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Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Quartz Mountain (winter)

A winter scramble up the east gully route on Quartz Mountain.

  • Road rough but passable
  • The Middle fork road is still in the process of being paved. where it was paved, the driving was great, other than ice on the road in places. however where it was NOT paved there were some monumental pot holes, some of which it was impossible to avoid as they covered the entire road side to side.   

    Most places are signed for Discovery pass required but at our pull out there was no parking pass requirements signed.

We were originally going to do Captains Point but due to the road being snowed in adding 7 miles of access walking we moved it to Quartz mt.   

The approach was via the middle fork Snoqualmie River Road.  as noted above it was a mixed bag driving it.  I recommend higher clearance vehicles until they get this work completed but a VW Jetta in our group did make it to the trailhead with some careful driving in the short pothole areas.  

We drove the middle fork road 9 miles and  parked in the pull out just before the  CCC trail.  Note you can fit at MOST 6 cars at this pull out so carpooling or arriving early would be advised on a nice weekend day.

We hiked the ccc trail about 2/3 miles to the creek that drains the east gully.  An easy marker for this is to turn uphill just after the 2nd wood bridge crossing AFTER you cross the large wood bridge that has hand rails on its side (there is only one with hand rails).  There also is a large 10'+ old growth cedar tree stump with buck board cutouts on it above this 2nd bridge.  

We followed the creek, mostly on its left (west) side until we got up into the snow sufficient that we could use snowshoes and go up in the gully itself.  Once in the gully it will feed you up to Yin Yang pass, which is the saddle between the named Quartz Mt summit and the 2nd summit (4641') which peak baggers lists as the true summit.  Most parties that reach the named summit agree it higher than peak 4641 however. 

The gully gradually steepens as you ascend and ice axes were needed about 3000' due to the hard snow and lack of purchase with snowshoes.  

From the saddle at the head of the gully traverse left to the named summit following the easy ridge.

It should be noted that our party did not summit due to a small avalanche that hit one party member causing some facial bruising and resulting in us turning around.  This route is direct and pleasant but should ONLY be attempted in moderate or lower avalanche conditions as it is a terrain trap for anything coming off the sides of both summit ridges.