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Church Scramble

Church Scramble

Church Scramble

Page Type: Route

Location: Washington, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 48.92700°N / 121.881°W

Object Title: Church Scramble

Route Type: Scrambling

Season: Summer

Time Required: Half a day

Difficulty: Moderate

Route Quality: 
 - 3 Votes


Page By: Dow Williams

Created/Edited: May 29, 2005 / Oct 10, 2006

Object ID: 165240

Hits: 3974 

Page Score: 73.06%  - 3 Votes 

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From the Church Mt trailhead at 2300', ascend switchbacks to 4600' where the trail flattens and traverses west around the basin of Dearhorn Creek. Cross the creek and continue to the west above tree line. Complete a few more switchbacks to finsih the trail portion to an old lookout just east of the true summit.

Route Description

The true summit is a moderate scramble, not a hike. But of your 4100' day, it accounts for very little time and elevation gain. From the lookout, head north on a scrambler's trail and descend into the basin on the right side (north). Traverse northwest past the last gendarme toward the notch in the ridge. Cross the ridge to the other side (south) and traverse 80' to a steep gully. Cross the gully about 100 yards to a small platform and well marked cairn. Scramble up 40' trending right to the top of the ridge. You can continue on the ridge with one down climbing situation or you can take the easy way out back on the north side of the ridge to the true summit.

I made a variation on return. This route will require some free 5.6 climbing on loose rock, but is more enjoyable (for an experienced climber) then descending back down to the scree. I took the ridge back all the way and had more fun then any of the above. Up and down, but nothing to technical for a moderate to difficult scramble. There is always exposure when doing a route like this of course.

Essential Gear

Hiking boots...dog...wife....camera..lunch....bottle of wine...the lookout makes a great picnic...


Mount Baker from the ascent...Church Mountain ExposureSome of that traverse across...