Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - Mount Mystery & Little Mystery

Climbed south ridge, difficult routefinding on ridge, mixed rock and snow, several snowslopes to cross, used ice axe, steep 3rd+ class 250' summit climb, two rappels to get down.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Approached from Dungeness trailhead and camped at Home Lake.   Snow on trail last 2 miles to camp.

Wanted to get both Mystery and Little Mystery, so wanted to approach from the saddle between the two called Gunsight Pass in the Olympic Climbing Guide. No easy options! Either bike and hike up the Dosewallips or hike in from Dungeness trailhead. So led a Mountaineers trip and decided to hike from Dungeness trailhead and camp at Home Lake and then hike Del Monte Ridge, mainly because good trail to Home Lake and shorter approach distance. Forecast was for showers to 1/10", but drizzled and rained about 1" on the approach, pretty wet by the time we got to Home Lake. Next morning clouded in and windy. Headed out 6:30am, gained the ridge at Constance Pass, couldn't see anything. Turned around and started back down, but then clouds started to lift, decided to head on out the ridge. Ridge runs ok except for a couple sections, big bypass at Twin Benchmark that took some time. Just kept plugging along, clouds kept lifting little by little, and after a couple of hours Mystery finally revealed itself.
Headed up the south ridge of Mystery, tricky routefinding, found some old cairns, rebuilt a few on the way out. Starts out a bit on the east side, then tucks in the west side. Steep scree and rock, several snowfields to cross with ice axe, snow quality was good (would be icy later season?), some stiff scrambling, but soft scree, would be quite difficult later in season when hardens up.


This pic is on descent, but shows some of the snowfields to cross.  Route goes up to the open notch in the right middle.


Eventually get to an upper sandy bench/saddle and can see the summit up left and right. Olympic Climbing Guide is worthless at this point, took a long time to abandon it's directions and just figure out the route. Looked like a route would go straight up, so scouted it out. Route is a 3rd+ class scramble straight up from the bench, mixed rock and snow (used ice axe), about 250' ascent and then hit the upper ridge, easy scramble right about 200' to the summit. All 4 of us free climbed, single file due to rockfall danger.

Here is the final ascent route, this picture is of the rappel.

Mystery final pitches.jpg

Summit shots.  How do you like my styling sunglasses?!  I had them in my pocket, fell and crunched them into 4 pieces, good use of athletic tape!

Dan on summit.jpg

Mystery Summit.jpg

Did two single rope rappels back to the saddle, downclimbed the rest of the route.


By the time we got back to where we could descend to Gunsight Pass and get Little Mystery, we were out of time, so left for another day, got back to Home Lake at 8:30pm after a long ridge walk back with a couple of bypasses. Just too long of an approach from Home Lake, best bet is to camp at Sunnybrook Meadows if trying to get both peaks.

Great view of Inner Constance from the west at sunset as we run the ridge back to camp at Home Lake.