Cannon Mountain, 8,638' from just below Coney lake. The true summit is the center of the photo.  The red line shows where the Northwest Ridge route drops off the ridge and then returns.

Cannon Mountain 8,638'


In the Stuart Range in the Enchantment Lake Basin and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness

August 28, 2004

One of the Bugler's 100 highest of Washington, Number 38



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Cannon Mountain is one of the big Bugler 100, located in Stuart Range near Leavenworth, WA. Located on the Western edge of the Lost World Plateau, Cannon Mountain is almost impossible to see except from high on another of the surrounding peaks.

The Trailhead is Mountaineer Creek Trailhead, almost 4 miles south of Icicle Creek Road. This is also the Trailhead for Stuart Lake, Colchuck Lake, Aasgard Pass, Colchuck Peak, and Dragontail Peak.

However, instead of heading up the Trail, walk up the old logging/fire road. The old road, (now a trail) is completely washed out in a couple of miles, so be looking for a cairn or faint trail that ascends the ridge.

Up the North Ridge meant bushwacking through old burnt trees from 1994. This section was easy compared to the one below.

Prior to the 1994 fire there was a real Trail in place. Now there are only bits and pieces, but very welcome when seen. I wonder if the forest service will ever repair the trail to give access to Coney Lake?  In the meantime there was lots of brush, and many down trees.

Above 7,000' the going became easier. Larches are always a welcome site. Once on the ridge, about 7,900', there are two choices. Descend to Coney Lake and then up to the summit, or, continue to follow the ridge to the summit.

Looking back down the North Ridge from just below the summit. I followed this up to the hump on the left, then had to descend almost to the lake, and then come up again!


Coney Lake can be seen.

I followed the ridge, weaving in and out, and over, large granite blocks. Sometimes it was easier to drop a little off the ridge to the West. Eventually however, above Coney Lake I was forced to descend off the Ridge to avoid a very difficult section.

At this point I began to have doubts that I could reach the summit, as the late season snow and ice was rock hard. I had not brought an axe or crampons on this hot summer day.

Exploring the possible couloirs I found one that was free of ice and scrambled up it back to the Northwest Ridge. From here it was only class 3 up the last few hundred feet to the Cannon Mountain summit, 8,638'. The actual summit was a big block, and there was no register, nor sign of any recent climbers.

On the Summit I was treated to no wind, and amazing views in every direction! Dragontail Peak, 8,840', and Colchuck Peak, 8,705' could be easily seen. Also, Cashmere Mountain, 8,501', to the west, and big Mount Stuart, 9,415' to the south. The Enchantments are extraordinary from any vantage point.

Jonathan Pryce did Cannon Mountain via Prusik Pass. This is a great option if you are already in the Enchantment Lakes.

Wow! Dragontail Peak, 8,840', and Colchuck Peak, 8,705'.

An amazing view, it almost does not look real.

Rather than retrace my route along the ridge I quickly descended directly to Coney Lake. It was fast and easy return, traveling among the big blocks. I especially enjoyed the Coney Lake Beach. What a great camp Coney Lake would be! I followed the stream draining the lake and then ascended back to the Ridge. Then it was back down in the brush.

Coney Lake with it's sandy beach. I didn't have time to swim or work on my tan, but I did take a quick cowboy bath, and refill some water.

 A very long, difficult, and challenging day. The Northwest Ridge gave me some route finding difficulties. 10 hours round trip, 10 miles, 5,300' elevation gain.

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