Ascended the S. face from Crescent Lake - brush wasn't too bad and there were several viable routes to choose from. Much more pleasant on the way up than it would be on the down... I like the direction of our loop and doing Howard before Mastiff. Smoky due to the Chelan Complex fires and an easterly flow Full TR on the blog
Had I known the Nason Ridge trail was in such bad shape in the Royal Creek basin, I may have just gone in and out via Mastiff instead of doing the traverse. I did find something of a climber's path/game trail through the steep area above Crescent Lake. I marked it at 6100' as N47 48.539 W120 57.315.
A little pika came out of the summit rocks and sat next to me chewing on grass.
Nice long traverse. Lost the trail a few times, but overall very fun and challenging peak.
I approached the mountain from the combination of Merritt Lake Trail, Nason Ridge Trail, and southern slopes (off-trail). It was no more difficult than Class 2, and seldom even that. The SW ridge looks like nasty Class 3/4 stuff; my approach (S/SE slopes) was much more desirable. The best thing about my trip was that I had virtually no encounters with flying insects! I think the breezy wind kept them away, as other recent visitors complained about how nasty the insects get in these areas.
I decided to save Rock Mountain and Mount Mastiff for future trips.
Basically a long hike with a couple of walk up peaks. Nice area. Didn't see anybody untill back on Merritt lake trail.
summited Mastiff and Howard in succession from the Merritt Lake Trailhead before descending to Crescent Lake and missing the Nason Ridge Trail (snow was still solid at that altitude). this prompted around 4 hours of bushwhacking and extremely sketchy scrambling. after loosing my map (and my patience) i simply made a beeline for hwy 2 and then hiked around 3.5 miles back to the trailhead. fun fact: when speaking of bushwhacking you tend to assume that the bush is the object of the sentence, this is false, it is the subject and you are the object.
Camped at Crescent Lake. Scambled up in the morning to reach the summit 15 minutes before dawn. Quite a pleasing view. Bushwhacking the lower flanks and navigating the band of cliffs are activities best left for the light of day.
Last log to sign for that day
Bryan and I started at the Snowy Creek trail head at 8am. We found that a huge pile of avalanche debris had annihilated parts of the trail between 4600 and 5000 feet. We started with the summit of Rock Mountain and then worked our way over to Howard and Mastiff. We took twenty minute breaks on each summit and spent the rest of the day moving. We got back to the car at 8:30pm
We went up the SW ridge and then out the NE ridge over Mastiff on the way back. Good views.
Started at Merritt Lake trailhead and climbed Mastiff, then went up the NE ridge of Howard. Went down via Crescent Lake and back out to Merritt. Long day.
Duane and I took our boys up this one. Day hiked it from the Rock Lake TH.
With Phoebe Duke. From Rock Lake. A real grind to come in that way.