Ascent of Higher Squire on 2014-01-19

Climber: Chad Straub

Date:Sunday, January 19, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Higher Squire
    Elevation:4879 ft / 1487 m

Ascent Trip Report

I've been enthralled by Three Fingers Mountain and the lookout tower perched on it's summit since reading a winter trip report by Steph Abegg . When I noticed this report on NWHikers, I knew instantly what I would be doing with the coming weekend. This is the closest I've been to Three Fingers and the views did not disappoint. I followed recent snowshoe tracks when snow covered the 8 Mile Creek Trail above 3000'. Someone with crampons and a dog continued past Squire Creek Pass, I followed them until they either turned back or got lost in the tree litter en route to Ulalach Peak. The avy gully West of the summit looked shallow and unstable in the afternoon sun and I quickly retreated after tiring of postholing and bushwhacking below the rocky South Face.

The trail leaves an old road bed after a half mile and climbs under dense canopy and past some long toppled behemoths. Shortly after a clearing with a view of Ulalach Peak, I passed a pair of slabby fingers that had recently shed about a foot of snow. I followed snowshoe tracks up the NW Ridge through sparse canopy as surrounding peaks popped into view. The summit views were spectacular, despite obstructive trees to the SW.

I followed a set of crampon tracks West along the ridge and down to Squire Creek Pass, hoping to visit Ulalach Peak before returning home. After descending a few hundred feet below the summit I heard voices on their way up behind me. The snow was softening in the sun but not consistent enough to break out the snowshoes.

From the small peak North of the pass it looked I might be able to traverse below the rocky South face of Ulalach Peak to avoid the steep gully to the West. After a short bushwhack I was looking at the West gully baking in the afternoon sun. I started across the South face but gave up on the bushwhack after stepping into a few tree voids. The descent was uneventful.

7.5 miles Round trip
4000' elevation gain
10 hours car-to-car

pics and route map @
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3929 ft / 1196 m
    Extra Gain:400 ft / 121 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.2 mi / 11.6 km
    Trailhead:8 Mile Creek TH  1750 ft / 533 m
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Ski Poles
    Weather:Cold, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

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

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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