Merchant Peak by Baring Mountain / 靠霸菱山的莫森特峯

There was less snow this season. So the pup and I went up to Merchant Peak on largely snow-free terrain this week. Last weekend, we tried climbing Cascade Mountain. But then we ran out of time and turned around at Gouging Lake.

Merchant Peak towering overhead
Merchant Peak towering overhead

See more trip photos here.

Merchant Peak at a Glance

Access: Barclay Lake Trailhead
Round Trip: TBD
Elevation Range: 2280′-6113′
Gear: helmet
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: on the trail

Merchant Peak South Gully

Five cars were in the parking lot when we drove up to the Barclay Lake Trailhead. They presumably either went up to Baring Mountain or Barclay Lake. I briefly talked to a group of three who were also going up to Merchant Peak. Then the pup and I started walking.

Overall, the route was straightforward. For the most part, we were in the south gully. We went around the first waterfall from the trail on the far right. But going above the second waterfall, I took the time route finding for the pup. Then we ended up going past the chockstones from the left.

Merchant Peak south gully
Merchant Peak south gully

See more trip photos here.

Through the Overhang

At 3950′, we went up to the rock tower at the gully junction. The joining ravine came down from the right. But it was very tempting to want to go up that way. Instead, we continued on the main route.

We went up another 50′. Then we passed the tower from the left. Shortly, we went up under the overhang by the rock wall. So we could get on the trail next to it. I was suspicious of the route at first. But the view of a nearby cairn confirmed we were still on track.

Going through the brush
Going through the brush

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The Final Stretch

Pup and I met four Everett Mountaineers by the meadow. And there was more snow there. But thanks to them, we were able to make use of their tracks. So first, we went up to the ridge. Then we worked our way up the rocky ridgeline to the base of the summit.

While we were still on the ridge, I noticed the week-old tracks in the snowfield down below. They were from last weekend’s party. That certainly looked like a better option to bypass the ridge altogether. So did just that on the way down!

The final stretch
The final stretch

See more trip photos here.

Merchant Peak Summit

The summit was less windy than I anticipated. Then the wind stopped soon after we got on top. The weather improved as the day progressed. Nearby usual suspects were Gunn Peak, Baring Mountain, Iron Mountain, and Townsend Mountain.

There were stunning views all around! I could also see Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, and even Mount Adams. The three people we met down in the parking lot never showed. But I hoped that they ended up someplace even more lovely.

Thanks for a lovely day
Thanks for a lovely day

See more trip photos here.

Outro

We left the summit after a one-hour stay. Then we bypassed the ridgeline by going straight down into the snowfield. Afterward, we went through the chockstone crux and made it back to the parking lot.

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