Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Mutton Mountain

Fabulous Type 2 Fun in the Mountains!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Road conditions were fine, no snow on forest road 7170 where we parked to avoid crossing the stream after heavy rains (this turned out to be inconsequential as there were two lovely bridges across the stream). The trail was snow free up to 4000' and we hit heavier powder at 5800'.

We met at 6:30am at South Renton Park & Ride under blasting heavy rains with a general sense of amazement that everyone showed up and was still excited to be out.  We were at the trailhead by 8:15 and walking at 8:30 in strong rains. The burned out areas were beautiful against the snow we hit around 4000' and we stopped to throw on our snowshoes.

IMG_20200201_100019.jpgWe continued to follow the trail until the snow made it difficult at which point we just stayed a bit lower on the SE side of the ridge to avoid the bitter wind blowing sharp crystals into our faces, though eventually the side-hilling didn't make sense so we pulled up our buffs and took on the force of nature. We stopped for a short food break in the hollow around 5400' where the wind was blocked and enjoyed a brief respite while everyone put on more layers. IMG_20200201_114734.jpg

We then ascended the steep part of the hillside to the noble knob trail and followed it to the saddle before Mutton mountain. Heavy soft powder fell gently and there was some windblock which was welcome. Ascending the ridge to Mutton there were some easily avoided cornices and the bitter icy winds returned again occasionally causing us to stumble. IMG_20200201_125119.jpgimage.jpg

We hit the summit at 1:00, spent a few freezing minutes enjoying the faint views in the clouds and taking pictures, then hustled back down to a quiet spot to eat mint oreos. We followed our same route down under somewhat less agressive winds and heavy snows and arrived back at the car right at 4:00. A great day out with a great group, few breaks, many laughs!