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Trip Report    

Second Mother Mountain

Trip Date: 9/20/2014
Roundtrip Miles: 8
Elevation gain: ~3600'
Elapsed time: Under 11 hours

A wonderful day at Mt. Rainier. We first scrambled Castle Peak, from the north end of Mowich Lake. There are various animal paths from there, but nothing consistent. Best bet is to keep traversing uphill until you find the meadow, which has easier travel. Also blueberries. Top of Castle Peak around 9:15.

From Castle Peak, we traversed over to the saddle past false Castle, and descended toward the tarn below. Once we got to the level of the talus field, we traversed all the way past the lake, toward a saddle. Descended a bit from the saddle, and continued traversing more talus. Staying above the cliffbands, we eventually hit the small tarn below the summit and headed to the saddle just to the left of the summit ridge. From there, descended around 30 feet and traversed around cliff band, then headed up. There is a large step here that poses a little difficulty (T5). From there, we followed various bootpaths that led to the summit. Just before the summit, there was another very large step on the left, I took that, the others squeezed through the trees on the right. On the summit around 1:30pm

Take careful note of the way up so that you don't get confused on the way down. All five us lost track of our up path from the summit. Eventually I found our boot tracks and we headed back towards the large step, where we all squeezed through the trees.

Return trip was uneventful, but rather tedious with all the ups and downs over the talus. Definitely seemed harder than the mileage and elevation gain would seem to suggest.

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