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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Castle Peak & First Mother Mountain

On a warm sunny day, 7 scramblers enjoyed the views from the 2 planned summits plus an unnamed bonus summit.

  • Road rough but passable
  • No significant snow was encountered.

On July 30, 2017, 7 scramblers started up the trail toward Ipsut Pass, then went off-trail to the ridge south of the separate small summit SW of Castle Peak.  The usual route skirts the east side of this small summit, but we inadvertently took a branch that went left.  I soon realized it wasn't the route but was intrigued enough to follow it further.  We eventually wound up on the top of the small summit which is almost as high (although not as bulky) as Castle Peak itself.  It is well worth adding as a bonus summit; you can see it from Mowich Lake, where it blocks the view of the main peak.  To continue on to Castle Peak, you have to go back down the bonus peak the same way you came up.

We continued on to Castle, went to the high points at both ends of the summit formation and enjoyed the views for quite a while before continuing on to First Mother.  I rarely seem to find the optimal route between the 2 peaks, but we eventually got there, enjoyed the views and then hiked back to Mowich, where most of us soaked our feet and one person enjoyed a brief swim.

Flowers were generally a bit past their peak, but there were lots of the Mt. Rainier Lousewort blooming; this flower is found only within or very near MRNP.