Trip Report    

Day Hike - Scramble - McClellan Butte

Fun and adventurous Mother's Day Hike/Scramble to McClellan Butte...snow from 3400ft+, a few avalanche gullies to assess prior to crossing and a great scramble at the end. Spectacular views from the Butte.

  • Road rough but passable
  • Snow from 3400ft+. A few potentially dangerous chutes to cross. When snow is present, assess potential avalanche danger carefully (not only on the ascent...think, 'how will this be upon the descent?').  Pay attention to where the water is running under the snow. Watch out for tree wells. Be careful of the moats around the rock bands and ridges, and ascending to the scramble portion. Some loose rock on scramble, heed caution, step lightly, and be cognisant of foot and hand placements.

Beautiful and warm day in the mountains. Bring NW Forest Pass. Brought microspikes but not needed, snow started at 3400ft and was slushy in spots, consolidated without being slick in others. Assess avalanche danger carefully before crossing gullies, think about how that same slope will look when descending and, at that time, potentially locate an alternative route if the ascent route looks unsafe upon return. We were able to follow a sparse boot track up where the trail should have been, there were times when that person made some sketchy decisions (like booting straight up a sun-baked gully) where we opted to make our own path in the shade through the trees. We hopped onto a somewhat wet rock ridge around 4800 ft. after a zig-zag boot straight up...there is a moat and a few soft spots one could easily punch through, so take care here. We descended the other side of the ridge to where we descended to where the trail should be. Followed along the same contour line for about 15 minutes before ascending towards another rock band (we headed up here then decided we were short of where we should be to start the scramble, on what seemed to be somewhat sketchy rock, then decended and continued skirting the rock below the ridge until we could gain an even-footed crossing which put us at the base of the rock scramble). Clambered up carefully, and enjoyed 360 views of Stuart, Adams, Rainier, The Olympics, Glacier, and Baker. Descended down via the 'summer' trail, avoiding the steep slope to gain the ridge from the ascent. A bit of routefinding and tree-well avoiding involved but the gullies we crossed earlier were still passable (some more consolidated in the shade). Overall a fun trip with very few people-sightings! 5h 40 car to car.