Adams County Highpoint Trip Report

Karakul Hills

Date: August 16, 2008
Author: Edward Earl

For my first attempt on this supposedly trivial HP on the plains of eastern WA, I followed the report by Bob Bolton, who climbed up a draw from Wellsandt Road on the east side. The hillside and draw were covered with tough clumps of grass with occasional invasive wheat. The summit plateau, however, was under cultivation; upon reaching the crest, the surface was plowed and tilled and the dirt was a very fine powder into which my foot sank 6 inches. A few minutes later, just as the HP came into view, I encountered active farming: a farm vehicle was moving to and fro across the fields near the HP and a cluster of farm machinery was parked on the HP itself. Clearly I couldn't climb it now, so I retreated and decided to return later. As I departed the area, however, I decided to scout things out and took note of a possible alternative approach from the west side of the HP.

I returned to Adams county one week later and decided to try the western approach. From exit 231 on I-90, which is 10 miles east of Ritzville, I turned east on paved Danekas Road immediately south of the interchange. After 2.6 miles, I turned south on gravel Ziemer Road just after a cluster of buildings that includes a red barn. Ziemer Road climbs briefly up to the summit plateau and dips briefly across a drainage. I parked my truck about 0.7 mile from Danekas Road at a slight widening just before topping out after the drainage. The time was dusk, just a few minutes after sunset. The entire area was under cultivation but there were no fences or signs.

In the gathering twilight, I hiked east along the boundary between a dusty, powdery, plowed, unplanted field and a firmer, harvested field. After about 15 minutes, I drew abeam of the HP, which I bagged by stepping on every discernible rise.