Ascent of Hibox Mountain on 2016-07-23

Climber: Greg Slayden

Others in Party:Ethan M.
Date:Saturday, July 23, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Hibox Mountain
    Elevation:6547 ft / 1995 m

Ascent Trip Report

The Rachel Lake trailhead can be extremely crowded on summer weekends, so it is a good idea to arrive early--for me, a 7 AM start beat the hordes. The trail to Rachel Lake, while very popular, is somewhat rough and not the graded, well-maintained trail common elsewhere in the Cascades.

The climbers trail to Hibox starts in deep forest, just after crossing a sunny area of avalanche brush. It is quite steep for almost its entire length, but the footway is clear and it's not hard to follow. I did loose it in an area of open old-growth, but my GPS brought me back to the unmistakable treadway.

The scramble to the summit is very short and on good rock--likely the popularity of the climb has loosened everything already. We found it best to stay on the very crest of the knife-edge ridge, with the class-3 steps on firm rock looking better than talus basins nearby.

I met Ethan part way up the climber's trail and we teamed up for the remainder of the trip, arriving on top before 10 AM and having the summit to ourselves. We were in sun but low clouds shrouded most nearby peaks. We saw several up-bound parties on our way down, including a big group of Mountaineers wearing helmets in the forest of the climber's trail. At midday the Rachel Lake trail was a sea of humanity, with dayhikers and backpackers swarming uphill in huge numbers.

Overall the trip was a relatively quick and easy outing to a deservedly popular peak.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3787 ft / 1154 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3787 ft / 1154 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.7 mi / 12.4 km
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3787 ft / 1154 m
    Distance:3.9 mi / 6.3 km
    Route:SW Climbers Tr
    Start Trailhead:Rachel Lake TH  2760 ft / 841 m
    Time:2 Hours 50 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3787 ft / 1154 m
    Distance:3.8 mi / 6.1 km
    Route:SW Climbers Tr
    End Trailhead:Rachel Lake TH  2760 ft / 841 m
    Time:2 Hours 0 Minutes

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