Although the climb went well, the entire peak was whited out all day. No views from the top and most of the flowers had already passed their prime. Cold wet trip in July. What a bummer. But we still had a good time and were glad to be outside.
Nice to be back. Gareth and I made it up in 2:06. Lots of nice colors this time of year.
Nice trip up, had a twisted ankle on the way down. Still a good day
...but no people either and plenty of berries.
Trip report and photos will be forthcoming very soon. I will say that the trip up this mountain was awesome!!!
What an incredible day! A lot of blue sky with clouds scattered around the horizon. Peek-a-boo views of Rainier and Adams and good views of Glacier Peak. Went with two friends. Carried a 30-lb pack for "training" and enjoyed a glass of wine on top. Made it up in just over 2:30. Fun hike!
Awesome views and a highly recommended hike. I was surprised that the Lookout was actually open. I summitted Granite Mountain after I had summitted nearby Pratt Mountain earlier that same morning.
What an awesome day! Beautiful weather and fantastic views near and far! A must do Washington climb!
The final hurrah of a great week of hiking and climbing in the Cascades. 5 peaks, over 17,000 feet of gain - good times, despite the near-constant rain all week.
we started hiking at about 11pm on tuesday 7/3, taking our sweet time. The moon and stars were so bright that we turned our headlamps off once we busted on out of treeline! the sunrise was amazing, right over glacier peak. just a beautiful clear day! Super busy on the way back down. must have seen 5 pregnant people hiking up.... crazy
Fun climb, lots of step kicking.
Granite Mountain 2/18/06
So, set out today to climb the main avalanche gully on Granite. The day started off cold in the parking lot at 815AM. I wore a coat for the first time in my life during a hike. It was 22F at the trail head (1916ft.). We set out at a pretty quick tempo to warm up, passing a soloist on the trail, and hit the gully in 45 min (3450ft.).
Crampons and ice axe at the ready, we shot up straight in the gully. There was a party of 3 with a dog about 600 ft. above us switch backing in trees. We wanted the alpine experience and more of a direct route, so we stayed in the gully. The snow was rather solid, and each step created a squeaking of the crampons and axe. It was Heaven. Breathe in, step, step, breathe out, step, step.
We passed the party in about 20 minutes, and hit the timberline at 4730 ft. There was a gentle wind from the east, blowing at around 15-20mph. We set our backs to it, and started side stepping our way up. To our surprise, the wind was slowly pushing us west, toward the ridgeline. Once at the ridgeline, the wind was constantly gusting at 45-50mph. We were being knocked over constantly.
The wind was blowing a wisp of air bound snow around the ridgeline. Wahoo! It was exhilarating. However, it was a bit out of our comfort zone. We were only biting in a couple millimeters, if that. The slope was a solid 35-40 degrees, which seems like 60 degrees when you're on it. We didn't want to slip and have to arrest, so each step was kicked in, and we had to trust our feet. The temp here was around 6F. Add the wind chill factor, and it got down to roughly -23F. -23F in Washington? What's going on?
My buddy decided to get off this ridge and traverse into the bowl, perhaps finding some relief from the gusts. He led the way, straight into the wind. I just put my head down and followed his tracks. Each time I looked up, there was a sharp sting to my face. So no more of that!!! At this point, both of our water tubes had completely frozen so no more aqua for us. After the long traverse, the wind calmed back down to a friendly 15mph breeze. We switched back, got out some good ole' pecans and chocolate, and found refuge behind a tree and rock (5750'). This relative refuge, was tempting to spend a few minutes at, but we knew that we would cool quickly, and that we needed to press on soon. My hands and face were beginning to numb, as were his hands, so we did a quick dash to the summit, only a couple hundred vertical feet away.
It was a lovely day, there was relatively mild winds at the summit, save these huge swirls of snow being spun around by the winds a bit off the summit. Rainier, Adams, and Glacier Peak were visible. We snapped a couple of photos, ate some cookies, had a few gulps of unfrozen water, and got ready for the glissade. I would be lying to say that I wasn't kind of shaky starting to glissade. The avalanche chute ran for about 2500 vertical feet, and the slope was pretty steep. We took the glissading in small bits. Glisade, arrest, glissade, arrest. It wasn't bad until the 5th or 6th glissade, where my legs started to spasm out. The spasms were probably due to lack of water, so I decided to jog the rest of the way down. My buddy's hand was completely numb, and we were short on water, so we wanted to get to the tree line as fast as possible.
Once in the tree line, we started to have shooting pains in the fingers. At least they were alive still. Being in the trees was was like being on a different mountain. It was a balmy 25F, the wind was non-existent, and there were people. The rest of the way was in the trees. A fantastic day!
I learned that this was the coldest day on record in the Seattle area in the last 10 years!
Fun ride down! Need to steal the key to the lookout from the Forest Service.
Hard snow and large cornices during this trip. A fellow died on the route two days after I went up :(
19 years of hiking here in the NW and I'd never gone up Granite. Took 4 other Seattle Backpackers with me and It's now on my short list of regular conditioning hikes. Enjoyed it much more than I expected though my ascent was slow as I stayed at the rear behind a member of our party who was really struggling (but ultimately made it) Overcast day; cold and windy at the summit but we did get the views before the fog rolled in. Tons of huge, ripe blueberries and huckleberries so we made a slow descent while stuffing ourselves and whatever containers we had.
Started out first thing in the morning to avoid the sun as much as possible. Tempurature got up to about 80 degrees that day. Trail was in good condition, but very dry and dusty. Not too many people hiking the route, which I thought was kind of odd with it being a popular route and sunny out. I do think a lot of people went to Pratt Lake instead to cool off. I went through 64 oz of water on the hike. Very nice at the top, not many clouds so the view was spectacular, especialy the view of Mt. Rainier. Overall very pleasant, could have used more water though on such a warm day.
Gorgeous fall day, fantastic views! Can't wait to do this one again!
Solo hike -- just getting to know the I-90 corridor.
Great hike but a lot of people on the trail.
great for cramponing on the way up, soft for boarding on the way down!