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markhadland
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Joined: 30 Jun 2018
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PostTue Apr 06, 2021 12:17 pm 
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Super summit of Preacher Mountain.  Conditions were perfect for an alpine summit.  The trail off the Pratt River trail was steep, rooty, and muddy.


Middle Fork Snoqualmie River


Rainy Creek


Trail through the forest


Snow was persistent from 2000 feet on.  The trail up through the forest was marked with a boot path from ascents on previous days and meanders in and out of tree and rock wells, brushy sections, trees, etc. so have a good route to follow up via your GPS of choice and good route finding skills.


At about 3500 feet, the trail/path cuts to the left up a steep ridge up to lower Rainy Lake, which was mostly frozen over.  There was a section close to the trail with a couple of logs where one could refill water bottles.  This was the last available water on the trail ~3800ft.


The trail then continues left, directly up the steep ridge.  There were sections that were fairly steep, but good steps which were still frozen made the ascent manageable.

I wore crampons from 2000 feet to the summit and back.  One could wear microspikes or snowshoes, but the snow was very firm today and snowshoes would be overkill.  Also, poles were sufficient, but an axe could come in handy.  Once at upper Rainy Lake, the trail routes right up the ridge.  We followed a path straight to the ridge and walked the length of the highly corniced summit ridge to the summit at the far southern end of the ridgeline.

We took a more direct path back down to upper Rainy Lake.  Be careful not to descend too far from the summit via glissade so that you overshoot the ridge and route to the upper lake.


On the way down, I was late and ended up navigating from about 2500 feet and 3 miles back in the dark.  Even using Gaia and my track up, finding the way down was not trivial as it's easy to lose the trail and follow one of the many boot paths to dead ends or brushy terrain.  I found looking for blowdowns which were cut to be good indicators I was on the right track and further towards the end of the trail I scouted 5 reflectors on trees which were useful and provided a sense of comfort descending in the dark (yes I had a headlamp).  Needless to day the way down was rooty, muddy, and sometimes steep in the dark.  I suggest avoiding staying out too late if possible, as I personally do not adhere to a turnaround time.  Alpine start, alpine finish.


Stats: ~6000 feet of gain (GPS multipath issues), 16 miles, 14 hours C2C.

https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/evening-hike-bca82e4--32
https://vimeo.com/533633478
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KascadeFlat
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Joined: 06 Jul 2020
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Location: Eating peanut M&Ms under my blue tarp
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PostTue Apr 06, 2021 3:21 pm 
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Ah Preacher Mountain...a fun MF summit!


The snow hump in your photo is an awesome swimming rock in the summertime. My hiking partner and I climbed Preacher in Sept 2015 and stopped to swim on the way down. I don't remember why... but for some reason we had tiny boxes of wine which we chose to drink on the rock. When dismounting to go home I jumped off the rock and seriously sprained my ankle. At the time, I was still too cool for trekking poles and the down climb was slooooow. We also finished by headlamp. Since then, I have a strict "no drinking and hiking" policy. shakehead.gif

ANYWAY - I am glad you guys had a successful summit and great weather! up.gif

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For a good time call: 1-800-SLD-ALDR.
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zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman



Joined: 24 Jun 2018
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TJ Zimmerman
PostTue Apr 06, 2021 9:37 pm 
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I love Rainy Lake. I had to bail on my summer attempt for Preacher because we cliffed out somewhere before the tarn and it started raining. I remember the slide alder was brutal. I hope it was easier under snow.

Slide Alder
Slide Alder
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markhadland
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PostWed Apr 07, 2021 11:03 am 
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I nearly went swimming in that spot in your photo refilling my water bottle - fortunately I was wearing 12 points which stuck into the log and prevented a soggy descent.  After reviewing more info on this peak, reading trip reports, and seeing a few photos, I am happy to have climbed this in the snow.  I think brush bashing and skirting around the many talus slopes, although interesting, would be a suffer-fest.
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GaliWalker
Have camera will use



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
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Have camera will use
PostWed Apr 07, 2021 5:02 pm 
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markhadland wrote:

What a fantastic tree and capture!  eek.gif

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'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
bobbi: "...don't you ever forget your camera!"
Photography: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shahiddurrani/albums
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kitya
Fortune Cookie



Joined: 15 Mar 2010
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Location: Duvall, WA
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Fortune Cookie
PostWed Apr 07, 2021 6:29 pm 
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Me and Cookie also visited Mount Preacher but on March 11. The trees used to be SIGNIFICANTLY more snowy that day. There was a lot of deep soft powder to break.

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markhadland
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PostThu Apr 08, 2021 9:06 am 
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Great shots - I appreciate all the photos so I can get a good perspective of the route, terrain, and views!  Looks like you had a great day as well.
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