Ascent of Gray Wolf Ridge on 2012-09-02

Climber: Chad Straub

Others in Party:Maverick(k9)
Date:Sunday, September 2, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Gray Wolf Ridge
    Elevation:7218 ft / 2200 m

Ascent Trip Report

Dungeness trails down Louella rd.after about a mile you will reach

a"t"in the road, turn left into Palo alto rd.follow signs for Dungeness trails (not Dungeness creek camp)at the next two

forks then turn right onto a road signed "Trail 816" about 15 miles from hwy 101. The"trailhead"is at the end less than

1.5 miles past the fork.

The trail to Tyler Peak is not on the Green Trails Map.It starts just past the turn-around on the right. The first mile and

a half is mostly under canopy and is incredibly steep, with only a few short switch-backs along the way. After emerging

from the trees the trail quickly fades into the open meadows, which are scattered with huge marmot holes. Ahead to the

North is Tyler's Western ridge, from which the false summit can be seen to the Northwest(the real one is hiding just behind

it). A small bootpath comes and goes but the way from here isn't at all difficult to find. The last push to the summit

requires a bit of a light scramble, just enough for some good fun. The landscape stretches out below from Mt. Rainier to

Mt. Baker to Canada. At 9:30 am a couple thousand foot high canopy of thick clouds covered everything east of Sequim.

We retraced our steps and continued along the Western ridge, past several different types of volcanic rock before turning

south toward Baldy. There is no clear trail between Tyler Peak and Gray Wolf Peak, just a faint bootpath that often

dissapears for long stretches. The path goes all the way to a 6530' peak before turning West toward Baldy, and the going is

easy enough to be worth the extra elevation gain. From here it's a simple walk to Baldy's summit which offers a splendid

view of dozens of surrounding peaks including Mt Olympus to the SW and Mt Angeles to the NW, as well as Mt Townsend and Mt

Mystery to the SE. I met 3 girls from Port Angeles who were scouting for a nearby tarn on their map. We needed to head back

soon for a family reunion, but Gray Wolf Peak just over a mile to the south looked far too tempting to pass up, so I

watered the dogs and took a few quick pics then hurried down the mountainside.

I didn't take the time to look for a trail at this point, something i kind of regretted as my knees took a beating down the

loose rocky south face of Baldy. Once we was over the small hill along the saddle, the tarn became visible down below to

the NW. From the small meadow below Gray Wolf Peak, the rocks be come increasingly smaller, sharper, and looser. I pushed

my legs to their limit as we gained 1000' of elevation over less than a half mile, and enjoyed a well-earn rest at the top.
By this time the sky was nearly cloud-free, affording seemingly endless views in all directions. Two of the 3 girls i had

met earlier joined me at the top and told me of a shorter return route along what they called the Mt Baldy Trail, south of

Mueller Creek. Back at the small meadow they shared some cantalope with me and we traded trail descriptions, as they had

seen the trail I took up to Tyler Peak but had never taken it. Their trail (which was on thier Custom Select map) picks up

a few hundred feet down the NW ridge of the 6530' peak to the East of Baldy Summit. I found this trail to be practically

identical to the Tyler Peak trail as far as distance and steepness. About 2 miles from the ridge the trail crosses a long

overgrown road right before connecting with Trail 816. This trip covered about 10 miles in just under 10 hours
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1338 ft / 406 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4618 ft / 1407 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.8 mi / 12.6 km
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:938 ft / 285 m
    Distance:0.8 mi / 1.3 km
    Start Trailhead:Saddle to Baldy  6280 ft / 1914 m
    Time:45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4618 ft / 1407 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 4218 ft / 1286 m; Extra: 400 ft / 121m
    Gain on way out:400 ft / 121 m
    Distance:7 mi / 11.3 km
    Route:Baldy Peak Trail
    End Trailhead:Trail 816  3000 ft / 914 m
    Time:3 Hours 30 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Olympics 3-Peal Labor Day

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Tyler Peak2012-09-023364 ft / 1025 m
2Baldy2012-09-021097 ft / 334 m
3Gray Wolf Ridge2012-09-021338 ft / 408 m
Total Trip Gain: 5799 ft / 1767 m    Total Trip Loss: 5699 ft / 1738 m

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