Monday, February 11, 2013

Mt Washington and Pt 4320

I have grown weary of tromping around the Issaquah Alps and thought it might be time to get up a bit higher. I was loosely planning on doing Greenway Mountain that lies SE of Mt Washington. I parked at the Ollalie trailhead suprised with it being both warm and dry. I made my way up the  trail not hitting consistent snow until 2600'. There is a well worn trench that was easily navigated in boots without any added traction. Once I neared the summit the sun shone through and I thought I might get high enough to loose the clouds altogether but alas the sun was very shortlived. I didn't linger too long on the summit due to the biting wind. I headed SE dropping to the road that straddles the ridge.
  I switched to snowshoes since I was now on my own with no beaten path to follow. The snow was much better than what I had feared and I steamed East on the road. After a mile I joined up with the snowshoe track from a party earlier in the week who had made their way to Greenway. I found it much easier to avoid their track altogether since it had filled in with low density snow making slow going. Once below 4320' I decided that I would climb 4320' since I wasn't sure if I had enough time to make it all the way to Greenway. The going was steep and the trees were dense but I was able to top out without too much bother. In short order I made my way back to the road and retraced my steps back. Once reaching the point where the previous party had joined the road I followed North. I made my way to the saddle just past the unusual rock formation that was highlighted in the previous report. I didn't see a reasonable way down so I backtracked a short ways until I found something more suitable. For the descent I felt it would be better to take off the snowshoes for the steeper portion. I found the snow in the trees well suited for boots alone. The open areas were another story however. Thankfully I reached the valley floor and was  able to regain the trench. I had a nice peaceful walk back to the car.
Approx 10 miles 3900' of climb 5:30 car to  car
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