Mt. Teneriffe

John was free for a hike. I wanted to take advantage of a sunny November day for a longer hike with lots of elevation gain. Saturday was supposed to be mostly sunny but there was some snow and evening temperatures in the 20s near and in the Cascades. We planned on Thompson Lake at first but the sketchy trail down to the lake could be unsafe with a little icy snow. We changed the destination to Mt. Teneriffe via the Teneriffe Road/Trail. That route is 13 miles round trip with 4400' of gain with ups and downs. A really good workout. We met at the Teneriffe Trailhead just up the road from the Mt. Si Trailhead at 7:35 am. It was sunny but right around freezing. I did this hike back in July. A very warm day with wildflowers blooming. This day would be much different. We were on the trail at 7:43 am.

This was my fourth hike from this new trailhead and John's first. He had been up Mt. Teneriffe but not by this route. We made good time up the new spur trail to the old road/trail, past the Teneriffe Falls Trail and along the gently graded road. We stopped for a clothing break at the bridge by the waterfall. We took off a layer for the steeper grade. That 1.5 mile took 30 minutes. Now the trail gets down to business. The climbing begins and does not let up for a long time. Though I hiked the day before I felt good. Heat wears me down but cool temperatures are great. The great is steep for an old road but not for a trail. The hard part is the steady grade mile after mile.

The much shorter trail up Kamikaze/Teneriffe Ridge is steeper and narrow. The road/trail is much more coronavirus friendly. We did not see many folks on our way up. We did pass two women but that was it for the first 5 miles. After gaining about 1000' we started to see some fresh snow on the trail. It was never deep but even an inch or so covered the ground. That makes this route look much better. After a number of switchbacks we reached the small viewpoint. There was a low layer of clouds below us and Mt. Rainier was in a cloud bank. Otherwise the views were pretty good. We continued on a steep climb heading directly away from Mt. Teneriffe. We were getting close to Mt. Si. A flat section gave us a break before another climb up to the junction with a trail over to Mt. Si. A map there showed we had hiked 4.2 miles with 2.3 to go to reach Teneriffe.

We finally headed back towards Teneriffe. On One climb a view opened behind us of the Mt. Si Haystack. The road ends at a saddle and a newer trail heads up to the ridge leading to Mt. Teneriffe. On the way up here we saw a couple groups heading down. The ridge climbs then drops quickly to a saddle before Teneriffe. We climbed then traversed across the to  the ridge on the other side of the peak. We passed the shorter Teneriffe Trail and reached a viewpoint. More clouds below now but good views out. The last part is a rocky scramble in the summer. It is a little more interesting with a little snow on the rocks. We were very careful going up. At the summit the views were really good. Mt. Baker and Glacier Peak were in the clear and snowed fresh snow. Mt. Rainier was now in the clear too. My two most recent hikes up this route took exactly 3:00 to the top. With the snow we went a little slower. We reached the top at 10:51 am. 3:08 total hiking time.

There was a little wind but it was not too bad. There were only a few footprints since the recent snow. We took some photos then dropped down to a more protected spot below. It was not as slick coming down as we feared. Our view was now just to the south but it was pretty good. Mailbox Peak was across the mouth of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River. It was sure to be much more crowded than on Teneriffe. We sat down in the sunshine and had lunch. There were low clouds at the start but they rose. Mailbox went in and out of view. In time most everything went out of view. Through it all we remained mostly in the sunshine. With an added jacket I was warm enough sitting down with snow all around.

We did not leave until 12:24 pm. A full 1:33 from when we reached the summit until we left the lower summit area. In that time half a dozen or so groups came up, headed for the summit, then headed down. All but a couple of those folks were women. John and I were in the distinct minority. We kept on our extra layers while starting down. Once we went back into the forest and lost the sunshine it became much colder. We dropped back to the saddle than climbed back up to the ridge top before dropping once again back to the road/trail at the road end saddle. A few runners past by heading down. Even on the climb to the ridge we did not need to take off our outer layers. From the start of the road we had almost 5 1/2 miles to slog down.

The DNR trailheads have gates and closing times. Generally that is 8:00 pm. Some set dusk as the winter closing time. Online the Mt. Teneriffe Trailhead lists 8:00 pm. The trailhead sign lists it as 4:00 pm. That is a full hour before dark. That was very unexpected. We took just over 3 hours coming up. By leaving at 12:24 pm we had plenty of time to get down before the gate might be locked. Closing this far before dark seems a bit crazy to me. They did not do that before now. Based on the 40+ cars in the lot at 3:00 pm and the folks we saw heading up while we descended it is likely some were still there at closing time. We took a few clothing and food plus water breaks but kept up a steady pace coming down. We did see some folks still heading up but overall not a lot of folks. Another successful pandemic person avoiding hike. As we descended the clouds seemed to dissipate.

We reached the trailhead at just about 3:00 pm. That was 2:26 coming down from below the summit. 13 mile with 4400' of gain is a good workout for older guys like us. The cool temperatures made it a bit easier for me. Other than a little foot soreness I felt pretty good at the end. The summit views were really pretty spectacular. Clouds came in for our long lunch beneath the summit but we remained mostly in sunshine. The crowds were pretty minor over the course of the day. Not even bad near the top. Fall colors were about down though there were some leaf colors on the ground. I'm not sure if I have ever done Mt. Teneriffe twice in one year but with the crowds on other nearby peaks this is the year for it. A really fun first partly snowy hike of the season.

Cascading Creek
Snowy Log
Snow On The Ground
Slide Area
Few Footprints
Looking Back To Mt Si
Sun & Shade
Teneriffe Summit Above
Hiking The Ridge
Swirling Clouds
Me On Summit
John On Summit
Glacier Peak
Mt. Baker & Clear Cuts
Dixie Peak
Clouds & Mt. Si
Blowdown Mountain
Clouds & Mailbox Peak
Steep Descent From Top
Lunch Spot
John Below Summit
Heading Down
Ridge Trail
Icy Branches
Blasted Road
Thinning Snow
Summit Again
Fall Color
Backlit Leaf
Mossy Tree
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2020