Mount Hyak, located just a mile from the heart of Snoqualmie Pass and Snoqualmie Pass ski area is a nice alternative summit for skiing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling and for hiking. Compared to other mountains in the area Mount Hyak is not very large in height. However the mountain does have good views of Snoqualmie and neighboring mountains throughout the region. These good views can be seen from the ski area and makes for a great approach.
The ski area was heavily damaged in January 2009 by a avalanche/ mudslide during a very severe storm in the Cascade. The ski resort now owned by the Snoqualmie Pass ski area has now been totally revamped and there is now a lift right on the true summit of Mount Hyak. During winter this summit is open to skiing. In April after the mountain is closed the area is great for ice axe training and practice. I personally took an ice axe self arrest and use course right on this mountain sponsored by a non-profit group. The slopes were ideal for a safe runout.
Because this mountain is a ski area the ideal time to go for this summit is just after ski season when the lifts is closed but there is plenty of snow to make a good quick safe evening snowclimb. Usually the mountain will take an hour or less to ascend and less that twenty minutes to decend making it ideal to get good practice will your alpine gear before attempting the volcanoes. After the snow melts (late May) this peak would make for a bit of a mud mess and likely there would be better mountains (Granite, Snoqualmie among others) that would open up. However this peak in late summer may still be a nice mountain in late summer who wants a quick conditioner.
Getting ThereVIA THE SKI AREA: From I-90 take exit 54. Head south on the road toward the the Hyak Ski Area. Make a right onto Hyak Drive E. Head all the way to the base of the ski area.
Red TapeIn winter this is both an alpine and a crosscountry ski area. Obey all posted rules such as keeping snowshoes away from the ski tracks and not going up the ski slope if the ski area is open. That is of course after they repair the ski area from the damaging avalanche in 2009. Other than that there was no other Red Tape for this mountain
CampingNo camping on the ski area. Besidess this peak can be summited in less than an hour and there is no need for camping. However there is plenty of nearby camping up by the nearby Mt. Catherine.
External LinksHere is ski mountaineering trip up the mountain.
Here is a webcam from the ski area
Here is the the mountain's homepage
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