Top 10 Trip Reports - July 2022

Each month, we sort through all your trip reports. Then, we pick our favorites and celebrate them here! Read on for our favorites from July 2022.
Skye Michel Skye Michel
Communications Associate
August 01, 2022

June may have been a cold and rainy month, but if the heat of the past couple weeks is any indication, summer is finally here. Our activity calendars are filling up and so are trailhead parking lots. Most trail snow has left, mosquitoes have arrived en masse, and the summits are generous in their offerings of clear-skied views.

In this month’s top trip reports, celebrate the beginning of summer with our (mostly) sunshine-filled trip reports, including flower-filled day hikes, stream-filled scrambles, and a bikepacking journey! 

Day Hike - Tiger Mountain Trail - 7/9

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“It was a good weather day with high clouds and sun, not very hot and cool breezes in the shade. It's definitely worth exploring the area, and you won't see many people. We saw maybe a dozen others the whole time. Several stretches of trail are overgrown to the point where it felt like we were in a jungle!”

This trip report boasts photos of Mountaineers hiking through foxgloves that are taller than the hikers themselves. Lush and overgrown, the trail also has thorny bushes that will snag a scratch every so often. While on the trail, these hikers noticed that their map listed incorrect elevation information - a good reminder to always be attentive to your surroundings and have the latest map on hand. 

Bikepacking - Kitsap Memorial State Park - 7/13 to 7/14

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“Good bike sites [at Kitsap Memorial State Park]. $12 cash or check only. Large site that easily accommodated our 4 tents. Showers at the park (with tokens-machine changing at kiosk). Nice views from the bluff. Enjoyed a great sunset.”

As a new activity to our club, this trip report is an awesome resource for Mountaineers interested in what a bikepacking trip may look like. Included in this trip report are great views of water, thorough details on transportation and trail conditions, and even a tasty peak at their post-journey “second breakfast.”

Basic Rock Climb - South Early Winter Spire/South Arête - 7/17

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“There are a few minor snowfields remaining as of this date. We did not use the axes or tractions we brought. Honestly, the approach could have been done in trail runners. Still, it got slushy and post-holey by afternoon, so you might bring spikes to be cautious. 

Buggy as hell at the trailhead - you've been warned.

Great group, good spirit, glorious area. What's not to love?”

This trip report is chock-full of helpful information regarding the route conditions of SEWS after the June rockfall. You can still expect to see some debris and will likely be clearing “kitty litter” from steps while climbing. Read on to learn more about what to expect during your next climb here, as well as the new and exciting improvements the North Cascades Mountain Guides has made to the route!

Scramble - Goat Island Mountain - 7/17

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“We headed a bit too north, probably because we could not see any landmarks in the fog. Using GPS until we descended below the now lifting fog, we turned east until finding the north-east ridge, followed that for a while then punch stepped into a bowl of snow to the northeast flank of that ridge, only to have descended too low and need to bushwhack back up to the ridge again. Finally, we found the game trial, pungent with the odor of elk and followed that down the rest of the ridge, arriving at the Wonderland Trail alongside the Sunrise Rd. It was a very steep, knee-taxing descent.”

This trip report suggests an early arrival as the parking lot was bustling even before 7am. Easy river crossings, casual birdwatching, and cool fog to keep the hikers cool while ascending made for a pleasant, albeit strenuous, trip. The fog obscured all visibility of nearby landmarks, but that didn’t prevent this group from reaching the summit! At one point they could even hear the booming sounds from an icefall further up the mountain.

Scrambling - Wagonwheel Lake & Copper Mountain - 7/23

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“I have only traveled this trail in winter so this was my first time going up it with vegetation in full bloom. The lack of usage shows on this trail due to how much the vegetation is encroaching on it. There were sections that left some of the participants on the trip wondering if we were still on the actual trail or missed a turn… What followed was about an hour of intense bushwhacking uphill...”  

This group also warns of nearly-full parking lots. Most of the trail is overgrown with bushes obscuring visibility, so expect to do a lot of bushwhacking while you hike. The crowded navigating was worth it as the views at the top were rewarding and the views of the overgrown trail left the group “elated that they had done something that appeared impossible from a distance.” 

