Mount Roosevelt-SE Route

If I had a dollar for every time I said I was going to go to Mount Roosevelt… Why I felt I needed go to Mount Roosevelt is still uncertain but when Andy Johnson called saying he needed to get out on a mostly cloudy weekend I just had to put Roosevelt on the table. Andy bit.

We arrived at the Snow Lake Trailhead at the Alpental Ski Area (c.3100’) a little after 8:00 AM and the trip was underway by 8:30. In c.2.5 miles we reached the Snow Lake divide (c.4400’) then descended to Snow Lake (4016'). After the long hike around Snow Lake we gained a bit of elevation and arrived at Gem Lake (c.4900’, 5.5 miles).

Rarely seen Snow Lake with Mount Roosevelt in the Background

We crossed the outlet of Gem Lake and took a break, enjoying the breathtaking views of Wright Mountain towering above the lake. Heading SW up a path on a ridge leading toward Mount Roosevelt we reached a minor high point where we got an even better view of Wright Mountain...

Gem Lake and Beautiful Wright Mountain

Continuing on the path we traversed a flat section of the ridge before it steepened. At c.5400 feet a cairn marked the spot where the path traverses below cliffs. There was a path that left the ridge lower which may provide an alternate route, but seems more likely to lead to Chair Peak Lake. After traversing a couple hundred yards below cliffs the terrain eased and we scrambled up a short rock step to a very small basin (the flat area Beckey describes). The clouds were thick when we arrived but parted shortly after to reveal the class 2 gully that leads to the final scramble to the summit.

The route up Mount Roosevelt (center) from above Gem Lake

Andy at the beginning of the traverse with Chair and Kaleetan in the Background

The gully, although partially snow filled, is mostly steep dirt and heather but is certainly not a place you would want to slip. At the top of the gully there is a short scramble to the summit (class 2 unless you manage to make it harder than it really needs to be like we did).

The views were limited by clouds but are probably good. This is a good route that should be doable under most conditions but probably most challenging when the gully is filled with snow. The trip took 7 hours total.

Andy at the top of the gully

Andy scrambling to the summit

Cascade Alpine Guide, Volume 1, 2nd Edition; Fred Beckey; Page 152-153
75 Scrambles in Washington; Peggy Goldman; Pages 165-167