Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Mount Wow

A strenuous and beautiful scramble in the SW corner of Mount Rainier National Park of ~9 miles and ~4400’ gain.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Trail was amazingly snow free to ~3900’, with snowshoes not needed until the traverse at ~4500’ into the basin west of the false summit.  We called the trip a success just ~100’ below the summit on a steep traverse due to blue verglas over weak snow and an exciting runout.  Although we did not bring crampons, their contribution to secure footing would have been marginal due to intermittent verglas breakage into the soft snow underneath.

A great workout with negligible/avoidable avalanche hazards.  An added bonus (especially when the Nisqually entrance is closed) is the short walk to reach the unmaintained Boundary Trail.  An incoming storm (which arrived as forecast at ~4pm) motivated us to make good time throughout the day, with 4.5 hours up, 3.5 hours down, and a leisurely lunch at a sheltered spot while the winds howled above.  Photos from this and other trips to this venue can be seen here.