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Ascent of Mount David on 2017-09-04

Climber: Connor McEntee

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, September 4, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount David
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:7420 ft / 2261 m

Ascent Trip Report

FYI: The summit register is completely full. To anyone who is going up, it might be good to bring an additional notebook.

Access Update: The road is still barricaded at Grasshopper Meadows campground, which adds two miles of fairly level forest service road each way to the round trip. The good news, it appears that the repairs are basically done and I would expect it to be opened soon. At present, the road is intentionally blocked with heavy machinery to prevent vehicles from sneaking through the barricade. The road is rut free and freshly graveled in several places where repairs were obviously performed. As for the Mt. David Trail, the forest service signs indicate that it is maintained. I will agree that it doesn't see a lot of maintenance, but it does receive some. I wouldn't worry that it is going to disappear anytime soon.

I arrived late in the afternoon, saw the road barricade, and fortunately found a place to park right next to it. Fortunately, I had come prepared having read previous trip reports that indicated the end of the road was blocked. So, I pulled out a bike and set off which made quick work of the extra distance. However, having not really been on a bike in years, I did feel how ill-conditioned my legs are. The road ends in a sizeable parking lot, where I stashed my bike in the trees and took off across the footbridge.

The signed trail for Mt. David across from the footbridge somewhat frustratingly turns immediately south and loses elevation. After about a mile there is a junction for an overlook for a waterfall on the White River. I decided to check that out and think it's probably worthwhile. It's only a few hundred feet out of the way and the volume of water running down the waterfall is substantial. A quick bushwhack put me on the trail, and I carried on.

This late in the year, there were only two sources of water that I would consider. The first is the creek marked on the map (I believe it may be called Panther Creek), which is where I filled up. The second source is not marked on the map, but it is an even smaller creek that the trail crosses around after about 800 vertical feet of gain. The trail is basically a seemingly endless series of switchbacks broken only by some traversing once it gets up to the ridge. There are plenty of downed trees crossing the trail that have to be hopped over. There is also a section where the undergrowth in choking the trail. It would be hard to lose the trail in that section, but I did have to push through the growth. Fortunately, it lasts no more than a tenth of a mile.

It was a hot day, and even though the sun was starting to set I could feel it. I made it up to the ridge where the traverse begins and found an excellent campsite right off the trail. I was tempted to push on to the summit and bivy there, I but wasn't sure how far it was. I also didn't particularly want to have to do the scramble in the dark. I would discover that there were a few more flat spots on more exposed portions of the ridge higher up if I had needed them. However, it was hard to complain about where I stopped for the night. Except, there were a few carpenter ants that kept harassing me through the night.

I woke up before dawn and jetted over to the summit to watch the sun rise over the Cascades. Views were expansive in all directions except for the south-east, where a fire in the Teanaways was growing.

The descent was pleasant and uneventful.

(My trip statistics do not include the 4 mi bike ride, which took around 15 min each way. It is however in the gpx track.)
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5510 ft / 1678 m
    Total Elevation Loss:5510 ft / 1678 m
    Round-Trip Distance:14.6 mi / 23.5 km
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Bicycle, Ski Poles, Bivouac
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:5396 ft / 1644 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 5282 ft / 1610 m; Extra: 114 ft / 34m
    Loss on way in:114 ft / 34 m
    Distance:7.4 mi / 11.9 km
    Route:Mount David Trail
    Start Trailhead:White River Road  2138 ft / 651 m
    Time:2 Hours 53 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:5396 ft / 1644 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 5282 ft / 1610 m; Extra: 114 ft / 34m
    Gain on way out:114 ft / 34 m
    Distance:7.2 mi / 11.6 km
    Route:Mount David Trail
    End Trailhead:White River Road  2138 ft / 651 m
    Time:2 Hours 4 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. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file




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