This witter has been unseasonably dry and unseasonably warm. It had boded very tragically for the ski adventures in that there haven’t really been any in the Cascades. However, that does mean there is access to regions normally closed down by winter weather in other years. Having been busy with life through most of my January weekends I thought a trip to Mount Forgotten, an alpine scramble, would be perfect.

Forgotten is accessed by the Perry Creek Trail. The snowless trail first parallels the Mountain Loop Highway for a mile. It then reaches the road to the old trailhead. Turn right here and after about 1/4 mile the road turns into a trail. We followed Perry Creek through the valley on the flanks of Mt Dickerman. The foliage with golden brown and yellow, making it seem more like a late autumn day. It didn’t take us very long to reach Perry Falls were the trail crosses the creek. From here the flat walking ends and the elevation gain begins. We reached some snow spots at about 4,000ft, but it was hard packed and only in patchs. It was easy to regain the trail.

After two miles of switchbacks we reached Mt Forgotten Meadows which was full of hard packed snow. It was a bluebird with Glacier, Shuksan, Baker, Pugh and countless other peaks all in view. From this spot Mt Forgotten can be seen to the right just beyond a little hill. We ditched our snowshoes and traversed around the hill to get to the base of Forgotten. On the other side of the hill we were supposed to drop down 150 feet to get the the ridge. I read a recent trip report and it did not mention any concerns. However, the snow slopes that led down to the ridge were nearly vertical… and a fall would funnel you to chute down the mountain. Terrain trap. We checked again and again for an easy way down. No reports mentioned a rope, but I felt unsafe without having a belay, pickets or rappelling. In the end we concluded that although we’d probably be fine “probably” wasn’t good enough. The consequences of a fall were just to high for comfort. Instead we climbed the little hill and practiced some crampon techniques.

Still a glorious day in the mountains. But I suggest have a rope and some pickets to climb Forgotten.

12 miles (14 with summit)

3000 ft (4000 with summit)

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