Forum Index > Trip Reports > Pratt Mountain, Olallie Lake 3/19/17
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awilsondc
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awilsondc
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PostTue Mar 21, 2017 9:00 pm 
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On my way back from my West Granite sunrise hike a few weeks back, it seemed like everyone I passed on the way out was headed up to Pratt Mountain.  Seemed like a good idea I thought, but I had to wait three weeks for a decent weather window.  My friend and I got off to a late start by my standards and hit the trail a hair after 8:30.  The well trampled and icy trail was perfect for microspikes.  At the first big switch back where the trail goes from eastbound to westbound we came across an avalanche field which was 10-20 feet deep in places.

Avalanche debris
Avalanche debris

The creek crossings were pretty easy aside from one snow covered log crossing which had 10 feet of drop on either side, but was easy to cross in microspikes.

Creek crossing
Creek crossing
Log bridge with several feet of snow on it?  No problem.
Log bridge with several feet of snow on it?  No problem.
Another bridge
Another bridge

We took the Talpus lake turn off and headed towards Olallie Lake.  The lake drainage creek carved a nice little canyon through the snowpack, but we found an easy crossing right at the lake.  We also ran into another party of three at the lake who we would leapfrog several times on the way up to the summit and back.

Olallie Lake drainage
Olallie Lake drainage
Olallie Lake
Olallie Lake

The slopes from the lake until near the rock outcropping were mostly hardened crust, but it started to soften a bit as we got higher.

Another hiker
Another hiker

Soon the terrain opened up and the views out towards Kaleetan and Chair were quite impressive.

First views of Kaleetan and Chair
First views of Kaleetan and Chair
Kaleetan
Kaleetan
Pratt Mountain ridge panorama
Pratt Mountain ridge panorama

The rock outcropping crux at 4600 ft was completely snow covered, but there was a 2-3 inch soft slab on top of a hard crust and it didn't look good as far as traction so we took the detour around it to the north (right) aaaaaaaaand that's where I lost my camera.

Rock outcropping (snow covered)
Rock outcropping (snow covered)

I had my camera in my pocket and noticed it wasn't there any longer.  Crap.  The terrain here was pretty steep.  Fortunately my friend me had seen it bounce down the steep slope at a rapid pace and pointed me in the right direction.  I followed its trail in the snow about 100 feet down the slope until I found it in a tree well.  Cool.  No damage, fully functional.  Whew.  Back into the backpack it went, and back up to the ridge I went.  Nice little detour and some extra exercise.  After a bit more hiking on the lovely ridge we passed another solo hiker and shortly after, reached the summit.

Nearing the summit
Nearing the summit
Summit selfie
Summit selfie

We were promptly greeted by camp robbers.

Camp robber
Camp robber
Camp robber
Camp robber
Camp robbers
Camp robbers
Granite
Granite

And soon after, the other party reached the summit as well.  First time I've had to share a summit in 8 months.

Other party reaching the summit
Other party reaching the summit
Checking out the views - Rainier in the background
Checking out the views - Rainier in the background

We ate some foot and pointed out all the peaks and lakes in the area, all the while fending off the camp robbers who were fairly bold in their attempts to score some food.  We linger for about 45 minutes, taking in the views before we departed.

Pratt Summit
Pratt Summit
Bryant, Snoqualmie w/ Chimney Rock and Chikamin
Bryant, Snoqualmie w/ Chimney Rock and Chikamin
Chimney Rock
Chimney Rock
Roosevelt
Roosevelt
Defiance and Lake Kulla Kulla
Defiance and Lake Kulla Kulla
Island Lakes and Rainbow Lake w/ Bandera and McClellan Butte
Island Lakes and Rainbow Lake w/ Bandera and McClellan Butte
Pratt Mountain cornices
Pratt Mountain cornices
Cool tree
Cool tree
Parting shot of Pratt Lake
Parting shot of Pratt Lake

The way down sucked.  As I mentioned there was 2-3 inches of soft snow on top of a hard crust.  In snowshoes, the crampons would dig through the soft snow and slide on the crust.  We took them off, but in boots it was knee deep post holeing every other step.  Usually I love descending in snowy conditions, but from the summit back to the lake was about the worst descent I can remember in a long time and my friend lost a microspike.  But we made it.  It was a great day and SO nice to have some sunshine finally.  7 1/2 hours car to car at a casual pace.
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mbravenboer
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mbravenboer
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PostTue Mar 21, 2017 9:06 pm 
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Very nice photos! The vertical Kaleetan one is particularly nice.

