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Ascent of Ten-Four Mountain on 2010-11-05

Climber: Ken Russell

Date:Friday, November 5, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Ten-Four Mountain
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:4384 ft / 1336 m

Ascent Trip Report

I tried a new route, using the east ridge. The road approach is the same as in Edward Earl's report. You park on the Proctor Creek Rd at the gate for NF 6021. The main road is followed to a saddle south of Haystack Mt. and then south to a crossing of Duffy Creek. A brand new bridge has been built across the creek and you follow the newly rebuilt road as it traverses up to the northwest.

The rebuilding ends at about the 2,700 ft level and you continue on an old abandoned road which is farther up the hill than the road shown on the topo. At about 2,800 you come to the turnoff used by Ken J., Eric N., Dean M., and Edward E., to access their route up the north slope. Instead, continue straight ahead. Up to this point, the brush on the abandoned road wasn't too bad. From 2,900 to the end of the spur at about 3,400, the angled trees and brush across the road become quite thick.

The abandoned road ends in a clearcut that must be at least 15 years old, based on the height of the replanted trees. You want to head up to the west to attain the ridge top. Thick young trees slow the progress and as you approach the edge of the old clearcut, there are numerous old growth blowdowns to scramble over and around. Follow the ridge top to Pt. 3816, which has a cluster of large rocks on it. At first I thought I might have to drop down to bypass this outcropping but I discovered that there was an easy route to scramble right over the middle of the rock pile.

As you continue along the ridge, there is lots of thick brush. Whenever possible, I followed game trails. After a gradual ascent you will come to clifflets protecting the north side of Pt. 4222. Here I angled to the right, traversing toward the saddle between Pt. 4222 and Ten-Four. This section involves some route finding to avoid cliff bands. I got some more help from the elk by following their trails.

From the saddle to the summit is straight forward except that there are a lot of tightly packed young trees and, in places, a lot of blowdown trees to deal with.

When I reached the top it was almost 3pm and I was already a half hour past my turnaround time, so I didn't stay long. I knew I wanted to at least make it to the abandoned road before it got dark around 5 - 5:30. I was fairly successful in finding the preferred lines I had used on the way up. When I got to the vicinity of the end of the abandoned road, I decided it would be easier to intersect the abandoned spur that wraps around the end of the ridge at about the 3,300 ft level. I continued following the ridge and that worked out well. In the gathering darkness, and the rain that had begun to fall, the four way intersection of abandoned roads, just above 3,200, momentarily confused me, but I identified the right one and headed down.

With visibility decreasing, my next goal was to get to the rebuilt road before I had to use my headlamp. I did very little picking my way and just crashed through the alders, salmonberry, and God knows what else. I made my goal but wound up with my pant legs torn and a hole torn through my daypack.

As I strode on down the road, I thought I had it home free. Then I ran into fog. In the rain, the dark, and the fog, visibility was poor to say the least. I put on my headlamp but I could only see 5 feet in front of me. I held my headlamp at waist level and that let me see about 20 feet. It stayed like that for the final two miles back to the truck. I was glad that I was able to remember the lay of the road from my hike in. Driving the truck back down to US 2 was a very slow process with 20 feet of visibility.

I have not hiked/biked the other Ten-Four routes, so it is hard for me to compare this one to them. From what I have read, This route seems to have much less steep exposure than the north slope but is slightly longer and has a lot of brush. It is shorter than the western road approach but an experienced mountain biker would be able to do the west approach in less than the 9 hours RT that I took on my route. If I went back, I would do the bike route.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:3384 ft / 1031 m
    Extra Gain:300 ft / 91 m
    Distance:12 mi / 19.3 km
    Route:East Ridge
    Trailhead:Proctor Creek Rd  1600 ft / 487 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Raining, Cool, Calm, White-out



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