Beautiful climb. Catching the climber's trail on the way down was surprisingly tough, but because of the location of the Rachel Lake trail it is nearly impossible to go wrong (actually, the rocky bluffs make it possible, but unlikely).
Route Climbed: SW route Date Climbed: June 26, 2004
Ignore the weather forecast! This one had a little of everything; river hiking, steep dirt, route finding, steep scree, loose choss, and a couple class 3 moves in the last 100'. Did I mention steep? Find the climbers path in the woods just past a major clearing about 2.5 miles in. Realize that up is up. I was slow, but the goal was never in doubt. There is one blank area after leaving the trees. At a big cairn a path goes left and a path goes right. Ignore both and go straight up. Pick up the path left of the last tree stand. The views were mostly great, with some clouds socking in the volcanoes. The register reveals about one party per week signing in. We were the first of four groups to summit today. No snow on route, and considerable melt off when compared to Trailcat's pictures of two weeks ago. I can recommend paying close attention on the way down. There are a few cliffs and bogus brush for those who wander. Wildlife included a yellow pine chipmunk, a garter snake, a rufus hummingbird, a ruffed grouse, and one big frog in the woods. The trail was harder than I expected. Excellent company in Quetzalcoatl and Big Al.