Adams from Mount Ararat.jpg

Trip Report    

Mount Ararat (winter)

Very strenuous 12-mile day. Snow from TH, consolidated and slushy, with a fresh coat of up to 6" powder in places above 4200'.

  • Wed, Mar 17, 2021
  • Mount Ararat
  • Scrambling
  • Successful
  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Ararat Creek Crossing.jpg

    Snow/Ice-covered stream crossings, take heed. Pay attention on icy trails on ledges above creeks or areas above trecherous terrain, especially on the descent.

Snow from trailhead, pretty slick and consolidated in most places (very uneven footing with interspersed icy postholes). After about 4k there were spots with deeper fresh snow, booted up until finally putting on snowshoes at about 5k (in retrospect, would have done so much earlier). Used snowshoes to the summit, there was a layer of about 4" fresh snow on top of a hard crust, went through the trees at the base of the mountain to avoid being under avalanche terrain in the gully on the ascent. A bit slippery on the final approach (200' or so) to the summit but crampons wouldn't have prevented that, the top layer was pretty wet and slid easily. Beware of post-holing in tree wells if avoiding the avalanche terrain in the gully, I ended up getting a foot with a snowshoe caught in one and couldn't move until both of us hand-dug my foot free from the heavy snow consolidated around it.

Incredible 360 views all around at the top of Hood, Adams, Rainier, St. Helens, and The Olympic range. Grueling descent in snowshoes until able to remove at around 4200'. C2C 8:20 with additional time spent on exploration of broad snow-covered summit absorbing extensive views, 12 miles RT.

Fresh bear tracks crossed the trail a few times around 4500 (between 0-3 days old given recent snowfall). Brought ice axe, crampons and helmet, didn't use due to snow conditions but if it were any icier on the upper slopes, they'll be needed, so bring anyway to be on the safe side.