Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Third Mother Mountain

A scramble of Second & Third Mother Mountains.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • See trip report

6/14/18: Our group of 6 met at the Carbon River Ranger Station at 7:30am to pick up our backcountry camping permit only to be advised after May 15th we were supposed to be a group not larger than 5 because we may no longer be camping on snow.  Fortunately, the ranger was kind enough to consider us 2 groups this time.  We were also asked to try to consolidate into fewer cars next time (we had 4) because the parking at the trailhead has so few spaces.
We left for Isput campground a little after 8am on bikes.  The road was recently regraded so some were able to ride the entire 5.5 miles without having to push.  By 9:30am we are on trail for less than a mile.  After filtering some water we left the trail and start heading up through the trees.  We were fortunate to have some recent beta from Brett Dyson and Grace Parker for Third Mother telling us to keep the stream to our right and within audible distance.  
Besides encountering a cliff band which we were able to circumvent and some very wet blueberry bushes, the scramble wasn't too bad.  At about 4600' we arrived at the base of a boulderfield where we had planned to camp.  We looked around and found a large patch of snow below the gully we were to go up for Third Mother.  It was 3pm by the time we departed for Third Mother with tents already set up. 28971622398_4aab59167a_o.jpg
We hit more and more soft snow as we continued up.  Once at the col we headed to the back side and it's a rock scramble from there. 28971621248_490d42858e_o.jpg
We're in clouds and mist the entire time and the rock is wet and often slick.  Especially glad to be with a group of very proficient scramblers in conditions like this.  We're at the summit at 4:45pm and still no views...too bad.  After about 15 minutes, we start down.  We set up a handline and 1 rappel to help get us off the wet rock.  When we get back to camp around 7pm, the clouds have lifted some.  We're all hoping for better weather tomorrow.
6/15/18:  We leave the campsite at 5:15am for Second Mother Mtn.  There is little beta on how to reach Second Mother from where we are camped as most scramble this peak from Mowich Lake.  We encounter bushwacking of alder and salmonberry almost from the start.  After a few hundred feet the bushwacking stops as we enter the trees again.  We do a SW rising traverse, paralleling a cliff band.  We finally get above the cliff band through a notch and with a helping hand from Andy at about 5200'.  There is continuous snow now.  42129409784_6e7c2a7f25_o.jpg
We continue heading up, but make a navigational error and head to the wrong side of the peak.  This causes us at least 1-1.5hrs delay, but after rechecking notes, Andy leads us to the right place to go up.  The scramble up is easy enough, especially on dry rock.  We are in and out of clouds during this entire time, but by the time we summit, it's beautiful. IMG_1588.JPG
I think if we had been there earlier, we would not have had the stunning views.  What luck!    Looking back at Second Mother.  The scramble up is on climber's right.42129404274_5d959a8f0b_o.jpg
It took us 5hrs to reach the summit and 3 hours down which included a few good glissades.  We find an easier way back to camp by staying lower while paralleling the cliff band.  Easier sidehilling and less bushwacking.  42129403634_65e5991da8_o.jpg
We leave camp around 2pm and back at our cars about 5pm.  Great trip for us Rainier 100 Peakbaggers.