Ascent of Lummi Peak on 2010-12-12

Climber: Eric Noel

Others in Party:Ken Jones
Date:Sunday, December 12, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Lummi Peak
    Elevation:1665 ft / 507 m

Ascent Trip Report

This one had been on the agenda for a while because it is both fairly prominent and reasonably low elevation so it makes for a good winter target. The access had been a question mark but turned out to be just fine. The weather was the biggest challenge.

At the Park and Ride, Edward turned back. I think both Ken and I were pretty close to doing the same given how wet and windy it was. But we decided to chance it because we wanted the peak and the exercise. Despite slow conditions we made the drive quite quickly and we lucked into just making the hourly weekend ferry at 8:10AM by less than a minute. We had actually been shooting for the next ferry an hour later so we were ecstatic to make the this one and at less than two hours from Eastgate it was faster than advertised. The ferry ride is less than 10 minutes and you can find a schedule and fares on the Whatcom County website.

We quickly proceeded down the road. The parking is at a small lot with wooden Entrance and Exit signs that can be found near 48.6946 and -122.6608. If you are in the right spot then you will find TH signage and such and a trail. This is land owned by the Lummi Island Heritage Trust and is open to the public. We set off in the rain and as sometimes happens we discovered that the idea of hiking in the rain was perhaps more miserable than the reality of it. The wind had abated and the rain had let up a bit though it was still coming down in places. The trail gains steeply for the first 500' of vertical or so. The trail doesn't have good drainage and normally that may not matter but on this day it was a mess of puddles and a waterslide like stream pulsing down the trail. Oh well.

We continued on until the trail hit a more recently abandoned (?) roadbed of sorts and from here the grade lessened. There might be some minor deviations but basically the the road follows the mapped trail/road up to 1400. At about 1100' where the trail gets near the SW facing "cliffs" there is an established and signed overlook which offered little in the way of views on this day. We continued on and quickly entered WDFW land and then passed a gate. The road becomes more abandoned and trail like but for now it is not brushy at all. We seemed to exit the WDFW and entered a zone of smaller brushier forest but we saw no signs to indicate ownership or permission from here on. We followed the road to its mapped end at about 1450' near a saddle at a point SW of the peak.

It seemed like there was an overgrown continuation of the road towards the SSE but we needed to go N anyway. So we curled around clockwise above a marshy area and through fairly easy forest and then crossed the "headwaters" of the marsh to get near the 1530 saddle that is just W of the peak. Here we stumbled onto another abandoned road coming up from the S that might offer a little easier albeit longer route. But it immediately terminated at some large boulders near the saddle. From here we could see that there were some 30 or 40 foot cliffs barring the way to the summit. But with a little bit of poking around we found nice modestly steep forest ramps that got us around those and up onto the plateau.

We did the usual wandering and piddling around for the HP in a fairly open and mossy forest. Likely very limited views but none on this day. Like most of the forest on this mtn, it was wide open and pleasantly vegetated with fern type underbrush and such. If the trail/road continued to the summit this would be a nice hike and even without it was a fairly good hike. Only the weather left something to be desired. However, as the day wore on the rain eased up and at times it seemed like it was not even raining.

The way down was pretty uneventful. We took a quick R turn below the saddle onto another faint old roadbed that was going in the direction we wanted. This quickly turned uphill and died at the 1510' saddle located about where the P in Lummi Peak on the map is located. From here we decided it wasn't too bad to just drop W down to the road and this I think was more direct and faster than our ascent route. No difficulties. Then from there it was just the usual hike out. Nice peak. Good choice for a rainy day.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1775 ft / 540 m
    Elevation Loss:1775 ft / 540 m
    Distance:7 mi / 11.3 km
    Grade/Class:Class 1+
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Raining, Pleasant, Calm, Low Clouds
Pineapple Express
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:1675 ft / 510 m
    Extra Loss:80 ft / 24 m
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Route:Trail then Tame Off-trail
    Trailhead:LIHT Parking Lot  70 ft / 21 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:1695 ft / 516 m
    Extra Gain:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Route:Trail then Tame Off-trail
    Trailhead:LIHT Parking Lot  70 ft / 21 m

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