Nice layer of powdery snow everywhere made the class three steps on the backside a little tricky.
Scrambled the peak via the Windy Pass route hiking along the ridgeline. My friend and I scrambled under the two lower summits South of the true summit block allowing us to reach the saddle at just under 8000 ft. There are four "false summits" and the real summit on the summit block. If you are at the saddle, the true summit is on the opposite side from you (aka the North side of the summit block). It is the very last summit you would come to. I didn't realize this. There is a class 3 scrambling route (ridge and talus climb) on the North-West side of the summit block. Take the extra time and find this route (my buddy and I found it on the way down). If you try to summit earlier, you will have a class 4 scramble, and you will still have to traverse around the false summits to get over to the true summit. Also the last, 15 to 20 feet or so of the false summit (or at least the 3 of the 4 I tried before the true summit) are strictly climbing (In my opinion). The true summit, however, has an easy class 3 ridgeline finish or a slightly scary but easy class 4 gully finish (since we were traversing from the south we used the gully). Overall it was a great peak. Hard work, but the view of the Cascades (all of them from Mt. Baker to the far north and Mt. Ranier to the south) is breathtaking, not to mention the Birdseye view of the Enchantments. It doesn't get much better than this.
We started at 9:00 A.M. and reached the summit at 4:36 P.M. then camped in the basin below the ridge and used a shortcut through the basin to get back out (it gets really windy on the ridge after about 6:00 P.M.) after spending the night in the basin.
It was a good day.
Note: Even in mid-July there was a significant amount of snow (at last count we traversed 12 snowfields I believe) so be prepared. An ice axe would be comforting in some situations. Keep your eyes up and watch for rockfall. Also, give yourself ample time to get down. Packs are a nuisance on the loose talus/scree so ditch them or set up a high camp.
Read the post below from 'hereandthere'. There are many false summits and the true summit is really hard to find. Be prepared to keep traversing east from the last saddle before the true scrambling starts a bit further than you might think. Beware of loose rocks and exposure. It is a good thing that this mountain does not get a whole lot of traffic because lots of rockfall could mean sketchy conditions on a crowded day.
Climbing from Windy pass is a great route. Beautiful views in an amazing area.
Hereandthere was a defunct account I had. I recently recovered access to it and moved the climbing logs over. I have copied the same info above on my new accounts climber log entry.
Just an fyi for everyone as the "post below" will be disappearing soon.
Left the house at 5:20am and began hiking on 8 Mile Trail 3 hours later. I took off across the slopes before reaching Windy Pass and gained the ridge at the final notch before the summit push. I didn't traverse far enough before ascending the gullies and went up to a couple false summits before finally reaching the real one at 1:15pm. It was bug city up there, counted ~20 ladybugs on the top rock and about twice as many flies. My dad made it to the last highpoint on the west ridge before running out of steam and turning around. This was probably the toughest scramble I've done to date (not really saying much). It was a great trip and a nice dayhike if you keep a fairly quick, steady pace.
this was one of my first mountains, you get a wonderful view of the cascades....
via windy pass
With Fred and Rick. Very snowy and nasty.
Reached summit at 3:50. Would have been a perfect day were it not for smoke from a fire in the Ingall's Creek area. When we reached the summit, the view of Stuart, Colchuck, & the Enchantments area was completely obscured by smoke. Other than that, the weather was perfect.
Had to hike the last bit from Little 8 Mile in pitch darkness...bad timing on our part.
Climbed with Monica Spicker & Rick Johnson. A stormy cold day with about a foot of new snow.
Duane and I took our boys backpacking to Lake Caroline, then climbed from the camp. All but one of the boys reached the summit with us on a glorious September day.