Beckey says "Located in the diverging angle of Meadow and Jack Creeks at 2.5 miles north of Van Epps (Scatter Cr) Pass, it is gentlest on the SE."
We climbed it from the SW on July 15 after a low snow year, and it turned out to be a nice second class scramble.
Thanks to etsnyd for providing the signature picture. He encountered ferocious bugs on Aug 4, 2010, so maybe that helps explain why this mountain sees relatively few visitors. Here's a 3d image
created by TOPO!.
The following driving instructions are from the Seattle PI "Hike of the Week
." From Seattle take Interstate 90 east and turn off at Exit 80 (Roslyn). Turn left and continue about three miles on the Roslyn cutoff road to state Route 903. Turn left and continue about a mile to Roslyn. Go through town and follow the road as it turns left and proceeds to the small town of Ronald. The road becomes Salmon la Sac Road. At the Salmon la Sac guard station (about 15 miles from Roslyn), turn right onto Road No. 4330 and continue about nine miles to the trailhead (trail is on the right), elevation 3,320 feet. The trail begins near the concrete ford of a creek that runs underground during the summer. Just a short distance beyond is another concrete ford with water running over the concrete. If you come to the second ford, you've driven too far.
Scatter Creek - SW Ridge Route
Follow the trail about 1300' vertical until an obvious trail junction. Turn left and cross Scatter Cr in about 1/4 mi. Follow blazed trees, flagging, and cairns as the trail makes its way through pretty, damp meadows. We lost the trail a couple of times. If you're off the trail as the meadow narrows, head right until intersecting the trail. We lost the trail again ascending toward Scatter Cr (Van Epps) Pass and did a minor bush whack to the pass, 6200'. On the return trip, we stayed on the trail, and it's in good shape. You get a nice view of Stuart from the pass.
Looking east from Scatter Creek Pass
From the pass, follow the Solomon Creek trail down to around 5500'. We found water there, and it saved us the effort of descending further. Head north through light brush to a talus field
. Contour around and choose your route. We scrambled to the left of the gulley leading up to the SW ridge saddle, and moved into the gulley about halfway up. The gulley is pretty steep and loose.
Looking north from SW ridge saddle
Follow the SW ridge to the summit, climbing over or around a false summit.
Alternatively, it looked like you could head straight for the summit from the rock basin.
15 mi RT, 5400', 12 hr car to car
A Northwest trail pass is required.
We camped a little ways past the trail head, at a campground on the left side of the road.
External LinksSeattle PI Hike of the Week
Snidely Whiplash - Aug 5, 2010 10:20 am - Voted 10/10Here ya go.
I've added some pictures of Harding itself, plus some others. What a brutal climb. Can you say MO-SQUI-TO?
larryN - Aug 16, 2010 9:43 am - Hasn't votedRe: Here ya go.
Thanks! I just changed the main picture to your shot from the pass. When we climbed this on 7/16/2005 during a low snow year, there were minimal bug problems. I can see how that damp approach could be bug infested, and I think we were lucky. Did you manage to stay mainly on a trail to the pass, and do you have any other suggestions about staying on route?
Snidely Whiplash - Aug 16, 2010 10:58 am - Voted 10/10Re: Here ya go.
Thanks for giving my picture top billing. We lost the trail in the lush (bug-infested) meadows of the upper basin of Scatter Creek just below the pass. We found the trail again right near the top of the pass. There is an old trail that does go to the pass and down on the other side towards Solomon Creek. It doesn't appear on today's Green Trails maps, but it does appear on the older USGS quads. It has disappeared for the most part until just the part right before the pass, so it's best just to head up to the pass in the easiest way you can find. We did a pretty good job of staying on route. Once at Scatter Creek Pass, we just did a descending traverse aiming for the bottom of the infamous boulder field. When we did this, we found an old boot path that took us a good way in that direction. The boot path petered out going through brush bands, but it wasn't too bad getting to the boulder field. Once at the bottom of the boulder field at 5400 feet, aim directly for the saddle on the summit ridge of Harding. Pretty straightforward. Even though we were out of the boggy meadows of Scatter Creek, the mosquitoes didn't let up one bit, nearly all the way to the summit. Bring lots and lots of DEET.