Ascent of Preacher Mountain on 2016-07-31

Climber: Outside & Stuff

Date:Sunday, July 31, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Preacher Mountain
    Elevation:5924 ft / 1805 m

Ascent Trip Report

Trail to rainy lake is full of blowdowns, some of which make it easy to lose the trail if you're not paying attention. We used the gpx track from hiking with my brother to keep us on route to rainy, and the route map on willhiteweb as a guide to the summit.

To get to the upper lake, stay high on the ridge until around 4600'. There's brush down below, but it's not too bad on the ridge crest. Right around 4600' is where the cliff band starts, and contouring along the base toward the southeast will put you en route toward the heather and talus gullies leading to the upper lake. We traversed lower than the willhite route to cross over and up the outlet waterfall, which was dry and very manageable.

We camped in the bowl just above the lake. Highly recommend this over camping at rainy because the views are stunning and we had it all to ourselves. Summited in the morning via the SE ridge. We did some scrambling to get up a cliff at around 5400', but this can be avoided by walking up the heather and talus inside the bowl instead. Aim for a little flat area with trees and a dried up tarn; it's basically a ridge walk after this point. We were on the summit at 10am, signed the register, hung out for an hour, then headed back down to break camp.

Time up: 4 hours to rainy lake, 1:45 to upper rainy, 45 minutes to summit.

Going back down to rainy kicked our butts; we went over too far between 44-4600', got on the wrong ridge, and had to veggie belay/dirt scramble across a steep gully to get back on track. We then stayed way too high on the ridge and ended up having to do more huckleberry bush rappelling down about 40' of near vertical dirt slope in order to avoid the cliffs. Don't do what we did! You'll be traversing just above the boulders if you're on route.

GPS track here:
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4884 ft / 1488 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Tent Camp
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4884 ft / 1488 m
    Start Trailhead:1040 ft / 316 m
Descent Statistics

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