Low Mountain 7/24/2016

Mark on the true Low Mountain summit
Mark on the true Low Mountain summit

Mark Garrett, Christopher Gronbeck (check out his beer, wine and whiskey bar in Seattle The Barrel Thief) and Jamil Haque and I hiked to Low Mountain on Sunday, the 24th.

This is not a hike I will do again.

The route is up the Denny Creek Trail.  This trail is fine but a bit on the rocky side:

The trail is rocky
The trail is rocky

We left the trail at Hemlock Pass, 4600 feet after passing a couple of gorgeous waterfalls:

Keekwulee Falls
Keekwulee Falls

The problems began when we left the trail to head towards the Low Mountain summit.

By the way, this mountain is low in the same way that 6’6″ Michael Jordan is short compared to 7 footers like Luc Longley.

Anyway, the mile from Hemlock Pass to Low Mountain (false) summit took more than two hours.  This is very tough bushwhacking.  It was so tough I couldn’t get my camera out to snap a shot.  I was afraid that if I tried that maneuver I might lose my footing.  Suffice it to say that much of it was very narrow, choked with vicious trees (I think they were not happy we were there), boulder fields to traverse, rocks to climb – it was a hard slog.

The last .25 or so miles were almost straight uphill, grabbing onto tree limbs and roots to pull yourself up.  I, an old man, was worn out.  Christopher, Jamil and Mark were already sitting on what looked like the summit before I got there, legs like putty, panting like a Golden Retriever looking for a tennis ball to chase.

Mark wandered off to examine a tower of rocks nearby and announced he was going to climb it.  And he did – see the photo above.  Great job!

Plenty of views around there.  During the bushwhack on Low we did find a small spot to sit down and check out the mountains in the neighborhood:

The neighbors from 4900 feet
The neighbors from 4900 feet

The bushwhacking was too intense for an old fart like me, but I cannot complain about the views:

Looking south
Looking south

Visualization:

http://adventures.garmin.com/en-US/by/djhiker/low-mountain-7-24-2016/#.V5Yag5Xlupp

10 miles, 9 and a half hours (!), 3,593 feet of elevation gain.  We were not slacking yesterday and I can check this summit off my list.  I will next check it out from the summit of nearby Granite Mountain (we could see the lookout from Low Mountain summit) and bid it a fond farewell.

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