Trip Report    

Church Mountain

A most beautiful scramble that should be led more often!

  • Sat, Aug 29, 2015
  • Church Mountain
  • Scrambling
  • Successful
  • Road suitable for all vehicles

The scramble was on 8/25/15. The 2.5 miles on the dirt road is in good shape and the 4.2 miles to the lookout is in very good shape too. Stream in the meadow area (around 5300')is still running. Three out of 4 made the summit on this beautiful day with great views. One decided to wait at the old lookout site. Took us about a hour to reach the peak. We were able to see the bootpath on the north side of the peak from the lookout site so we descended to it (about 125') and followed it westward past a rock column and into its gully. From the saddle of this gully we descended to the south side of the peak. This is where it gets exposed and why I believe it is rated a T-5. Westward traverse on boot path and exposed rock with a couple crux moves that would be hard to protect because there is basically no place to place pro. There are quite a few cairns to mark the way too. Once reaching a large, flat shaped rock with cairn on top, head to the ridge on beaten, sandy bootpath and drop back down to the north side again. Trees and heather here. Follow the bootpath going west, ducking under some tree branches. We headed up too soon and had to back down to the bootpath. Basically, go west till you can go no longer before scrambling on good rock to the summit. Great views all around. Trip time was 8 hrs with at least hour stop on summit and lookout site. Three hour drive from Seattle to trailhead. About 10 miles RT and 4000' elevation gain. Should only be done with a smaller, experienced group of scramblers although it would be perfectly fine to have people wait at the lookout site. You can see each other for much of the scramble.