This is a great beginner alpione route that has some steep snow pitches, a small amount of ice if timed correctly (no more than AI1 if anything), and a few pitches of mixed climbing that you might have to do with pons.
Highly recommended for folks that want to get their feet wet. The exposure is never anything to great when it is snow filled, just a really long runout down the gulley. There are some cliffs on either side of the gulley which most likely get corniced so be careful.
This gulley is north facing, so checking avy conditions is always a must. I have heard of people ascending in the trees next to the gulley when it is warm with new snow or other unstable conditions.
A rope is not totally necessary as the snow and rock pitch can be climbed sans rope, but always a good idea. When I climbed it we brought it so we could practice our running belay skills as well as anchor setup. We also rappeled the rock pitch as well as 3-4 full pitches of the snow since it is quite steep near the top. plenty of trees in the gulley to rap off of.
Use the same directions as the regular trail + "Leave the trail at about 3,500 ft, traversing right NW through trees where it is a short distance to the gulley".
Ice Axe (Technical not required)
External LinksAdd Alpinism: Seeking good tidings
ClimbWashington.com Trip Report