Summit Chief (7464’)
July 27-28 Saturday-Sunday
Dates may change a bit depending on other climb postings as the season progresses. I’ll keep those interested aware of any change.
Summit Chief is located in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness east of Seattle with access via I-90 thru Roslyn to the Cooper lake trailhead (TH el 2800’) - about 2 hours from Seattle. It’s about 11 miles and 2700’ of elevation gain to the camp at Vista tarns (5500’), but I might propose a shortcut to avoid the long, interminable, low gradient switchbacks on the PCT.
Though compact, the Snoqualmie subrange is particularly rugged. The class 3 climb of Summit Chief follows its SE ridge up past Summit Chief Lake into a snow bowl beneath the summit. We then angle northwesterly to cross to the west side of the ridge and ascend the summit from the west. We’ll descend via the climb route, break camp, and return to the cars/trailhead.
Gear requirements: helmet and ice axe, maybe crampons. I’ll bring a shorty rope for a handline if necessary.
Expectations would be to drive up the first day and hike in to camp – it’ll be a long day. We’d summit and exit on the second day. I’ve not climbed Summit Chief previously, though I have been in the general vicinity several times for climbs of Chikamin and Lemah. Last year we turned back short of the summit due to weather.
There is also the possibility of extending the climb to a 3rd day to allow folks either to stay with us in Seattle after exiting rather than make the long drive back to the Willamette valley after summiting. Much will depend on how expeditiously summit day goes.
Summit Chief climb route
Contact: Bill Saur email@example.com