Ascent of Weatherwax Ridge on 2017-05-07

Climber: Greg Slayden

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, May 7, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Weatherwax Ridge
    Elevation:2736 ft / 833 m

Ascent Trip Report

The good news is that the Wynooche Valley road is now paved nicely for the 33 miles from Montesano to Lake Wynooche. Right where the pavement ended I turned right on Forest Road 23, drove a mile, bore right at the signed junction, and very shortly afterwards turned right on the very obscure, unsigned and overgrown FR-2371. A gate was hidden in the bushes, wide open. This road was drivable for any car with decent clearance that one does not mind getting a bit scratched up. The first mile is the worst, and then it improves, and the surface is fine for the most part, just watch for the trees, logs, and branches.

I chickened out quickly, though, after less than a mile, not wanting to hurt my car. And I wanted some exercise, too. So I parked at 1300 feet in a wide spot and started hiking. I almost immediately passed a parked minivan, looking relatively new, but its wheels were on blocks and it was either abandoned or used for some questionable purpose. No one was there.

I easily hiked the road for a little over three miles, part of me wishing I had pushed my car further, but it was a pleasant, cool, partly sunny day so I didn't mind. Also, the road was gated at spot elevation 2122, after 2 miles of walking--this would be the trailhead for those driving as far as possible. Above the gate the road was a bit more overgrown but led easily to the saddle between the two main peaks of Weatherwax, elevation 2460. My ascent road ended at a very wide and well-maintained road heading both SE and W--if this road is ungated, it might be the best way to get up here, but I have no idea where it starts.

I now had three summit contender point to visit, and I headed off for the SE peak first, hiking along the good road SE until an overgrown spur road to my left. This spur appeared to be intentionally blocked with lots of deadfall and brush, and it is not recommended as a route. I followed it only with miserable bushwhacking to the SE summit area. Piles of the dirt to the left of the summit clearing, near thorn bushes, seemed like the highest ground. I bushwhacked directly downhill from there, the going much easier in the mostly open forest than on the overgrown spur--the embankment above the road was the only tricky part.

Back at the saddle I took a short rest and then climbed to spot elevation 2736 via its east ridge, mostly easy bushwhacking with huge deadfall logs the main issue. A wide old logging road appears in places, and it goes right over the summit, with the highest places to the right and left of the "roadway". Continuing onward to the west, the west contour is in similar terrain of huge fallen logs and stumps. High points are mostly at the base of these mighty fallen giants.

After talking a self-timed photo of myself standing on a 6-foot wide ancient stump, I easily bushwhacked down directly to the good road, due south. I was soon back at the saddle and cruising down the road towards my car.

It took me a little over an hour from the car to the saddle, about the same time to visit all three summit points and rest, and then an hour back down. My GPS seemed to indicate that the far W peak might actually be the highest (2756'), followed by the SE peak, and the spot elevation last. But these are not reliable readings and to claim this county prom point all summits should be visited.

For a logging country "dumpster peak", this one is pretty nice--no clear cuts, mostly nice cool forest, and no many people around.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1716 ft / 523 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1716 ft / 522 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8.2 mi / 13.2 km
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Bushwhack
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1716 ft / 523 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1436 ft / 437 m; Extra: 280 ft / 85m
    Loss on way in:280 ft / 85 m
    Distance:4.1 mi / 6.6 km
    Route:Road 2371
    Start Trailhead:Road 2371  1300 ft / 396 m
    Time:2 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1436 ft / 437 m
    Distance:4.1 mi / 6.6 km
    Route:Road 2371
    End Trailhead:Road 2371  1300 ft / 396 m
    Time:1 Hours 10 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Greg Slayden
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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