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Trip Report    

Whistler Mountain

Whistler Mtn. without snow
Met the party at the Chuckanut P&R in Burlington at 7:00 a.m. Left late after waiting for a no show. A longer drive than planned - 2.5 hours with bathroom stops. Parked at Rainy Pass for planned ascent using the Leader’s standard route description which was an unhelpful 15 words. Walked the road looking for a boot path. Finally found one that soon disappeared. Traversed right or to the south. Bushwhacked in very steep terrain crossing big logs, brush and very slippery wet tread with logs, grass, slide alder, etc. underfoot. Some rock. I fell and cut my hand and had to stop for first aide. Bugs very bad. Kept ascending trying to find a good spot to cross the first gully. Finally located an easy spot. Continued the traverse and then ascended the ridge between the first and second gully. Traversed a talus field and finally dropped into the second gully. Lots of loose rock here and slow going. Helmets should be required on this trip. Knocked off lots of small stuff and a few big ones. Reached the end of the ravine about 14:30 and explored a crack with a slab to its right. Too much loose rock and too technical. Not enough time to explore other options. Elev. about 7,400’. Turned back at 15:00 with almost unanimous vote. Descended on the right side of the gully with a lot less loose rock and then traversed down in grass, heather and rock bands on the ridge. Crossed the first gully at the same spot as on the ascent. Everyone tired and a student is really wiped and very slow. Took several long breaks for him to recover. Reached the cars at 18:30. Stats were 7 hr. 45’, 2,720’ and 4 miles??

In summary we had great views and lots of flowers. Bugs were very bad and everyone complained. I wasn’t very aware of them until the next morning when I was covered with welts, plus the usual leg wounds from brush bashing. I was suckered by the short distance and should have started earlier. Bushwhacking was very difficult all the way, scrambling was moderate+ until we were dead ended 300’ from the summit. NO boot path and slippery conditions made this an exhausting trip for its length. Volume of bushwhacking and scrambling was equivalent of 2-4 trips where most of the ascent is on trail or boot path. Recommend meeting at 5:00 a.m. at Chuckanut P&R in the future, but would anyone from Seattle area sign-up? Snow on the route would have made it a lot easier. Recommend this as late spring season snow trip. Est. cars to summit RT would, in our conditions, be 9-10 hours with breaks.

Chuck Gustafson

 

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