Forum Index > Trip Reports > Hozomeen (6/30 - 7/1/07)
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 4070 | TRs
Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostWed Jul 11, 2007 12:27 am 
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Dates:  June 30 – July 1, 2007
Party:  Matt, Mike T, Fay P, Beth B
Destination:  Hozomeen North Summit 8066 via Sunrise 2 trail and Hozomeen Ridge

If you’ve ever looked up the east shore of Ross Lake, you can’t miss Hozomeen.  It’s distinctive double summit rises in prominent isolation at the north end of the lake.  I’ve always thought its steep dark rocky south faces looked rather lonely and inhospitable, but the north side turned out to be quite congenial for this trip.

Hozomeen viewed from the south (April 2004)
Hozomeen viewed from the south (April 2004)
Hozomeen North summit viewed from the north at max alpenglow (7/1/07)
Hozomeen North summit viewed from the north at max alpenglow (7/1/07)

Highlights of the trip:
We took the longer but more scenic approach via the Sunrise 2 trail to Hozomeen Ridge.
Our beautiful camp sat on Hozomeen Ridge, with views 2000 feet up to Hozomeen, 4000 feet down to Ross Lake, and miles out to the Pickets & Chilliwack peaks..
The remainder of the ridge to the base of Hozomeen added a thousand feet of extra ups and downs.
The route on Hozomeen was in great shape – connected snowfields let us kick steps almost to the top and avoid the steep rock sections.

Driving from Lynnwood up to Canada and around to the Skyline 2 trailhead (1700 feet) took about 4 hours.  We breezed through customs, while the line going the other way stretched a mile and a half in to Canada.  There are two routes to get to the north side of Hozomeen.  The more common route bushwhacks along the border cut, which shorter but generally unpleasant traveling.  We took the longer route, hiking the Skyline 2 trail to Hozomeen Ridge, then following the Hozomeen Ridge trail south toward the peak.  The trail had pros and cons.  The pros are: The trail tread is wide and smooth, making for easy walking.  The higher parts of the trail traverse meadows with pretty flowers and broad views.  The cons are: The smooth walking is interrupted by scores of downed trees in its lower sections.  The low-angled trail grade takes a long time winding around to get to its destination.  Even with the downed trees, I enjoyed walking on a trail for a change.  It was a relaxing change of pace from all the cross-country approaches lately.  Higher up, the views opened out to show Ross Lake below and Hozomeen ahead (or sometimes behind because the darned trail kept wandering off in the wrong direction)

Logs blocking the trail
Logs blocking the trail
Trail opening out (but still heading away from Hozomeen)
Trail opening out (but still heading away from Hozomeen)
Our camp will be on the rounded lefthand bump on the ridge
Our camp will be on the rounded lefthand bump on the ridge

The higher meadows had a fascinating variety of unfamiliar east-side flowers.  There was a surprising mix of flowers I’d normally associate with relatively wetter or drier climates, dozens of different species, shifting with the aspect and elevation of the terrain.

Unknown flower in the woods
Unknown flower in the woods
Valerian
Valerian
Balsamroot
Balsamroot
Unknown flower on drier ground
Unknown flower on drier ground
Long-flowered bluebell?
Long-flowered bluebell?
Paintbrush with view of Hozomeen
Paintbrush with view of Hozomeen

When the trail finally reached the crest of Hozomeen Ridge, we followed the smaller but still very clear ridge-top trail southward for about half a mile.  We found a wonderful campsite atop the first distinct bump on the ridge (approx 6100 feet), about fifty feet uphill from the trail.  Out tent door looked out straight south to Hozomeen, where the route appeared to be in great shape.  Our dining area sat on a hillside looking all the way down to Ross Lake, and way out to the Chilliwack Peaks and the Pickets.  There weren’t even more than a few occasional bugs.  Altogether the approach was about 8 miles, 6.5 hours, 4400 net gain, 4900 cumulative gain.

Trail junction on Hozomeen Ridge
Trail junction on Hozomeen Ridge
Bedroom with a View
Bedroom with a View
Dining Room
Dining Room
Glacier Lilies near Camp
Glacier Lilies near Camp

I took a nap in the early evening, then made dinner and stayed up to watch the sunset.

