Mount Rolo via Slate Pass / 經石板山道上羅洛山

Mount Rolo within reach
Mount Rolo within reach

See more trip photos here.

The Lowdown on Mount Rolo

Access: Buckskin Ridge Trailhead at Slate Pass
Round Trip: TBD
Elevation Range: 5200
-8096′
Gear: 
helmet

GPS Track: available

Starting out from Slate Pass

Forest Service had just lifted the Middle Fork Pasayten River Valley access restrictions a few days ago. Even so, many roads and trails east of the valley remained inaccessible in response to summer wildfire activities.

Pup and I car camped just past Harts Pass late Friday night. Next morning we drove up to Buckskin Ridge Trailhead at Slate Pass and started hiking by 8 AM. From the pass, I noticed a thin layer of new snow on Mount Rolo, most likely from this past week.

Ferguson Lake
Ferguson Lake

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En Route to Mount Rolo via South Ridge

By the time we crossed Middle Fork Pasayten River at the valley floor, we had lost 1700′ of elevation. I already wasn’t looking forward to gaining it all back on the way out. We overshot Ferguson Lake Trail junction by a couple of hundred yards. Glad I realized the mistake and backtracked to find the trail. We took a break by Ferguson Lake before moving on.

From the lake, we ascended northeastward to reach the 7800′ saddle just north of Point 7985. There we got our first spectacular look at the Lago Slam and Monumental Slam. But the other highest summits of Washington in the area were not yet in full view.

More high points to negotiate
More high points to negotiate

See more trip photos here.

South Ridge Traverse to Mount Rolo

The high traverse probably would’ve been much more enjoyable if it weren’t for the few inches of new snow. We ran the ridge while staying on or west of the crest. Along the way, we bypassed a few high points before finally getting the full view of Mount Rolo.

Final scramble to the summit was on chossy but firm rock ledges. From this vantage point, I got a clear view of serveral highest summits of Washington along Eureka Creek Valley. Visibly more snow on those taller mountains than their shorter neighbors including this one.

Pasayten River Valley north view
Pasayten River Valley north view

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Clouds were high enough to provide decent views to the distant south. To the north, views of Canadian peaks went far beyond the Middle Fork Pasayten River Valley.

On the way out, we reversed our route and quickly made it back down to Ferguson Lake. The tent we saw earlier was still around. Just past the lake, we ran into the owner of the tent out scouting for deer. He and I briefly chatted about his hunting trip and the weather before going our separate ways.

Eureka Creek lineup
Eureka Creek lineup

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After making it back down to Middle Fork Trail, we slowly gained back every inch of the 1700′ elevation. Then we got back up to Slate Pass just after dark.

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