Ascent of Mount Wow on 2015-06-23
|Date:||Tuesday, June 23, 2015|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Elevation:||6040 ft / 1840 m|
Ascent Trip ReportA terrific hike with views that are worth the forest slog. The easiest route is from Forest Service road 37, which splits off from road 59 at about 2.8 miles. Note that Peggy Goldman's 2nd edition of the Washington Scrambles book incorrectly tells you to turn left onto this road (it’s a right). You can go another mile or so down this road before it dead ends on a large root wad and a small land slide near Goat Creek. We got in with a low-clearance hatchback (barely), but wouldn’t want to do it if it had rained recently. There’s a bit of a washout a few hundred yards before the end that you’ll want to stop at unless you have a higher clearance vehicle or want to risk getting stuck.
We tried to follow Goldman’s main instructions, but never found the spur road that is supposed to be 300 yards further up the old road. We ended up following another trip report’s recommendation to simply continue along the logging road until it petered out. At that point, the road should have curved around to the south and back to the east. Head E and slightly S until you’re out of the logged area (head for the taller trees), then follow the ridge up. There are some fine views of Adams and some great rocky balds with tons of wildflowers. You can stay on top of the balds with some minor class 3.
Goldman says to traverse at 5200 feet when you’re near point 5614, but this is higher than necessary (we discovered on the way back). It’s easier at about 5080 feet. When you see a big patch of slide alder to your left, continue on until you reach an herbaceous area with lush forms. There’s a small cairn marking the start of the traverse, which takes you through lower angle terrain and less slippery vegetation than the Goldman route, skirting just below a large rock outcropping. Once you’re around the outcropping, you should pick up the climber’s trail again. Follow this to the S ridge of Wow and go to the top! There are some outstanding meadows along the way and a view of a famous mountain when you reach the top.
We never did find the “Big Step” mentioned in Goldman. No hand line was necessary. Start to finish it took us about 8.5 hours with a nap at the top. The route was pleasant and the climber’s trail was visible for most of it.
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