Teanaway - Pt. 3784

After slogging through powdery snow the week before I hoped to find an easier snowshoe trip. Janet wanted to get out on a snowshoe trip too. I chose an  easy one for her first venture on snowshoes since surgery in the spring. It also provided a mile of groomed road, a low elevation start and ending, and it was far to the east. I hoped to find manageable snow with only two people breaking trail. We met in Bellevue at 7:00 am and reached the end of pavement on the NF Teanaway Road at about 9:00. The Teanaway Road had been plowed but it was covered with packed snow most all the way from Highway 970. Instead of the posted 50 mph I drove about 35 mph. It was Apple Cup Saturday in Pullman but traffic was not too bad.

We were surprised to be the first vehicle to arrive. There will be logging from Beverly CG to the end of the road this winter during the week. The road will be closed to all but logging trucks. Weekends it will still be a snowmobile playground. There are small signs stating the road is closed but folks will drive it. We met one Jeep a mile in on our way back. It was in the low 20s when we got started. At least there was no wind. The sky was mostly clear though it had been overcast on most of the drive over. The road was hard packed and easy walking. I brought a GPS to log the actual mileage.

A gentle climb then descent back to the river brought us to Stafford Creek in 1.3 miles.  As expected there was no snowmobile track on the Stafford Road. There was a single snowshoe track though. The snow was only 6-10" deep but the snowshoe track was almost that deep. We had no trouble with just boots. All the trees had a coat of snow and ice making for a much different appearance than the usual summer look. The slog to Standup Creek was just over .80 miles.

Our destination was the old lookout site on the ridge that ends above the junction of the NF Road and the Stafford Creek Road. Our circuitous route took three miles from that junction to cover maybe 1/4 mile as the crow flies. While I have been up there in the winter I had never heard of or read a trip report of anyone else visiting. With that in mind I was amazed to find our snowshoe track leading up the Standup Road. The track was very fresh, probably from the day before.

The route finally began to climb as we followed alongside Standup Creek. There are three trees down across the road before the summer trailhead. One is an easy step over, one is a little harder step over, and one is a low crawl under or high step over. We are both over 6 foot and chose the high step over. It was a little tougher for Janet with her new knees but she made it over just fine. A short way up the Standup Road we did stop to put on snowshoes. We could have gone farther in boots but we were beginning to sink a little. Climbing out of the valley it was noticeably warmer. Much more comfortable.

We took a short break just across the bridge at the summer trailhead. The sun was now high enough to shine on us and provide some additional warmth. With 3 1/4 miles behind us we tackled the final mile plus to the end of the road. It is a little steeper here though still not hard. I had expected a lot of work breaking trail but whoever was up there the day before did much of the work for us. There are a couple more trees down on the last section though they are not a problem on foot.

Each time I thought we were near the end of the road we went around another corner and had more to go. At long last we reached the small parking area at road end. The sun was shining and it was very comfortable. Clouds were not far off to the north but we still had blue sky overhead. The earlier snowshoer set off right up the slope to the lookout site. I spied the old trail under snow and we followed that. Part way up we reconnected with the snowshoe track and followed it to the ridge. From there is was a short walk to the lookout site.

The other person had flattened a spot which had frozen to a hard packed lunch spot. It was big enough to have been a tent pad too. It would be an interesting spot for a winter camp. Mt. Stuart is hidden but we could see peaks in all other directions. Hawkins was especially rugged from this angle. We had seen glimpses of Earl Peak starting from near the car but our lunch view was the best. It took us just over 3 hours to summit and we spent about 20 minutes on top. After lunch a little wind began to blow and we packed up and headed down.

The trip out was much faster as we took few stops. Our trench was now well trod though that sugary snow never really did pack down. We kept snowshoes on all the way back to the NF Teanaway Road where we met the two guys in the Jeep. We never did hear snowmobiles all day. I don't know if they were all home watching football or if perhaps some rigs drove far beyond the end of the paved road.

When we reached the car we found three snowmobile trailers and one group tying on a Christmas tree. Definitely not the usual weekend crowd found here in the winter. We finished up at about 3:00 pm. It took about 2 1/4 hours coming down. The GPS logged 4.5 miles in and 4.35 miles out. The total must have been between 8 1/2 and 9 miles round trip. Point 3784 is not a great summit though it does have pretty good view. Except for the last 100'+ gain it is an easy road walk. It is also a place with no permit parking and a great deal of solitude after the first 1.25 miles. We had good weather, good snow, and a nicely laid in track. It was a fine day for a snowshoe trip.

Lone Car At The Start
Cold In The Shade
Close Up Peak
Earl Peak
Sun On The Road
Teanaway River
Destination In Sight
Stafford Creek
Fresh Tracks
Scraggly Tree
Icy Boughs
Downed Tree
Another Tree Down
Janet Back On Snowshoes
Following The Tracks
Standup Trailhead
Standup Bridge
Last Tree Down
Framed View
Snow Sculpture
View East
Clouds To The North
End Of The Road
Climbing To Lookout Site
Tarzan & Teanaway Buttes
Ridge Looking West
Earl & Clouds
Icy Trees
Janet Heading Down
NF Teanaway Valley
Hawkins Mountain
Down To The Road
Highlighted Bridge Railing
Bumpy Railing
Janet & Stafford Creek
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2010