2018/5/8 – Burnt Mountain / 焚毀山

So close yet so far
So close yet so far

Photos from this trip can be found here.

We hadn’t set foot in the area since climbing Bearhead Mountain three years ago. The year before that I went up Tolmie Peak just south of here. On a good day, if not woodsy, any of the high points around Mount Rainier should yield great views. Hoping to spend more time down here during the off season.

Over the years, the old road bed from the parking area to the first switchback had gradually turned into a trail. Beyond the switchback was monotonous road walk through clearcuts to road’s end at 3,600′. Even so, constant views into Carbon River Valley and the tip of Mount Rainier slowly poking out from bebind the ridge lines made the road walk a bit more tolerable.

Roadside attraction
Roadside attraction

Photos from this trip can be found here.

From road’s end, we attained the south rib straight above and scrambled up through forest to the ridge at 4,400′. We picked up another service road and headed east; snow appeared a few hundred feet later. Once the road ended on north side of the ridge, we scrambled up to the ridge crest and picked up a faint hikers path by an opening. Mount Rainier was now in full display.

We came out onto another road at 4,900′. From there we could either cross the road and continue to scramble on the ridge crest all the way to the summit, or follow the road around south of the crest to the 5,040′ saddle then up to the summit. We chose the former to avoid road walk on rest of the ascent.

Little Tahoma and Camp Schurman
Little Tahoma and Camp Schurman

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Summit was woodsy without views. We walked around looking for openings through trees to see into the east, but to no avail. A short while later we descended a hundred feet out into the open, took a break in the shade while enjoying the beautiful sight of Mount Rainier and peaks within the national park. Temperatures rose higher than forecasted and the top snow layer had been turned into slush.

At that point I realized the road below the summit block would actually take us around the summit to get some views out to the east. By then I was too warm and too lazy to walk up the road, so I scratched the idea and we headed bsck down instead.

It's you again
It’s you again

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Back at the 3,600′ road’s end, we cut through the slopes and got back onto the road at 2,700′ to save us a ton of road walk.

Access: NF-7810
Gear: snowshoes

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