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Ascent of Riddle Peak on 2018-09-26

Climber: Milda Tautvydas

Date:Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Riddle Peak
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:8200 ft / 2499 m

Ascent Trip Report

2018/09/26
We hiked in on Monday 2018/09/24 from Holden and camped at Ten Mile Pass (water source on south side of pass, close to camp). On Tuesday 2018/09/25 we got a late start (very cold night, and frost on the ground) and climbed Wy'East from the Fourth of July Basin. With very little route information, we worked our way up dirty, loose, gullies, and up and down a couple of summit towers (good rock) before figuring out which one was the true summit. Finding the summit was the "riddle" for all the peaks we climbed on this trip, and thus their names (Riddle, Enigma, Puzzle...we did not ascend Puzzle). With shorter September days, and cold evenings/nights, we decided to stay in camp and climb Riddle the following morning. On Wednesday 2018/09/26 morning we climbed Riddle Peak following the ridge from Ten Mile Pass to the summit towers, then worked our way out onto the east face until we located the actual summit tower, which turned out to be a fun, short, airy scramble on good rock to a high perch with great views. We returned to camp they way we camp, staying high on the east face to avoid deep gullies, then packed up camp and moved camp to the col between Devore Creek and Riddle Creek basins. We carried 6 liters of water each to this high camp, 1500 vf, so that we could have water at this 7,000 foot camp. On Thursday 2018/09/27 morning we left camp around 8:30 AM and climbed Castle Rock, and then Enigma (wow, what a puzzle...glad we climbed Castle Rock first and scoped out a route from afar!). We returned to camp by staying high on Enigma's west slopes, traveling on a larch bench between 7600 and 7400 feet, southerly, to the headwaters of the Castle Creek Basin, which brought us to a larch grove of ancient trees that looked like Ents. I took several photographs here, and on this trip. It will take time to sort through all of them. We crossed the ridge NW of point 7734 into the Riddle Creek basin and descended to the marshy meadow at 6800, then contoured westerly towards Riddle Peaks Ridge to below our camp at the 7,000 foot Devore Creek/Riddle Creek col. We filled water bags with water where a small stream poured over a cliff just below 6800', then hiked north to our camp at the 7,000' col and enjoyed another night there. On Friday morning 2018/09/28 we descended to Devore Creek and ascended the West Fork of Devore creek to a broad basin at 7200 feet, where we set up camp on larch bench between WyNorth and Devore. There was much water here. We put up our tent and readied camp, then climbed WyNorth following a rib of larches and broken rock to near the summit ridge, then made a short, exposed climb on good rock (some loose holds) to gain the ridge. We crossed the ridge to the west and made a high traverse to the summit tower, which was further south than expected, but took us only 6 minutes to get there (looks challenging, but there is a secret route to the top that made us think this peak should be named Mystery Mountain, to keep the theme going for area peak names...). We enjoyed fantastic summit views, then returned to camp by they way we came, making a careful, exposed downclimb on the east side of the summit ridge to the rib that brought us back to our 7200' camp. This camp was a high perch, with great views of all the peaks we ascended in previous days (and years). On Saturday, 2018/09/29 we descended the West Fork of Devore Creek to Devore Creek and hiked to Stehekin (to Weaver Point and around the north end of the lake through the Airstrip and across the bridge) where we waited for 2 minutes for the bus. We were quickly in Stehekin, and after a short wait, we were on our way back to Field's Point Landing. We met great folks on the ferry ride to Holden, as well as on our way out of Stehekin.

There was a film canister and one sheet of paper summit register (wet) on WyNorth, with no writing implement. Neither Dave nor I had anything to write with, so we could not sign in, but we did take a photograph of the register. Don Goodman placed it there. All the names that were entered there were familiar to us. We did not find registers on Enigma or WyEast.
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