Wallaby Peak, 9/2/2019

On the tail end of our Labor Day weekend at Washington Pass, Melissa suggested we scramble something together. She found Wallaby peak, and we thought it would be a good way to get some exercise but not commit ourselves to a long day and then a long drive home. We found even more insane views than on SEWS, some fun class 3 scrambling, some loose scree, and great exercise.

The approach to Wallaby follows the “well defined trail” to Kangaroo pass. Well defined is true eventually, but before you get to the trail, you’ll have to do some boulder hopping and traveling in scree. Just remember that the trail mostly contours in the valley (rather than going uphill), and you should be fine.

We made it to Kangaroo Pass in 1:15 and took a quick snack, water, and shoe break. From here the route steepened as we started up the ridge.

I’m fascinated by how different rock affects movement. Granite looks to bend and curve and ripple. It’s not friable and exposes cool rounded corners, cracks, and little nubbins to step on. The lower ridge didn’t disappoint, and we found some fun class 3 moves in between trail walks.

A few hundred vertical feet later and the route travels up, across, and up scree. The last bit to the summit is reasonably steep and loose. The worse can be avoided by sticking close to the sides of the gulley.

We arrived to the 7995’ summit in 2:30 and were blown away by 360-degree views. We had the summit to ourselves, a nice break from the crowds of the previous two days.

After lazing on the summit for 30 minutes, the impending descent got to me and I we started on our way down. The loose scree wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected but was still steep and loose. Some careful scrambling down and we quickly found solid ground. Most of the way back to the pass we encountered our first people of the day, made some casual conversation, and continued on our way down.

We were able to find and follow the trail a bit more on the descent, but still found ourselves lost in some boulder fields. We eventually worked the problem and made it back to the cars without difficulty.

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