Church Mountain


Alpine Scramble - Fossil Mountain

Make history; be part of the first official Mountaineers party to successfully climb Fossil Mountain. Along the way, frolic in huge fields of wildflowers at the peak of their bloom.

  • Strenuous 4, Technical 3
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 10.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 4,000 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 5,740 ft
  • Pace: slow but steady

Glacier Public Service Center (a.k.a. Glacier Ranger Station), 7:00 am. Limited tent space is available at the nearby Douglas Fir campground for Sunday night the 14th for those who don't want an Alpine Start.

We will leave the Glacier Public Service Center in four cars, at least three of which must be a high clearance vehicle capable of carrying four people plus gear. Those three cars will drive to the Church Mt trailhead (elevation 2300), leave two cars there, and proceed to the Excelsior trailhead (elevation 1600). The other will drive directly to the Excelsior trailhead, with four scramblers plus gear. After a four mile steep ascent to the summit of Excelsior Peak (elevation 5712), we will turn west and follow the undulating ridge of wildflower meadows to the heretofore unclimbed Fossil Peak (elevation 5740). We will then continue west another mile and a half until we can see where the Deer Horn Creek crosses the Church Mountain Trail (elevation 4900). We will descend to the Deer Horn Creek crossing, refill our water bottles, and follow the Church Mountain Trail down to our pair of stashed cars. Total distance: about eleven and a half miles, about 4200-4700 feet of gain, and 3500-4000  feet of descent.

Because we have not climbed this mountain before, we do not know it's T-rating, but based on what we've seen of nearby peaks, we are anticipating that it will be a T-2/T-3.

Because this trip is so far north, priority is given to members who live in Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan, Island, or Snohomish counties.  Please give them time to register. If you live in other counties, please wait until June 20th to register. 


Church Mountain

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

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