Ascent of Big Snow Mountain on 2018-08-18

Climber: Cory Sytsma

Date:Saturday, August 18, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Big Snow Mountain
    Elevation:6680 ft / 2036 m

Ascent Trip Report

Headed out Saturday morning for a 2-day backpack/climb of Big Snow Mountain via Dingford Creek. The paved road out to Taylor River make quick time from Issaquah. The road out to Dingford Creek wasn't bad, just fine with an SUV, no real challenging parts. About 15 cars in the parking lot.

Starting hiking at 8:30am, reached Myrtle Lake around 11:30. We took the short trail to the creek opposite the campsite/bench before reaching the creek. Trail disappears after crossing the creek. You need to head slightly uphill on the right side of the ridge. If you stay too far on the right, the ridge is very steep, and you want to be on top of it. We followed the top of the ridge in a clockwise direction, then headed uphill again on the other side until hitting the rocky stream outlet (dry for us). Followed this up until hitting the first 10ft rock headwall, then headed up into the woods to the talus field. Generally E-SE direction. The worst bushwhack is from the ridge to the rocky stream. The bushwhack to the talus field isn't bad. We went to the top of the talus field (SE corner) then cut into the large rocky stream outlet from the lake, and followed this straight up. Staying on the right (South) side is easier, more dirt trail then large boulders. The very last 20 feet is a challenge, especially with packs on. I'd hate to do this with a lot of water coming down.

Reached big snow lake around 12:45. Nice campsite for 2 tents on the West side of Big Snow Lake. Setup camp, dropped gear, then headed up Big Snow Mountain.

We followed trail South to Snowflake Lake and up short section to the rib on the South side of Snowflake Lake. The easiest route from there was to continue southwest down into the talus field past the cliffs and go up the angled ramp that cuts back up to the east. Continue angling up to the east to get around the large headwall/knob around 5700'. We then headed mostly straight up the granite slabs to the summit, being fooled once by a false summit. There were just a couple small snowfields below the summit. No gear needed.

No register on the summit to be found, we looked pretty hard. Someone needs to bring another one up. Found the 3 survey markers from 1937.

On our way down, we followed the path from another trip report down the gulley NE of where we came up. I'm not sure it was any better or worse. We followed this down to the same spot below the large headwall/knob. We then followed some large cairns down a gully going straight to Snowflake Lake. This was a poor choice. It was quite sketchy, very loose and wet rock and sand. Those cairns should be knocked down. Going up would have probably been a bit easier, but descending was a challenge. The other half of our party took the route down that we came up, and were only about 5 minutes behind us.

The bugs weren't too bad, but the smoke got pretty thick. Weren't able to see much from the summit. We didn't see anyone both days we were out, except for a couple day hikers on Sunday when we were almost out.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Weather:Hot, Calm
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Cory Sytsma
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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. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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