Tupshin Peak - East Face, June 2015
Tupshin Peak has held my curiosity ever since I first laid eyes on it from the summit of Bonanza Peak. Returning from a climb of Reynolds Peak two years later, I again found my attention drawn to Tupshin’s unmistakable summit spire. Tupshin apparently means 'needle' in Chinook Jargon, so it seems that I’m not alone in my appreciation for this mountain (other than the fact that it is a popular/required summit for Washington Top 100 climbers). The standard East Face route up the Needle isn’t particularly noteworthy as a technical rock climb and it certainly possesses some loose rock, but the setting and position alone I feel makes this a worthwhile objective. It isn’t a difficult route to follow and the mid-5th cruxes are solid where they need to be. Add to this the option of chartering a float plane up 55-mile-long Lake Chelan to Stehekin plus a short paddle in a row boat across the mouth of the Stehekin River, and you’ve got just the right ingredients for a great long weekend of “Type 2 Fun”! Special thanks to Stehekin resident and fellow climber Bob Nielsen for use of his row boat and thereby saving us from hiking the unnecessary trail miles between Weaver Point and Harlequin Bridge. P.S. I think your friends camping at Weaver Point that weekend stole a couple beers we had stashed near the dock…or did they float away like that time at Ross Lake??