Ascent of Tall Halla Mountain on 2002-10-29

Climber: Fred Beavon

Date:Tuesday, October 29, 2002
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Tall Halla Mountain
    Elevation:5409 ft / 1648 m

Ascent Trip Report

I followed Steve Fox from a few days earlier up Captain Point, before continuing on to Tall Halla. There's not much to add to his excellent late start epic but here goes. The spur road off of Road 6310 is a bit steep at the gate. So even with a parking brake on, I felt I should put four heavy rocks behind every tire for added security. Unfortunately, all the rocks were frozen to the ground. Eventually, I pried four of them loose to put behind my cars tires.

Stevens Pass was predicted to be at 15 degrees yesterday so I was a bit concerned about the temperature, but it was needless. With the wind that continued most of the day, I thought a face mask might've been nice at the start, but after just 15 minutes, I had to take off my hat, gloves and jacket. There's nothing like a little bit of exercise to make a cold sunny day perfect. One quickly passes two huge rusted abandoned logging type contraptions on the side of the road. I climbed up on them on the way down to examine them more closely. One had a sign that said Hoksbergen Hay Co. Lynden, WA on it.

Not wanting to live on the edge like Steve, I left my car an hour after sunrise. The two prominent peaks most in view hiking up to Captain Point, 5520'+ and 5480'+, I ended up calling "Golden Peaks". The gold color was from just dead vegetation, but they sure looked pretty in the morning sun while hiking up to Captain Point.

Arriving quickly on the summit at 9:15, at first I didn't see the register and thought I'd have to dig into the little bit of snow that was there to find it. Ugh! Then I saw it hanging from that old tree branch/stump. That's the first time I recall ever seeing a register hanging. How cute! I guess Steve Fellstrom didn't have much of a choice though, when placing the register back on May 13, 1995 since he reported 10 feet of snow on the ground.

There were 12 sign ins here in '95, 5 in '96, 4 in '97, only 1 in '98!, 4 in '99: 9-11 and 9-15 from a John S. Ryan who comes here a lot, then a 9-19 and 10-16 sign in, about 20 in 2000!, 7 in '01 and now 8 in '02. Some had come from Scorpion Mountain and others up the abandoned Kelley Creek Trail. With many mentioning bugs and mosquitoes, now's a good time to avoid them. Ruth Danielson of Lynnwood reported it was her first time signing a register on 10-7-00. Pat Doherty, peak #198, called himself an old goat. A three year old and someone less than a year old were also here. Guy Spencer was incredulous that there was a register at only 200' elevation up from the logging road since it continues all the way up to the saddle between Captain Point and Peak 5652 to the south.

From Captain Point, tree covered "Tall Halla Mountain", aka D Mtn., didn't look very appealing, but the day was young and I thought the extra exercise would be good. Besides, it's on Jeff Howbert's Master List. It was a bit tricky descending the east ridge off of Captain Point with a dusting of snow making it slippery. Then it was up and over the double summits of "Golden Peaks", 5520'+ and 5480'+, two excellent viewpoints. Following a logging road a short distance towards Tall Halla Mountain seemed OK since there are great 360 degree views en-route. Steve later said he left a film container register on Tall Halla but I didn't hunt for one and didn't see it. There's also a Fay Pullen type container on Valhalla Mountain thanks to Steve, but having been there from Mount McCausland, I skipped that peak. Returning, I followed the abandoned trail that stayed level sidehilling "Golden Peaks" until it hit those gorgeous gold meadows where it headed up. I continued straight sidehilling the very steep meadows for a ways (difficult) before deciding on doing a huge shortcut straight down the steep hillside to the logging road below. Looking up a lot to admire the sun lit meadows I had just descended, I was all too soon back at the car.

Started at 7:45am, 9:15-10:45-shivering in my wet cotton t-shirt on Captain Point, 1pm on Tall Halla and was back at the start at 3pm.
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