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Alpine Scramble - Fay Peak, Hessong Rock & Mount Pleasant

Very pleasant scramble of 3 peaks (1st Mother instead of Fay).

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The road is a bit rough as usual, but any vehicle can handle it with appropriate care.  The only significant snow was NE of Mt. Pleasant on the way to Knapsack Pass.  Below Knapsack Pass itself, the snow can be avoided entirely.

One person was a little late getting to the TH, and discovered on arrival that his left rear tire was pretty shredded.  (At the end of the trip, we followed him down as we were concerned that his emergency spare might not be adequate for the long somewhat rough road, but it held up OK.)

The forecast was for partly sunny weather, but there was a fair amount of rain on the drive to Mowich, but we had no rain during the scramble.  We got some sun during the day, but never a clear view of Rainier.  We hiked to Spray Park (with the usual side trip to the falls), but visibility was poor.  Since we couldn't see the appropriate gully on Hessong from below, we followed the path to the saddle and then contoured around.  We ended up not going far enough and taking the wrong gully, but we were able to traverse to the correct one.  There was quite a bit of Mt. Rainier lousewort in bloom in the summit area.

We descended the gully, traversed back to the saddle, and then hiked up Mt. Pleasant.  From there, we descended the north ridge a little ways, then took the steep snow slope to the east.  This snow was hard and steep enough to require a little extra care.  At Knapsack Pass, we dropped our packs, leaving them with one person who chose to wait there, and climbed First Mother; there is no snow on the route.