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Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Mount McCausland (winter)

winter scramble of Mt McCausland

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Pullout where we parked is 100' yards east of (prior to) Smithbrook Road (FS Road 6700'). Pullout is only accessible via westbound highway 2 during the winter.


Image above is Mt McCausland taken roughly from the McCausland-Lichtenberg saddle.


Mt McCausland 5747'


Party size: 4

Met at Sultan P&R: 6 AM


Heavy rain soon turned to snow en-route to Stevens Pass. We  parked at the large plowed (and paved) pullout  100 yards east of Smithbrook Road (FS Road 6700) accessible from highway 2 westbound. By this time, the rate of snowfall had decreased substantially and the weather appeared to be more in-line with the forecast for the day.


Started snowshoeing: 8 AM

Departed road at elevation 4,000' harepin curve: 9:30 AM


There was 4"-6" of new snow to break trail through along the road. After we'd been snowshoeing up the road for about an hour, a group of snowmobiles came up the road and proceed up the Smithbrook Creek valley from the right-hand  hare-pin curve at elevation 4,000'. We also departed the road at this elevation. We were able to easily cross Smithbrook creek on snow bridges . We continued up the valley on the south side of Smithbrook Creek (creek on climber's right side). We could hear and intermittently see the snowmobiles on the north side of the creek. They made noise for perhaps an hour. We did not see any more snowmobiles the rest of the day.


On ascent, we gained the saddle overlooking Lake Valhalla between McCausland and Lichtenberg. We ascended the south ridge of McCausland to about 5300'. From here we made a rising traverse to the east ridge of McCausland and proceeded along the south side of the east ridge to the summit.  Weather continued to improve as the day went on. Snowfall had ended by midday. We enjoyed grand views of Lichtenburg and nearby mountains. Sunbreaks and patches of blue sky peeked out throughout the afternoon. Temperature stayed just below freezing.


Summit: 1:45 PM - 2 PM

4,000' harepin curve on FS Road 6700': 4 PM

Back at Cars: 5:15 PM


Gear Taken on Trip: snowshoes, poles, ice axe, helmet (left crampons in cars)

Gear Used: snowshoes, poles