Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Gobblers Knob

A solitary and remote workout near the western side of Mt Rainier, with a tinge of tension from an approaching winter storm. A great demon cleansing day at ~3500’ gain over ~19 miles (round trip).

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The seasonal closure of the West Side Road gate near the Longmire Road greatly reduces the COVID crowds (as in zero other parties, I wonder why ;).  Snow free until just before Dry Falls, then snowshoes from there on.  No precipitation until tree drip/snow bombs (~5000’ freezing level) above Round Pass, with umbrellas extremely useful for these.  We skipped the lookout visit due to a final short traverse immediately below the west side with a bad runout.  A key part of achieving this summit is staying on the trail (made possible with careful attention to trail depression hints), especially on such a long trip near the shortest day of the year.

This trip’s long road walk made it easy to maintain social distancing, while affording lots of intra group conversations.  The absence of tree drip (afforded by the wide road) allowed us to stay completely dry until Round Pass.  An added bonus of the road walk to Dry Falls was the discovery of an in-progress Beaver Dam (note tooth chewed log ends):DB03697E-7270-47E7-B5FC-E3ECAF018C0E.jpeg

The devastation from Tahoma Creek flooding gave us our first peek of the upper elevations of the Tahoma Cleaver and Point Success:58C4FBA2-1F14-469B-A9A1-24AD5365A43C.jpeg

Lake George is taking a well deserved rest from the summer crowds:4F0D6900-4FB1-4F27-8428-EC81414D3C24.jpeg

We had a few more peeks of Mount Rainier on our way up:Photo3.jpeg

and finally arrived at our summit for a very brief visit:photo2.jpeg

... before skedaddling for home to dodge a storm:3990C9D3-1FE8-4691-A653-A71B806E3536.jpeg

Darkness descended on us at Dry Falls:Photo1.jpeg

with an especially magical part the final night time road walk on headlamps causing dancing demon shadows on the road ahead.

An unexpectedly great day in the mountains with a total time of 9.5 hours, 5.5 hours from the cars to the summit and 4 hours for the descent.  Photos from this and other trips to this venue can be seen here.