Total Distance: 10 miles
Elevation Gain: 3600 feet
Roundtrip Time (not including break on summit): 3.5 hours
YDS Class 1
Equipment Used: 10 essentials, trekking poles
Well today was supposed to be the day I was finally going to heading to Mount Pugh. I originally wanted to go to Mount Pugh when I first visited the Pacific Northwest three years, but I decided on Hidden Lakes Peaks and Vesper Peak. So was excited until I saw the weather forecast, thunderstorm and showers. Knowing that Mount Pugh was a little airy and had some areas of Class 2 and 3 scrambling I quickly had to come up with another mountain. You know the saying when it is raining in Seattle it is time to head east. But where should I go!
While eating at McDonald’s I came to the perfect conclusion, Carne Mountain in the eastern side of the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Little did I know that Carne was not named for Spanish beef, but after an English Clergyman (Thank you for noting this Luminous Aphid). I know this peak was going to be a little odd for my two vegetarian friends to go, but I have heard that the summit has great views and is a good hike up. It is also all-trail, which is great if we get caught in a storm. The last thing I want is to be scrambling on wet rock or being on an airy section in a whiteout. So Carne it was, and my vegetarian friends agree it was the correct choice. I ran off a bunch of copies of maps from a NwHikers.net trip report and I was on my way.
It took a while to get there. We got off to a late start 11:45 pm but my friends Aaron and his wife Kate are pretty fast and I am no speedster but can easily keep up with them. We got to the trailhead to be greeted with mostly sunshine and cloudy. As we were heading up at a decent pace, the weather stayed the same and the views through the trees gave us a hint that we were going to be rewarded. We were making great time when Aaron had some stomach cramps on the way. We slowed a little and kept an eye on Aaron but he recovered pretty well after a couple of stretches and we were on our way.
At about 5500 we got a handful of huckleberries and ate them. Yes those huckleberries were very good. Then we saw a marmot on some rocks a small distance away. The views past 5500 feet were simply spectacular and the hike up was very simple. This mountain was like Dickerman, another summit with killer views with not much effort. Then just past the intersection we headed up to the summit where views of Maude, Seven Fingered Jack, Bonanza, Spider Gap, Chiwawa, Red Mountain and Glacier Peak along many, many other mountains ruled the day. What a great payoff and a smart decision. I vegetarian friends had a blast on this peak, while I was contemplating a burger on the return trip. We made to the summit in just under 2 hours despite Aaron having was stomach cramps.
We spent an hour on the summit area to enjoy the views, with around 40 minutes on the true summit and twenty on a sub-summit. During that time Aaron recovered very quickly and was back to full force. In a way it was a shame I didn’t have more time hear because Maude and Seven Fingered Jack were looking mighty tempting. But I had to head back to work so after an hour of enjoying the summit it was time to head down.
We made good time heading down. Aaron and Kate can be real speedsters here and when it was safe to do so quick did a couple jogs down the mountain. I took a couple more picture of the beautiful scenery and then quickly headed down. We also ran into the same marmot again on the way down. This time he was screaming at some other marmot. What a cute creature!!!! We then made short work of the woods and in a little less than an hour and a half we were back to the trailhead. For kicks we decided to do a quick dash to the car on the flat Phelps Creek Trail.
Back at the car we all reflected on the awesome trip, the killer views, and the great time. This summer has been very kind to me weather wise and I have had some great trips from it. You know you are lucky when you can call Carne Mountain a stereotypical run in the mill 10-mile 3600-foot elevation gain mountain with typical AMAZING VIEWS. Everyday I am thankful I live here and today is yet another reminder of that. Thanks again Aaron and Kate for coming on this hike and hope to see you on many more.