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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Low Mountain

The views from the summit are amazing, but it takes a lot of brush-whacking to get there. This is a mountain that is easier to climb in the winter, when the snow covers the brush, but winter climbs usually terminate at the false summit, where the views are still wonderful, but not as fantastic as at the summit.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

Fourth time's a charm...  I had tried this peak three times before, but had always been stymied just short of the summit. Twice in winter by cornices, and once in the autumn by slick wet rock.

We chose to do this as a traverse. We stashed our bikes at the Denny Creek trail head and then drove to the Granite Mt trail head. We hiked the Granite Mountain trail to the shoulder of Granite, left the trail and went around the shoulder, then followed the ridge down to Denny Lake. Having done this ridge several times in winter, we were caught off guard by how much brush there is. In winter, the snow covers the brush and the ridge is an easy snowshoe. From Denny Lake, the going is easier, as there is little brush on the south ridge. 

Cresting out on the false summit, we luxuriated in amazing views. Looking across to Denny, the Tooth, Bryant, and Chair is better than looking down on them. It makes them look bigger and steeper.  In the winter, this is typically as far as one goes, as cornices usually block the narrow ridge to the true summit.

The view from the true summit is even better than from the false summit. Not only do you get a bird's eye view to the north featuring Kaleetan, the entire valley between Kaleetan and Chair including the Melakwa  Lakes, and Roosevelt peaking up above Melakwa Pass, but to the south you can also see Adams and the Goat Rocks, and to the east Stuart.  It is one of the best views  anywhere in the Cascades, on a par with the views from Cabinet, Trapper, or Navajo.

Descending down the north ridge, we again encountered some nasty brush-whacking (along with some really nice small meadows and tarns) until we finally reached the Denny Creek trail at Hemlock Pass. From there, it was a simple descent down the trail to the trail head and then a delightful three-mile all-downhill bike ride on a paved road through the forest.  Oshibori at the cars and Mexican food in Issaquah topped off another great day in the mountains.