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Ascent of Mount Wow on 2019-04-21

Climber: Connor McEntee

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, April 21, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Wow
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:6040 ft / 1840 m

Ascent Trip Report

I'd hoped that early season conditions on Mount Wow would make for an easier climb, but pretty much nothing broke my way. The bushwhack remained, at the snow line conditions on steep hillsides were loose and slippery, and the traverse was through deep snow, which sucked in snowshoes. But, I guess a lot of the vegetation wasn't in leaf yet. I did get undue pleasure out of going through thickets of Devil's Club and stomping on the stalks.

NF 59 is well maintained, and there was already a bit of traffic on it this early in the season. The only obstacles were bits of blowdown that hadn't quite been cleared yet. The spur road, NF 037, kind of sucks. It's narrow and getting partially overgrown. Scrapping trees was unavoidable. It was also quite wet and had numerous large pools to cross. Close to the end of the road, I saw a nice spot to park and opted to just hike from there. As it turns out that for any vehicle that can make it to where I parked can easily make it to the end of the road. The last stretch to the slide is a bit more open.

It got my pack loaded and set out. I was expecting to have to figure out a way to cross Goat Creek, which was flowing rapidly. However, the bridge from the logging road is still in place. I had been following some tracks, so I continued in them right in the bushes. Of course, once in the trees there was no longer any snow, and I just had to make my own way up the slope. About 2/3rds of the way up the ridge, the forest opens up slightly. But it's no longer the nice open forest that some trip reports have mentioned. There are numerous 2-3 year old trees, and within the next few years I suspect that these few hundred final vertical feet to the ridge will become rather 'shwhacky.

The ridge was nice, though a bit cold with a damp breeze. I was expecting it to be a gentle continuous climb up to where I needed to traverse over to Wow's south ridge. The ridge itself has several stretches that are exposed scrambles. It wasn't bad, just unexpected. Loose snow in places maybe made it more difficult than it would be in summer. Anyway, I reached the contours where people start traversing and did the same. The snow was deep and this just wasn't pleasant on snowshoes. There's also a couple rocky ribs, and I couldn't see if there would be a way to exit on the far side. This forced me to downclimb at one point.

Once on the ridge again, the going was easy. There were a couple short steep sections near the summit, but the terrain was all quite forgiving. The summit had decent views at the clouds parted every now and again. On a clear day, it's not hard to imagine that it must be stunning.

The descent was much of the same, though I got a few nice glissades in. I opted to circumvent one of the more airy sections of the ridge on the descent. The snow and dirt were loose, so I still had to downclimb carefully, but I guess I limited my exposure. Back at the trailhead, I ran into a couple searching for fossils. I would never have noticed this unless they had pointed it out. But, there are a ton of fossils unearthed by slide that wiped out the road. Apparently, this was all concealed under an ancient lava flow, but the slide brought it all to the surface. Anyone climbing should stop for a moment and take a look at all the leaves and branches trapped in the rocks.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4184 ft / 1274 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4050 ft / 1233 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.4 mi / 11.9 km
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Snowshoes
    Weather:Cold, Breezy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3699 ft / 1127 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 3214 ft / 979 m; Extra: 485 ft / 147m
    Loss on way in:485 ft / 147 m
    Distance:3.8 mi / 6.1 km
    Route:Southwest Ridge
    Start Trailhead:Goat Creek  2826 ft / 861 m
    Time:2 Hours 37 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3565 ft / 1086 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 3080 ft / 938 m; Extra: 485 ft / 147m
    Gain on way out:485 ft / 147 m
    Distance:3.6 mi / 5.8 km
    Route:Southwest Ridge
    End Trailhead:Goat Creek  2960 ft / 902 m
    Time:2 Hours 2 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


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

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