Winter Scramble - Spark Plug Mountain (winter)

Spark Plug Mtn (winter)

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  • Winter Scramble
  • Mileage: 10.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 4,200 ft
6:15 AM at Brickyard Park and Ride, Kirkland
Note that winter scrambles are open only to GRADUATES of the Scramble or Basic Climbing class. Students of either one must wait until next year to participate

Spark Plug Mountain is just to the west of Surprise Lake near Stevens Pass.

Note 1: If the weather is not at least “partly sunny” or the Avy conditions are “Considerable below 6000 on north-east aspect” THE DESTINATION WILL LIKELY CHANGE to Arrowhead Mountain a few miles east of Stevens Pass on the south side of Highway 2. With lots of group input, I will make the final decision on Saturday morning at the Spark Plug trailhead.
Note 2: both of these routes may be loops. There is nowhere to hang out and wait for us to come back. So to come along, you must be in good physical condition and feeling your best.

Meet at the Brickyard Park and Ride in Kirkland (I-405, Exit 22, west side of freeway) at 6:15 AM. Call me on my cell phone at 425-442-6411 if you are running late and want us to wait for you.

- Ice Axe is always required.
- Snowshoes with aggressive points on the bottom such as MSR.
- Crampons are required for this trip.
- Avalanche beacon, shovel, probe and the skills to use them are highly recommended but not required for participation.
- No parking pass is required

We will start at the Surprise Lake trailhead and follow that trail staying on the west side of the creek past where the normal trail crosses it. At 3400’ feet we turn south west and head up the basin following the small creek up to Spark Plug Lake. We continue up to the east ridge of Spark Plug. If the weather is great, we stop for a break and keep right on going near and to the west of the ridge over toward Surprise Mountain where we drop down to Glacier Lake where we head back down the most direct way.
Here is a link to a map centered on Spark Plug:,-121.155813&t;=t4&z;=15&hillshade;=18&coord;=latlng&directions;=off&label;=off&layers;=off&streetview;=on

We drive 6.8 miles past Stevens pass to the plowed shoulder a little past the east end of the train tunnel. We then walk east 45 minutes, a little bit on the road and mostly on the train tracks. We then head up south to the ridge hitting it east of the summit and follow the ridge to the top. If the weather turns out decent, we will continue west along the ridge with a stretch goal of getting all the way to Jim Hill Mountain. There are lots of places to drop east off the ridge and come back down to the cars.

Here is link to a zoomable map centered on our destination peak.,-120.965505&t;=t4&z;=15&hillshade;=18&coord;=latlng&directions;=off&label;=off&layers;=off&streetview;=on
Here is a link some Summit Post reports. The third link on the left has the best info and route map.

I would encourage you to review and print this map. If you can't get the 'Mapping Support' print feature to work, Press Ctrl-PrntScr to copy the screen Image to the clipboard, paste it into the Microsoft Paint program, crop it to size, and print it out. Please don't show up without map compass and the skills to use them.


Spark Plug Mountain (winter)

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials
Trip Reports