Climbing - Forbidden Peak Northwest Face - 7/22 to 7/23

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“I was pretty much a rotisserie chicken, tossing and turning all night as a bivy on rocks is not the most comfortable. The lack of sleep did get to us quite a bit by the end of today. Now for the fun part! We scrambled about 100 feet below switching to simul climbing. The lower part of the ridge felt similar to the north ridge of Stuart.”

This trip almost didn’t happen, but thanks to the previous week’s trip reports, these climbers felt prepared enough to give it a safe go. It seems like bike fanaticism is in the air this season as these climbers brought their bikes with them to the approach, making for strenuous uphills and blissful downhills. Bravo on trekking through your lack of sleep; we hope you've recovered from your rotisserie chicken state!  

Basic Alpine Climb - The Brothers/South Couloir - 7/23 to 7/24

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“Thanks to Craig Schwartz's awesome beta, when we got to the summit block, we found the correct gully without issue, avoiding going up to the false summit and having to make some sketchy 4th class moves to the true summit. The correct gully did still have 200 feet of steep snow. We observed other parties going up and around it, but we opted to take our crampons and ice axes out because we had them and because we knew that it was on the route that we intended to take. Beyond the snow, we followed cairns and enjoyed some mostly solid and fun class 3 scrambling to the summit at around 9:30 am.”

These climbers (unsurprisingly) faced another nearly-full parking lot. The climbing route was newly flagged allowing for easier navigation, thanks to WTA crews. The conditions were easier than expected, but still provided ample learning opportunities for everyone involved. The climbers were extra cautious not to kick loose rocks on anyone below, and all members made it out unscathed. Congrats on the summit, everyone!  

Scrambling - Lookout Dome - 7/23 to 7/24

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“This trip was all about contrasts, crowds (people-zilla on the short Marymere Falls Trail, absolutely no one after that), elevation (start at ~500 feet, camp at 5000 feet), water (almost too much, then none), and scenery (salt water vistas to the north, trackless wilderness to the south, pristine rainforest, flowered pillow lava ridges). Having a fun time requires parties with great conditioning, as the heaviest loads, warmest temperatures, and steepest non-trail travel are all at the end of a long day.”

This trip report is filled with fun photos and action shots, including a bridge balancing act, water filtering near pristine streams, and “Industrial Grade Toe Cooling.” Read on for a look at lots of beautiful views, serene sunsets, and smiling faces. 

Basic Glacier Climb - Mount Olympus/Blue Glacier - 7/8 to 7/11

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“We got early dinner and went to bed around 6 pm. Half an hour later, we heard other campers shouting "Bear! Bear right next to your camp!" Turned out there was a black bear that was going down the meadow and passed our campsite maybe by 10 feet distance… Fortunately for everyone, Mr. Bear was minding his own business and was way more interested in all the juicy greenery on the meadows than the people who were staring at him and taking pictures.”

As we learned from June, trails are pretty muddy from the late snowmelt! If hiking this trail, expect to get ankles-deep in mud, and try to avoid going around puddles as it can create alternate trails and impact the health of the surrounding plant growth. Along with an exciting bear visit, these hikers were visited by a curious deer and bunny. They also came across some llamas, which were a fun surprise until they learned that a previous encounter between one of the llamas and a hiker resulted in a hiker’s broken leg. Who knew llamas could be bigger hecklers than bears! 

Day Hike - Crystal Lakes & Sourdough Gap - 7/10

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“Arrived at the parking lot at 8 am with several parking places available. We enjoyed the cool of the morning as we climbed the steady gain up to the Crystal Peak junction, Lower Crystal Lake and Upper Crystal Lake. We took several scenic and "breather" breaks and made our way to Upper Crystal Lake by 10:30 am after a stop to check out the Lower Crystal Lake campsites and the lake itself.”

This group was perhaps the only one to experience an empty parking lot. Melted snow resulted in manageable trails and clear alpine lakes blanketed with pollen. Bonus sights were plenty of wildflowers and a stunning view of Mt. Rainier. We hope you enjoyed your first visit to the Crystal Lakes, hikers! 


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Lead Image by Rio Hoshi.