Mount Rolo via Slate Pass / 經石板山道上羅洛山

Mount Rolo was a nice change of pace from last week. Fortunately, Forest Service had lifted access restrictions to the Middle Fork Pasayten River Valley just days ago. Even so, many roads and trails east of the valley remained inaccessible in response to summer wildfire activities.

Mount Rolo within reach
Mount Rolo within reach

See more trip photos here.

Mount Rolo at a Glance

Access: Buckskin Ridge Trailhead at Slate Pass
Round Trip: TBD
Elevation Range: 5200′ -8096′
Gear: helmet
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance

Starting from Slate Pass

Pup and I car camped just past Harts Pass late Friday night. The next morning, we drove up to Buckskin Ridge Trailhead at Slate Pass. Then we started hiking by 8 AM. From the pass, I quickly noticed the dusting of new snow on Mount Rolo. It was most likely from this past week’s snowfall.

It was still cold as we strolled through the head of the basin. Though, by the time we crossed Middle Fork Pasayten River at the valley floor, we had lost 1700′ of elevation. So I already wasn’t looking forward to gaining it all back on the way out.

Ferguson Lake
Ferguson Lake

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Mount Rolo via the South Ridge

There were two distinct paths above the horse camp. Though, I never knew which of the two was the official one. Soon, we walked past the Ferguson Lake Trail junction by a few hundred yards. But glad I realized the mistake before going too far. So we returned to find the trail. After getting up to the lake, we then took a break before moving on.

Afterward, we climbed northeastward to reach the 7800′ saddle. It was directly north of Point 7985. Then from there, we got our first spectacular look at the Lago Slam and Monumental Slam. But the other highest mountains of Washington in the area were not yet fully visible.

More high points to negotiate
More high points to negotiate

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Ridge Traverse to Mount Rolo

Due to the few inches of new snow, the high traverse ended up not being as enjoyable. We traveled the ridge while staying on or west of the crest. Along the way, we bypassed a few high points before finally getting to the base of Mount Rolo.

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

Pasayten River Valley north view
Pasayten River Valley north view

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Mount Rolo Summit Plus Views

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

On the way down, we followed our route and quickly made it back down to Ferguson Lake. The tent we saw earlier was still there. Then just past the lake, we met the man staying at the lake. He was out scouting for deer this morning. We briefly chatted about his hunting trip and the weather before going our separate ways.

Eureka Creek lineup
Eureka Creek lineup

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Outro

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

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