Whistler Mtn. - 7790' Miles: 4 Gain: 2700' GT Washington Pass #50
• home •| • About • CascadeDreams
 June 20 , 2010

Information on this peak was pretty sparce.  A short description of a north ridge route on summitpost and a hand full of trip reports from wta and nwhikers.  One of  the reports that I did find said that in the register held just 9 entries in three years.  We were unlikely to find a well worn path to the summit.

The gathering point for this Mountaineers trip was 4875' Rainy Pass.  Snow still covers the parking lot at the pass but the roadway on the south side of the highway had room for about 10 cars.  Our planned route would see us leave the highway, enter moderately open forest heading due east on a rising traverse.  We would cross two creeks and at about 6000', on the far side of the second, turn up slope for the summit.

As the rain began to ramp up from morning mist to downpour we hiked across the highway and left the pass.  The forested lower slopes still held enough crusty snow that travel was fairly easy. The first creek was crossed without difficulty, although there was quite a bit of water. Somewhere around 5500' I think we broke out of the trees and with a momentary lapse in the cloud cover, got a quick look above at our destination as well as a peek to the south across the highway to Rainy Lake, Corteo, Black Peak and many others.

Continuing to climb steadily up we made our way through scrub and the first of the seasons' flowers en route to the second gully.  Given the warm temps of late and all the water flowing down from the snowfields above, no one was particularly inclined to trust a snow bridge for this crossing so we scouted around a little and found a nice rocky spot at about 6200' just below a small waterfall.  One awkward step but otherwise not diffcult.

Scrambling up the rib on the south side of the gully was on alternating moderate snow and rock.  The snow was good, making for secure steps.  The rock on the other hand was lichen covered, slick and quite loose in spots. As the rib narrowed above 6800' we stuck to the rocks, moving slowly and carefully so as to not knock anything down on one another.  That proved deceptively easy to do as even though the rocks were dark with lichen and had obviously been in place for a long time, some fairly large boulders popped out with only a light step.

The scrambling was otherwise good on the rib.  The snow slope to the left steepened to what looked to be about 50 degrees while on the right cliffs appeared. At around 7600', the rib narrowed further and from what little we could see in the mist ahead got steeper.  The snow slope didn't look like a viable option and the prospect of scrambling more loose wet rock without being able to see what lay ahead wasn't all that attractive either.  So with just under 200' to go, Richard decided that this was far enough.  Good call as I think I remember a trip report mentioning that there is some challenge to the final 100' and I'm sure it would be better attempted with dry rock and of course sunshine and unlimited views.

We took a break and then headed down. An uneventful cloud shrouded descent and as we got back into the trees, the rain returned. We stopped in Marblemount at Buffalo Run for dinner.  On the order of Milano's in Glacier, good food but a little on the pricey side.

This would be worth a return trip as it's a short scramble with (I'm told) great payoff in views.  Climbing that rib in better conditions would be fun.  It's just such a long drive from Seattle.

Drive US Hwy 20 east to rainy pass approx 3 hours (150 miles) from seattle.
 11  images in this album.
SimpleViewer requires JavaScript and the Flash Player. Get Flash.
All original content ©CascadeDreams - All rights reserved.Last Revision: 21 June 2010