Forum Index > Trip Reports > Red Mountain (Cle Elum one) 29 Dec 2019
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kitya
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PostMon Dec 30, 2019 4:29 pm 
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I do this thing where I have a list of really nice beautiful hikes I want to do someday (mostly by reading all your reports from North Cascades and such) and then I also have a list of lazy hikes for days when weather looks bad or I feel lazy and don’t want a long drive. Partially this ends up being a self-fulfilling prophecy, for examples, as far as I know, it ALWAYS rains in Middle Fork valley.

One of the hikes on my ‘probably uninspiring’ list is snowshoe to Red Mountain (near Cle Elum). Here are the bad things about it – thin sickly eastern forest with no huge trees, 3+ miles roundtrip road walk just to get to the trailhead, straightforward route, a few more intersecting road with possibility of smelly crotch rockets. And here is the worst part: in fact I already attempted Red Mountain once back in February 2016, but had to stop just a few feet below the summit due to crazy stormy winds and blowing snow that scared my dog Cookie. So now I decided to give the Red Mountain one more try.

As I was driving in the morning, we left the surprisingly sunny west side and entered dark freezing fog around Snoqualmie pass. I was seriously wondering if I found the only place with the bad weather for the whole state. But it was too late to change plans and we proceeded anyway.

Parked at the snopark (I bought the permit online the night before) at the start of forest road 46. The snopark parking is very nice and well worth the season ticket – they even put a honey bucket there (I really appreciate having a place to pee before the hike and find it sad that they lock most bathrooms at non snopark trailheads for winter).

The road was well packed by the crotch rockets, so there was no need for snowshoes. The forest however was a completely different story. Especially at lower elevations it was really hard moving through a mess of extremely soft snow. Even with snowshoes I would constantly fall in waist deep all the way down through soft snow to the bare ground or buried trees. It was a real struggle.

Eventually I noticed it is easier to move right around the bases of the larger trees, where moisture from the trees created icy hard snow that doesn’t break at all. At about 4000 feet, still in the dense freezing fog, we entered a magical realm of soft rim ice. It looked like all conifers dropped their needles and replaced them with ice crystal. Eerie and beautiful.


Finally, at about 5000 ft the freezing  fog just ended and opened to deep blue skies, soft deep powder and unexpectedly amazing views all the way – Adams, Rainier, Glacier Peak, Ingalls and many mountains on the Cascade crest that some are affectionally calling Snoqualmie Pickets. Watching the valleys filled with fog, it was like being in the middle of the fog ocean bordered by snowy fjords. That was not what I expected from a Red Mountain (Cle Elum one).

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RandyHiker
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PostMon Dec 30, 2019 6:05 pm 
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Nice photos!
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BarbE
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PostMon Dec 30, 2019 6:52 pm 
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Awesome place, especially with the sea of clouds!
One of the few places I’ve witnessed the “Brocken Spectre”.

kitya wrote:
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kitya
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PostMon Dec 30, 2019 7:00 pm 
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BarbE wrote:
One of the few places I’ve witnessed the “Brocken Spectre”.

Cool. I have never even heard of the Brocken Spectre.
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Downhill
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PostThu Jan 02, 2020 3:07 pm 
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Another great TR and more awesome photos!  Thanks for sharing another adventure for you and Cookie!!
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fourteen410
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PostThu Jan 02, 2020 7:56 pm 
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up.gif  up.gif
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Jake Robinson
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PostThu Jan 02, 2020 8:10 pm 
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nice, we were up there a few weeks ago but didn't get the views. Great views of Three Queens/Lemah etc, thanks for showing us what we missed!
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Backpacker Joe
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PostSun Jan 05, 2020 12:14 pm 
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Where's the lookout?  Red Mountain?

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

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Bramble_Scramble
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PostSun Jan 05, 2020 10:48 pm 
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Backpacker Joe wrote:
Where's the lookout?  Red Mountain?

I believe kitya went to the Red Mountain West of Salmon La Sac, not Red Top. Doesn't help that Washington has about 10 Red Mountains.
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RandyHiker
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PostSun Jan 05, 2020 11:37 pm 
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Bramble_Scramble wrote:
Backpacker Joe wrote:
Where's the lookout?  Red Mountain?

I believe kitya went to the Red Mountain West of Salmon La Sac, not Red Top. Doesn't help that Washington has about 10 Red Mountains.

Red Mtn near Salmon La Sac had a fire lookout long ago.  I was there in the fall and there are just few remnants of the old structure.

The area was festooned with lookouts during that era.  Thorp, Red and Jolly mtns and Davis peak all had lookouts and all were in sight of each other.  Perhaps it was a "make work project"
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mrszupke
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PostFri Jan 24, 2020 9:45 pm 
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Hi! Any chance you recorded a GPS track and would be willing to share it? A GPX or KML file would be awesome. Thanks!
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kitya
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PostFri Jan 24, 2020 9:55 pm 
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mrszupke wrote:
Hi! Any chance you recorded a GPS track and would be willing to share it? A GPX or KML file would be awesome. Thanks!

Sure, I record almost all my trips anyway. I think garmin connect should allow you to download gpx: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/4380701584
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mrszupke
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PostFri Jan 24, 2020 10:01 pm 
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Thank you! I’m having trouble downloading the track - it shows up in my connect app but I am not seeing where to download the file... I’m sure I’ll figure it out but if you have a quick trick, let me know! smile.gif
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Red Mountain (Cle Elum one) 29 Dec 2019
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