Ascent of Mount Hardy on 2019-06-13

Climber: Milda Tautvydas

Others in Party:David Salinger
Date:Thursday, June 13, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Hardy
    Elevation:8080 ft / 2462 m

Ascent Trip Report

Dave broke his collar bone in February. We decided to do a low key trip, and an overnight, and see how his clavicle would feel under the weight of a load. An easy peak and an aesthetic hike was the agenda. We took the long way in to climb Hardy (we knew of the short cut via Swamp Creek approach), parking at Rainy Pass and hiking the PCT north to Methow Pass (Rainy Pass to Cutthroat Pass to Granite Pass to Methow Pass (some sections of steep snow between Cutthroat Pass and Granite Pass)). This section of the PCT may be among the most picturesque as it travels on a high traverse beyond Cutthroat Pass on trail that is cut out of steep slopes and is made up of crushed granite. The footing is a bed of golden pebbles and sand.

At Methow Pass we dropped our gear and ascended the EAST and SOUTH (summit rock) ridges of Mount Hardy. Moving on the ridge kept us out of tedious steep side-hilling on broken rock and soft, "post-holey" snow. The views from Mount Hardy are stupendous. We spent over an hour on the summit, naming peaks as well as sitting in silence. As usual, I took a lot of photos. We descended our ascent route back to Methow Pass, and returned with our gear to the camp on the PCT, at the Snowy Lakes turn off. This camp has been trampled to death. PEOPLE: TOILET PAPER IS LITTER. And most toilet paper is made with plastic. It won't decompose for a long, long time. PLEASE PACK IT OUT!!! And purchase plastic-free toilet paper (note: nature provides great wiping material; lichen and moss is pretty good!; stones can work; snow is fabulous; leaves are great, too, but learn your plants before you wipe with leaves....). The creeks were swollen with snow melt. We could have hiked out and had a late return to the van, but we prefer to sleep in the backcountry, and that is what we came for. Next day we took our time hiking out, naming plants along the way, and learning new ones. We stopped near Cutthroat Pass to investigate some very interesting, eroding old granite boulders (bread loaves; spines of harder rock eroded out of big, granitic boulders, leaving a backbone that resembled a stegosaurus). We hiked to the top of them and were immediately visited by a mountain goat who really wanted us to pee and leave some salts and minerals for him to lap up. We didn't deliver and he eventually got bored with us and climbed a boulder not too far away where he could watch us while he ruminated, waiting for us to leave so he could investigate what we left behind. We made sure not to leave anything and we hiked back to the Rainy Pass TH, crossing several swollen creeks. We had to ford one of them barefoot. Other crossings had logs either at the trail crossing or upstream a little ways. We drove back to Western WA to Whidbey Island to visit my parents and ride horses at M Bar C Ranch. It was a beautiful two days out. Dave's shoulder was a little sore, but appears to be able to handle a bigger load for future climbs.

GIVE A HOOT, DON'T POLLUTE. I feel that I need to say this again...PEOPLE: TOILET PAPER IS LITTER. And most toilet paper is made with plastic. It won't decompose for a long, long time. Bring a small zip lock, collect your own refuse (and if you dare, collect those of others), and PLEASE, PACK IT OUT.
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