Climbed to the summit via the North Face Route, signed the register at 11:23 AM on a beautiful sunny blue-sky day.
Nov 27th - 28th At the last second john and I decided to head up to Pilchuck that night in order fo us to have enought time to sport climb at Cascade Crags the next day. So we got to Granite Falls around 10pm, then up the road to the trailhead. We encountered snow at 1500', then large amounts of it up to the trailhead. We were obviously the only ones there and left the car at 1045pm in snowshoes (about 2 feet at the traihead). We followed the telemarker tracks for the first 1.5 miles until they turned back just below the saddle of Little Pilchuck and Mt Pilchuck. It was hard breaking trail as we were sinking in our snowshoes at least 2 feet as we ascended to the saddle. We got to the top around 1230am this morning and settled in as best we could. There was some snow in the lookout, but it did not pose a problem. The boulderfield just before the lookput is non existent as well now, and only a few steps to go up on the ladder. It was hard to sleep as the wind kept blowing open the door and letting snow in (everytime I got settled in this happened). We awoke to freezing temperatures and strong winds. I never thought that I would need wands on Pilchuck, but they could have helped this morning as there was no site of the trail due to the large dumping of snow. We folowed the landmarks that we knew, and made it down safely to find the car in good condition and only 6 inches of fresh in the lot. Not a soul up there, and no one had signed the summit log since Nov 25.
Hiked to the summit then down to the traverse by Frozen Lake. Skirted the summit and met up with the climbers path that starts at 5000 feet or so. As we have been searching for the Bathtub Lakes, we never are able to find them due to weather or something of that nature. We scrambled across small and large boulders that had small amounts of snow on them which made for a less than desirable route. Turned back on the ridge to attempt on a more visible day with better conditions.
Another cloudy day on the mountain loop highway. Started to snow and sleet on us at the halfway point at 4100 feet, that turned into snow further up the trail. Snow is on the trail at about 3500 feet, and covers the trail at about 4200 feet. Encountered a nice covering of about 3-4 inches above 4500 feet which made for a beautiful hike. Turning back into the winter wonderland that I love so much about Pilchuck. Cannot wait for the direct route to be available and to be able to ski the old ski resort!
Overnight trip that was to be a expedition to see the many facets of this mountain. From the many tarns of the Bathtub Lakes Region, to the Pinnacle Lake region. We were able to descend the summit ridge and head east down Iodine Gulch on a climbers path then ascend back up another 500 feet or so to a knife ridge that allows access to the other regions, but we were just scoping out for the next day and it was getting dark. It was a very cold night on top, and although the lookout tower provided protection for us, it was still around 20 degrees and the wind battered the tower all night and into the morning. Had absolutely no visulas off the mountain the whole time except around 9pm where we could see the whole Puget Sound. Explored underneath the lookout tower via another scramblers route that takes you to Frozen Lake which is amongst many other smaller tarns. On a nice day this would be quite cool.
Climbed solo with scooby the wonder dog to try and catch the sunset from up top for some pictures. As soon as we got above the clouds at 5100 feet, it was a sea of clouds below us all over the Puget Sound. It got dark fast and the clouds enveloped us. It was the quickest descent I have ever had on this trail as it was my first real solo night climb. Pretty spooky after the bear sightings, but I had scooby with me!
Rainy day, the trail was a river but we endured the short 3 mile trek to the summit with our friend Lori and Jeff. Scooby and Sammy came along as well. I do not think that they enjoyed the short scramble at the top, nor did the 110 lb scooby like me carrying him up the ladder to the lookout tower! No views, just rain the whole time
My dad and I returned for a 50th anniversary hike. It was a very warm clear day, but there was too much haze for my preference and the views were not very good. But Dad, who is 86, did great! It was the first time we had hiked together since 1994.
Sometime this summer I will return to Mt. Pilchuck for a 50th anniversary hike. I was 4 years old when I last hiked that trail. My parents never let me forget that of our group of 10 or 12 I was the 4th person to the summit. My pride was quickly dashed, however, as I faded rather miserably on the hike down, the harbinger of a lifelong struggle with my downhill muscles, and I rode on my poor dad's shoulders most of the way. I don't remember much about that place, but I do vaguely remember the lookout tower and my first sighting of Glacier Peak, which Dad had recently summitted.
Just a nice hike to do anytime of the year when accessible. The winter route is great training for other mountains as it has some good steep portions. The glissade is always a favorite. Summer months this hike can be crowded during the weekend, etc. Very well maintained trail. 1 hour from Seattle