Tucked away in the heart of the Southeast Olympics is a series of less climbed and explored peaks. Among these peaks is White Mountain, a beautiful elongated ridge of summits that runs between the Quinalt river and Duckabush River. The eastern most peak on the ridge is the summit and stands proudly above the White Creek Basin which is created by runoff of the White Glacier. White Mountain's nearest neighbors include Mount Lacrosse to the east, Mount Anderson to the north, Mount's Steel and Duckabush to the southwest, and Chimney and Crystal Peak to the west. Surrounded by beautiful basins and river valleys, White Mountain is a scenic place to hike, climb or just view from a distance. Great views of White Mountain can be had from 1st Divide on the North Fork of the Skokomish trailhead, Anderson Pass, and from the ridge above Lake LaCrosse. The easiest routes are from Anderson Pass where a traverse of the White Glacier is required, then an easy climb up the rock to the summit. The other less poplular route is through the LaCrosse Basin from Buck Lake. This route is the most technical and a fair bit of class 2 and 3 scrambling is neccesary on the west summit above Buck Lake. From there a traverse is made east and to the summit of White Mtn.
Getting ThereTo the hike to and from the summit of White Mountain requires several days of Backpacking in to the Olympics. The Dosewallips trail to Anderson Pass (10.5 miles) is one route to the base. The other is the 21.3 mile hike up the Duckabush river into the LaCrosse Basin, and from there it's another 3 and a half miles cross country hike to the summit of White Mountain. Follow U.S. Highway 101 north from Olympia until reaching the junction of the Duckabush River trail just north of Eldon. To reach the Duckabush River trailhead continue further north along 101 near Brinnon until reaching the turnoff to the Dosewallips Ranger Station and trailheads. However, the road is washed out and this will add another 5 miles of hiking onto the trip.
wilderness permit is required for overnight stays in the Olympics and can be purchased at any Ranger Station in the Olympics. An overnight fee of five dollars is also required for each night a person or party stays in the Park. Most of the river valley's remain open even during the winter so access is possible year around, but not advised, for Olympic Mountain weather is extreme with rain, hail or whiteouts possible at any time. No parking passes are required at the trailheads. However, because of recent vandelism I would advise parking at the Dosewallips trailhead over the Duckabush trailhead.
When To Climb
The best climbing months for White Mountain are from middle to late June until late September. Out of season would require snow gear and ofcourse crampons and a pick axe for the snowfields and glaciers of White Mountain's north face. The best time to climb is by far early August when the weather is generally warm and sunny.