Round Mountain - 5274' Miles: 5 Gain: 2800' Maps:
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This trip with friends started off as a return visit to •Gordon Ridge/Anaconda•.  For some reason, no one seemed very enthusiastic about that choice and instead Round Mtn. between Arlington and Darrington, just NE of Mt. Higgins was suggested.  Also a peak I failed on a few years back it was a toss up for me.  We met at 7:30am at the park and ride lot on Hwy 9 in Arlington and carpooled east toward Swede Haven Road.  Going north on gravel 371st Ave and then NFD 1890 we were surprised to find the snow level a little higher than expected.  We parked at a wide spot before a longer snow patch at about 1600' which turned out to be very close to the point where a partially washed out bridge ends the road for cars anyway.

We hiked along the road for 1/2 mile until just past the first sharp bend where we started heading up hill at a bearing of 330 degrees. Eventually catching a vague NW trending ridge we continued on to Round's S ridge. At a point just south of the mountain, you get briefly out of the trees and are treated a great view north to the rest of your route and back west to Mt. Higgins.  From here the route stays pretty much on the S ridge, dropping 50' or so to a saddle then following the ridge to the summit, or so I understand.  Tired legs (mine) and two short but dicey spots on the S ridge (one a rock step and another a snow slope for which we didn't have really good avy conditions) convinced me at least that this was far enough.  Oddly enough, exactly the same place we turned around in •November of 2006•

This is a pretty strenuous winter trip at about 7 miles and 3600' gain.  Very steep and rough gaining the S ridge from the road and with thin snow cover we had in the trees on both trips, slippery and slow going.  I didn't take too many pictures on this trip but I did get a few and one quick video of us snowshoeing through one of the few open parts of the forest as we left the south ridge.  Anaconda and Round Mountain remain on the list...

From Arlington drive Hwy 530 east to Swede Heaven Road, go left (north) to 371st Ave NE, go right (north) and follow (becomes NFR 1890), parking where snow stops you or at a damaged bridge where the road effectively ends for cars.
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