Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Fay Peak, Hessong Rock & Mount Pleasant

Nice day, not too hot. Bear. Beautiful sub alpine meadows. Berries. Haze but good views.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Road to Mowich lake is always dusty.  Otherwise trail conditions were good.

Started 7:40am
Hiked towards Spray Park.  Small side trips to a viewpoint and to Spray Falls, both recommended.
Shortly after leaving the woods and entering the first meadows of Spray Park we spotted a bear only about 30 yards away eating berries.  ("Bear bear bear!")  The bear was unconcerned about a group of people and ignored us.  Neither running away or paying us much attention.
Numerous plump ripe blueberries and huckleberries.  I haven't seen berries this good elsewhere in the Cascades this year. Mostly because of the hot dry weather the berries have been small and sparse.  Berries were surprisingly numerous and plump in the entire Mowich lake area.  Somehow this area has been getting more water than most places.  Late snowmelt perhaps?
We made it up Hessong and Mt Pleasant fairly readily without incident.  Some smoke haze but it wasn't nearly as bad as it had been earlier this year and views of the big mountain and the meadows were very good.  Spray Park and the entire surrounds are quite spectacular.
The group had started to follow the ridgeline towards Fay but we decided to head down the East side towards Knapsack pass.  When we reached a point almost directly East of Fay (East Fay) it looked like we could possibly go up the South East side and hit the summit ridge.  The group went up that way and got into some sketchy terrain and after trying a few different routes decided to go back down and around the Knapsack pass route.  While there are routes that you can traverse up the South side of Fay and readily get to the ridge line, the terrain directly South East of East Fay is not recommended.
Once we went over the pass the group was tired and worn out and no longer interested in obtaining the final summit.  One member had made it to the summit and the ridge and the rest of the group waited for him to rejoin the main party.
Down towards the lake through beautiful sub alpine meadows and lots of blue berry bushes.  A short stop at the lake shore.  Only one person in the group was inspired to enjoy a swim.  The water was good but the day wasn't all that hot.
Back at the cars before 4:30.  About 8 hours 45 minutes total trip time.