I had the day free yesterday so I decided to get out despite the heat and being tired from hiking out of the Pickets two days ago. My girlfriend had done a hike in MRNP earlier this week so I had a pass that was about to expire and decided to go there. I hadn't done any of the peaks in the Tatoosh Range.
I parked my car at the Bench/Snow Lake TH and started hiking just after 8am. It was already hot. I was able to scramble up a moat on the right side of the snow gully going up from Snow Lake to avoid using crampons. More pleasant terrain followed for a short bit, then I put crampons on for the final 300 feet of snow to the col west of the summit of Unicorn.
Unicorn from near the car
taking the moat
a goat and final snow climb to Unicorn col
I then scrambled up a short bit of rock off the snow and then some climbers trail to the rock pitch on Unicorn. After a little scouting, I think I climbed the 5.0 open book variation. It was easy, but a fall would have been the end of me. Nice views! WA P2K 77/144 and Smoot 83/100 for me!
Unicorn summit block
happy I brought the rope
I rapped off the summit of Unicorn and rapped once more at the short scramble step down lower, but only to rap the steep snow leading to it, as all I brought were approach shoes. The descent back down into the basin below was pretty sh##ty because of this.
crappy descent in approach shoes
Quick hike to the summit of Foss in the heat from there.
overheating on the summit of Foss
Pinnacle and The Castle from Foss
I then descended easy terrain off of Foss towards The Castle. I found an excellent water source below The Castle and took my longest break of the day. The Castle was a fun and short class 4 scramble. Some might call it low 5th. I didn't use the rope.
After The Castle, I traversed around its North side, then to the Castle/Pinnacle notch, then traversed a bit below Pinnacle and scrambled on up. A little bit more of a scramble than I was expecting. Smoot 84/100.
I lacked motivation to hike up Plummer in the afternoon heat but did it anyways. Nice views of the days traverse.
the first 4 peaks I did from Plummer
After that, I hiked the trail down to Reflection Lakes and a couple miles along the road back to my car. It was 90 degrees when I got back to the Outback. Taco Time in Enumclaw was amazing. I even had a very rare Coca Cola.
Sick Fletcher!! We just did pinnacle, the castle, and plummer and were pretty smoked from the heat too! Thanks for the beta on the castle, yeah its definitely some stiff class 4 to make the one move. I too was surprised at how sweet the scramble up pinnacle was, not to mention how stellar the views out to Rainier were the whole time too! Cheers!
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