The plan was to day trip Azurite Peak Saturday May 31st. Josh Henderson had agreed to do this seldom climbed peak with me, I was glad someone was willing. I left Friday evening May 30th 2014 at 5:15 in the evening. Stopped in Lynnwood and picked Josh up and we off to the Methow River Trailhead (elevation 2,600 feet). I hit the hay at 10:15 in the evening. The next morning we got up at 4:15 and were on the trail hiking by 4:50am. At 1.5 miles a large avalanche debris field covered the trail. It took an extra 15 minutes to navigate this. After that just .5 miles up the trail the bridge across Trout Creek was damaged, not sure how much longer it will be there. If it goes out getting across the creek will be much more difficult especially early in the season. 8 miles in the Methow River Trail Joined the Pacific Crest Trail. We followed the PCT an additional 2 miles to the south. There is a cairn with a stick in it that marks the point where the Azurite Pass Trail joins the PCT (elevation 4,400 feet). Initially we missed the turn to Azurite Pass and ended up going about a quarter mile further to the Meebe Pass Trail. We realized the error and went back to the cairn with a stick in it.
It takes about 3.5 to 4 hours to reach the Azurite Pass trail from the Methow River Trailhead. We were on our way up the Azurite Pass Trail at 8:50am. We made quick work in getting up to Azurite Pass as it was snow covered above 5,000 feet. We reached Azurite Pass (elevation 6,700 feet) at 10:15 and took a little break. From there we simply followed the ridge to around the 7,600 foot mark and then began traversing. There is some good beta on summitpost as to how to find the hidden gulley. It can definitely be a little tricky but we found the gully which led to the summit gully. The summit gully was snow filled and the snow was just soft enough such that it did not require crampons. We made short work of it and we on the summit (elevation 8,400 feet) at 12:20 in the afternoon. The views were perfect and the wind was nearly nonexistent. We enjoyed the well earned summit for about an hour and then at 1:20 began the decent down. We took our time and were back the PCT by 3:30. At the PCT we took a nice 15 minute break and then began the 10 mile trek out of there. We kept a decent pace and were back to the trail head at 7:40 in the evening.
Azurite Peak stands at 8,400 feet and is the 78th tallest peak on the Bulger Top 100 list. It was the 85th peak I have completed on the list and was Josh Henderson's 56th peak on the list. Trip stats from Methow River Trailhead to Azurite Peak summit, round trip: 24 miles, 6,800 feet of elevation gained.
A. Methow River Trail
B. Azurite Pass Trail
C. Azurite Peak Route
B. Cutoff Point (head up to Azurite Pass) (A cairn with a stick in it marks the location where to break off the main trail to head up to Azurite Pass. There is a trail but it is faint.)
C. Azurite Pass
D. Azurite Peak (Azurite Peak, 8,400 feet in elevation the 78th tallest Peak on the Bulger Top 100. Late May and early June is great time of year to climb this peak.)
A. Methow River Trailhead