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. But I couldn’t find the cairn that marked the start of the scramble. So right before the creek with a duct, I picked a spot to enter the woods. But later, we found the faint trail at 2200′. There was even some flagging along the path.

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

One-mile road walk
One-mile road walk

See more trip photos here.

Going Through Gullies

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

We came out of the forest at 4300′. At last, I got a clear view of the rest of the route. 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. So postholing wasn’t an issue.

The main gully
The main gully

See more trip photos here.

Getting up to the Snowfield

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

We reached the lower snowfield at 4700′. Then I switched over to snowshoes 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.

The narrow gully
The narrow gully

See more trip photos here.

Jumbo Mountain Real Summit

I initially mistook the south summit for the middle one. So we went up toward the middle-south peak saddle. I wondered if we were off route when I saw cornices up ahead. Then I realized that the real summit was now on my left. So we moved northeast toward the north-middle peak saddle.

At the same time, I saw old snowshoe tracks on the slope. Whew! Glad to know that we were back on route! The ramp leading up to the pass felt steeper than the snow gully down below. But I was sure that it was all mental.

The final stretch below Jumbo Mountain
The final stretch below Jumbo Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Jumbo Mountain Summit

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

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

West view
West view

See more trip photos here.

Outro

Later, we safely made our way back into the forest. Then I found parts of the old trail from 2200′ down to 1600′. It sure was nice to be able to go that far. So we wouldn’t have to fight our way through any more brush. Soon, we scrambled down another 100′ and then went back out to Squire Creek Trail.

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