Ascent of Hamilton Mountain on 2011-06-07

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:David Musser
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Hamilton Mountain
    Elevation:2438 ft / 743 m

Ascent Trip Report

I took Michael Wanberg's recommendation to climb this montain instead of Defiance. I seemed like a shame not to bag it while camping in the state park and the low cloud cover the morning of our hike seemed would sock in most of the way up the much higher Defiance. This proved to be a great decision because the hike was very entertaining and we were socked in with fog once we got above around 1,800 feet anyway.

The waterfalls about a third of the way up were impressive. The pool of the winds is a very interesting geologic feature where the water has scoured out a pool and the water is whipped up into a misty frenzy. Our favorite part of the hike, however was the first set of shear cliffs that sport some very interesting deep eroded channels and pinacles to climb. We spent a lot of time exploring the pinacles and taking great photos.

We then busted up to the top just to reach a white of fog that had no more than 20 feet of visibility so we retraced our steps back down the summit. Reaching the second set of cliffs we took some small unmaintained trailed to several overlooks and pincacles overlooking the Columbia River. Some really good views and photo ops. This is a very good hike in that in a very short matter of time one gets a lot enjoyable views and the opportunity for some off trial unprotected scrambling.

We left at 6:20 AM and got back at 10:35. The 4 hours and 15 minutes included a lot of off trail scrambling and looking at waterfalls and pools.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2348 ft / 715 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2348 ft / 714 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.8 mi / 10.9 km
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Drizzle, Cool, Very Windy, Low Clouds
Foggy - drizzle - very windy 51F
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2218 ft / 676 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2038 ft / 622 m; Extra: 180 ft / 54m
    Loss on way in:180 ft / 54 m
    Distance:3.4 mi / 5.5 km
    Route:Hamilton Trail (more difficult)
    Start Trailhead:Hamilton Parking Lot  400 ft / 121 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2168 ft / 660 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2038 ft / 622 m; Extra: 130 ft / 39m
    Gain on way out:130 ft / 39 m
    Distance:3.4 mi / 5.5 km
    Route:Hamilton Trail (more difficult)
    End Trailhead:Hamilton Parking Lot  400 ft / 121 m

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