Jove Peak

February 9, 2016

1831m

Stevens Pass, WA

Jove Peak is by no mean a significant summit, but it does tower above its immediate vicinity thus, offers some nice panoramic views north of Stevens Pass along US-2 corridor. Due to the fact there’s no trail leading up to its summit, Jove Peak is more often done in winter when the (thick) snowpack covers the dense underbrushes. Thank to the recent warm temperature I couldn’t do anything overly aggressive and this peak was selected to be my 500th summit, after successfully traversing up and over the nearby Union Peak earlier in the day.

Union Peak to Jove Peak winter ascent route

Union Peak to Jove Peak winter ascent route. GPX DL

Immediately after dropping down Union Peak’s north ridge I met the previous snowshoeer (on his way back) who broke the whole set of tracks. After saying “thank you” to him I resumed the traverse. The north ridge was a little bit steeper and more corniced than I was expecting, but there’s always the option to go into dense forest on skier’s left. The track stayed more or less on the edge of the forest and I plunged down to the col in no time.

Descending from Union Peak along its north ridge

Descending from Union Peak along its north ridge

Jove Peak ahead

Jove Peak ahead

This section of Union Peak's north ridge is a bit narrow

This section of Union Peak’s north ridge is a bit narrow

Up the other side the terrain was again, a bit steeper than I was expecting. After a while I broke out of the trees again and the direct ridge (or climber’s right side) was threatened by a huge slide path. Given the solar radiation I followed the tracks into the dense forest on climber’s left side. There’s some minor bushwhacking required and the ridge seemed to drag on for a long while. Eventually the grade tapered off and I arrived at the summit plateau. The view was incredible towards each direction with the most remote Washington’s volcano – Glacier Peak and the “Matterhorn of the Cascades” – Sloan Peak stealing the show.

The forested ascent up Jove Peak's SW Ridge

The forested ascent up Jove Peak’s SW Ridge

Onto the open ridge section

Onto the open ridge section

It's steep at places

It’s steep at places

Looking across the south face

Looking across the south face

Could be a great ski run. But not today...

Could be a great ski run. But not today…

Following the ridge crest up

Following the ridge crest up

The final push to the summit plateau

The final push to the summit plateau

Summit Panorama from Jove Peak. Click to view large size.

Summit Panorama from Jove Peak. Click to view large size.

My shadow and Jove Peak's NE bowl

My shadow and Jove Peak’s NE bowl

Glacier Peak - the most remote among Washington's volcanoes

Glacier Peak – the most remote among Washington’s volcanoes

"Matterhorn of the Cascades" - Sloan Peak

“Matterhorn of the Cascades” – Sloan Peak

Kyes Peak and Cadet Peak in the very isolated Monte Cristo Group

Kyes Peak and Cadet Peak in the very isolated Monte Cristo Group

Mt. Pugh and White Chunk Mountain with the tip of Mt. Baker poking on right skyline

Mt. Pugh and White Chunk Mountain with the tip of Mt. Baker poking on right skyline

This is a zoomed-in shot of Glacier Peak

This is a zoomed-in shot of Glacier Peak

Seven Fingered Jack and Mt. Maude - two of the 9,000ers that make up the Entiat Cirque

Seven Fingered Jack and Mt. Maude – two of the 9,000ers that make up the Entiat Cirque

Clark Mountain (L) and Mt. David (R)

Clark Mountain (L) and Mt. David (R)

The iconic Baring Mountain (L) is one of the "steepest" in Washington. Behind is another icon - Mt. Index

The iconic Baring Mountain is one of the “steepest” in Washington. Behind is another icon – Mt. Index

Gunn Peak is the highest peak in Wild Sky Wilderness

Gunn Peak is the highest peak in Wild Sky Wilderness

Looking south over Mt. McCausland (foreground) towards peaks such as Malachite Peak

Looking south over Mt. McCausland (foreground) towards peaks such as Malachite Peak

One of the fifty classics - Mt. Stuart

One of the fifty classics – Mt. Stuart

Mt. Danial in the beautiful Alpine Lakes area is very recognizable from north

Mt. Danial in the beautiful Alpine Lakes area is very recognizable from north

Here's the massive Mt. Rainier, poking behind Chimney Rock et al.

Here’s the massive Mt. Rainier, poking behind Chimney Rock et al.

Rock Mountain further east along US-2

Rock Mountain further east along US-2

Looking down at Union Peak in the foreground - my previous objective

Looking down at Union Peak in the foreground – my previous objective

Mt. Howard

Mt. Howard

Peaks on the east side of Cascade Mountains aren't nearly as inspiring..

Peaks on the east side of Cascade Mountains aren’t nearly as inspiring..

Further north along the connecting ridge is Labyrinth Mountain

Further north along the connecting ridge is Labyrinth Mountain

Me on the summit of Jove Peak - my 500th summit

Me on the summit of Jove Peak – my 500th summit

Another picture of me on the summit of Jove Peak

Another picture of me on the summit of Jove Peak

A 3rd picture of me on the summit...

A 3rd picture of me on the summit…

One more panorama from the summit. Click to view large size.

One more panorama from the summit. Click to view large size.

After staying more than half an hour I figured it’s time to go home. Plunging down Jove Peak’s SW Ridge was fast and fun and I stayed entirely on the edge of the ridge crest this time. The soft snow had provided some extra bit of gliding for every step forward (less impact on my knees) so it was pretty pleasant. Lower down I merged to the uptracks into the forest. I wasn’t looking forward to re-plodding back up Union Peak’s north ridge but once actually on the ridge it was pretty fast going. I skipped the break on the summit of Union Peak and resumed the descent immediately. At this point I had noticed that one of the bolts on my right snowshoe’s binding was ripped off. Given the fact I didn’t bring any repairing gear I took the rest of the descent easier and slower (so not to rip off the second bolt). Once back to Smithbrook Road I took off both of my snowshoes. The rest of the return was easy, albeit tedious.

One last look at the impressive slide path on Jove Peak's south face

One last look at the impressive slide path on Jove Peak’s south face

Interesting snow formation...

Interesting snow formation…

Lake Janus to the west

Lake Janus to the west

Plodding back up Union Peak

Plodding back up Union Peak

The confusingly-named Snowgrass Mountain and other peaks are unnamed

The confusingly-named Snowgrass Mountain. Other peaks along the ridge are unnamed

The forested descent

The forested descent

The slide path on Union Peak's south side (it threatens the approach road)

The slide path on Union Peak’s south side (it threatens the approach road)

Oh the road slog...

Oh the road slog…

The end...

The end…

All in all, Union Peak to Jove Peak traverse turned out to be a great introductory to the Stevens Pass area in the heart of the Cascades. The entire area seems more of a “winter destination” as most peaks in the immediate vicinity appear small in nature, and thank to the US-2 they are all fairly easily accessed. I’m sure I’ll be back for more winter trips but what actually makes me excited is the summer mountaineering potential. Objectives like Sloan Peak had for sure grown much higher on my list now… And thank to the low gas price my round trip cost was less than 20 US dollars.

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