Photos from this trip can be found here.
Robinson Mountain brought me to Pasayten Wilderness for the very first time this summer. It was exploring an unknown territory for the first time, and the drive through Washington Pass was simply breathtaking and beyond words. The farthest I have ever been on Highway 20 was Rainy Pass when we climbed Black Peak last October. If I remembered correctly, we were off to a late start and didn’t get on the trail until 10. The hike to Beauty Creek trail was scenic but seemed like forever. We ran into a couple of day hikers but they weren’t heading up to the mountain.
Beauty Creek trail was steep alright, but the switchbacks made lessened the agony a great deal. After stopping for water by the waterfall, the black Lab did not follow us up the trail after he took his drink of water. Instead, he got confused and headed back down the mountain. Sniffing out tracks is not his forte so I’m sure he was completely lost and probably had an anxiety attack during the fiasco. Twenty minutes had gone by before I took out my emergency whistle and started blowing as we headed down the mountain. The yellow Lab set out to look for him, it took another 10 minutes before he followed the whistle sound and showed up panting aggressively.
Getting to the basin was no problem with a little bit of scrambling. But getting from the basin to the southeast ridge was another story. Without the help with snow, can you say screeeeee! The dogs did okay on the slope, but I on the other hand, took a step forward and two steps back. The higher up I got, the less I moaned about the scree as it was beautiful all around.
It took us a while to get to the summit after first getting on the ridge. I got deceived by the false summit and got excited too early. My GPS showed the true summit was still a half mile beyond, oh boy… The entire way was mostly class 3 scramble. There was one small gully just below the summit where the dogs needed my help to give them a little push to get up.
The dogs ate their food half asleep while I took pictures. I loved the dryness and the nearly snow-free Pasayten Wilderness. Not sure how much daylight we had as we left the summit, but we got back down to the Robinson Creek trail just after sunset. While on the trail we ran into a deer that stood about 100 yards away and stared into the light from my head lamp. It nearly freaked me out as I couldn’t tell what it was at first. Yes, I get scared easily in the dark with too many horror flick scenes running through my head. The dogs are great company to have!
This trip took us half a day, 12 hours altogether, but it was completely worth it. Four fours of driving back to Seattle, oh joy!