Dark Peak

Stehekin, Washington

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Dark Peak is a good example of the drudgery involved in climbing some of Washington’s highest peaks. Just getting within striking distance of the summit requires perseverance: you must take the boat up Lake Chelan, ride the shuttle bus, then hike for miles. After that, depending on the season, you must navigate through a long stretch of either leg-wrenching snow or cursed slide alder to get to the pocket glacier, which still has dangerous ice patches and crevasses. So why climb Dark Peak? Many climbers choose to forgo the headache. But the remote and wild location ensures crowds found on better-known mountains won’t plague you here. It is likely you will be completely alone after leaving the valley floor. Also, this peak is spectacular in its own right, and it offers a stirring view of neighboring Bonanza Peak. Although this trip requires focus and energy, in return you’ll get the unmitigated feeling of exploration and adventure, as if you were the first person on earth to be here.
Washington's Highest Mountains: Basic Alpine and Glacier Routes

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Washington's Highest Mountains: Basic Alpine and Glacier Routes

by Peggy Goldman (Wilderness Press)

Dark Peak is a good example of the drudgery involved in climbing some of Washington’s highest peaks. Just getting within striking distance of the summit requires perseverance: you must take the boat up Lake Chelan, ride the shuttle bus, then hike for miles. After that, depending on the season, you must navigate through a long stretch of either leg-wrenching snow or cursed slide alder to get to the pocket glacier, which still has dangerous ice patches and crevasses. So why climb Dark Peak? Many climbers choose to forgo the headache. But the remote and wild location ensures crowds found on better-known mountains won’t plague you here. It is likely you will be completely alone after leaving the valley floor. Also, this peak is spectacular in its own right, and it offers a stirring view of neighboring Bonanza Peak. Although this trip requires focus and energy, in return you’ll get the unmitigated feeling of exploration and adventure, as if you were the first person on earth to be here.

©  Peggy Goldman/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Stehekin
Distance: 29
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Duration: 3 – 4 days
Local Contacts: Lake Chelan National Recreation Area
Local Maps: USGS: McGregor Mountain, Mt. Lyall, Agnes Mountain
Driving Directions: Directions to Dark Peak

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May 2018