Hozomeen at Sunset
Hozomeen at Sunset
Freezeout area peaks at sunset
Freezeout area peaks at sunset
Pickets at sunset
Pickets at sunset
Chilliwack peaks (Mox, Spickard, Custer, Rahm) at sunset
Chilliwack peaks (Mox, Spickard, Custer, Rahm) at sunset

In the morning I got up to watch the sunrise, which lit up the peaks even better than the sunset.

Camp at sunrise
Camp at sunrise
Pre-dawn sunrise clouds
Pre-dawn sunrise clouds
Pink Hozomeen
Pink Hozomeen
South & North Hozomeen
South & North Hozomeen
West Ross Lake Skyline
West Ross Lake Skyline
Pickets
Pickets

We departed camp at 5:50am, and followed the ridge trail southward a couple miles to get to the base of Hozomeen.  The little ridge-top trial led us the whole way, sometimes disappearing into snow patches, but then re-appearing again, merrily winding its way across the ridge and up and down the bumps.  Lots of up and down.  In fact, a full thousand feet of extra ups and downs.

First we walked down and up to the next higher forested bump on the ridge.  Then we dropped to 5900 and had to climb up over the distinct high point at 6500.  We tried traversing around this point but got cliffed out; just following the ridge over the summit works better; we found the trail again coming down the far side.

Bear track on the trail
Bear track on the trail
Bloodstained snow
Bloodstained snow
Snowfield up to Point 6500
Snowfield up to Point 6500

Then back down again, where we found the aluminum border obelisk, Monument 74, at 5800 feet.  From the monument, we could clearly see the border cut running east toward Castle, and also further away west climbing up from Ross Lake toward Rahm.  Then it was uphill again to the 6000-foot closed contour, down to the col at 5800, and finally we could traverse out into the huge snow-filled basin below Hozomeen, two hours after leaving camp.

Monument 74
Monument 74
Border cut stretching east from Monument 74
Border cut stretching east from Monument 74
Looking down from Hill 6500 to Hill 6000 and Hozomeen
Looking down from Hill 6500 to Hill 6000 and Hozomeen

Snow conditions made the route up Hozomeen relatively easy for us.  Later in the year, the middle and upper snowfields are barricaded by rock steps, and parties have to climb either the NW corner (righthand skyline, 3rd & 4th class) or NE ridge (lefthand skyline, lots of 4th class), all unprotectable.  We were able to follow a snow finger from the lower to middle snowfield and then exit the middle snowfield at its upper righthand corner, high enough to bypass almost all the steep terrain of the NW corner.  We had about 50 feet of 3rd and 4th class rock, then easier terrain up to the flat summit, 8066 feet.  Camp to summit was about 3.5 miles, 2000 net gain, 3000 cumulative gain, 5 hours.

Heading up Hozomeen
Heading up Hozomeen
Looking down from the top of the lower snowfield
Looking down from the top of the lower snowfield
Route on upper Hozomeen, note tracks up lower snowfield and righthand part of upper snowfield
Route on upper Hozomeen, note tracks up lower snowfield and righthand part of upper snowfield
Fay on the rock crest
Fay on the rock crest
Looking down the rock to Beth
Looking down the rock to Beth
Ross Lake from partway up the rock crest
Ross Lake from partway up the rock crest

The summit provided wide views, but was also very windy, so we alternated between looking over the edges at the views and huddling next to the big summit cairn to eat lunch and hide from the wind.  I was both impressed and appalled at the view of the nasty route Mike, Fay, and Beth had climbed up South Hozomeen last year, the only party to sign the register for 13 years.

Summit – Matt, Mike, Beth, Fay
Summit – Matt, Mike, Beth, Fay
Mike viewing the route up South Hozomeen
Mike viewing the route up South Hozomeen
Matt on North Hozomeen, with South Hozomeen, Jack Mtn, & Ross Lake
Matt on North Hozomeen, with South Hozomeen, Jack Mtn, & Ross Lake

For summit views, Ross Lake stretched far southward below us, and the Pickets and Chilliwack peaks formed a long crest above it.

