Jumbo Mountain Mumbo Jumbo / 令人畏懼的巨山

Jumbo Mountain has been on my bucket list for quite some time. But I never looked into the climb until recently. A couple of new reports on NWHikers inspired me to do some research finally. SummitPost even dedicated a page to the mountain. It was a nice change of scenery from a few days ago.

Jumbo Mountain summit ahead
Jumbo Mountain summit ahead

See more trip photos here.

Jumbo Mountain at a Glance

Access: Squire Creek Trailhead
Round Trip: 6.8 miles
Elevation Range: 1120′-5840′
Gear: helmet, ice ax, snowshoes
GPS Track: available

Dog-Friendly: on the trail

Squire Creek Trail

We walked one mile on Squire Creek Trail. I couldn’t find the cairn that marked the start of the scramble. So right before we crossed the creek with a duct, I picked a spot and entered the woods. But eventually, we found the faint trail at around 2200′. There was even some flagging along the path.

We encountered down trees and dense brush en route. But we were able to follow the trail up to 2900′. Then it dwindled together with the flagging. So we moved over to the next ridge via a small gully. Soon, route finding was becoming annoying. The pups didn’t have much to add to the decision-making process.

See more trip photos here.

Snow Line on Jumbo Mountain

We climbed up another 400′ elevation. Then at 3300′, we went into a broad gully after getting through some alder. Though, we didn’t go up the ravine as the other parties. Luckily, I found a decent spot to get up to the adjacent ridgeline first. Then we went up in the forest instead.

We got out of the forest at 4300′. Then I got a clear view of the rest of the route finally. The snow line began on the other side of the rock ledges. So I put on crampons there and then we continued. It wasn’t yet slushy, and postholing wasn’t an issue.

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Getting up to the Snowfield

The narrow gully at 4450′ had steep snow. From there, the route then led to the lower bowl above. It was nerve-racking that I could hear the stream underneath us running rapidly. So I tested each step carefully as I slowly climbed up. The pups followed behind closely.

We reached the lower snowfield at 4700′. Then I proceeded to put on snowshoes there and used them for the rest of the climb. By now, the snow had been in the sun for a while. So the higher we climbed, the slushier the snow became.

See more trip photos here.

Finding the Real Summit

I initially mistook the south summit for the middle one. So we went up toward the middle-south peak saddle. I wondered whether we were off route when I saw a cornice up there. Then I realized that the real summit was now on my left. Then we started moving northeast toward the north-middle peak saddle.

Meanwhile, I noticed some old snowshoe tracks on the slope. Whew! Glad we were back on route! The ramp leading up to the pass felt steeper than the snow gully down below. But it was all psychological, I’m sure.

See more trip photos here.

Jumbo Mountain Summit Plus Views

Scrambling up to the summit was tricky for the pups. On top of that, we also needed to avoid the snow on the north side. Some steps were challenging for them to get up. But I was able to redirect them to bypass the crux. The summit area was smaller than I had thought. So I consistently needed to make sure that the pups didn’t move when I did.

Holy cow! What incredible views all around! But, of course, I usually say that about any summit on a beautiful day. The main attractions were Whitehorse Mountain and Three Fingers. I have yet to climb either of them. The notable high points were all visible as far as the eyes could see.

See more trip photos here.


We safely made our way back down to the forest. Then I was able to find parts of the old trail from 2200′ back to 1600′. It sure was nice to be able to get that low. Then we wouldn’t have to fight our way through brush again. In turn, we only had to scramble another 100′ to get back to the main trail.

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