AbercrombieI climbed Copper Butte on Friday, September 15, 2006 and then headed over to Abercrombie. I arrived at the trailhead in the late afternoon and didn’t have time to summit and return to my truck before nightfall. I car camped and hoped that Dean’s Grizzly Bears wouldn’t find me during the night.
Saturday morning dawned cool and cloudy. It wasn’t much above freezing, so I hurried to get ready and headed up the trail to get warm. The first part of the trail appears to be an old roadbed that is starting to get overgrown. It is easy walking and I made good progress. A grouse came out on the trail to see what I was up to before wandering off back into the brush. Usually these birds give me a heart attack because they wait until I am right next to them before they take off with lots of flapping.
There isn’t much to see except brush on the first half of the climb. When you reach the ridgeline the brush seems to disappear from the forest and this leaves just the trees. I followed the directions on the sign on this wooded ridge and turned left towards Abercrombie Mountain. The trail continues to gain elevation slowly and soon works its way out of the forest and into a more open grassy area. The rest of the way to the summit, the trail stays in this grassy area.
The day was cloudy and the summit was still hidden in a cloud. I could see down into some of the valleys below the clouds, but there wasn’t much of a view anywhere. The trail led directly up to the summit of Abercrombie. The last few feet were a little rocky and the summit was more talus than anything else. Several cairns decorate the summit. I found the highest one and tagged the top rock. I can now officially claim the Stevens County Highpoint as well as the 53rd most Prominent Peak in the lower US. I didn’t stay long because I wanted to get down to Spokane and over to Idaho on this trip.
I headed back to my truck and had another grouse pose for me on the trail down. Birds are friendly here. It only took me a little over 3 hours for the hike. On the drive out to Hwy 25 I scared a bull moose off the road and also had to wait for a flock of turkeys to cross the road. There’s lots of wildlife up here. I didn’t see any Grizzly Bears though.