Frozen Mountain by Melted Mountain via Tolt River / 冰凍山

  • Reading time:12 mins read

Frozen Mountain by Melted Mountain overlooks Index Creek on the east. It drains into the North Fork Tolt River in the west, with Red Mountain West atop the headwaters. Moreover, it shares a saddle with the impressive Mount Index.

Frozen Mountain in the flesh

See more trip photos here.

Frozen Mountain at a Glance

Access: Road 62
Round Trip: 18.4 miles
Elevation Range: 1400′-5080′
Gear: helmet, ice ax, microspikes (bike, didn’t use but recommended)
Route Info: Adam Walker, Monty VanderBilt
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance

Area Access Info

I received an email reply from Campbell Global regarding my land management question. Though, whoever responded didn’t sound sure about the land use. I’d happily stick to the “open” status on the forest service website.

Campbell Global (2023/6/9): No, we no longer manage that property and there has never been public vehicle access to the property from the 62 road. I am not sure, but I do not believe the new landowner allows walk on or bike on public access.

We will have someone look to remove old signs that might point folks in the wrong direction. Thank you for your question.
The gate at the county line
The gate at the county line

See more trip photos here.

The Preface on Frozen Mountain

I’d held off the trip for years due to the closure of Road 62. Now that the gate was open indefinitely, we visited before the Forest Service decided to close the entrance again. Otherwise, it’s six miles from the highway to the county gate.

I needed to pick up Cody from boarding early Saturday evening. But to make that happen, we had to take care of the initial seven miles since we were on foot. So we made a relaxing trip by walking in on Friday night.

Through the open country
Through the open country

See more trip photos here.

Road 62 by Mount Persis

Despite having checked Campbell Global’s website, a sign by the gate suggested the need for a permit. But I decided to continue and would clarify with their admin after the trip. At least I’d have the correct info for the record.

The area was much more open and eerily quiet than I pictured. The walk was so straightforward that I sometimes wondered if we were going the right way. Then at mile two, the lowest point of the trip, we turned left onto Road 6200-3.

Mount Index from the road
Mount Index from the road

See more trip photos here.

North Fork Tolt River to Frozen Mountain

The road made two bends and gained 400′ in one mile. It stayed flat for two miles before dipping to Tolt River Bridge. En route were glimpses of Frozen Mountain, plus angry gray hens fanning their tails to protect the cheepers nearby.

South of the bridge, we turned left by the blockade onto the brushy Road 6244. The path soon turned rocky and annoyingly ripply for half a mile. We tried hugging the edge to avoid the bumps and the few down trees en route.

Bridge view our goal above the Tolt River
Bridge view our goal above the Tolt River

See more trip photos here.

Titicaed Creek Camp

Out in the open by the rocky shore was Mount Inex perching above the river. Soon, we joined the new paralleling logging road slightly uphill. I scoped out the gravel roadway and decided to try and exit that way on the return.

We took the first fork in another mile and walked down to Titicaed Creek in the trees. I had planned to stay east of the stream until a startled bear by the water fled the scene. So we backtracked and set up camp on this side instead.

Frozen Mountain's dreams
Frozen Mountain’s dreams

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NFrozen Mountain Climb

We awoke to another sunny day after a moonlit and starry night. After crossing the creek while looking for signs of bears, we left the road through the logging debris. Then we were back in the trees and reached Tolt River soon after.

I looked around and didn’t see a feasible spot to cross the raging water. But it wasn’t an issue for the dog, as he swam back and forth a few times; show-off! Eventually, I found some wet rocks close enough together to leap over.

Crossing North Fork Tolt River
Crossing North Fork Tolt River

See more trip photos here.

The Final Stretch on Northwest Ridge

Despite the open forest, tree debris had strewn the northwest slope. Below the crest was a vine maple swath with scattering boulders, which we weaved through. Then we left the ridge at 4100′ and went south into the upper basin.

The snow took us up the steep gully until it ended below the notch. After crossing to the other side between the two rock towers, we hugged the wall up to the slabs. Then we used ledges, ramps, and veggie belay to the broad summit.

East of the crest
East of the crest

See more trip photos here.

Frozen Mountain Summit Views

I must say, it wasn’t one of the remarkable climbs from start to finish. The area felt bare and arid, but it could be from the logging. In contrast, lower peaks like Philadelphia Mountain and Melted Mountain were more enjoyable.

From the east, Frozen Mountain looked impressive and unreachable. But west of the entire ridgeline felt underwhelming and lifeless. Alas, it was another peak to stretch our legs as we contended with the usual brush.

North panorama of Mount Index from Frozen Mountain
North panorama of Mount Index from Frozen Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Leaving North Fork Tolt River Valley

We took a break back at camp as the temperatures continued to rise. After packing, we exited through the gravel road as planned. Needing water, we stopped by the unnamed creek above the newly built culvert.

Soon, we crossed the Tolt River for the rest of the unexciting miles. As anticipated, the angry mob of gray hens showed up once again. Then in the last mile, a curious deer in the road gazed until we were near before dashing away.

One last look at the mountain from the road
One last look at the mountain from the road

See more trip photos here.

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