Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Mount Storm King via North Route

Steep scramble with navigation challenges. The short scramble on the ridge is very fun. Since we didn't have the views, I am giving it a 3 star rating.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • We parked on FS3050 @ 700' (no longer shows on many maps) which was soon after leaving S Shore Road.  Could have driven to its end (about 1/4-1/2 mile further) where it was bermed, but didn't know if we could turn around so did not. 

I had attempted Mt Storm King from the west via the Mt Storm King trail in 2011, but we turned around because the route got too sketchy.  I wanted to give it a second attempt, but after reading numerous reports of how difficult it was to go that way, I decided I would give this N Route a try.

Our group of 5 (in 2 cars) took the 7:10am Edmonds to Kingston Ferry.  We met up again at Traylor's Restaurant in Port Angeles before carvanning to where we parked our cars, on the abandoned FS 3050 road.  We started our hike at 9:30am.20191013_093207.jpgSoon we get a few glimpses of Lake Sutherland with its fall colors.  It's a beautiful day.20191013_094052.jpgFS3050 is bermed about 1/4 mile down.   We cross over the berm and continue making quick time hiking it.  At one point the road splits and we continued on the upper road for about 5 minutes before realizing we should be on the lower.  Soon we're back on track following the overgrown road with some fallen logs.20191013_101359.jpgAbout 2 miles from our cars we take a left on to a spur road.  A piece of pink flagging (as seen in the photo) helps mark the spot.20191013_104021.jpgIt's more overgrown and we need to brush bash in a few spots.20191013_104530.jpgWe follow the spur for close to 1/4 mile before leaving it.  We're now just scrambling through the woods where it's not yet very steep.2019-10-13_11-43-33_723.jpg2019-10-13_11-43-33_723.heicSummitpost.org advises to search for a gully that will become obvious when we're at about 2300'.  We need to find the right gully in order to avoid some cliff bands.  Unfortunately we start up the wrong gully and hit cliff bands.  Time and energy are wasted going up that nasty steep gully for 500-800 feet.   After returning to the "V" where the 2 gullies intersect, we head up the correct one which is a bit easier.  Jason in the correct gully.  20191013_120155.jpgEven being very careful, some rocks shoot down the gully.20191013_123628.jpgAt about 3000', and above the cliff bands, we leave the gully heading west (right) and come to a gorgeous area full of large trees and boulders covered in green moss or lichen.  It's around 2pm now.20191013_141647.jpgWe continue doing a westerly rising traverse through the standing trees.  As we get higher there seems more fallen trees we need to negotiate.  It is then we see the clouds descending over the tree tops and I become worried if we'll have any views.  2019-10-13_14-55-30_790.jpgFinally, at 3450' we reach the ridge.  We then follow a game path that travels just below the ridge's north side for about half a mile to our first views of Mt Storm King.  It's about 3:30pm.20191013_154019.jpgThe views of the summit come and go quickly as the clouds move by.  The fun class 3 ridge scrambling begins.  Drop down and then up to the summit.Inked20191013_153723_LI.jpgAnother photo of the route on the return.Inked2019-10-13_16-16-04_136_LI.jpgOn the rock which was pretty solid.20191013_154527.jpgMilo on the large summit at about 3:45pm.
20191013_155359.jpgToo bad we can't see Lake Crescent or much else due to the clouds. 20191013_160001.jpg We sign the register and leave about 15 minutes later.20191013_160229.jpgView of the ridge going back.20191013_160310.jpgAs we head back, I turn around and see Jason waiting for the last 2.  It's my favorite shot of the day.20191013_162355.jpgWe're back at the road spur by 6:30pm.  Not sure what time we reached our cars, but very lucky to get on the 9:40pm ferry which departed 15 minutes after we arrive at the Kingston Ferry Terminal.    

Long drive and long day, but as usual, a great group of Mountaineers.

Thanks Milo for your photo contribution.