This one starts where the dirt begins on the MFK road just a ways up the road from Ken's Truck stop (Exit 34, I-90). Find the first pile of cars and park there, elevation 820 ft.
A coworker and I left cubicle land a bit early today and headed out to North Bend under increasingly marginal skies. The summit was visible from I-90 then A.J. mentioned that he'd never been up there when it wasn't socked in and that pretty much took care of that! A few cars in the lot when we pulled in, but we didn't see another sole until we were about 1000 ft from the summit. We hiked the dirt road to the east a ways then headed up the unmarked trail, blah, blah, blah, we all know how the rest goes...it's steep! We made steady progress up to the first talus field where the first significant snow starts. Easily avoidable, the snow primarily occupies the wooded area to the left of the talus field (the location of the main trail as well). Up the talus we went until we intersected the trail again at about 4300 ft. From here it was an easy push up the last 500 ft or so, past the false summit, and then on to the mailboxes (actually a mailbox and a box for a newspaper!), elevation 4841 ft. No summit views and it was cold, so we only stayed 10 to 15 minutes. We saw a couple folks on the way down, but for the most part the mountain was uncrowded and pleasant today. Doing the math, we pushed out 4000 ft of gain in roughly 2.5 - 3 miles.
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