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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Fay Peak, Hessong Rock & Mount Pleasant

Only completed Fay and Pleasant as Hessong Rock was too socked in and the west side of the slope was completely snow covered with an unacceptable runout.

  • Road rough but passable
  • Road to Mowich was clear.  Still quite a bit of snow on the east side of Knapsack Pass.  A lot of snow on the westside of Hessong.  Spray Park trail was clear.  See trip report below. 

Started at Mowich Lake around 7:30.  From the patrol cabin, we hit the unmaintained trail towards Knapsack Pass.  At 5,400 feet, we took the alternate bootpath to hit Fay Peak on the ridge from the west.  We used microspikes/crampons on a snow covered traverse which proved to be helpful.  We got up to Fay Peak summit in less than two hours and the group was feeling great.

From Fay Peak, we made the mistake of going below the ridgeline on the south because we thought the ridge run looked gnarly.  As such, we ended up about 200 feet below the ridge and had to reattain the ridge to get back on course.  We were able to descend down to Knapsack Pass, but a lot of energy and time had been spent.  Hint:  Stay on the ridge from  Fay to Knapsack.

After a break at Knapsack, we descended down the east side and crossed some snow fields as we traveled south towards Mt. Pleasant.  When we hit the ridge to Mt. Pleasant, we kickstepped our way in snow that was firm, but had some give to it.  Above the snow, we were able to scramble up to the top of Pleasant without any issues.

From Pleasant, we continued on our heading of 214 degrees and made our way to the Hessong/Pleasant Saddle.  However, the visibility which had limited all day, had worsened as we were clearly or unclearly in the fog.  We tried to traverse to the northwest side of Hessong and crossed a snowfield and began up the snow to catch the final summit block, however, the run out was beyond acceptable limits and we really needed to set pickets and a line to this section safely, especially with such poor visibility, so we decided to turn around at 6,100 ft, descended back to the Hessong/Pleasant Saddle, and then out via Spray Park.

Though the weather was supposed to be partly sunny, we never saw any sunshine until we saw Mt. Rainier out the rear view mirrors after 5:00pm.  We had a strong group of 10 who all successfully summitted Fay and Pleasant, but Hessong will have to wait until another day.