Did this one roughly a week after the biggest week of snow of the season. There was a LOT of snow. Wet and post-holing down below. Heavy and unconsolidated higher up. This one was a workout and a half. We hiked the road up until it started switch backing. We then made a straight line up the mountain the bypassed all the switch backs. Not really much of a bushwhack with all the snow. We followed the knife ridge which was a little airy but not too bad. We had to adjust some of our navigation just beyond this section due to a shooting crack in the snow pack. The route was mostly straightforward from here. A few sections near the summit were a bit airy but fairly easy to navigate. Couldn't see much at the summit because it started snowing. I must admit that this one was much harder than expected, but still very doable. Something about this mountain just throws people off I guess.
Cleveland was a pleasant surprise. It was fairly straightforward (given the beta at summitpost), had zero bushwhacking (was expecting a lot), and the summit is nifty and has tremendous views. There was solid snow cover from the 3400 foot level and above. 3.5 hours up, 3 hours down.
I basically followed the road and then headed SW on one of the two road spurs that's on the summitpost map, but not on the USGS topos. These spurs head SW for a ways, petering out near the marked NW-treading creak that drops down to Kimball Creak, at about the 3800-4000 level. From here (spur end) it's a simple up, on a slight rightward contour and you pass directly under the west side of the knife-edge on simple snow slopes. (The knife-edge looks like an unnecessary pain.) The road was fast and painless. I only cut the last two or so switchbacks.
I parked down at the Money Creek road junction, but if I were to do it again, I'd drive to the first switchback. The road is not bad at all and there are a number of turn-outs, including one at the first switchback.
Finally got this summit and was rewarded with excellent views. Lennox, Daniel, Glacier Peak and hundreds of other mountains come within view. I even went over the knife edge which with the snow-cover was not all that bad. The curse is over and I even got to see the amazing views from this summit.
Using advice from a friend's recent successful summit, I bypassed much of the road sections by heading straight up the hillside. I even bypassed the infamous knife-edge rocky ridge section, by side-traversing ~200' below its cliffs on its west side. This "Bypass Route" will be described on the main page, soon. This was my fifth time visiting Cleveland Mountain, and fourth time making a serious summit attempt. No timing-out or poor conditions this time! The last 200' elevation gain had several very steep sections, which were fortunately covered with snow but required a little extra caution. I do not plan to visit this mountain again; I have seen all I need to see.
Wow, almost no one here made the summit including myself. Makes me laugh a bit. After all it's only Mount Cleveland. ;-)
Time to update this!!
Went up with EastKing, Redwic and friends. Super snowy season made it difficult. We tagged Temple Mountain but the summit ridge was way too narrow and loaded for Cleveland. I tried to ice-axe belay up a ways but realized that it wouldn't be feasible within our time restraints (nor safe). Summer hike or different approach should allow for success next time. We had a blast though.
Turned around at the knife ridge due to very poor snow conditions. Went to Cleveland Lake as an alternate endpoint. Some parts of the lake were melted out and others had 10-15 feet of snow on them which made for quite a view.
No luck today nere but I got nearby Temple Mountain!!
This hike is definitely a lot more than just a road-walk followed by a forest-hike. The short knife-edge section took our hiking group by surprise. It wasn't a long section, but it was so steep and iced-over on each side that it was not safe to try without each of us having at least an ice axe (which my hiking partners did not have). Ascending the steep slopes to the ridgetop from the road-end is also a greatly underestimated option, much steeper than we anticipated. We'll go back in the near future, after the ice on the upper rocky sections has likely melted-out.