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Ascent of Rattlesnake Mountain on 2014-05-24

Climber: Joel Waddington

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, May 24, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Rattlesnake Mountain
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:3480 ft / 1060 m

Ascent Trip Report

I decided to start at Rattlesnake Lake and see how much of the route to Lake Washington I that I hiked last year I could trace before the weather turned on me. My plan was to stay the night on South Tiger Saturday night and finish it up Sunday night. I ended up making it to Front Street in Issaquah by the time the rain came on Sunday afternoon. I sat there in the rain eating my lunch and contemplating whether I wanted to continue through the rain or call for a ride. Having already had a great hike up to this point I decided to quit while I was ahead and called my ride. Here's the highlights of my solo overnight traverse of Rattlesnake and Tiger Mountain:

Watching daredevil squirrels on Rattlesnake Ledge.

Avoiding a section of bushwhacking under the power line trail that I foolishly endured the last time around.

An extremely refreshing ford of Raging River.

A sunny afternoon lunch at a campsite along Deep Creek.

Avoiding an awful section of bushwhacking through dead thorns after Deep Creek that I got myself into the last time around.

Not getting mauled by a bear that startled himself. Okay I've gotta go into detail on this one! I had stopped at a junction for a snack when out of nowhere a bear crests the top of the hillside below me and comes charging through the brush onto the trail. No sooner than it hit the trail did it put the brakes on just 5 feet in front of me. It took a look at me for no longer than a second before charging off down the trail. I've never seen a bear really run before, but it was a pretty amazing sight watching him bound down the curvy trail with more speed and agility than I ever would have expected such a large animal to possess. Extremely impressive. My hunch is the bear was in the immediate area while I was chowing on my beef jerky, caught a smell of something really tasty, and came to investigate in a hurry. When he came up on me it was almost as if he was as surprised as I was, pausing only for a moment to process the situation, then thinking to himself "Oh $#*t, I'm outta here!" Glad the bear felt that way, because my bear mace was attached to my backpack, which was on the ground behind me, and there was no way I was going to bend over with a bear 5 feet from my face.

Not getting mauled by the mother of a bear cub that decided to cross the trail in front of me. Okay here we go again. I had been hearing loud snapping sounds in the bush for several minutes while thinking to myself I was just being paranoid having just been charged by a bear for the first time in my life, when a tiny cub decides to stroll out onto the trail about 20 feet in front of me. It stopped to stare at me for a few seconds before deciding to stroll up the trail another 30 feet or so. It then stared at me for a awhile longer before finally deciding to head down the hill on the other side of the trail. At this point all I could think about was whether mama bear was already down the hill on the other side of the trail, or uphill still on the side of the trail the cub had just come from, in which case I would be walking right in the middle of her and her cub. Horrible idea. Luckily mama bear never showed up.

Using a cattail head I gathered on the trail with some wood shavings and a fire steel to light my campfire.

Watching birds swoop and dive around overhead at my campsite exhibiting courtship displays.

Relaxing and sleeping by my campfire while my tarp tent did an awesome job of capturing the heat of the fire.

Finding a robin's egg along the west side road from South Tiger to Poo Poo Point.

A surprisingly clear view from Poo Poo Point before the rain came in.

Definitely a nice weekend in the Issaquah Alps.
32.5 Miles
5,560' Elevation Gain
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1440 ft / 439 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Overcast
Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:1440 ft / 439 m
    Distance:2.1 mi / 3.4 km
    Route:Rattlesnake Mountain Trail
    Trailhead:Rattlesnake Ledge  2040 ft / 621 m
    Time Up:50 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Trailhead:Rattlesnake Mountain  
Ascent Part of Trip: Rattlesnake & Tiger Mountain Traverse (1 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDate
1Rattlesnake Ledge2014-05-24
2Rattlesnake Mountain2014-05-24
3South Tiger Mountain2014-05-24
4Poo Poo Point2014-05-25



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