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Ascent of Mount Index on 2014-07-26

Climber: Greg Slayden

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, July 26, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Index
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:5991 ft / 1826 m

Ascent Trip Report

The West Route on Index is definitely not recommended any more unless there is deep snow covering the brush. The logging road above the washout at 2650' is almost entirely overgrown with evergreens and slide alder and bashing through that both ways is a real drag. In several places it is pretty much indistinguishable from the surrounding thick brush. For me the morning dew on the trees got me drenched, too. Without an sudden uptick in people using the route (not likely) that "road" will be totally gone in a few years.

If you do enjoy hours of brush bashing and still want to try this route, the mountain bike approach is the way to go. When I got to the Hancock Timber gate on Road 62 this day, it was open! I was sorely tempted to drive to the trailhead, but signs warned that the gate could close at any time. So I parked and biked. Sure enough, the gate was closed when I got back--that would have really ruined my day had I driven through earlier.

The bushwhack from the end of the road up to the pleasant heather shelves at 4700' is not very pleasant either in summer. The footing is rough and invisible, and during the steep uphill and the traverse to the right you are holding on to branches pretty much the entire way.

Once you turn the corner into the 4700' shelves, the route becomes quite pleasant and scenic. I followed the ridge from the 4900' pass and traversed the snowfield before the final scramble to the summit. I used crampons, which though not really necessary, made me feel safer. The only person I saw all day was Jacob Smith, who was coming down as I finished crossing the snow--he had come from Persis.

The traverse from Persis is probably a better option these days, based on my experience and what I have heard.

I did make a goof while descending from the 4900' saddle--seeing nice heather terrain below, I decided that my upward traverse along 4700' was too high and I could avoid some sidehilling by dropping. But I went too low and was confused at first by the rock wall immediately to my right, since my GPS said I was below my upward track and there was no room for it between me and the wall. Then I realized that the correct route was above the cliffs. Grrr-I had climb a brushy cleft to regain the right shelf. On this route, you definitely want to follow your upward track slavishly.

Note: Ascent stats reported here do not include bicycle ride (7 miles each way, gain/loss of 1100 feet).


Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:3801 ft / 1158 m
    Elevation Loss:3801 ft / 1158 m
    Distance:8.8 mi / 14.2 km
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Bicycle, Ice Axe, Crampons
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:3551 ft / 1082 m
    Extra Loss:200 ft / 60 m
    Distance:4.4 mi / 7.1 km
    Route:West Ridge
    Trailhead:2640 ft / 804 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:3601 ft / 1098 m
    Extra Gain:250 ft / 76 m
    Distance:4.4 mi / 7.1 km
    Route:West Ridge
    Trailhead:2640 ft / 804 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Greg Slayden
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO resposibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file




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