July 17-18, 2010
Mount Stone (6612’)
——————– Trip Report Summary ——————–
Starting Point: Whitehorse Basin & Lake of the Angels (hike via Putvin Trail)
Campsite: Lake of the Angels
Summit: Mt. Stone (climb via Southwest Slope—West Ridge [Route 1])
——————– Full Trip Report ——————–
Fay and Jim A joined Eileen and me for a trek into the Hamma Hamma River valley on a weekend of nice Olympic weather. We hiked up to Lake of the Angels and established camp on the only patch of bare ground we could find. The thickness and persistence of the snowpack this summer is remarkable, and for the most part is making for better than normal climbing conditions. Backpackers and high-lakers, however, are probably not happy at all. This 5000’ lake is only about 20% melted out right now.
After pitching tents, we were greeted by a family of five mountain goats—two adults, one adolescent, and two cute kids. They sniffed and snorted around for 15 minutes, then moved on. Jim A was left to guard camp while Fay, Eileen, and I headed up Mt Stone in late afternoon.
The traverse up toward St. Peter’s Gate and then back to the craggy west ridge was 97% snow-covered and quite pleasant. The crux of this traverse was an au cheval move across a snow fin between two huge boulders.
Higher up, where snow feathered out below the west ridge, we eagerly scrambled the final several hundred feet to the summit block, then took the fun Class 2-3 crack system to the top (1.9 hours from camp).
An evening push of marine clouds limited visibility to local peaks, but we hung out for 30 minutes reading through the summit registers, which reside in an old steel box. Eileen’s desire for a hot dinner finally sent us scrambling and glissading back to camp (1.4 hours from summit).
The night was completely clear and chilly, but the early sun quickly warmed things up. Thankfully, insects were virtually nonexistent all weekend. Fay struck off for Stonesthrow Peak, a point north of Mt Stone, while Eileen and I ascended several rocky knobs on Stone’s west ridge.
The morning was warm and still, and the viz was very good. We enjoyed views of Cruiser, Anderson, Mystery, and Constance from the ridge crest before returning to camp around noon.
The goats had been hovering around the lake basin all morning while Jim clandestinely watched from inside our netting tent. They are undoubtedly eager for this snowpack to melt off and expose some greenery!
Approximate Total Stats: 6800 feet gained and lost.
———————– Photo Gallery (click to enlarge) —————–