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kitya
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PostMon Feb 10, 2020 7:06 pm 
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This is my second attempt to get to the Jolly Mountain. Back in January of 2017 I tried to go to Jolly Mountain on a freezing cold snowstorm day and had to bail out after getting stuck near Salmon La Sac creek crossing. Back than I attempted to snowshoe using the official trail from the Cayuse Horse camp. It didn’t work out that well. It was super hard to even find the trailhead (not well marked at all) in the snow and following the trail was impossible. Eventually at around 4200 feet trail does a long traverse across potentially dangerous avalanche slopes to cross a very large creek and that didn’t seem safe at the time.

Since than I didn’t get back to Jolly Mountain for many years, basically figuring out that it would not be that interesting anyway because Jolly Mountain is mostly in an unprotected country, surrounded by forest roads and logging, plus a site of somewhat recent massive fire and mostly wooded. I didn’t think much of it at all and only decided to come back to Jolly after not being able to come up with any other ideas and basically out of desire to maximize the usage of my snopark season permit. I’m that cheap😊

So this year instead of bothering with finding the Jolly Mountain trailhead, I parked at the amazingly large and well maintained sno park parking lot on NF-4315, elevation 2400 ft. The road NF-4315 itself has a sign that advising that it belongs to a voluntarily non motorized area, however with so many snowmobiles around it seems most decide not to volunteer and the road is heavily used. Instead of sharing the road with snowmobiles I walked to the first switchback and started following the obvious rib up the mountain, just south of Salmon La Sac creek. I figured out it would probably make a great route and it was. No snowmobiles. Cascade concrete down below, but powder starting from around 3000 ft. Open views across the valley due to sparse second/third growth trees. And if I ever get lost, I could just traverse south to find the road and bail out. Thankfully I never needed to do that.


Finally reaching the ridge at 5000 ft the views became even better! Oh, this ridge walk is so pretty. Finally snowmobiles sounds were far behind and it was just me and Cookie plowing through waist deep powder. Some areas of the ridge are wooded, other opened with amazingly large wind blown cornices. There ups and downs and views just keep getting better – Rainier and even Adams to the south, Lemah and the rest of ‘Snoqualmie Pickets’ west, Daniel north, Hawkins and Stuart and the rest of Enchantments peaks east. Deserts and wind farms of Eastern Washington south. This year I also snowshoed to Red Mountain, Pollalie Ridge and Sasse/Not-So-Sasse peaks in the same general vicinity and while all of them also have good views, Jolly is by far the best. Plus unlike other peaks with Jolly views kind of start from the beginning and just never end.

While I underestimated how pretty views from Jolly would be, I also underestimated how much effort it would take. Looking at the amazing views from the ridge I also see Jolly Mountain and see how still crazy far it is. It felt like it just doesn’t want to get closer.


While from the side it looks like Jolly is all wooded, close by it turns out to be a very large mountain with decently large completely open summit area and a steep ridge going up from the gap. Battling with the powder on that last steep ridge was super exhausting and each step was slow. Cookie gave up and was following me to take advantage of my snowshoe footprints, but finally we made it to the top and the long snow arete of the summit. The snow was super icy there and it was also super windy and miserably cold, so we couldn’t stay for long. But 360 views were amazing.


The whole trip ended up 12+ miles round trip with 5000+ ft elevation gain and took me almost 9 hours to do. I'm that slow frown.gif
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PostMon Feb 10, 2020 7:15 pm 
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looks like a jolly good time! up.gif

(I couldn't resist!)  hockeygrin.gif

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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RandyHiker
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PostMon Feb 10, 2020 8:14 pm 
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My group was out there the same day.  Great views.  We had a turn around time of 12:30 due to other commitments.  We climbed to 4800ft just a little shy of the 1st ridge top, but enough to get a peek of Mt Stuart.
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kitya
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PostMon Feb 10, 2020 8:29 pm 
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RandyHiker wrote:
My group was out there the same day.  Great views.  We had a turn around time of 12:30 due to other commitments.  We climbed to 4800ft just a little shy of the 1st ridge top, but enough to get a peek of Mt Stuart.

Interesting! I never saw other people, except for the snowmobilers at the bottom on the road and I have not seen any other human tracks. We must have taken completely different routes or went at different time of day. It is too bad you had to go back so early, but I'm glad you also had some time to enjoy the views. Jolly is really great.
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RichP
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PostMon Feb 10, 2020 10:48 pm 
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Spectacular.  smile.gif
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Sallie4jo
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PostTue Feb 11, 2020 2:22 pm 
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Not slow.....picture takes time....and appreciating the beauty is perfect.  Beautiful photos.

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Sabahsboy
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PostWed Feb 12, 2020 7:48 pm 
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I agree!  Spectacular photos!  Been there long ago...on a very nice summer hike!  Winter: whew!  Blows me away...the pix!  Kudos!
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Brushbuffalo
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PostSat Feb 15, 2020 2:28 pm 
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kitya wrote:
it was just me and Cookie plowing through waist deep powder.

Your waist or Cookie's 'waist'? Either way, tough going!
I enjoy your trip reports and photos.

kitya wrote:
The whole trip ended up 12+ miles round trip with 5000+ ft elevation gain and took me almost 9 hours to do. I'm that slow frown.gif

That isn't slow at all under the conditions  encountered. You are tough!

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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kitya
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PostSat Feb 15, 2020 2:40 pm 
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Brushbuffalo wrote:
Your waist or Cookie's 'waist'? Either way, tough going!

Cookie's waist line is kind of perpendicular to the ground, while mine is hopefully parallel to the ground most of the time smile.gif

Thank you - we enjoy deep snow a lot!
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