Sounds pretty lucky that you spotted your camera!
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Bernardo
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Bernardo
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PostTue Mar 21, 2017 9:14 pm 
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Thanks for the nice report!
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RichP
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RichP
sin rumbo
PostTue Mar 21, 2017 9:24 pm 
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Great photos from a bluebird day.  up.gif
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Just_Some_Hiker
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Just_Some_Hiker
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PostTue Mar 21, 2017 9:48 pm 
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awilsondc wrote:
Kaleetan
Kaleetan

Beautiful picture. I've been up Kaleetan before and it didn't seem that steep.
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks
PostWed Mar 22, 2017 12:12 am 
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Outstanding photos. That's a view of Roosevelt I don't remember seeing. It looks impossible from this side.

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Mid Fork Rocks flickr
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Jeff
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Jeff
Ramen Elitist
PostWed Mar 22, 2017 5:30 am 
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I rode that narrow bridge like a pommel horse both ways. Good work walking it!

I too was surprised to see anyone else up there. I figured it was an obscure summit. Maybe it is, but good weather brings people out.
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awilsondc
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awilsondc
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PostWed Mar 22, 2017 6:29 am 
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Jeff wrote:
I rode that narrow bridge like a pommel horse both ways. Good work walking it!

I too was surprised to see anyone else up there. I figured it was an obscure summit. Maybe it is, but good weather brings people out.

Jeff, were you the solo hiker we passed near the summit?
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iron
getting old



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iron
getting old
PostWed Mar 22, 2017 10:38 am 
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i've never had clear views from pratt (in the dozen times i've been there). who knew they aren't too shabby?!

--------------
man, you go through life, you try to be nice to people, you struggle to resist the urge to punch 'em in the face, and for what?

--- moe sizlack
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oneeyedfatman
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oneeyedfatman
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PostWed Mar 22, 2017 1:16 pm 
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Is the road up from Exit 45 melted out at all or did you have to start hiking at the freeway?
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awilsondc
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awilsondc
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PostWed Mar 22, 2017 1:55 pm 
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oneeyedfatman wrote:
Is the road up from Exit 45 melted out at all or did you have to start hiking at the freeway?

From the freeway to the trailhead parking lot was completely melted out.
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JPH
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JPH
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PostWed Mar 22, 2017 2:10 pm 
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awilsondc wrote:
oneeyedfatman wrote:
Is the road up from Exit 45 melted out at all or did you have to start hiking at the freeway?

From the freeway to the trailhead parking lot was completely melted out.

I think there might be a disconnect here - did you start from the Granite trailhead?  45 is the Talapus/Ira Spring exit.
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awilsondc
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awilsondc
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PostWed Mar 22, 2017 3:09 pm 
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JPH wrote:
I think there might be a disconnect here - did you start from the Granite trailhead?  45 is the Talapus/Ira Spring exit.

You're probably right, I don't know the exit numbers that well. I used the Pratt Lake / Granite Mountain trailhead, not sure what exit number that is. 47? Anyway, it's melted out.
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Jeff
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Jeff
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PostWed Mar 22, 2017 4:01 pm 
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That was me.
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Galadriel
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Galadriel
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PostThu Mar 23, 2017 5:58 pm 
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Riverside Laker, myself and another friend were the three others climbing Pratt and leapfrogging with you on Sunday. What a fabulous day to be on the summit.
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Pratt Mountain, Olallie Lake 3/19/17
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