Mount Philadelphia! My 57th and final hike of 2018! For last 9 years, when I moved here from BC, i was hiking local WA mountains almost every week (or more), I have never went to the same place twice and yet I feel I just barely scratched the surface - there are so many many more peaks, lakes, creeks, rivers and valleys to visit, my whole life will not be enough. Every mountain is different.
Mount Philadelphia is underrated and underappreciated small mountain, very close to home, just above super popular Index and Lake Serene. Philadelphia is not on any fancy lists, it is not super tall and it is famously covered in very thick conifer forest everywhere making for no views. What is even more annoying is that it is just at the right location and right prominence to have amazing views, but it just doesn't due to trees! Other than that it is great. It has amazing insane cliffs, lots of very deep untouched snow, no soul, narrow ridges above cliffs, boulder fields, downed trees and broad summit and a somewhat decent elevation gain to get to it (4500ft+).
It was also super cold, super windy, dumping snow so I was extra thankful for the big trees around.
Despite dreary weather Lake Serene parking lot already had like 5 cars at 8am in the morning, restrooms are closed and seems like people are now pooping everywhere behind them Took some trash back home from the trail too, but maybe due to fresh snow it didn't look too bad. It was raining hard and turned to icy cold snow around 2000ft. Trail to lake Serene is slippery and very rocky. Once off trail to Philadelphia I put on snowshoes immediately, unlike beaten up trail there is few feet of very fresh powdery snow there. I also brought ice axe and crampons, but there was no place or need to use them. First quarter mile or so through fallen trees and giant rocks was miserable, but after getting to forested ridge it became significantly better, though very hard to see anything - with heavy snow dumping it was very dark. Even our own footprints were mostly gone on the way back. It cleared up a bit right after we returned.
Happy new year everyone and thanks for trip reports and ideas for new places to visit in 2019!
ha I'm getting old - I definitely noticed there were at least twice more flights of stairs on the way back from Lake Serene trail compared to on my way up. I swear they must have been building more damn stairs while I was busy on the Philadelphia ridge
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