11.0 miles roundtrip
3500 elevation gain
YDS Class 2, 2+ if you took the wrong route
The red was my ascending route, while my blue was desending route. On the other photo the green represents roughly both routes. Hopefully these photos will help out others.
What an awesome trip which a number of people from NWHikers. After read a trip report and talking to both the authors I had Hawkins on my mind. I seen that another person had a trip going to Mount Aix that I was interested in but due to the fact that we could not get any details on the conditions on Mount Aix and I had first hand account information on Hawkins Mountain, I thought it would be a much better choice. Then the forecast on Thursday actually went to to say that there was a possibly of rain and that cemented Hawkins Mountain.
We left at 8:00 am form the Issaquah Park and Ride and made it to the trailhead at around 10:00 all set ready to go. We started up the way the De Roux Creek trailhead. All the way up we encountered beautiful waterfalls. We continued up very much at a social pace, so a) one of our hikers could nurse that ankle and b) to really take in a number of amazing watefalls and some of the peek-a-boo views of Koppen Peak among other. We ran into one very amazing waterfall where two in the group decided to take a dip under the waterfall.
We pressed on at a social pace until we reached Gallagher Head Lake. I did not expect much in terms of scenery but this lake is worthy of a trip in it's own right. We stopped again and had another bite to eat and took in the scenery.
Onward and upward we pressed up the dirt road where views continuously opened up. Once the road ended summit fever hit me and one of the other people and it was off to the races. The summit area (note: you can't see the true summit because the false summit is covering it up) did look daunting from down below. Looking back at this plan I taken the maybe Class 2 ridge to the left. We later found that section had very little scrambling. However the literature we had told us to go up the YDS Class 2 scree to attain the ridge and then ascend the false summit where there is a ridge and well placed snowfield that connects the false and true summit. While the others were collecting there thoughts on how to tackle the last bit the other guy and I decided to scramble up the steep scree field. He went a little left and hit the false summit directly while I hit the ridgeline went throughout what little vegetation there was and then achieved the false summit. We met at the false summit where he led the way to the true summit.
WOW!!! All I have to say is Rainier, Adams and that nasty forest fire behind it (which looked like an eruption!!!!) to south in clear view. Baker and Glacier to the northwest in CLEAR VIEWS. Stuart taunting us in the east with the desert behind it. And Daniel and Hinman with all the snow as well as the other Cascades. It was clear and it was amazing!! On a clear day this has to be one of the better views around.
We sat up for about 10-15 minutes to enjoy the views when we came to realize that no one else that come up yet. Are they waiting below. Did they abandon the thought of trying? Did they go back without us????? Then most of the other crew follwed behind and made it to the top. Two stayed back due to the fact of water shortages.
We enjoyed the true summit for about an hour where the typical hero pictures, and other goofiness occured. After an hour we decided to head down from summit. It was hard to peel us off the summit because the views were THAT GOOD and the weather was PERFECT!!!!!!!! Getting up and actually leaving that summit was clearly the hardest part of the trip.
On the way down the group decided to ride now the rocky ridge and then travel down the scree to the bottom. Looking down I decided to take another more direct way down (not very smart). I saw what I thought would be go way which turned out to be a very steep scree patch through the rocks. This was clearly the steepest of the scree areas and as I watched a rock roll unbroken 300 feet below I realized that this section was going to a harder section to downclimb than I thought. I still though kept my balance and though I was slower than the others I got down finally by creating switchbacks in the scree and applying snow style moves (kick step, heel step). Once I got off the steeper scree I glissaded a snowfield which one of the others did a standing glissade (it was a very low angle) and then went down another scree field where I watch the rest of the group taking a glissade on another field. The second field was a lot of fun.
We finally caught up with the others at the dirt road. At Gallagher Lake we took one last break. That lake was looking even pretty in the evening. After that break we took the De Roux Creek trail all of the way back to the car. The rest the trip was uneventful and actually very relaxing. I got to spend time reflecting on the wonderful experience I had early in the day. It was so relaxing hearing those waterfall going down that the temptation to just fall asleep became greater with every passing minute. Finally we made it back to the cars and headed home. All of us reflected on the wonderful experience we had. Hopefully this group will hold together for Mount Aix because this was a really fun group to be around.