Pacific County High Point Trip Report

unnamed summit (3,000+ ft)

Date: October 31, 2004
Author: Adam Helman

Note: All UTM coordinates are zone 10 and use the NAD27 datum.

It had been a cold night. Ice encrusted the front windshield and had to be removed before driving out. The hot coffee in Pe Ell was exceedingly welcome - without it there was but cold water - a disgusting prospect on this freezing morning.

I had camped near an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of Pe Ell, poised to consummate yet another somewhat mundane ascent of a northwest logging county highpoint.

The approach is from Washington route 6. Starting from "downtown" Pe Ell, a small community, it is about six road miles to the desired turnoff, heading south, as the "A-line" noted in previous trip reports. There are actually two roads leading south from this section of highway. You want the western of these two roads, encountered immediately (0.2 mile) west of a southern curve in route 6. The junction is shown here with UTM coordinates (469645 E, 5154448 E).

As reported by Dean Molen, it is 6.8 miles along the A-line until a junction with the F-line. The A-line is passible by any passenger vehicle, and it is difficult to mistakenly take a side road since they are all obviously narrower.

The temperature rose as my rental vehicle ascended the logging road grid, increasing from about freezing to some 40° F prior to parking at the bermed road some one-third mile west of the desired highpoint. The valleys were acting as cold-traps.

Dean Molen's distances of 1.6 miles along the F-line followed by an additional 0.2 mile to the bermed road are also correct. Along the F-line one passes the saddle noted by Bob Bolton, with gated roads leading both south and southwest, and the desired road continuing east. This saddle is shown here at UTM (468023 E, 5147891 N).

The final 0.2 mile, on a spur road, is definitely not for passenger vehicles. This spur road begins here at UTM (468885 E, 5147666 N), and leads to the berm located here at UTM (468576 E, 5147625 N). Park near the berm and begin the short hike east.

On reaching the summit, all of eleven minutes, I found that every valley was filled with low-lying fog, with clear skies prevailing above. Clearly some temperature inversion was at hand.

I returned to Pe Ell; rewarded myself with hot chocolate and a new variety Hershey's bar with mixed nuts; then headed for Thurston County via route 6, Interstate 5, route 12, and route 7.

My entire county highpoints trip, including this effort, is described in this report.