Ascent of Storm King Mountain on 2016-06-25

Climber: Greg Slayden

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, June 25, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Storm King Mountain
    Elevation:4750 ft / 1447 m

Ascent Trip Report

I used Craig Willis's route description on SummitPost. This generally worked pretty well. Once caveat is that the old logging roads described are getting a bit overgrown with slide alder and low confers, and in the next few years these may become generally impassible. I had clear weather but it had rained the night before, so I got utterly drenched from all the vegetation bashing I had to do on the roads. Very dry weather would have been better.

The bushwhack sections are short and not too terrible. The brook crossing near the start was a bit tough given the luxuriant riparian vegetation and logging slash. For the section in the middle I stayed on the logging road too long and had a bad time in the clearcut slash zone--it is better to leave the road uphill before the hairpin curve and stay in the forest. And the summit bushwhack is very steep and rugged, class 3 bushwhacking for sure.

I did not carefully check by GPS when descending the summit and found myself on the wrong ridge, to the east of where I was supposed to be. Big mistake, as it was miserable getting back to the right forested rib. This summit route is not for novice hikers--it's extremely steep vegetated terrain with the faintest of paths and cliffs to trap you when off-route.

The middle bushwhack section is best navigated by staying on the very overgrown road as far as you can, to the bitter end, then bushwhacking downhill easily in the forest.

Riding a bike to the summit on the good access roads may be an easier option than dealing with these overgrown roads and bushwhack sections, especially as nature takes its course.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3150 ft / 959 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3150 ft / 960 m
    Round-Trip Distance:10.3 mi / 16.5 km
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3050 ft / 929 m
    Distance:5.2 mi / 8.4 km
    Route:W Side - Willis Route
    Start Trailhead:1700 ft / 518 m
    Time:2 Hours 35 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3150 ft / 960 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 3050 ft / 929 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Gain on way out:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:5 mi / 8.1 km
    Route:W Side - Willis Route
    End Trailhead:1700 ft / 518 m
    Time:2 Hours 10 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Greg Slayden
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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