Ascent of Moscow Mountain on 2013-10-24

Climber: Edward Earl

Date:Thursday, October 24, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Moscow Mountain
    Elevation:4983 ft / 1518 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was my second visit to Moscow Mtn. In September 2013, Andy Martin climbed Moscow Mtn using the trip report from my first visit, in May 2011. Based on my description of where I went and of the summit area, he expressed concern that I may have gone not to the true summit, but only to the subsidiary summit about 800' ENE of the true summit. It appeared to me that he was probably right, so I decided to pay a second visit to make sure I got it right.

I used the exact same approach as my first visit and followed my own trip report for it. This report provides only the differences in field conditions & my actions between my two visits. Refer to my other report for more comprehensive information.

Unlike the first visit, there was no snow at all on my second visit.

The road on which I drove and hiked up the mountain had been graded since my first visit. The first time, the portion of the road that traverses a clear cut on the N side of the Palouse Range from 4200' to 4600' was badly eroded and heavily rutted. The second time, it was graded smooth. It still had some undulations and care would be needed with a low-clearance vehicle, but apart from that, any street legal vehicle could drive the road.

Every gate was in the same state on the second visit as it was on the first visit.

The junked homestead I encountered near the summit was nearly the same as I found it before, except that it was much easier to bypass this time. On my first visit, passage was hindered by a morass of junked vehicles, piles of brush, and snowdrifts around the abandoned house. This time, there was a clear path by the R side of the house. The house on the left side of the area that appeared to be under construction at the time was still the same as before, 2½ years later.

I retraced my route from the first visit until I reached a point that matched my memory and the description in my trip report of the summit I reached then. Based on the topography encountered along the way, it was the ENE summit. I was carrying a GPS which showed that the correct summit was 0.14 miles away on a bearing of 254°. Andy was definitely right - I had not reached the correct summit, so it was time to fix that.

I continued in a WSW direction. When I reached the saddle between the two summits, I encountered a pathway coming up from the N; it was probably a continuation of the road I had used. It continued uphill toward the main summit, which it reached in a couple of minutes. The highest ground is a 4' high boulder surrounded by brush, though gaps in the brush provide access without any real bushwhacking. At the time of my arrival, my GPS said I was 0.01 mile away and that number dropped to 0.00 while I was there. I turned off the unit before that number could change again.

On the descent, I decided to investigate the pathway (I'm not sure whether I should call it a road or a trail) that I had discovered at the saddle between the two summits. It was indeed a continuation of the road I had left to head uphill to the wrong summit. Hence the preferred route to the summit of Moscow Mtn would stay on the road (degenerating to a trail for the last few minutes) the entire way.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1483 ft / 451 m
    Extra Gain:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    Route:Tamarack Rd
    Trailhead:Tamarack Ski Area  3700 ft / 1127 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:1 Hours 10 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:1 Hours 

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