tucked securely between the rocks on the summit held a register placed by the Mountaineers in 1993. All the rough manila pages of the classic flip open tablet with green vinyl covers were now full. Some peaks, especially those in a heavily traveled area like Snooqualmie will fill a summit register in two or three years but for Roosevelt it take much longer.

We left the Snow Lake trail head at 8:30a under cloudy skies but with a promising forecast.  The Snow Lake trail is a highway, well graded and maintained and quite popular as the lakes along it's route are pretty spectacular.  It's about 5 miles from the TH to Gem Lake and I think we pulled in there at 11:00a.

From Gem Lake we crossed the outlet and followed an obvious path as it climbed to the top of the 5080'+ closed contour to the W.  The path continues, following the ridge running SW.  This is a nice short and mostly flat walk that weaves it's way through scrub trees who obviously work very hard to live on the ridge crest. 

At the far end, near Roosevelt's NE flank, the path drops slightly to a saddle and immediately begins to steeply ascend heather and rock 400' to a small talus field at 5400'. From the talus the path appears to traverse S along the lower margin of the field but this doesn't appear to lead anywhere.  Instead climb straight up the rocks into the trees above.

Here you'll be treated to another steep heather and rock ascent, this time for just 200' where the path

and the ridge disappear as you step onto the open rocky slopes below the north summit.  A flattish traverse S at about 5600' takes you above cliffs and into the basin between the N and S summits.  On this day we couldn't really see much at the point where the ridge ended and actually climbed to just below the top of the north summit before realizing that we needed to head further S to get into the basin.

Once back on track we entered the basin and contoured around to the SE side.  The signature summit gully for which Roosevelt is known starts as a dirt ramp leading diagonally up from right to left.  At the top of the ramp, the route enters the gully and begins a steep scramble up heather and dirt (today it was mud).  There is some exposure in the mid section of the summit gully and the scrambling can be tricky, especially on the descent.  We all used axes for extra security on the wet heather and slick mud.

At the top of the gully you gain the summit ridge and it's a nice rock scramble north to the summit. We found at least two paths and took both of them.  Lunch on the summit was extended as the clouds began to break up providing tantalizing glimpses of Kaleetan's awesome N face.

An uneventful descent and hike back to the trail head. I can see why Roosevelt isn't done very often though.  While the hike in covers some really beautiful territory around the lakes, it is a long long way from the trail head, the scrambling up from Gem Lake is strenuous and the final gully, which from the basin does not look hospitable in the least, may turn many around just short of the goal.
drive I-90 to west summit (exit 52). On the north side of the freeway go right on the alpental Road. use the parking area closest to the temporary barricade (in winter its the lot closest to the maintenance shed).   across the road from and just north of the toilet find the snow lakes trail #1013.

more reports:

 49  images in this album. right click for larger version
SimpleViewer requires JavaScript and the Flash Player. Get Flash.
All original content ©CascadeDreams - All rights reserved.Last Revision: 12 September 2010