Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Middle Chiwaukum

Difficult, but rewarding on this return trip

  • Road recommended for high clearance only
  • The road is muddy, snowy, and rutted.  The lower 1000' after leaving the trail is difficult due to snow conditions that hid holes.  Otherwise, the route is in excellent shape

After turning around on Rodica's trip in a whiteout a few weeks ago, I was eager to go back in much nicer weather and hopefully attain the summit of Middle C and see some of the views.  Avalanche conditions were low for all aspects and elevations, although this trip could be done in much worse conditions (see previous trip).  

We parked the cars outside of Cascade Meadows, and walked the two miles to the summer trailhead.   Walked the trail about .25 mile to where the NW ridge reaches the trail (if you leave the trail just before the ridge, the going is much easier).  The first 1000' featured rock hard snow that occasionally would give way.  In some places there was no snow at all.  Snow conditions improved after getting to about 3600' (remember to always stay on the ridge).  We walked on top of the snow all the way to North Chiwaukum (7132), never even having to swap out who was in front.

From North Chiwaukum, we descended about 150' to the saddle below Middle Chiwaukum.  We switched to crampons here (the snow was one inch of soft on top of an ice layer) and proceeded to the summit.

~11 miles, 5600 elevation gain, 11 hours roundtrip

A few pictures: