Trip

Alpine Scramble - Central Cowlitz Chimney 7421

Central Cowlitz Chimney 7421

Info
COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
6:00 AM at See notes

The Cowletz Chimneys are on a east ridge of Mount Rainier east Little Tahoma. They are visible from Sunrise as you look south. Photo
ROUTE:
Drive to near the White River on the Sunrise Road, then hike up to Pan Handle Gap above Summerland. Scramble the ridge east to the Central Chimney. On the way back, if folks still have energy, we will scramble up Banshee peak, which is the 7400' ridge we will traverse below on the way to the Chimney.
DIFFICULTY:
The total gain from the trail head is about 3900’. The distance is said to be about 16 miles, but I think it might be more like 14. Technically, this is only a level 3, but due to the distance the strenuous level is a 5.
PACE:
The pace will be fairly fast on the trail and moderate off trail.
GEAR:
Ice Axe - Not needed.
Helmet - Required. There is quite a bit of loose rock near the summit.
Scramble harness - Not required
Water filter - We will stop in Summerland coming and going to filter, but the summit is way above there, so start with an extra empty bottle to fill in Summerland.
MEETING PLACE / TIME:
South end of the South Renton Park and Ride at 6:00 AM
You can carpool to the meeting place via the clubhouse assignments or just meet us there. Whether you carpool or not, everybody should meet at the park and ride, where we will consolidate the number of cars.
If you are running late, call me on my cell phone at 425-442-6411.
ESTIMATED RETURN TIME:
This is a long hike and scramble. My guess is we won't be back until late in the evening.
In the event of poor weather, we will shorten the trip, possibly as short as just hiking up to Summerland where there is a covered shelter where we can get out of the rain. Obviously we would then return home sooner. MAPS:
Here are several that show the route. A printout of the detailed one is all you need.:
Overview1
Overview2
HikingRoute
Detail

OFFICAL ROUTE DESCRIPTION (from club web site):
Follow Summerland trail to Panhandle Gap. Go left on boot trail to saddle, then follow ridge up broad S slope of Banshee. Traverse E at ~7000'. South Cowlitz Chimney will come into view and the ridge leading to the Central. Continue to small bench below CCC, and proceed to small saddle on the left (W) side. Ascend summit block on benches, aiming for small patch of trees. There is horrendous loose rock in this area, and it looks impossible from the saddle, but it will work. Above the trees ascend good boulders to the summit. Return the same way.
Route/Place
Roster
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials
Trip Reports