When wind, rain, snow and cold are in the forecast… well for us that’s a great time to play around in the mountains! When spent all of last week and most of the weekend moving so we needed a break from it all and escaped to the Mountain Loop Highway. Stillaguamish Peak was our objective. We started out on Perry Creek Trail at 8am. Not long after a frigid steady rain began to fall. Even with full goretex we somehow found the moisture seeping through to our skin. Luckily, after crossing Perry Falls at 3 miles we were back in the forest and more protected. The beta said to make note of the switchback at 4300 feet and take the climbers trail to the left .3 miles beyond the  switchback. It also noted that usually the climbers trail is invisible and its easier to just continue of the trail to just below the saddle. Indeed we found no climbers trail. Instead we turned left just below the saddle at about 4850 feet and after a few yards if bushwhacking through easy brush we stumbled across a very obvious and clear climbers trail.

 

We followed this trail across the ridge. Note that it does descend about 200 ft, but them it switched back up. The precip turned from cold rain, to sleet and finally to snow. There was a chilly wind to that come up every now and then. I was on my 4th pair of gloves by then and our rain-gear was saturated. In short I was very cold and Damien was, well, I don’t think he’s ever cold. The trail follow just left of the ridge crest. Normally there would be great view of Mt Dickerman across the valley, but in the snow and mist there were vague that day. The terrain would be easy in the summer, but the wet snow made these very slick so movement was not as fast as normal. We made it past the false summit where i changed in my final 5th pair of gloves and borrowed a layer from Damien (the only other layer I had left was my down puffy and if it got wet it would be useless). We continued onward for about another 15 minutes where we got to a cliff edge and the trail seemed to vanish. There was a route down the cliff back down to the ridge. It would be doable but tricky in the slick conditions. We noted that the time was 2pm. Sunset was in 2 hours and we have 6 miles to walk out from where we soon. Navigating back along the ridge in the dark was not our first choice and the weather was constantly getting worst. We weren’t far. Maybe .25 miles and 150 ft of elevation. But it was time to turn back.

We made it back down to Perry Creek exactly at sunset and walked out with headlamps. Cold, soggy and elated that we had a chance to play in the mountains again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *