Windy Knob

Elevation Gain: 1,117m
Distance: 15.31km
Total Time: 6 hours 36 minutes
Date: May 13th, 2023
Stats include all three summits

Windy Knob is the first summit along the ridge that runs all the way to Liumchen Mountain. The ridge line starts one valley east of Cultus Lake and is accessed via the Liumchen East FSR. This summit is not officially named, but is well known throughout the hiking community as Windy or Windy Knob. Further down the ridge is a summit known as Church Mountain and the main draw of my curiosity to this area. Church Mountain came across my radar while browsing online maps and I came across a relaxed looking trip report from Steven back in 2021. It looked like a nice outing with great views and so I put it on my list.

Leading into the May 12th-13th weekend Andrea and I were keen to get out for just such a day. There was a huge heat wave under way and so most of the big lines were out, but that pleasant weather beckoned to at least be outside. I suggested Church Mountain as there had been a recent report and the route looked snowy, but very doable. Andrea was on board and so we set out on the 13th for a not-too-early start.

I drove us up the Liumchen East FSR, where we found decent road conditions and managed to drive beyond the previous parties elevation from 2 weeks ago. Unfortunately, a new gate had been put in place at the 1040m mark. The road beyond was plowed and dry, but we had to walk it. After an extra 1.5ish km of road walking we reached the standard trail head and headed up into the forest.

The new gate
The culprit behind the excellent road conditions
The Cheam range off in the distance
Windy Knob ahead. Nearly at the original trail head too
Booting up soft snow
A close up of Welch Peak

We found a few sections of isothermal snow on the start of the trail before dipping into the forest. From there we loosely followed the trail markers contouring around the west side of Windy Knob and then ascended straight up the forest to the summit. The snow quality was mediocre, but manageable without snow shoes and we were soon on dry south-facing ridge line.

Into the forest
Heading towards the summit
Andrea on the summit with Old Baldy visible ahead

Ahead we could see “Old Baldy” and got started down the ridgeline to our next destination.

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