20190902_115727 Marcus.jpg

Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Marcus Peak

Planned trip of Marcus Peak and Palisades Peak. Had to skip Palisades due to time considerations. Still a fun scramble. Great weather and fun group!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Took the Palisades Trail from Sunrise Point to Hidden Lake.  From Hidden Lake to Green Park Saddle has an unmaintained but very visible trail.  From the saddle, there is a clear boottrack to the base of the first gully.  The gully itself had loose scree and some loose rock.  By staying to the left of the scree, there is some dirt and heather that is a little more solid.  Once at the base of the summit block, there is good solid rock using only an occasional veggie belay to the very top.

We had a group of 10 Mountaineers.  We started from Sunrise Point at 8:30am and descended the Palisades Trail down to Clover Lake and then the cutoff to Hidden Lake.  We took a short break at Hidden Lake and then ascended the unmaintained trail to Green Park Saddle.  From the saddle, we could easily see a boot path to the gully on the NE side of Marcus.  We headed to the base of the gully and explored our options.  Either the first gully or the second gully are doable.  I think the first gully, while a little longer and less direct, is probably easier.  The gully itself has plenty of scree and some loose rock, but stay to the left of the gully on dirt and heather, and this makes the ascent easier.  Once at the top of the gully, we were on a small ridge at the NE base of the summit block.   The summit block itself is pretty straightforward.  We just find the path of least resistance up some solid rock.  There was an occasional use of a veggie belay, but really not too bad.  Exposure is pretty mild.  Two people from our team was not comfortable with the loose rock up the gully so they stayed back and returned to the saddle.  The other 8 of us reached the summit.  The summit itself is broad enough for all of to take a lunch break there.  Most of the group descended down second gully (the western of the two gullies) but upon exploration, I think the first gully is the easier descent path.  Regardless we all made it back to the saddle with few issues.  We had a couple scramblers who were not quite as experienced on the rock travel, so that slowed us down.  In fact by the time we were back to the saddle, it was already 1:30.  The team agreed that while Palisades was definitely doable, it was going to be a very late day, so group consensus was to head down.  On the way down, however, we did take a nice long break at Clover Lake where a few of us decided to go in for a short swim.  We arrived back at the cars at 4:45.  Though we didn't do Palisades, the group was very pleased with their accomplishment.  We had sunny weather and terrific views of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Stuart.  The GPS track is here:   https://www.gaiagps.com/datasummary/track/f89f35161242b49f94cb219424cf0fe4019a0bee/