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Ascent of Bandera Mountain on 2014-12-07

Climber: James Barlow

Date:Sunday, December 7, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Bandera Mountain
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:5241 ft / 1597 m

Ascent Trip Report

Perfect weather!! Who would have guessed it would be so nice in Washington in December?

The initial plan for the day was to climb a peak near Snoqualmie Pass. During the drive up I-90, the lack of snow made the ascent look very promising. As soon as you hit the pass, it is like you enter winter. Very unexpected. Tried to follow the directions to the trailhead, but the vehicle got stuck within sight of parking. Sigh. I hopped out and grabbed the avy shovel to dig the tires out. With more snow at the trailhead than expected, I knew that snow up higher would be deeper. With all of the snow-free peaks along I-90, the decision to change plans was easy. Bandera was left as a good option.

The plan B for the day became Bandera Mtn with the help of the new peakbagger.com Android app. I drove to the Ira Springs trailhead with the directions provided by the summitpost download made available offline with the app. With all of the warm weather that Seattle has been having, the trail was 99% snow-free all the way to the false summit, called Bandera Mtn West Peak on this site. The trail from the false summit to the real summit (half a mile or so) was completely untracked. There are indications that there is a use trail, though most of it was under the snow. The snow was covering most of the trail. The final push to the summit is a boulder field, which was a bit treacherous with the shallow snow cover. No problem for though, just slower than the going would be if it were dry or completely covered in snow. Since the summit has no trees (boulder field), the views are spectacular. Mt Adams off to the left of Mt Rainier, Mt Baker to the NW, and the snow-covered North Cascades to the north. Kaleetan and The Chair dominate the views to the north. Kaleetan looks like a fine scramble, I just didn't find the time to bag it this season... Getting from the summit back to the false summit was much easier thanks to those great footprints in the snow! There was a solo hiker headed for the real summit, so I guess the footprints in the snow were useful to somebody else as well. Back on the false summit, there were some UW grad students that I shared some information with to drastically improve their lives - peakbagger.com. I hope that they check it out. The hike down was uneventful. This trail was pretty busy for December, but the weather made it impossible to waste away in the city today. Sunshine almost the entire time!

GPS note: It took a few minutes to acquire location. Trailhead is at 2,200' as shown on the topo map.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3041 ft / 926 m
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3041 ft / 926 m
    Route:Bandera Mtn Trail
    Start Trailhead:2200 ft / 670 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


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

Download this GPS track as a GPX file




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