Posted by Chris Erikson on Sep 17, 2005, 15:45
Chris Erikson is back with another great slope in Washington. Timberwolf Mountain is a beautiful alpine slope located at the site of a former fire lookout at 6391′. This slope offers extremely vertical lift with the correct wind direction, unbeatable views of Mt Rainier directly to the west….and very challenging terrain if you wind up down the hill. The site is 32 miles WNW of Yakima, 8 miles N of Rimrock Lake.
Copyright Chris Erikson 2005
Location: 32 miles WNW of Yakima, 8 miles N of Rimrock Lake
Coordinates: (NAD83 / WGS84 datum)
Wind: W to S, E or NE
Access: Dirt Road, passenger car clearance
Season: June to mid October, limited by snowpack
Vertical Relief: 3000’+
Skill level: Expert
Background: Timberwolf is a beautiful alpine slope located at the site of a former fire lookout at 6391′. This slope offers extremely vertical lift with the correct wind direction, unbeatable views of Mt Rainier directly to the west….and very challenging terrain if you wind up down the hill.
|Chris, Damian and Forest|
Weather: Due to it’s location east of the Cascade crest and directly in the rain shadow of Mt Rainier, this site offers the dry conditions typical of eastern Washington slopes. Prevailing winds tend to be westerlies.
|The boys fly fishing?|
Slope Terrain: Summit is entirely open, small alpine trees cover N slope but none extend higher than the summit line, so approaches from any direction are possible. The lip of the slope is pronounced with spectacular sight lines and a very large flyable basin edge to both left and right. The slope itself is an extremely steep alpine meadow, comprised of light brush and occasional trees, with loose, rocky, crumbly soil.
Flying: Large open slopes provide wide sight lines, endless lift band with very vertical lift. Thermal activity from large forest below slope can be huge. On a good day the lift extends entirely around summit.
Landing zone: Landing is accomplished by performing a top landing. There are no tall trees above the summit to inhibit approaches, summit is small and covered with dirt and rocks. Approaches can be long with a good amount of time to set up, but the area free of trees and bushes is very small. Parking area is immediately near the landing area, so watch out. Crunchies will probably live up to their name here.
Walk of Shame: Steep, open slope with little brush means generally easy location of airplane, but tricky recovery. Blowovers will fall into tall trees. One aircraft lost on backside so far.
Due to the extremely steep slope, mistakes are severely punished by a hair raising scramble. Not quite a cliff. More than steep. You’ll figure it out.
The treacherous nature of the out landing recovery area on the main face is the primary reason for the expert rating at this site.
Camping: Campsites numerous and obvious, beginning at bottom of hill and continuing all the way up. Sites are unimproved, pay attention to fire conditions as this area is extremely dry. Please clean up after yourself.
From the South and Hwy 12 (via Bethel Ridge):
From Yakima, head NW on Hwy 12 through Naches, then at 4.5 miles from Naches turn left to continue W on Hwy 12 towards White Pass and Rimrock Lake.
Continue 12 miles to small town of Rimrock Retreat, and at about 17 miles watching for the Naches USFS work station on the N side of Hwy 12, go another few hundred yards and turn right to go N onto Bethel Ridge Road.
Follow Bethel Ridge road and just stay on the obvious main road as it gains over 3000 feet in about 6.5 miles. (Road can have severe washboard) Near the 5 mile point the road will begin to break out of the trees as you see cliffs above. Continue N over small pass at about 7 miles, taking the right fork at the pass itself (Cash Prairie intersection, NOT the road to microwave towers ½ mile or so earlier)
Continue about 3 to 4 miles, turn left to proceed N on road #190 (May have sign with 7 digit number on it??), then 2.5 miles to Timberwolf summit.