Ascent of Mount Daniel on 2017-07-15

Climber: Connor McEntee

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, July 15, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Daniel
    Elevation:7960 ft / 2426 m

Ascent Trip Report

The drive in is pretty, but it's back there. The road is littered with potholes making it annoying at times. The stream crossing was trivial, but the bulk of the snow melted off quite a while ago.

I set out from the trailhead early in the morning and made quick time up to Peggy's Pond. You pass a few other ponds and meadows along the way. Surprising, there were few mosquitoes making for a pleasant hike. Cathedral Rock is impressive, and all of the lakes make for stunning scenery. At Peggy Pond there were a few melted out areas, but the area was mostly still filled in with snow. The slopes of the south east ridge still held a fair bit of snow, but there were numerous rock bands that melted out. It quickly became my preference to stay on the rock rather than snow. The ridge was mostly melted out, except for one large snow patch I would encounter right as it turns north.

At this time of year, there are two route options though. One can continue on the ridge all the way to the saddle due south of the east peak, or one can traverse over across the upper snow slopes of the basin above the glacier. I opted to stay on the rock, but I quickly caught up to another party that was slowed down with route finding. The use trail on the ridge ran directly into a substantial block of snow on a steep slope with exposure below. This would require traversing across the snow, dropping down to loose screen above cliffs below, or hopping over the ridge to the north side. They had given up on the latter because this required scrambling across a smooth rock with finger holds and some exposure. I was unfazed by the rock, but I can imagine that this section could pose problems for parties until it melts out. With snow in the upper basin, that route is perhaps easier and has less objective hazards.

From the saddle, there is a traverse around the north peak to another saddle and then up along the ridge to the true summit. The traverse kind of sucks. The hillside is moderately steep and the melted out sections were loose, but not loose enough to be fun scree. Instead, you would be more likely to slip down dirt, so I needed to be careful with foot placement.

The summit is great, it feels like it is in the center of the Cascades. The glacier to the north has a large bershund opening up which was neat. The descent was uneventful, and I chose to take the snow down. There were a few sections I got some pretty good glissades in.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5506 ft / 1677 m
    Total Elevation Loss:5506 ft / 1677 m
    Round-Trip Distance:15 mi / 24.1 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:5055 ft / 1540 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 4604 ft / 1404 m; Extra: 451 ft / 137m
    Loss on way in:451 ft / 137 m
    Distance:7.3 mi / 11.7 km
    Route:SE Ridge
    Start Trailhead:Cathedral Rock TH  3356 ft / 1022 m
    Time:3 Hours 34 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:5055 ft / 1540 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 4604 ft / 1404 m; Extra: 451 ft / 137m
    Gain on way out:451 ft / 137 m
    Distance:7.7 mi / 12.4 km
    Route:SE Ridge
    End Trailhead:Cathedral Rock TH  3356 ft / 1022 m
    Time:3 Hours 20 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Connor McEntee
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.

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