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Ascent of Cowan Lookout on 2010-01-31

Climber: Eric Noel

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, January 31, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Cowan Lookout
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:1955 ft / 595 m

Ascent Trip Report

Access is from the South from a turnoff at what the topo shows as Silvola Ranch. This is actually called Nasalle Camp or something like that and is some sort of juvenile prison camp. Anyway, at the turnoff, go left and uphill rather than right to the prison camp. Follow this mainline road just by staying on the main road as it heads up the ridge between Holm Creek and Pete Creek until reaching a junction at 1250'. Go straight (or right) and you'll quickly come to an ancient DNR gate. Signage on the gate indicates "No Trespassing DNR" but this gate looks like it has been open for decades. There isn't even a pin or a padlock to use to lock it. No worries. Continue on to the switchback at 1500'. Here you will find an unmapped road off to the right that you want to take for a short half mile which will angle SE and a bit downward to join the mapped road that goes to the summit. Upon hitting the mapped road, go left on fresh gravel and ascend steeply to the ridgeline. Park at the ridgeline near a weird new tower structure of some sort. Walk past the most distant tower anchor and find the mossy overgrown (undriveable) summit spur. Walk this spur for 250 yards or so, bypassing a few down trees on the right if need be. The road ends in a clearing. To the immediate right are the wooden remains of the old Cowan Lookout. To your left 10 yards away is a large mossy boulder that I like for the HP. Straight ahead, past a flagged evergreen less than 50 feet into the forest is the other option for the HP in the woods with a rock cairn crowned by a beer can. I like the mossy boulder but it is hard to say which is higher. You can also spot the old lookout outhouse once in the forest and what looks like maybe a continuation of the mossy road or a separate mossy road coming up from the W. Easy as pie. Only the one gate and sign en route and certainly not worth sweating. Don't bother trying the roads that come from nearer to Nasalle, they are residential and negatively signed and this route works just fine anyway. Good roads, steep in bits but passable to any car. Probably no more than an hour RT from the highway for this.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:105 ft / 32 m
    Distance:0.3 mi / 0.5 km
    Route:Mossy Road
    Trailhead:Ridgeline Summit Spur  1850 ft / 563 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Bushwhack
    Weather:Drizzle, Pleasant, Calm, Overcast



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