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Trip Report    

Cannon Mountain/Northslope Approach

Contrary to popular belief, this is a tremendous scramble, especially if you go in early June when the slide alder has not yet taken hold, there is still ample snow to ascend the final gully to the summit, but the ridge has melted out. Departed TH at 4am, summited at 10:15am and returned to cars at 3:15pm. Six hrs up and five hrs down.

At 12 miles and 5,500ft elevation gain it is especially strenuous, as only the first mile is on trail and the remainder of the scramble is truly cross-country with no boot trail.

We departed Stuart lake TH at 4am and walked along the abandoned forest service road for a mile then left the road, heading up along a minor ridge line through various terrain mostly steep with good footing though semi-brushy (nothing traumatic) and in places more or less blow downs to hop across or use as a ladder up the slope.

Large patches of stiff snow remained above 7,000 ft with open ground sufficient to work our way around, and up to the major ridgeline at 8,200 ft. Crampons necessary to cross the snow and later in the scramble.

It helps to have a GPS track of previous successful summits to navigate the ridgeline as the successful route varies back and forth on either side of the ridgeline to avoid the technical climbing sections. Fun, challenging route finding in any case with some back tracking when you find yourself topped out along a particular line.

From the ridge descended 200 feet to snow bowl and the base of very obvious snow gully that brings you to the summit block. The snow gully is steep and probably the highest difficulty portion of the scramble, with crampons required for both the descent into the bowl and the ascent of the snow gully. Very proficient ice axe arrest skills required for this section.

Left the snow gully and scrambled remainder of ascent to summit ridge and straight forward walk to summit block. 20 - 30 ft friction slab at summit block is the second most challenging portion, of the scramble.

Summitted at 10:15am. Spectacular views of enchantment side view of the Stuart Range, with Rainier & Adams in the distance. Glacier in the other direction.

Retraced our track and arrived at the TH by 3:15pm, but should note that we made no stops other than 15 minutes for lunch at the summit, plus very quick stops to put on (take off) crampons, adjust clothing, etc. You're welcome to call to discuss the route