Castle, Freezout, etc
Castle, Freezout, etc
Hozomeen Lake & Ross Lake
Hozomeen Lake & Ross Lake
Southern Pickets (labeled)
11 labels
Southern Pickets (labeled)
Northern Pickets (labeled)
9 labels
Northern Pickets (labeled)
Chilliwack Group – Moxes, Redoubt, Spickard, Custer, Rahm (labeled)
7 labels
Chilliwack Group – Moxes, Redoubt, Spickard, Custer, Rahm (labeled)
Hozomeen summit panorama (labeled)
29 labels
Hozomeen summit panorama (labeled)

Pushed by the wind and the long trip back, we departed after half an hour.  The summit cairn had a big piece of wood sticking out of it that someone must have hauled up the mountain.  Before we departed, Engineer Mike worked to improve the cairn and straighten out the post.

Descending the rock crest was more intimidating than ascending.  Its convex shape made it scary as the angle steepened.  We all slowly picked our way back down to the snow, and then made rapid time down the snow, even trying a few glissades.
Mike improving the summit cairn
Mike improving the summit cairn
Hesitating to step down the step rock crest
Hesitating to step down the step rock crest
Descending the middle snowfield
Descending the middle snowfield
Break amid the lower snowfield
Break amid the lower snowfield
Puffy clouds above the summit
Puffy clouds above the summit

Then we just resigned ourselves to another 1100 feet of extra ups and downs and trotted along over all the intervening high points.  Atop Point 6500, you could look back and just barely make out the summit cairn on Hozomeen.  With each successive bump, the terrain transitioned to less and snow and rock and more meadows and forest.  We arrived back at camp at 2:55pm, about 7 miles round trip, 2000 net gain, 4400 cumulative gain, 9 hours.

If you look close, you can see our tracks at lower right and the summit cairn at top
If you look close, you can see our tracks at lower right and the summit cairn at top
Glacier lilies and anemone along the ridge
Glacier lilies and anemone along the ridge
Anemone?
Anemone?

Fay and Beth were staying an extra night in camp so that they could relax and enjoy the area.  Mike and I needed to be back for work and kids, so we packed up and departed at 3:45 to hike out.  A high overcast had covered the sky, which kept the temperatures cooler and made softer light for the flowers, but also brought out more bugs, which had been mercifully few during most of the trip.  To amuse myself in the forest, I counted 131 fallen trees on the trail.  Actually we bypassed a few known bad spots by cutting switchbacks, so I had to estimate the count for those.  We still made good time, reaching the trailhead at 7:30pm, 8 miles, 330 gain, 3:45 hours for the hike out.

?
?
Flower meadows 1
Flower meadows 1
Flower meadows 2
Flower meadows 2
?
?
Paintbrush and "Controversy" Peak
Paintbrush and "Controversy" Peak

Hereinafter follow the requisite statistics and list obsessions:
The total trip was about 23 miles, 9600 gain.
Hozomeen ranks as #20 of the most prominent peaks in Washington, with 3933 feet of prominence (#50 of 149 Washington peaks over 2000 feet prominence for me).
Hozomeen ranks as #172 of Washington’s highest peaks (#28 on the second hundred highest for me).

Hereinafter follows the mandatory Kerouac quote included in every trip report about Hozomeen:
“Hozomeen, Hozomeen. most beautiful mountain I ever seen ... but what a horror when I first saw that void the first night of my stay on Desolation Peak, waking up from deep fogs of 20 hours to a starlit night suddenly loomed by Hozomeen with his two sharp points, right in my window black..."

And now for a less common Kerouac quote on Hozomeen:  "O God I'm bored! But is Hozomeen bored? And I'm sick of words and explanations. Is Hozomeen?"

Indeed, that's probably enough words and explanations about Hozomeen.
The experience of Hozomeen left me quite well entertained and satisfied, not bored at all.

--------------
“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Trevor
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Trevor
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PostWed Jul 11, 2007 12:29 am 
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borank.gif

I've wanted to visit this area since I've started hiking basically. I appreciate this report.

