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Ascent of Rock Peak on 2011-04-09

Climber: Craig Willis

Date:Saturday, April 9, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Rock Peak
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:3320 ft / 1011 m

Ascent Trip Report

This ascent was a tad annoying, not because of the peak but because of what I encountered during the approach. A 20' long stretch of road (FR-2352) immediately WSW of Point 2103 had ~3' deep snow on it, preventing my car from continuing further. If that small stretch of snow-covered road was not there, my car would have been able to drive much further (despite other stretches of road also having snowpack, albeit to a much lesser degree). This probably added 1-2 hours roundtrip of road hiking.

The two summit contours were taylor-made for snowshoeing (or cramponing/microspiking, if snow consolidation had occurred). I created a basic zig-zag route between evergreen trees to the saddle between the two contours (but closer to the SW summit). Ascending the final steep slopes of the SW summit was time-consuming due to wet snowslides happening around me and forcing me to constantly alter my route up. I carefully probed the snow for the best route. This peak would have been *a lot* better (and less dangerous) to ascend with some snow consolidation.

The traverse from the SW summit to the NE summit only took me 10-15 minutes to snowshoe, including probably five minutes cautiously descending from the SW summit slope to the saddle. The saddle traverse and NE summit were non-technical and easy open country with sporadic evergreen trees. From the NE summit, I continued along the north ridge for a few minutes until the ridge was near its closest point to the road below the west slopes. I then steeply descended between evergreen trees to the road.

FINAL THOUGHTS AND ADVICE:
The ascent time listed ended at the time I reached the second summit (in this case, the NE summit).

Due to the deep snowpack, I could not distinguish which summit was higher in elevation. Advice: Just do both to be certain.

Because this was a snowshoe trip with a lot of snow on the mountain, I did not have to do any bushwhacking. That was the good news. However, the lack of snow consolidation at the SW summit, as well as during the steep descent from the north ridge to the road, could have caused some wipeouts if I was less experienced or not extra cautious.

I would recommend this peak as a snowshoe trip, which greatly diminishes the chances of any bushwhacking, but only after some snow consolidation occurs. Because of these reasons, this peak might be most recommended during mid-April through mid-May most years... unless you like bushwhacking, at which case go other times of the year.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1320 ft / 402 m
    Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Route:FR-2352
    Trailhead:2000 ft / 609 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Ski Poles, Snowshoes
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:0 Days 2 Hours 55 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:0 Days 1 Hours 40 Minutes



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