Mount Hardy by Rainy Pass / 靠多雨山道的哈迪山

I didn’t want to drive three hours in the morning to climb Mount Hardy. So the yellow pup and I went up to Rainy Pass on Friday night. Then we slept in the car by the Swamp Creek pullout off Highway 20. The black dog stayed behind after yesterday’s outing.

Mount Hardy underneath the stars
Mount Hardy underneath the stars

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Mount Hardy at a Glance

Access: Swamp Creek
Round Trip: TBD
Elevation Range: 3960′-8080′
Gear:
helmet, ice ax, microspikes, snowshoes
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance

Through the Forest

The mostly sunny weather forecast turned out to be real. Views on top of the mountain were excellent. But it required serious bushwhacking and route finding in the lower elevation.

We walked from the pullout parking over to the north side of the highway. Then we went right into the woods. SummitPost mentioned that there was a faint trail to follow. But we never found it. I did see one piece of red flagging on a tree at the beginning. But then I didn’t see any after that.

Sniffing out today's route
Sniffing out today’s route

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Mount Hardy South Ridge

We spent went through the brush in the first thousand feet. Later, it turned into the tall thicket mixed with down trees. As the terrain expanded past 5300′, the shrubs dwindled. There were more windfalls on the south slopes. But we could bypass then easily. Views to the south slowly expanded.

Snow appeared at 6000′. So I put on snowshoes at 6500′ when walking in boots became arduous. Glad I had brought them for this trip! Soon, the terrain steepened, and then it became icy. So we stayed on the crest from 7000′. I kept the ice ax close in hand just in case.

Porcupine Peak from the south slopes
Porcupine Peak from the south slopes

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The Final Stretch

The summit was not visible until 7900′. Then the ridgeline later flattened. A cirque with cornices showed up just before the cliffs. So we bypassed the sketchy part by going around the left. We also stayed close to the dry rocks.

Afterward, we joined the gully that led up to the summit. But that part felt even steeper, with ice in many places. I brought crampons. But I ended up using just microspikes to finish the last bit of climbing.

Mount Hardy summit above
Mount Hardy summit above

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Mount Hardy Summit

What a gorgeous day to be out in the wilderness! It was everything I had pictured plus more. But there was more snow than I expected. The first thing I did from the summit was to look for Golden Horn and Tower Mountain. The pup and I climbed the gorgeous peaks last summer.

There were too many peaks to count. But some of them were Black Peak, Silver Star Mountain, Mount Logan, and Eldorado Peak. I could also see Mount Ballard, Azurite Peak, Glacier Peak, and Jack Mountain.

West Fork Methow River Valley
West Fork Methow River Valley

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Outro

The descent went much faster. I tried glissading but it was too slushy. The only crux was going back through the cirque below the top.

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