Ascent to Mount Sawyer-47.667873,-121.276531 on 2013-04-13

Climber: Chad Straub

Others in Party:Al-Rashid
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, April 13, 2013
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Point Reached:Mount Sawyer - 47.667873,-121.276531
    Elevation:2937 ft / 895 m
    Remaining Elevation:2564 ft / 781 m (61% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

We are well into April and spring is finally here, right? Wrong! Joel and I set off on and ambitious plan to summit Dirtyface Peak (North of Lake Wenatchee) but when snow began to stick on Highway 2 with more than 2000 feet to climb over Stevens Pass, we reconsidered. While we likely could have made it up and over, the snow was expected to continue into the night and we weren't interested in finding out what the return drive would bring.

Our backup was to head up Tonga Ridge to Mount Sawyer. We parked on Forest Road 68 a half mile past the one-lane bridge near a gated junction, where a 100'+ tree blocked the road. The gravel road was free of snow but that changed quickly as we gained elevation and the flakes grew larger. Snowshoes were not very helpful as every few steps the wet snow would cake up, tripling their weight.

After turning onto the 6830 Spur Rd I hoped to find an decent route to bypass the long switchbacks, but the steep terrain did not look inviting. We passed several small waterfalls along the roadside. We turned around on Road 6830 at about 3200' due to footwear issues. When we returned to the car at 1200' there were 2-3 inches of snow across the road. Weather could have been better, of course it could also have been worse. Either way it was good to get out.

~ 9 miles Round Trip
2000 ft elevation gain
4 1/2 hours car to car

Pics and Route map @
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1665 ft / 507 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9.6 mi / 15.4 km
    Trailhead:NF-68  1272 ft / 387 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Snowshoes
    Weather:Snowing, Cold, Windy
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 30 Minutes

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