|Looking down the Southeast Ridge Route to the summit of Hoodoo! Those are Larches below.||
Hoodoo Peak 8,464'
| The Libby Creek Trailhead in the Lake Chelan Sawtooth
Wilderness east of the Cascade Crest. Turn on Blackpine Road off State Route 153 south of
Twisp, then go 11 dirt road miles to the Trailhead. The road is in good condition and
suitable for cars. We camped at the little campground at the Eagle Lakes/Crater Lake
Trailhead. It was a short drive over to Libby Creek Trailhead, 4,400 in the morning.
Doerte saw a beautiful brown bear just below the Trailhead. He appeared to be a 2-3 year old teenager. The young bear ran away as soon as he noticed our excitement.
The Libby Creek Trail is overgrown with grasses the first mile and needs some more use. There are many huge Pondorosa Pines and some Aspens at the lower end. Overall it is in excellent condition, with only a few down trees across the trail. We took the trail 6 miles to Libby Lake, 7,618, where we had lunch. It was fun to sit and watch the trout jump completely out of the water!
Homesteaders years ago had built a small cabin at 7,100. The cabin is still in pretty good condition although there are trees growing on the roof. They also built a dam to raise the level of the lake for irrigation later in the summer. However, the design was flawed, and it never worked quite like it was intended.
The lake is bordered on three sides by Raven Ridge, 8,580, which provides a dramatic wall dropping straight down to the lake. Subalpine Larch dominate the area. The ground was a thick carpet of larch needles. Debate still rages in many circles as to how a conifer can be a deciduous tree! These unique beautiful trees loose their needles in the winter, grow new ones in the spring, resemble a fir in the summer and turn golden yellow in the fall. Their needles are soft to the touch.
In high winds, Doerte and I climbed the ridge north of the lake to 8,300 and then traversed and dropped down to the South Saddle, 8,080. From there we just ascended the Southeast slope to the summit of Hoodoo Peak. The route was though, over, and around big blocks and boulders, class 3.
Some Larch grew in small dirt areas at almost 8,000. In between the big block and boulders we saw lots of blooming pink and white Mountain Heather. Davidsons Penstemon, a beautiful tubular flower with long deep blue/purple petals also grew in this alpine environment.
The summit offered amazing views of the to the west of Star Peak, 8,690, Courtney Peak, 8,392, and big Oval Peak, 8,795. We could see the North Cascades socked in with clouds and wind. To the east was the Methow Valley, Okanogon, and Columbia River Valleys as the foothills fell away.
The summit register revealed that only about ten parties a year summit Hoodoo. The peak is popular with Washington Alpine Club members however, as Pat OBrien and Josh Woods were up last September, and Sherry Johnson and Jonathan Price were up in June. Jonathan thought it was such a great summit he did it twice!
Doerte and I had a great wilderness trip, seeing only one party of two the entire Sunday! 8.5 hours, 13 miles, 4,500 elevation gain. A few miles below the trailhead we saw another bear! This one was a youngster and jet black. He did what he was supposed to do when he saw us, and ran away!
|This website is a photographic and descriptive resource of routes and climbs, not a hiking guide. By using this site the viewer releases the creator from any and all liability. Hiking/climbing is a potentially dangerous activity and requires proper equipment, skill, experience, preparedness and awareness at all times.|