Placeholder Routes & Places

Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Fossil Mountain

A historic attempt to be the first Mountaineers party to climb this bump on a ridge between Church Mountain and Excelsior Peak.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

Several old fossils, including one dating from the Trumanian epoch and two from the Eisenhowerian epoch, attempted the first known Mountaineers ascent of Fossil Mountain, at the head of Fossil Creek, near the quaint town of Glacier in the Nooksack valley. Having deposited a few cars at the Church parking lot (that’s as close to going to Church as this atheist reporter wants to get), the party drove to the Excelsior parking lot and ascended the Excelsior trail to the summit of Excelsior Peak. From there the party heeded the advice of Horace Greeley, even though we lacked a young man, and headed west. Our goal was to follow the ridge about four miles, crossing the summit of Fossil Peak, until we reached the Church Mountain trail, which we would descend to our cars. Unsurprisingly, our sauntering pace was slowed by the frequent need to stop and gawk at the stunning vistas of Baker, Shuksan, Sefrit, Tomyhoi, McGuire and countless other snow-capped peaks and verdant valleys, and the frequent need to stop and gawk at the stunning carpets of Sitka Valerian, Mountain Bistort, Cinquefoil, Monkey Flower and other blooming wildflowers. With all of the delays, we ran out of time to complete our trip. Instead, we went about two miles to a pair of high bumps on the ridge, which we nicknamed Mounts Pseudo-Fossil, and retreated back the way we came. Topping off a delightful day, we stopped at Chair Nine and found another way to enjoy Mount Shuksan, Mount Baker, and Mount Ruth. (These are the names of the fabulous pizzas we devoured.)