All photos from this trip can be found here.
I took the yellow pup up Higher Squire yesterday to get his exercise in, just so I could climb this one solo. Since there had been two known deaths in recent years made me uncomfortable to bring him along. The date I picked to climb this peak was pure coincidental.
Climbing this peak meant serious business even from the get-go, since I didn’t even get to enjoy the nice trail for one second before scramble began from behind the toilet next to trailhead.
Getting onto northwest ridge was no easy task. First I made sure to cross the stream without being too high on the slopes, then a good swimming through devils club and down trees. Afterward I needed to look for a good place to get around steep drop-offs at the bottom to attain the ridge.
Once on the ridge, it was mostly brush fighting and getting through thick growth. The ridge was quite steep for a peak shorter than most of its neighbors. When the ridge line narrowed and rocky, it was better to move to right of crest on climbers right. At times I’d be curious poke my head out to see the sheer exposure along the east face, daunting!
Where summit started to become visible was also where west face got steeper with crumbly rocks albeit steppy. It was much easier to get around the sharp ridge crest on the east, climbers left. I followed really faint climbers/game trail.
Just below the summit east face went from steep to vertical drop offs. And it was time to move to the west even though it was extremely difficult to get through the thick growth. But hey, at least trees and shrubs would’ve caught anyone who’d accidentally taken a fall there.
What gorgeous views this summit had, with Del Campo Peak right in the face, and the daunting east slabby face of Morning Star Peak across the basin from me. Not to mention this was, in my opinion, THE best vantage point off Mountain Loop Highway to view both South Fork Stillaguamish River and South Fork Sauk River Valleys as they came together at the highway’s sharp bend–Barlow Pass.
No wonder this summit rarely sees visitors, it isn’t for the faint of heart. I tried not to get too close to the edges of the precipitous north and east sides the entire time I was up there, sitting next a plaque in memory of a man who passed here.
Made it back down to bottom of the ridge before it got pitch black, then scrambled rest of the way back to trailhead.