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Chikamin Peak
Chikamin Peak October 1, 2019.jpg
The southwest aspect of Chikamin Peak seen from Interstate 90 at Hyak
Highest point
Elevation 7,000 ft (2,100 m)
Prominence 1,080 ft (330 m)
Isolation 1.36 mi (2.19 km)
Parent peak Lemah Mountain (7,500 ft)
Geography
Chikamin Peak is located in Washington (state)
Chikamin Peak
Chikamin Peak
Location in Washington (state)
Chikamin Peak is located in the United States
Chikamin Peak
Chikamin Peak
Location in the United States
Location Kittitas County, Washington state, U.S.
Parent range Cascade Range
Climbing
First ascent May 30, 1915 by C.G. Morrison and I.J. Kohler
Easiest route Scrambling

Chikamin Peak is a 7,000+ft (2,130+m) mountain summit located in the cascade Range, in Kittitas County of Washington state. It is situated within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, on land managed by Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. The mountain's name "Chikamin" derives from Chinook Jargon meaning "money" or "metal", and was submitted by Edmond S. Meany, president of The Mountaineers. This name was officially adopted in 1916 by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names. Chikamin Peak is the highest point of Chikamin Ridge, 6 mi (9.7 km) northeast of Snoqualmie Pass. Other notable peaks on Chikamin Ridge include Four Brothers and Three Queens. Precipitation runoff from this mountain drains into tributaries of the Yakima River. The Pacific Crest Trail traverses the southwest slope of Chikamin Ridge, and from the trail a scramble up a gully leads to the summit.

Climate

Chikamin Peak is located in the marine west coast climate zone of western North America. Most weather fronts originate in the Pacific Ocean, and travel northeast toward the Cascade Mountains. As fronts approach, they are forced upward by the peaks of the Cascade Range, causing them to drop their moisture in the form of rain or snowfall onto the Cascades (Orographic lift). As a result, the west side of the Cascades experiences high precipitation, especially during the winter months in the form of snowfall. During winter months, weather is usually cloudy, but, due to high pressure systems over the Pacific Ocean that intensify during summer months, there is often little or no cloud cover during the summer. Because of maritime influence, snow tends to be wet and heavy, resulting in high avalanche danger.

Geology

The Alpine Lakes Wilderness features some of the most rugged topography in the Cascade Range with craggy peaks and ridges, deep glacial valleys, and granite walls spotted with over 700 mountain lakes. Geological events occurring many years ago created the diverse topography and drastic elevation changes over the Cascade Range leading to the various climate differences. These climate differences lead to vegetation variety defining the ecoregions in this area. The elevation range of this area is between about 1,000 feet (300 m) in the lower elevations to over 9,000 feet (2,700 m) on Mount Stuart.

Pacific Crest Trail 26542
Pacific Crest Trail and gullies on Chikamin Peak

The history of the formation of the Cascade Mountains dates back millions of years ago to the late Eocene Epoch. With the North American Plate overriding the Pacific Plate, episodes of volcanic igneous activity persisted. In addition, small fragments of the oceanic and continental lithosphere called terranes created the North Cascades about 50 million years ago.

During the Pleistocene period dating back over two million years ago, glaciation advancing and retreating repeatedly scoured the landscape leaving deposits of rock debris. The last glacial retreat in the Alpine Lakes area began about 14,000 years ago and was north of the Canada–US border by 10,000 years ago. The "U"-shaped cross section of the river valleys are a result of that recent glaciation. Uplift and faulting in combination with glaciation have been the dominant processes which have created the tall peaks and deep valleys of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area.

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