--------------
Trevor Anderson Photography
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome
PostWed Jul 11, 2007 6:03 am 
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Wow!  Thanks for one of the best trip reports I have ever read.  I really felt like I was there, even being nervous on the rock.  I can't even decide which picture is my favorite, although I am leaning towards the Pickets.  Thanks for sharing this special place. rockband.gif
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Mesahchie Mark
Really Useful Engine



Joined: 10 May 2005
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Mesahchie Mark
Really Useful Engine
PostWed Jul 11, 2007 7:33 am 
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Just added Hozomeen to the "list".  Thanks for the TR, Matt, good stuff!

--------------
Cheers,

Mesahchie Mark
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Dean
(aka CascadeHiker)



Joined: 02 Mar 2002
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Dean
(aka CascadeHiker)
PostWed Jul 11, 2007 8:56 am 
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I've got 50 of the Washington p2k's but not any like Hozomeen.  Awesome report and pics and congrat's on getting a tough peak.   up.gif  Congrat's to the rest of your group and especially Fay,  she never ceases to amaze me.   agree.gif

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Dean - working in Utah for awhile and feeling like it is a 'paid' vacation.
http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=1160
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cartman
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cartman
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PostWed Jul 11, 2007 1:32 pm 
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Great pics as always, Matt.  I was surprised that you could do that much of the route on snow. Another trip for next year!
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 4070 | TRs
Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostWed Jul 11, 2007 11:51 pm 
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I added labels to the summit photos for the Pickets and summit pan photo.

--------------
“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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summitseeker
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summitseeker
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PostThu Jul 12, 2007 7:11 am 
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That's killer!  Congrats!  smile.gif

--------------
"Find out who you are and then do it on purpose."
www.summitroutes.com : Guidebook to the 100 highest peaks in Washington
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Eric
Peak Geek



Joined: 21 Oct 2002
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Eric
Peak Geek
PostThu Jul 12, 2007 7:18 am 
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Great TR and pics with the pink light on Hozomeen. From your report it sounds a lot easier than I'm sure it was. Congrats on a good summit.
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seawallrunner
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
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seawallrunner
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PostThu Jul 12, 2007 7:27 pm 
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holy absolute wow - the adventure, the photos, the trip report... .wow.
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Tom_Sjolseth
Born Yesterday



Joined: 30 May 2007
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Tom_Sjolseth
Born Yesterday
PostThu Jul 12, 2007 7:29 pm 
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Sweet TR!!  I hope you guys kicked some steps for us  biggrin.gif
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Rigafari
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Rigafari
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PostThu Jul 12, 2007 7:32 pm 
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Nice work!!! I wonder if those cliff bands fill in during winter?????
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seawallrunner
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seawallrunner
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PostThu Jul 12, 2007 8:20 pm 
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Say Matt, where did you start your Skyline 2 hike? From the Silver-Skagit logging road, or from Lightning Lakes in Manning Park?
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 4070 | TRs
Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostThu Jul 12, 2007 11:59 pm 
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Eric wrote:
From your report it sounds a lot easier than I'm sure it was.

Actually it was easier than it looks.  Most of the views of the north face look very steep, because you're looking at it straight on from a distance.  But when you get right up to it, it lays back a lot.  On snow, we only had to face in and kick steps directly upward for about a hundred feet.  The rest we could kick switchbacks.  Beyond that, the rock was indeed steep for the first 50 feet, then laid back a lot.  The pictures below show the difference in apearance from afar and up close.

Route looking steeper when viewed from Point 6500
Route looking steeper when viewed from Point 6500
Route actually much less steep when you're on it.
Route actually much less steep when you're on it.

Rigafari wrote:
Nice work!!! I wonder if those cliff bands fill in during winter?????

I'm sure the route is totally snow-covered in winter.

seawallrunner wrote:
Say Matt, where did you start your Skyline 2 hike? From the Silver-Skagit logging road, or from Lightning Lakes in Manning Park?

We started from Silver-Skagit, in Skagit Valley Provincial Park.

Crossing from Skagit Valley to Manning Park, about 1.5 hours out from the trailhead.
Crossing from Skagit Valley to Manning Park, about 1.5 hours out from the trailhead.

Dang, is there anything along the way I don't have a photo of?

--------------
“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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ree
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ree
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PostFri Jul 13, 2007 6:13 am 
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Wow, thanks for that!  Great tr and awesome pics.
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