Apparently the third time really is a charm. After two unsuccessful summit attempts, I finally made it up Kaleetan Peak with the help of Mike, Tyler, Alaina, and of course Kayuh. We started much earlier this time, using headlights to navigate in the dark until the sun rose. There is something so unexplainably beautiful when morning light illuminates nature’s fall colors. It’s different than sunset, almost more peaceful. If you’ve ever experienced it then you know what I’m talking about. And if you haven’t, I suggest you spend a fall sunrise in the mountains at least once in your life.
Further up the trail we stopped for a quick break at Lake Melakawa to filter some water. The contrast between the deep blue waters and bright orange foliage was perfection.
Then we started the real climb, my third time this year up the climbers trail, along the ridgeline, down the valley, and towards the final scramble to the summit.
It was Alaina, Tyler, and Kayuh's first time on class 3 scramble. A class 3 scramble is when the lines between hiking and rock climbing begin to blur. While no technical gear is required for a class 3 scramble, the terrain is more rugged than a standard hike and you will need to use both hands and feet to climb it. In my opinion, the most difficult element of a class 3 is being exposed to steep slopes with little to no protection from a fall, but no one in our group let that stop them! Everyone did amazing and made up safely.
All the hard work paid off when we reached the summit. 360° views dotted with Alpine lakes and peaks dusted with the first snow falls of the season.
Kaleetan Peak was definitely worth the three attempts to finally make it to the top. I am so grateful I was able to check it off my bucket list this year with some of my favorite people.
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Before attempting Kaleetan Peak, previous experience on class 2/3 scrambles is HIGHLY advised. Please visit WTA.com for hike difficulty, gear requirements, and recent trip reports.