Florence Peak + Sweet Peak / 芙蘿倫絲峯+甜美峯

I first took notice of Florence Peak in the late spring of this year. Back then, the yellow pup and I were on Burnt Mountain across the Carbon River Valley. Glad the weather this weekend was better than last week.

Florence Peak up ahead
Florence Peak up ahead

See more trip photos here.

Florence Peak and Sweet Peak at a Glance

Access: Carbon River Rainforest Trailhead
Round Trip: 8 miles
Elevation Range: 1760′-5508′
Gear: microspikes and snowshoes
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance

This way to Florence Peak
This way to Florence Peak

See more trip photos here.

Florence Peak and Sweet Peak

After researching, I decided to climb these two peaks later. So we could potentially avoid the high season crowd. Glad we were able to avoid today’s heightened avalanche danger on minimal open terrain.

Two cars were in the lot when we arrived. Then we started hiking at a quarter to 9 on the excellent trail. The path was snow-free until we reached the West Boundary Trail Waterfall at 3000′.

The first clearing
The first clearing

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En Route to Florence Peak

Later I put on microspikes at 3200′ by the first clearing. We were on the shady side of the hill. So we had to miss out on the glorious morning sunshine. But the sun would later succumb to the increasing clouds as we neared the ridge.

Later at 3600′, the trail took a turn southwest. But not before going out of the forest through a talus field. There we stepped through the snow for a short distance. Then we were right back into the forest on one to two inches of snow.

Ridge walk to Florence Peak
Ridge walk to Florence Peak

See more trip photos here.

Alki Crest

Soon, we left the pack trail at 4520′ on the ridge. Then we turned left onto a climbers’ trail. From there, we traveled southeast on Alki Crest. Finally, I put on snowshoes at 5100′ in calf-deep snow.

We continued on the ridgeline for a bit. Then we reached the south face of Florence Peak at 5400′. From there, I was able to get glimpses of views along the ridgeline to the north.

Florence Peak summit
Florence Peak summit

See more trip photos here.

The Final Stretch

Soon, we made a 100′ steep climb on the south slopes through slick, knee-deep snow. Then we finally went up on the false summit. But the real high point was now only 100′ away.

We continued on the narrow and rocky summit ridge. At the same time, we stayed on or east of the crest. After some careful scrambling over rime ice-covered boulders, we reached the top of Florence Peak.

Northwestern panoramic view
Northwestern panoramic view

See more trip photos here.

Florence Peak Summit

Our trip to Crystal Peak had the view of Mount Rainier at every turn. But on this trip, we only had our first look at the lenticular cloud-covered volcano from the false summit.

Glad that we made it up here while the clouds were still high. So we were able to catch the decent views in time. There was plenty of tree coverage on top to keep out of the wind.

Southeastern panoramic view
Southeastern panoramic view

See more trip photos here.

Next Stop, Sweet Peak

After an enjoyable stay, we made our way back to the false summit. Then we went down into the forest. From 5200′, we traversed the one-mile long spur ridge toward Sweet Peak.

With excellent snow coverage, we snowshoed over down trees efficiently. Plus, we were able to avoid the dense brush through the section before going over Point 5042. 

Sweet Peak, yer next
Sweet Peak, yer next

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Sweet Peak Summit

Beyond Point 5042, we encountered massive down trees on the south saddle. But they continued up through Sweet Peak’s southern ridge. Plus, snow coverage wasn’t as great through this part.

So with snowshoes on, we carefully stepped over one down tree after another. Eventually, we reached the woodsy summit after an arduous traverse.

Down trees galore
Down trees galore

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Outro

I managed to get a few photos through the thin forest openings. Then we left the summit shortly. But instead of going back through the south saddle, we went down the west slopes.

Later, we went into the basin and crossed an unnamed creek. Then we reconnected with the main trail back at 3800′ to hike out after sunset.

West Boundary Trail Waterfall in the PM
West Boundary Trail Waterfall in the PM

See more trip photos here.

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