Merchant Peak


Alpine Scramble - Merchant Peak

A classic, gnarly North Cascades alpine scramble with a little of everything -- some unavoidable loose rock (though not nearly as much as people complain about), some really splendid sporty scrambling rock, some snow, some alpine meadows, some blocky summit rock, stunning views of the overhanging north wall of Baring and a centrally-located situation to feast the eyes on everything between Rainier and Baker.

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  • Sun, Aug 13, 2017
  • Seattle Alpine Scrambling
  • Scrambling
  • Singles, 20-30 Somethings, Adults
  • Strenuous 4, Technical 5
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 6.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,900 ft

Meet at the Baring Store on US Highway 2 at 7:00 am.  If you're not sure of this location, email the leader.  Basically, once you've reached the long straightaway with the BNSF tracks running just to the left of the highway (heading EB) and you can see Baring Peak looming up ahead to your left, look for my battered silver-grey PT Cruiser parked along the right side of the highway.  We'll drive from the store to the TH and plan to get started not much later than 7:30 am.

Much of this scramble is exposed to the hot summer sun, so we will take water filters and make every effort to stay hydrated!  The main and side canyons get shade in the morning, but the high alpine meadows and upper route are fully exposed to the sun, which also beats down on the descent through the canyons during the afternoon.  Participants should ignore the many scurrilous online reports slurring the canyons for their loose rock -- yes, there are a couple of places where some loose rock and scree is unavoidable where care will be used, but the canyon is also a playground of excellent fun and firm scramble rock.  This will be a skill-builder for those not yet accustomed to finding the sound rock amid the scree!


Merchant Peak

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

  • The Ten Essentials
  • Helmet
  • Mountaineering Boots
  • Ice Axe
  • Party will carry water filters
  • Downclimbing kit: harness or sling harness, locking 'biner, cord loop
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