2018/3/10 – Melted Mountain / 融化山

Destination ahead
Destination ahead

Photos from this trip can be found here.

With the heightened avalanche danger in the Cascades this weekend, pup and I sought out places with minimal open terrain and settled on this woodsy mountain. Last October we hiked the trail to the base of the mountain and scrambled a bit before turning around.

Quarter of a mile in on the trail, I switched to snowshoes as snow conditions weren’t ideal and the hiking got a tad laborious. Having snow coverage made route finding much easier. We were able to quickly cross Index Creek to the south side and avoid lots of the brush encountered the first time around. Not much to see as the ascent was done in the dense forest.

Index Creek downstream
Index Creek downstream

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Following steep east ridge, we periodically negotiated the large number of down trees, until trees eventually dwindled at 3,000′ and the ridge steepened for the next couple hundred of feet. Snow conditions were hit-or-miss, but definitely could have been firmer. Terrain flattened out a bit as we came to a clearing at 3,400′, then steepened once again from 3,600′ to 4,000′.

The last couple hundred of feet to the summit were much enjoyable as views started to pour in. Summit was broad, trees were spaced out enough to get views by getting in between. Best views were to the east and northeast, with high points like Baring Mountain, Merchant Peak, Gunn Peak, Gunnshy, among others. Some cornices on the north and west sides of the summit.

Frozen Mountain
Frozen Mountain

Photos from this trip can be found here.

We also got a good look at Mount Index, Frozen Mountain, and Palmer Mountain from the summit. To get views of other high points like Philadelphia Mountain, Crosby Mountain, and Red Mountain 5576, we needed to walk down the ridge a bit. A nice vantage point to view Skykomish River Valley stretching from east to west.

On the way down, we followed our tracks and quickly made it back into the lower forest. Then we crossed Index Creek and hiked back out to the car.

Northeast view
Northeast view

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Access: Index Creek Trailhead
Gear: snowshoes

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